Friday, September 26, 2014

Cumberland (12,015 feet; 3,662 m), Cottonwood (12,126 feet; 3,696 m) and Marshall (10,842 feet; 3,305 m) pass by sidecar

I was really looking forward to do some kind of adventure riding with the sidecar. The weather was perfect, sunny and temperature was around 20C in the sun. First to filling station and there were a bunch of “tough-looking” Harley guys lining up. But hey, they spoke German and within minutes we had a short chat. They were on a week vacation across US on their rental Harleys. Safe travel guys and thanks a lot for your contribution.

From Gunnison I went first to Pitkin where the gravel road started and rode Cumberland Pass from south to north. There was plenty of loose gravel with smaller and bigger stones in combination with a few small wash-outs. I was really happy that Skippy was not here. She would have complaint already a lot about why we do this and so on – need to remember there is no “we” :D

The descent towards Tin Cup was not any different. In higher altitudes it was a bit smoother but not much. Typically I rode in first and second gear and very seldom in third. Obviously I was still faster then Kyle and Joel as I caught them as we climbed upwards ;)

At Taylor park reservoir I turned east towards Cottonwood Pass. There was asphalt for a few meters and then the ascent was again gravel. Cottonwood Pass was a piece of cake – very hard surface sand roads and no loose gravel at all. A few bumps here and there and that was it. It was the easiest, the busiest and at the same time the most dangerous to ride. Plenty of opposite traffic and the pick-up trucks with the caravan trailer were cutting corners once in a while.
I met Kyle and Joel again at the summit of Cumberland Pass. Safe travels guys.
Cumberland Pass north side ...
and more ...
really idyllic!
The descent of Cottonwood Pass was all good asphalt. Anybody can ride here even on a Harley with trailer :D
West side of Cottonwood Pass.

After a small break in Poncha Springs I continued south towards Marshall Pass (I rode this one east to west). A whole bunch of wild cyclist came opposite but lucky me those were the only ones on the pass. A few ATVs which came downhill made a full-break to pull over – otherwise I was pretty much alone there. The road was really smooth and had a hard surface with only a few bumpy spots or some with loose gravel. Some impressions ... I had occasionally difficulties to focus on the road :D

Photo taken by a friendly ATV rider - thanks :)
On the summit I met two other bikers with their R1200GSs on their tour along Great Divide. I finished my lunch and only a few kilometers later I caught up to them. The descending road was also in really good shape and I even rode in my sixth gear once in a while. The only naughty things were those dips (I guess for heavy rain). My suspension did not like those kind of things (experience from Mauritania). Well, I took it easy on those. Anyway I was breathing their neck so they let me ride first (thanks guys!) and I really enjoyed that road and had a good speed. I hope you two did not have to swallow too much dust.

Later on when I was on the highway back to Gunnison they caught up with me ;)

Obviously I arrived too early in the motel as Skippy was asking “What went wrong? Why are you already here?”. I had a great riding day and now looking forward to Cinnamon and Engineer Pass.

My track: 275km in about 5 hours moving time.
Height profile
I also made a short video of this fun ride. Enjoy!

And once more if you have trouble to watch the video in youtube, click here (

~ Wolfi


  1. Ei nuita maisemia kestä O.o

  2. Livin' La Vida Loca. Great travels - journey is the reward

  3. Now online: if you have trouble to watch the video in youtube, click here (