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Thread: Devil's Spine - 2014

  1. #1
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Devil's Spine - 2014

    It's that time of year again!

    Bornwildnfree was planning on hosting this year but had to back out, so I'll lead a small group to the spine again this year.

    This will be my 4th trip to the spine and 3rd consecutive year running this ride.

    What it is: The Devil's spine is a 68 mile section of highway US 191 running between Alpine, AZ and Clifton, AZ. Formally Highway 666. The spine consist of some of the most technically challenging motorcycle riding in North America. Think of deal's gap, but over 4x as long and without the tourist. This road is a canyon carver's dream. Challenging yet fun roads, very little traffic, little if any speed limit enforcement.

    The spine ranges from highly technical hairpin turns and then gradually turns into higher speed sweepers (35-40mph yellow speed caution signs).

    See video from the 2012 trip here. The video starts starts off in Colorado on the Million Dollar Highway (Hwy 550) between Silverton and Ouray. The Devil's spine starts around the 4:15 mark following our encounter with local law enforcement.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljkXdOmMinI

    See the 2012 thread here: http://www.cosportbikeclub.org/forum...o-a-3-day-ride


    When: Leave Friday May 9th, return Monday May 12th. (4 days)

    Right now the dates are set and the current plan is truck/trailer the bikes down to Alpine. The truck/trailer can accomidate 5 bikes and riders. Currently we have 4 signed up with a possible 5th. If the 5th can make it, a 6th would be preferable to share hotel cost (2 beds per hotel room in Alpine, AZ). The 6th bike would have to ride down and if do end up having 6, I may volunteer for the ride down solo. I don't mind the ride and can make it to Alpine is a single shot if traveling solo.

    Difficulty level:
    Expert

    This is a difficult ride. You and your bike will be tested. The spine itself is no joke and crashing poses a serious risk of injury or death. Rock face cliffs on one side, 100 foot drop offs on the other. The area is also fairly remote with only minimal service at the two ends (Clifton and Alpine). Crashing here means crashing 800 miles from home. The other difficulty comes from the long days of riding. You should be prepared to spend up to 12 hours riding on your bike with minimal breaks and a 60 to 90 minute lunch break mid-day.

    Day 4 version (If riding). The truck/trailer will take the shortest, most direct route which is I-25 south to I-40 and west

    Day 1: Colorado Springs > Montrose > Durango > Gallup, NM - 505 miles, 11 to 12 hours
    Day 2: Gallup > Reserve > Clifton > Alpine - 356 miles, 10 hours
    Day 3: Alpine > Clifton > Alpine > Reserve > Gallup - 328 miles, 9 hours
    Day 4: Gallup > Durango > Montrose > Colorado Springs - 505 miles, 11 to 12 hours.

    Or, and if the goal is to make it Alpine in a single day, I'll ride straight to Alpine and spend 2 days on the spine and riding the 4th day back to Colorado Springs from Alpine.



    With that said, if you're an experienced sport bike and sport touring rider, this trip will be a blast. If your new to tour riding and highly technical roads, you'll be miserable.

    I'm going to limit this year's trip to 4-6 bikes total; 2 to 4 is my ideal number.


    I've revised the route to greatly reduce (cut in half) the long unavoidable stretches through the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. This change also adds in some more fun roads.


    For anyone leaving from Denver you have a couple options.


    1) Leave super early to meet in Colorado Springs
    2) Meet us along the way in Salida, CO.
    3) Come to Colorado Springs the night before and stay at my house. I'm located on the west side of Colorado Springs, right off of highway 24 (the start of the trip) and I have 3 guest beds plus a couch. I also have garage parking for your bike. If you're really lucky I could even be convinced to cook breakfast in the morning.

    My plan is to leave Colorado Springs at 7:00 AM and head south West to Canon City and onto highway 50 to Montrose. Stop in Montrose for a quick lunch before heading south on 550 towards Durango. From Durango it's south to Gallup.

    There is a hotel in Gallup we've always stayed at that has a pool and a hot tub, bring a swim suit or some shorts if you want to partake. They also have a decent breakfast in the morning which consist of pouring your own waffles.

    Interested? Reply here or send me a PM.

    Again, limited to 6 bikes total (5 plus myself). You and your bike must be up for the challenge.

    Clovis
    Last edited by Clovis; Wed Apr 16th, 2014 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Dates are set
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  2. #2
    Member Chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Was a blast last year, I'm out this year though. Already have a solo ride planned out to Sonoma/Napa in CA in late May otherwise I'd go again. Whoever goes, have fun, you'll be glad you did it!!
    2006 R1 "Raven"


  3. #3

    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    I'm not sure about the trip yet, but can I come for that breakfast in your house?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Sure Al, I'll cook you up some of my world famous breakfast bowls
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  5. #5
    Senior Member Repsol a095's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Make sure your bike has clear bra everywhere. Otherwise you will need to repaint. Your bike getting sandblasted will happen on this trip. Otherwise it is a great trip.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    On in high wind situations. Last year's trip just seemed to be plagued with bad luck... no sand blasting in 3 out of 4

    Repsol, did you sell your FJR?
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  7. #7
    Member Chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Yeah my bike is still fubar'd from last years sand blasting. Figured I'll deal with it eventually....but at least now I don't have to worry about little scratches/rock chips anymore.....eh.
    2006 R1 "Raven"


  8. #8
    Senior Member Repsol a095's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Nope. Kept the Fjr. Had it sold but I couldn't do it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Glad to hear. It's a special bike.

    I'm looking forward to riding the spine on my new bike (FZ1).

    Come me to think of it, each of my 4 trips (this being my 4th) have been on a different bike. Each bike of owned has ridden the spine so this will be a nice cherry pop for the new one.
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  10. #10
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
    Yeah my bike is still fubar'd from last years sand blasting. Figured I'll deal with it eventually....but at least now I don't have to worry about little scratches/rock chips anymore.....eh.
    Yeah, my bike was in the same condition along with blasted sections of the engine block since it's a mostly-naked bike. I'm glad a little waxing/clay bar helped mine somewhat, but the lens on my headlights was seriously pitted. I'm glad it wasn't a major detractor when I sold it.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, don't attempt to do this trip in 3 days! 3 days means pushing the limits almost the entire time risking life and limb, not to mention traffic tickets! Granted, much of the rushing in our trip was due to being several hours behind schedule due to a blown fork seal -not to mention an S1000RR with bald tires (thanks Aaron )- on day one that carried over into day 2. That said, 3 days does not give much allowance in the event of unplanned issues such as a breakdown or accident unless you adopt the "Top Gear" mantra of leaving a man behind. If a motorcycle crashes, and the accident is serious, you may be waiting several hours for emergency services to respond and that will easily throw the 3-day plan straight out the window. No offense Clovis, but not planning for major incidents is, in my opinion, an irresponsible oversight for a trip of this duration. 4 days gives you more time to work with meaning you can pick a more reasonable pace whilst allowing for the unexpected.

    If you haven't ridden the Spine, I suggest you go, go, go! You won't regret it!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yearly Supporter Generic's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Sounds like a great ride for me next year

  12. #12
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    All good points. 4 days is the planned (Fri - Monday) time frame.

    Reducing incidents is also the reason behind keeping the group size small again this year. Last year with 10 bikes, I was glad so many people got to go (and I enjoyed riding with each of you) but it was a bit of a cluster.

    So far myself and Ezrider are confirmed. Hoping Sal can make it this year as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drano View Post
    Yeah, my bike was in the same condition along with blasted sections of the engine block since it's a mostly-naked bike. I'm glad a little waxing/clay bar helped mine somewhat, but the lens on my headlights was seriously pitted. I'm glad it wasn't a major detractor when I sold it.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, don't attempt to do this trip in 3 days! 3 days means pushing the limits almost the entire time risking life and limb, not to mention traffic tickets! Granted, much of the rushing in our trip was due to being several hours behind schedule due to a blown fork seal -not to mention an S1000RR with bald tires (thanks Aaron )- on day one that carried over into day 2. That said, 3 days does not give much allowance in the event of unplanned issues such as a breakdown or accident unless you adopt the "Top Gear" mantra of leaving a man behind. If a motorcycle crashes, and the accident is serious, you may be waiting several hours for emergency services to respond and that will easily throw the 3-day plan straight out the window. No offense Clovis, but not planning for major incidents is, in my opinion, an irresponsible oversight for a trip of this duration. 4 days gives you more time to work with meaning you can pick a more reasonable pace whilst allowing for the unexpected.

    If you haven't ridden the Spine, I suggest you go, go, go! You won't regret it!
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  13. #13
    Senior Member One-ops's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    I might be in if its the later may date.
    How wreck has your bodies been for work on that Tuesday ?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lifetime Supporter bornwildnfree's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    I might...be in for the later dates in May. We will still be unpacking. I'll meet you down there though. One trip riding cured me.
    "With every broken bone, I swear I lived."


  15. #15
    Member ezrider's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Yep I'm in for the 4 day version.
    Canyon Rippers Unite!

    2015 Aprilia Tuono V4R

  16. #16

    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Nice footage from the ride. Seems like a shit load of fun. Next year.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Updated the OP now that we have a date set.

    Trip will be 4 days, leaving Friday May 9th and returning Monday May 12th.

    4 riders confirmed so far with a possible 5th. We now have a truck and motorcycle trailer to take down. 2 bikes can fit into the back of the truck bed and the trailer is 20 ft with 2 motorcycle chucks... we could probably round up an extra chuck or two to trailer 5 or 6 bikes.

    I may end up riding down to Alpine myself. It's a fun ride and I can cover the 650 miles from Colorado Springs to Alpine in 13 hours if riding solo.

    So to recap - we have 4 confirmed with possible room for 1-2 more.
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  18. #18
    Member ezrider's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    yippee!!!
    Canyon Rippers Unite!

    2015 Aprilia Tuono V4R

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lifetime Supporter bornwildnfree's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Damn this move! Will still play this by ear, otherwise we'll be going in Sept.
    "With every broken bone, I swear I lived."


  20. #20
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    It's hard to say what September will look like, but I could be down for a second trip.

    I just got a call back from the Sportsman lodge in Alpine, AZ. That weekend they only have 1 reservation currently so plenty of room.

    Rates are $73 per night for a room with 2 beds or $66 per night for a room with 1 bed.
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  21. #21
    Member theMayor's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Its been 11 days since the last post... Any update on attendee count? And is the current plan still to trailer all the way to Alpine, AZ on Friday... then ride the "spine" Sat and Sunday (then return Monday)?
    '07 sv650

    "Rocky Top, you'll always be, home sweet home to me."

  22. #22
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    We are essentially full at this point with 4 bikes.

    Two guys are going to load their bikes into the back of a pick up and drive, another rider and myself are going to ride down to Alpine from Colorado Springs.

    We're going to stop in Gallup for the first night and leave in the morning finishing out the 150 miles between Gallup and Alpine, arriving in Alpine around 11am or so.

    We'll send day 2 and day 3 on the spine.

    To get home we'll either ride Alpine back to Colorado Springs in one shot, or ride back to Gallup at the end of day 3 and start from there.
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  23. #23
    Senior Member Clovis's Avatar
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    Looks like we may have room for 1 more.

    1 Guy backed out which puts us at 3. There is a friend of a friend that has been a maybe that could be the 4th but as of right now we have 3 confirmed.

    Having 4 is ideal simply for splitting hotel cost (2 beds per room).

    If you're interested, you need to be an experienced rider and be able to keep up with the pace. There's a lot of ground to cover (Day 1 and day 4 are both 500 mile days and we'll have around 12 hours to complete it. I know I can cover 500 miles solo in 9 hours but that's when my only stops are to get gas and use the facilities.

    The spine itself is very much an experts only ride with solid rock face on one side and cliff drop offs the other. Crashing here means crashing 800 miles from home so we won't be pushing ourselves to the limit like we would closer to home.
    "If not us, who? If not now, when?"




  24. #24
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    Re: Devil's Spine - 2014

    That 2012 video had me drooling... Would love to join you guys but can't pull it off. Headed to freaken Iowa for a couple of days to get cams and tune. Would have put it off to do this instead. Do you do a fall trip as well?

    Dan

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