Should I ride through Colorado and Utah in mid October?

Discussion in 'USA - Mountain' started by Suko, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Suko

    Suko New Member

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    Is it a crazy idea to ride through Colorado and Utah in mid October? What sort of weather should I plan for? I have no idea what to expect as far as temps or when the snow begins to fall. Being from Wisconsin, cold weather doesn't bother me, I have ridden in temps down to 12 degrees (F).

    I plan to spend a night somewhere between Denver and Grand Junction with a final destination of Las Vegas where I have a work conference. I would like to ride out there but I need to decide if booking a flight would be a better idea.

    Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. TOE CUTTER

    TOE CUTTER Mullet Man

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    Tough call, been through that way in early October and it could not have been better and once in late October and it was pretty fugly,no fun at all.
     
  3. drewl

    drewl Member

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    Elevation plays havoc with weather.
    I live at 4100 feet in Northern California. 09's fist snow was the first weekend in October.
    The best advice I can give is to watch the weather closely 10 days before your trip. Have an alternate route ready.
     
  4. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Good rain gear and Gerbings heated gear and you will be OK except if you hit the snow. Then you will have to wait it out

    Regardless if it is raining or not, in the colder weather, wear the rain gear. What that does is trap the heat from the Gerbings beneath the rain gear and keeps the cold wind off your body. If it snow, you simply have to stop and wait it out.

    BTW. A thin coating of dishwashing liquid on the inside of your helmet visor is the best way I have found to keeping it clearer of fog. The sprays and wipes don't work worth a shit.
     
  5. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    we can get some snow on mountain passes in October. It normally melts on contact with the road or within a few hours. But who can say. There are multiple routes depending on weather (i.e. south route by Colorado Springs, central on I 70, or a north route thru Cheyenne and Laramie.
     
  6. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    A few years back I did a weekend ride from Wichita up to Canon City and then up through Vail (the back way) and back. We hit everything from high 90's and thunderstorms to hail and snow at 12,000 ft. Your gear has to be able to adapt to extreme temperature differentials at the very least and be ready to call er a day if things turn dangerous. It does add to the adventure a bit.

    Oh I found a few pics in my gallery that I haven't seen in ages......and for some reason the linky no work......sooooo just have a look in my gallery and you will see some nice snaps of my old 3rd gen looking just as sweet as they can. Still miss that bike!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

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    Get yourself some raingear that is at least orange and black in case you get stuck and have to spend Halloween in Utah. That part of the US ain't like the NE. It's lots and lots of lots and lots and when the sun sets in the West our hero can freeze his ass off in the passes.

    For an overall look at potential conditions and long range forecasts see NOAA..

    MSN has a weather service that can show three different locales at a time. By scrolling down there are easy bar graphs that show previous temp highs and lows and rain and snow levels for the past year. Not perfect but helpful.
     
  8. ECHO 800

    ECHO 800 New Member

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    I know it's a long shot - but here's the Farmers Almanac forecast for North Central:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    Unforunately October is one of the most unpredictable months of weather that we experience in CO. Even our local weather prognosticators usually have no idea what's going to happen untill it's actually happening. It is very common to see temps in the 70's around Denver or Grand Junction while a white-out blizzard is occuring on Vail Pass. During an upslope the opposite will occur wherby the lower elavations are getting pounded and the mountains are dry.

    That said, it's just as likely that we will experience perfect fall weather with temps in the 50's at altitude and 60's or 70's lower. If that is the case than those are the rides that shouldn't be missed.

    One more thing to consider is the fall leaf issue. On interstates you'll be fine but if you plan on any scenic stuff on the back roads you'll need to be aware that there can be falling leaf debris all over the place that time of year. It's just as nasty as riding on ice.

    I hate to talk you out of it, but if it were me I'ld pass. If you live here and are able to take the weather day to day there are great fall riding days to be had but being dependent on getting through the state on a motorcycle and in a specified amount of time changes the equation. Should you happen to be in state and a blizzard in conjuntion with a cold spell hits in any given area it could mean a prolonged stay for your motorcycle and possibly yourself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  10. jahlov420

    jahlov420 New Member

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    as long as you have the right gear and your bike is in good shape....go for it.
     
  11. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Havcar is pretty much right on the money. But I tend to be a little bit more adventurous I suppose. I say, make sure you have the right gear, give consideration to all probable eventualities, and go for it. WTF. But Havcar did bring up a very interesting point. We all think of the rain and snow and all that stuff, but as he points out, fall fallen leaves can be disastrous if they have become rotten and wet. Lard tunderin Jesus man, if you go, be careful. Take pix and post up your ride. I can't imagine the beauty of Colorado n the fall.

    I just might not go back to work from this vacation. Tell the boss "See you later dude, I have retired and bike'n to Colorado!"
     
  12. Suko

    Suko New Member

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    Thank you all for your input, some really great things here. I am still on the fence about this, I do tend to be more on the adventurous side and that side is telling me to go for it. I am comfortable with the gear I have although new rain gear has been on my list for awhile, I will be getting this regardless. I think I will check out some of those long range forcast sites that were mentioned. I hope to have a decision by early September so I can book a flight if needed.
     
  13. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    If you do end up coming through CO hit me up. I'ld be happy to point out a few routes that are off the beaten path and vastly more interesting than the interstate.
     
  14. Suko

    Suko New Member

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    Well, I booked my plane ticket today....better judgement told me that since I need to be in Vegas for a work conference and I don't want to risk having to explain my absense because I needed to wait out a snowfall. I know that would not go over too well. But, another contributing factor is my wife has a conference in Vegas next September (2011) so I am planning on riding out there for that and spending a few nights before heading back. I really want to ride the mountains and desert so it will give me something to look forward to.

    Thanks for your input, it sounds like the mountain ride will be better in September instead of October anyways.

    I will get the desert riding out of my system next week and get a better feel for what I am up against, I have a Kawi Concours14 rented for next Tuesday and Wednesday while I am in Vegas with my wife. She will be at Photoshop World all day and I will be riding!
     
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