Paul and I rode to Zion today. I got the chance to ride Paul's Goldwing for a few miles from Virgin to Springdale. Very, very sweet. First time for me to pilot a Goldwing. One smooth bike. Surprisingly agile for a big bike. Very fun. Thanks, Paul.
Paul also had a smile after kickin' back on the Vulcan 900 for a few miles. Paul has some very nice motorcycles ($$$) plus some other motorized things that go fast, and the Vulcan was a bit of a "retro" throwback for him. All in the spirit of the day.
A couple of other guys had either work conflicts or a bike problem. Have to get them going soon. Paul and I will definitely be doing more rides. I owe him lunch.
Not many pics -- today was mostly about riding. Here are a few.
Our first real stop is the Checkerboard Mesa Viewpoint in Zion National Park, after climbing the switchbacks and going through the tunnels. By the way, for inmates and lurkers in the area -- the fall colors in Zion at lower elevations are still striking. Check it out if you can, preferably on moto.
The light wasn't right for Checkerboard Mesa, but I still snapped a pic.
In Zion, there are great views in every direction, so I point the camera the other way.
Paul and I had fun hangin' out, talking with strangers who pull into the overlook. Lots of Europeans, all amazed with our scenery. We are lucky. This stuff is easy within 2 hours drive of our houses. Someone wanted to take a picture of "badass" American bikers. We comply, then they take a photo with my camera as well. Here we are. Paul with his Goldwing.
All is good, so we decide to exit Zion to the east and make the run down to Mt. Carmel Junction for some food. This gives us the chance to ride briskly on the open road east of Zion. Fun. My Vulcan 900 can keep the Goldwing in sight, but only because Paul is takin' it easy, in sightseeing mode.
Great rider, great guy.
Thunderbird -- signs just don't come any better than this!
Good food also. Thanks, Paul. Next time I buy.
We thought about going south to Kanab and back to Hurricane via Colorado City (Polygamy Central), but opted to make the run back through Zion since this would be a little quicker, even with the tunnels and switchbacks.
We cruise back towards Zion in late afternoon light. Paul is leading. We are slowing as we approach the east entrance. BAM! From the right side of the road a deer jumps out and hits the front right of the Goldwing. Paul keeps the bike upright (nice!), and the deer's body spins from impact and SLAMS the back corner of the bike. I see all this from behind. The deer slowly stumbles to his feet and limps off the side of the road and into the brush. Gone.
Paul stops his bike and we assess. No serious damage to Paul, just a bruise on his right hand. The Goldwing has deer fur stuck in the creases on the rear luggage compartment, and one small cargo door is missing. Front brake lever is bent. A few other tweaks to the back part of the bike which took the biggest hit as the deer spun and smacked . . . ouch!
Sorry, no pics of any of this. Maybe it is time for a GoPro Helmet cam. Very similar to this insane YouTube clip of a mountain biker in Africa getting taken out by a buck. Enjoy.
Glad Paul kept the bike up and was fine. Rode home without further incident. Paul says next time he goes "hunting" with his Goldwing he's going to go after smaller animals, perhaps a rabbit.
Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe, my friends. Ride safe.