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Round 14 of the 2013 AMA Yamaha Super Ténéré Adventure Riding Series
The Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour

Geared toward riders of all brands of adventure-touring motorcycles,  Exit Tours M/C held Round 14 of the 2013 AMA Yamaha Super Ténéré Adventure Riding Series.

The Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour on Sept 6-9 started at Cottonwood Hot Springs in the town of Buena Vista, Colorado.

The ride included just less than 1,000 miles of the most spectacular scenery the Rocky Mountains have to offer in the most scenic riding area of the country.

The Entire Route was scouted and planned by Mountain Tech Motorsports Sean Barr.

Independence Pass in Autumn

The “High Adventure, No Hassle” approach included plenty of riding on asphalt, gravel and two-track routes mapped by our local experts and the camaraderie of like-minded enthusiasts.

The Playground on the Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour was among the densest concentration of high peaks and passes in North America.

Sean Barr & Jubal Brown on the Top of Cottonwood Pass

The Tour visited 3 iconic Hot Springs on an epic journey through the Rocky Mountains. It was a self guided with outriders & a chase truck with a trailer and luggage portage.

The peaks and passes on the ADV Tour form the backbone of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide and the headwaters of 3 major north American rivers, the Arkansas, Colorado and Rio Grande rivers.

With eight peaks reaching over 14 thousand feet, the Collegiate Peaks near Chaffee County are some of the highest peaks in the Continental United States.

Otto Mears Tollroad built in the 1870’s

Day 1 began at Cottonwood Hot Springs near Buena Vista. The Hot Springs Adventure Tour crossed Weston, Hoosier, Boreas, Kenosha, Guanella, Loveland and Ute Passes and then followed the Colorado River Road through Glenwood Canyon to the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. 325 Miles.

The Day 1 destination of the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool & Lodge was built in 1888 and is the world’s largest hot springs pool.

It became world-renowned as a healing wonder set in a mountain paradise in the last century and was visited by President Theodore Roosevelt more than once.

Cottonwood Pass ‘Racetrack’

Around the turn of the century, the Golden Age of Mineral Spas, it was referred to as “Spa of the Rockies”. During WWII the hot springs and hotel were used exclusively as a U.S. Naval Convalescent Hospital.

The route to Glenwood Hot Springs through Glenwood Canyon is a rugged scenic 12.5 mile canyon on the Colorado River in western Colorado. Its canyon walls climb as high as 1,300 ft (396 m) above the Colorado River.

Historically the canyon has provided the only route through the Rocky Mountains for trains and automobiles.

The engineering required to extend I-70 through the canyon was the most difficult project on the entire US interstate system.

Switchback on Independence Pass

Day 2 crossed 12,095 foot Independence Pass in the central Rocky Mountains. Independence Pass is the 2nd highest paved pass in Colorado and is the center of one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the State.

The pass crosses the ridge of the Sawatch Range between Aspen and Leadville, and runs through the White River National Forest.

The road is narrow and steep with a 6.5% gradient, including tight switchbacks on each approach. The Independence pass road is steep and has steep drop offs and sheer cliffs and the road narrows to one lane at several points.

Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool

Day 2 we headed up to Aspen, the iconic mountain ski town and the one that sets the standard for all other ski towns, and crossed Independence, Cottonwood, Cumberland, Wuanita, Black Sage, Old Monarch, Cochatopa Passes and then passes thru the La Garita wilderness to the Great Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool.

Then onto the Inn of the Rio Grande in Alamosa for Sunday night. 375 Miles.

Engine 190 coming out of the Alpine Tunnel

Day 3 started with a special tour of the steam engine facilities at the San Luis & Rio Grande’s Railroad facility in Alamosa, with a tour led by General Manager and Exit Tours Board member Matt Abbey.

Day 3 then proceeded over La Veta Pass, through the Wet mountains north to Canon City, then to Phantom Canyon, Victor and the gambling mecca of Cripple Creek before following dirt roads back to Buena Vista. 250 miles

  • Event promoter Exit Tours Motorcycle Club is from Salida, Colorado.
  • The Tour crossed 16 mountain passes
  • 975 miles in 3 days
  • 40 participants
  • 1 flat tire
  • no injuries, no major crashes
  • Oldest rider ? Jan Key, 74 years young, who rode a V-strom with his wife as passenger the whole way
  • Youngest was Video-Talent Andrew Kane at 20 years old
  • 6 wives participated. 3 as passengers, 3 following the route in rental cars
  • Miles driven by portage vehicle ? 650

Sponsors of the Exit Tours M/C Tour in 2013 were:

Fly Racing, Vurboffroad.com, Wiseco, Enduro Spec Suspension, Mountain Tech Motorsports, Leo Vince, OffRoad Champions and Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals.

Colorado Adventure Article in the May 2013 AMA Magazine

Article from and Sean Barr on the Cover of the May 2013 AMA Magazine
True Adventure
Champion shot from Big Tank Magazine (Japanese) R-Series Photo Credit

 

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