Dual Sport Singletrack Explorers Ride 

by gpsKevin

This is a 6 day ride to explore some of the best singletrack in Colorado.  This ride is for expert riders only. The days can be long and sections can be tough.  Do not sign up for this ride if you are not up to a challenge.  There are parts of the ride that will be spectacular, scenic and just plain bad.  Most will find these routes as awesome, some may feel defeated and view the routes as impossible. This is a dual sport ride with a mix of singletrack and dirt roads.  There is some pavement as we move through some towns.

Pictures from this ride

From the Forest Service

The trails are extreme in every sense of the word.

The trails can be extremely narrow, often the width of a tire. Many of the trails have extremely steep side slopes with rocks and stumps hidden in the bushes. Hitting one of these could result in highsiding and falling down steep hillsides. It may be difficult or impossible to retrieve the bike. Riders should be realistic about their abilities, have lightweight bikes and be in good physical condition. Wear good gear, right for the weather. Even the weather can be extreme. Read up on the trails, plan a route and be realistic.

About your Bike

You should bring a smaller bike set up for trail riding.  530s to 200s work well, often the smaller the better. The bike should have low gearing, you will almost never want to go over 50mph.  The bike should have factory jetting in order to work well at elevation. The elevation range will be between 6000 and 13000 feet. The bike should be in new or good condition as the week will be demanding on the bike.  Chains and Brakes are common problems, check to see if they are near new.  I recommend Trials Tires (Pirelli MT43) , but knobbies work well also.  The bike should have a fuel range of 120 miles.  Prep your bike well as there is little opportunity to repair your bike during the ride.

About the weather

I choose this time of the year because the weather is mostly good.  But this is the Rocky Mountains so the weather can change quickly.  Rain is common, it is common to get an afternoon thunder storm.  Lightning is common.  It can turn cold and wet at high elevation.  Carry extra clothing

About Emergency Preparedness

You will be in very remote areas where help is mostly unavailable.  It is up to you and your group member to deal with any emergency.  Emergencies can range from accidents to breakdowns to  altitude sickness to just plain lost.  I recommend that you carry rain gear, extra gloves (waterproof), and extra layers of clothing.

Put some thought into what if you had to spend the night on the trail?  Do you have gear to keep yourself warm and safe?

(Lighter, Tarp, Rope, first aid supplies, etc.?)

"its not really an adventure until we have started a campfire"

OK since many of you might like to study more detail about the ride, below is a ton of info about the plan and routes.

El Dorado ride description

Do this ride yourself:  Purchase Rider Packet and GPS microSD Card for this ride

Note: A Full Rider Packet consists of printed ride descriptions and paper ride maps and a custom GPS microSD card for your Garmin or BMW GPS unit.

El Dorado Choice (Scroll Down Menu)

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Notes:  I suggest you plan and order early.  Normally I ship within a week.  But sometimes I run out and it can take me several weeks to get new cards and maps.  And sometimes I am out riding and building new adventures so that can be hard too. I list the Option for 2 SD cards because many riders like to carry a backup card or a cheap backup GPS in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Ride Plan Maps

I put these ride maps on the web page because I know a few of you love looking at the ride detail and dreaming about the ride.  At first glance these maps do not look so impressive, but they are way cool.  If you click the Earth or Satellite tab and start zooming in, you can see the ride in incredible detail.   I have spent a ton of hours sorting through the details of the ride for each day, so for those of you that enjoy this sort of thing, well enjoy!


The Red lines are Motorcycle Only legal trails (Singletrack)

The Dark Cyan lines are ATV trails

The Blue lines are dirt roads

The Green lines are a mix of easy and paved routes

Is this ride right for you? 

This is an explorers ride. The nature of exploring is that much is unknown, so things can go wrong.  The routes are unproven and sometimes don't work due to obstacles or just plain errors.  The day can turn long and test your abilities and patience.   You will find yourself in the mix of many rider's opinions that know how to fix the problem. You need to be able to find the fun in that.  The riding can be fun, challenging, fast, slow, scenic, and hard.  It is all about the riding.

Are you right for this ride?

When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help?  You should be in the more likely to offer help camp.  This ride is filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help.  Additionally there is all the normal stuff, come prepared to maintain your bike, fix your bike on the trail, repair flat tires, deal with bad weather and rain and make a joke or two.

How does the ride navigation work?

This is a self-led GPS ride; all riding is on your own.  You are responsible for your own riding.  You will be given a GPS map file and instructions on how to use your Garmin GPS unit.  People will hook up in small groups of less than 6 riders and tend to ride together.  You are not encouraged to ride alone.  You are responsible for your own riding and yourself.  (see my ride Navigation Video)


Q; What do I do if I don't have a Garmin GPS?

A: Buy one, you need it. We will show you how to use it. You can get a great one for $100 bucks. ( See gpsKevin's gps recommendations).

Q: Is the riding really on my own?

A: Yes, it is own your own, but not by yourself.  Everyone hooks up and rides with a friend or a new friend and rides together.  I do not encourage riding alone.

Q: Do I need a street licensed bike?

A: Yes, there are areas where a licensed bike is required. You must also have a motorcycle class drivers license.

Q: Do I need insurance?

A: Yes, you must carry proof of medical insurance and liability insurance for yourself/motorcycle.

Q: Are the trails legal to ride on a motorcycle?

A: I work hard to be sure that the trails are motorcycle approved. Many of this year's trails come directly from the forest service and their new motor vehicle use maps.