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Old 09-07-2010, 01:29 PM   #1
AspentureRider OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Aspen, CO
Oddometer: 151
6 rivers,13 towns,1 pass,2 siblings,1 breakfast beer, 285 Ninja miles

Quick roundtrip motorcycle ride on the Ninja 650r Sunday from Aspen to Grand Junction, where my sister lives and my brother was visiting. Left Aspen at 6:45 am- had to be back by 2:00 to go to work.

Sun came up maybe 15 minutes after I left, and it was pretty chilly, maybe 45, and overcast. Hwy 82 from Aspen to 133, through Carbondale towards McClure Pass. I was loafing along at about 65 in a 55 zone when three big Bimmer sport tourers, one of them 2-up, go ripping by me at about 80- Okay, I sez to myself, there's no other traffic... bring it!

So I tag in behind them, half their displacement, to see what they're up to. Man, could they ride! Only one other car, and 3 more bikes in the next forty minutes...riding WAY faster than I usually ride... and these are twistie motorcycle heaven roads...

Over McClure, at about 9K feet, temp dropping to less than forty. The road is perfect, the sky is clearing... we rip by Paonia reservoir, through the beginning of the West Elk wine region, and into orchard country, dropping almost 4k feet in the next twenty miles. Slowing significantly for Somerset, a coal mining town with camo ATVs and a pink Ford pickup with a "For Sale" sign on it..., then opening back up for the short run to Hotchkiss.

We drop in behind two other big touring bikes, and another eventually appears from a side road and drops in behind me... seven of us now in formation, flying through shoulder-high corn rows and peach orchards and vineyards... leaving the mountains behind and entering high desert and river canyon country. I lose my escort at the turn-off to Black Canyon of the Gunnison- I beep and they wave.

I continue through Delta to US 50 and the quick run to Grand Junction. My brother and sister and I go to a cool downtown brewpub- the Roadside- for brunch- $8.95 all you can eat? That might get me toast and eggs in Aspen. Omelletes made to order, bisquits and gravy, and peach blintzes made from peaches selected at the farmers market that morning.... unbelievable! All washed down with a killer proprietary copper ale. Yum.

It's over all too soon. Back on the bike, now almost forty degrees warmer than when I left this morning, and nasty head winds all the way back through Debeque Canyon and I-70, through Rifle, Silt, and New Castle (all along the Colorado River) to Glenwood Springs and then back up the Roaring Fork to home... right on schedule. Shower, and off to work to film video stories of Aspen old-timers.... oh, and 54 mpg. for the whole trip.

Cliff Notes- ADVRider Noob gets up early, rides too fast over mountain roads and through some fine Colorado scenery, pigs out with his brother and sister, saves enough on breakfast to pay for the gas, goes home and goes to work.
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