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Old 09-16-2009, 03:35 PM   #16
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Our Winter Park location was strategically chosen as a staging point for an assault on trail ridge road. We struck out early Monday morning in hopes of avoiding traffic and delays. Didn't really work out so well (loads of construction and Harley-jams). HD riding clowns even had their own support truck/trailer (trailer was an approx 30' race car trailer!) following them the whole way (and sadly, the truck with huge trailer had no problem keeping up with them in the twisty bits either). Pilette and I did make our way around though.

On the way to Trail Ridge Road we passed by lake Granby (I think), it was quite scenic.




Despite the traffic on TRR, obnoxious Harley riders and construction the scenery was fantastic, wildlife was out and we had a great time!

At the start of the road we saw some moose, including a baby one. Nicki snapped off a quick pic with her SLR as they ran off into the woods. Unfortunately she didn't have time to focus or do anything like that - I think we and the moose were both on the move at the time the shot was taken as well.




Sections of the road were freshly paved and just gorgeous!


The scenery was great, even as we were just beginning.




We stopped at the summit parking lot and noticed these critters in the distance.


Pilette's zoom lens brought them in a bit closer.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:35 PM   #17
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Then we saw these critters lounging about.


Pilette had to stop for pictures of course.


Here's what she got






I tried my hand at an artsy shot with my little water-proof camera, not great, but perhaps not terrible:O


Pilette was cajoled into a pose.


And then we rode on!


The scenery in the alpine region was especially striking, I think Pilette nabbed these while we were on the move.




On the way down we stopped in this wild-flower area to stretch our legs and give our posteriors a rest.


From the Rocky Mountain National Park we made our way down the twisty and scenic rout 7 then I think though Boulder Canyon or Left Hand canyon, though Boulder and back to Wade's place. We then went into town to say hi to the Judge I worked for last summer - Nicki had never met him so I was excited to introduce them and show her around the court house. Both Judge and courthouse are super cool.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:36 PM   #18
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The following morning I dropped Pilette off at the airport and she flew back to the DC area. I took care of some business on the Bandit - oil change, wash and that sort of stuff at Wade's place and generally hung out.

See, all clean!


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Old 09-16-2009, 03:37 PM   #19
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Then a day or two later Blake, Wade and I hit up the local MX track. Blake (the kid) is new to riding and this was to be his first time on a MX track. Wade (his dad) is an experienced street rider, but not much dirt experience. Wade asked if I'd be willing to show Blake some MX basics - I was only too happy to oblige!

The track, IMI, was a pretty cool place. Only $10 to ride all day and that included access to the noob track, the main track and a very fun, tight dirt oval. I never quite figured out what the dirt oval was for - its smaller than I remember flat tracks being, but who knows. It was dead on perfect for my skills and machine. As luck would have it I was able to rock 3rd gear the whole way around once I got the hang of the course and was able to keep my corner speed up (my CR is geared super tall for a MX bike). At the slowest point in the curves it was just barely on the pipe, but still solid pull (and strong incentive not to loose any corner speed as clutch work or a downshift would be required) and it was just past the power peak when I was ready to shut down and back it into the next turn - really just a perfect time!

The noob track was quite good for its intended purppose - fairly flat, firm straight forward. All it really lacked were some simple noob-friendly jumps (it had humps in the ground that looked like jumps, but the angles were all off such that jumping them was at best quite difficult and most of the time not really possible, at least not if you wanted to land on a downslope). Also a bit confusing was how the track was actually routed - there were several points where the track split, then re-joined and no markings as to the proper course - presumably they configure it differently for different race classes, but for the track day it was a free-for-all. This required a bit of extra care to keep blake from getting squashed by a careless quad at a blind intersection, but overall things worked out quite well.

Me getting owned by Blake ;)


Trying my hand at a little flat-track. Eventually I sorta got the hang of it and kept the back end out pretty well from entry to exit. The coolest part for me was when I finally got my entry speed high enough to back it in without touching the brakes, just the slight amount of engine braking from the two stroke was enough for the back end to drift out nicely then I'd feed in the power and do my best to keep it out (which was tricky with the hard-hitting two stroke). I don't think I'd ever become a hard core flat track guy, but I could definitely see racing flat track for a season or two!




And of course a trip to the MX track wouldn't be complete without the airtime photos (main track here).


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Old 09-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #20
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Next, I went for an evening street ride with another buddy, Craig, in CO. We didn't get any pics, but had a great time. We wound our way from Parker out to Central City where we had some $5.99 prime rib for dinner, then took the Central City Parkway back. In true rounder style the whole ride home was in a big thunderstorm, we took it a little slower in the twisties, but otherwise rocked on!

The following morning we got up early to hit the trails on the off road machines.

Craig (Duken4Evr) did a ride report for this ride (on TLZone.net) and his writing is better than mine so here's what he had to say
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
Josh passed through Colorado on his annual summer tour. As always, we had a great time off roading. I suspect Colorado is going to pick up a talented young lawyer and me a most excellent riding buddy upon graduation. I love it when a plan comes together evious On to the pics :roost

First stop was an area I have not ridden before, but passed by on the FZ1. I did not know what to expect. The trails were easy, but it was scenic. It was a good warm up. I plan to take my kid there, she will love it!





The 2nd are was Webster Pass/Red Cone Mountain. My prior "first off road ride of the season" photo whore with my CRF230 riding buddy was taken there. The snow was gone and we were able to make it to the top, over 12,000 feet, above the tree line. The air was a bit thin up there. The scenery was intense :hail Can you spot the tiny DRZ, working it's way up the hill in the distance? What a vast place this is. The trails went on and on. We were sorry we had to turn around!













On to the appropriately named "Radical Hill". We were stopped here and a young surfer type guy in an old Land Cruiser comes up and says "Dudes, you goin' up Radical Hill? That thing is covered with baby heads". Baby heads, evidently, are gnarly rocks that are the size of a baby's head. He sounded like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It was a priceless moment :lol



But of course we went up Radical Hill. Continued
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #21
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And more from Craig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
On up Radical Hill we go, BP's CR250 charging hard and the baritone DRZ barking merrily in the thin cool 12,000 foot high alpine mountain air.





What goes up must come down. In this case, going down Radical Hill. It was pretty steep actually. Note the mountain goat audience. :)





On to a small cabin to investigate. A few of the goats followed us. Probably because they knew silly bike tricks come next, courtesy of Bikepilot.



Yep, it is a Colorado Tradition with Josh. Squidding it up on a rock. Very nicely done :hail







Can you spot the bull elk in the brush? Hint, he is 1 o'clock high.



All in all, another awesome ride. Two areas, one day, 80 some odd miles off road. What a gas oug The inevitable street ride photo whore to come next...
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #22
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And some more:)

My last day in Colorado before I left to go further west, Craig and I went for a big street bike ride. I think we were just shy of 500 miles! We more or less went to Steamboat Springs and did Trail Ridge Road, I can get details of the route from the gps tracks or Craig if anyone is interested.

BTW craig's form is terrible in these pics, but we were just cruising, his form is perfect (and he's insanely fast and smooth) when he tries at it:)

We road through this cool canyon






We rode over a high mountain pass (not sure which one???).

I climbed up a dirt pile for a better view - here's looking down on the bikes.


Down with the bike.


and looking out at the valley.


Then we crossed some high plains


Notice how the scenery changes behind my head?




And hit up trail ridge road










And on the way back we cruised though the cool canyon again.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #23
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Go BP!
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:41 PM   #24
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The morning after the street ride with Craig I left Denver and headed west.

I didn't have an exact route planned, but after checking the weather reports that night decided to go more southern than northern. I'd been contemplating going though southern UT or going up to Yellowstone then across OR. Overnight low temps in Yellostone and OR were reported as being below freezing and my hodgepodge of camping gear wasn't up to that sort of weather and the daytime highs in UT and even NV were pretty reasonable so the southern option it was.

I'd never seen Gunnison and had heard it was nice, so plotted a course for there and figured I'd work out the rest as I went.

I think I took 285 out of Denver for a while, it was scenic and not too much traffic. When I did eventually get held up I pulled out the camera to capture some scenery. Now I didn't take a ton of pics on this leg of the trip because I knew my one, older camera battery would have to last me at least till I hit CA - I didn't know where I'd stop for the night but I was pretty sure there'd be no power outlets where I'd be staying.

I think this was along 285. The cruiser-guy was making pretty good time and looked to have a clue so I hung back and enjoyed the scenery for a bit - there were some cops along this section too. Eventually we caught up to a cage and there was a two-lane passing section. There were to cages running a roadblock and when a gap opened I waited politely for Mr. Cruiser to go though, he didn't so I had a go at it. When I was right beside him he suddenly and without signaling changed lanes right toward me. Luckily I managed to avoid him, but it was a totally bone-headed move on his part. His pathetic motorcycle didn't have the acceleration to shoot the gap between the cages (he waited way too long and the gap was about closed up) and after nearly hitting me he nearly bounced off a truck, then proceeded to honk and flip off the truck-driver who didn't do anything wrong other than not moving to the right to make passing easier - I twisted the right grip and silently left him, his noisy and acceleration-challenged machine and both cages like they were roadside statutes. Gotta love the roll-on torque of the bandit! Lesson learned, its really, really hard to underestimate the ability or even common sense of some other riders, even when they show some modicum of riding ability initially. Despite resisting the conclusion, I have to realize that on average, a fellow motorcycle rider is much more of a hazard to me than a cager with cruisers representing the largest ratio of hazards to reasonable riders. I decided to make a point of staying away from other bikes unless I knew the ride or the rider very clearly demonstrated some ability and (un)common sense.

Even so, the scenery was great, here's Mr. Cruiser.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:41 PM   #25
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At some point I went over this Pass, it was pretty cool, I think Craig and I had been over it the previous day but not sure.





I enjoyed the Gunnison area - very scenic and cool. The town looked like loads of fun, lots of dirt bikes around and everyone seemed to be there to enjoy themselves - fishing, biking, mtb's or whatever. I stopped in at a motorcycle shop to get route suggestions from there. It was a cool shop and from the trophies on the wall I'd guess the owner was quite the off road rider. They also had several new husabergs - major drool inducement there.

We worked out a route and plugged it into my Zumo and I was off. I think rt 149 was the road that was most strongly suggested.

It was indeed a great road, perhaps one of the most fun passes I've ever ridden - virtually no traffic, no enforcement at all, big sweepers = big fun.




I rode the Husaberg-racer's recommended route out of Gunnison and figured I'd check out Durango on my way. No real reason other than that i'd never been there and always heard it talked about.

The ride out of Gunnison was fantastic - the Husaberg dealer guy knew his stuff (he also rides street bikes).

There were mountain lakes


And the road twisted and bent around with this stream












I thought this house was way cool, it was also quite out-of-place, very remote and in an area where the very few structures that could be found were either very dilapidated or small hunting/fishing cabins.




The Bandit struck a pose once we re-joined the stream. There was an inviting looking atv/jeep trail on the other side of the road, but it looked much too rocky for the Bandit...


I eventually hit more construction


But the scenery was fantastic!
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:43 PM   #26
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Durango wasn't quite what I'd expected - the riding was nice, but Durango and surrounding area didn't really catch my attention much. It was hot, dry, not especially scenic and the roads not especially fantastic, at least not by Colorado mountain standards. I pressed on.

I didn't have any particular plan of where to stay for the night, but figured I'd stay somewhere around Canyonlands or Moab.

The very western edge of Colorado was sorta flat and dry, eastern UT was even more so. I didn't take many pics, but you aren't missing much - it all kinda looked like this


I entered UT


Given the barren landscape, the background on the sign seemed like false advertising



Eventually I saw a hill looming in the distance - it had to be the southern end of Canyonlands.


The Zumo was no help in actually getting into Canyonlands - it wanted me to go a couple of hundred miles south and loop around to the western side of the park - no good. I asked two different locals in a small, somewhat sketchy town in eastern UT that looked on the map to border the park how to get into the park and got two very definite and definitely different answers...

I explored around a bit and found a guy and a kid on a 'wing accompanied by another guy on an old CB750 that were in the exact same delima - they'd been riding all day too and were trying to camp in the park. They had a map, but hadn't figured it out. I had a look and although it didn't show exactly what we wanted, it gave me enough of an idea that I thought I could make it work. The sun was getting low and I wanted to setup before dark if possible. The other option was to run up to Moab. I decided to chance the rather-uncertain caynonlands option. There was a lot of unidentified green (i.e. park) on the map and I figured there was bound to be some remote spot where I could toss up my tent.

I pressed on along the road I'd found on the 'winger's map and sure enough I soon found myself in a park. It wasn't Canyonlands park, but it was a park and that was good enough.

Once in the park I found two official campgrounds. They weren't full, but had people in them. They had some sort of toilets, shelters and picknick tables. There was a cop around who warned of bear trouble and said they were serious about the self-pay $10 fees. I didn't particularly like the looks of the campground - it was in the trees (if you wanna call them that - scrubby, pitiful things, but tall enough to block the view).
There wasn't enough light to get good on-the-move pictures, but this sorta gives you an idea...


As I was on my way out of the campground the 'Winger showed up, it looked good to him, I said I was going to see what I could find further up the hill.

I road on up the hill as the sun began to set. I went past one more, and according to the cop we'd met, the last, campground. It was no more inviting than the first.

I pressed on.

I saw dozens of deer, dozens of wild turkey and a few cows.

As I climbed the hill the scrubby trees gave way to shorter, scrubbier bushes and the views improved. Eventually I caught sight of the majestic caynons though the evening haze. Things were looking better.

Aware that I'd be setting up in the dark if I didn't stop soon, i began to look for a place to pitch the tent.

I didn't want to be within sight of the road, but I didn't like any of the campgrounds.

I spotted a small dirt road winding up to what looked like a nice area. I took it. More views of the canyon. The dirt road had fresh tire tracks, I wanted more privacy than that. I spotted an ATV trail braching off from the dirt road. I took that. I traveled probably 3/4 of a mile down the ATV trail and decided that it was about stopping time. I parked the bike and marched around looking for a flat, fairly smooth spot in the brush covered land. I found one, looked like it was long ago a camp site and more recently a camp site for four legged critters - the brush was flattened. It was unoccupied at the moment though and that was good enough for me. I setup camp just as the sun began to set in earnest.





All setup




I'd bought a chepo air matress in Durango, but no pump. Thankfully I wasn't in a hurry and my lungs needed the exercise anyway I'm sure. I was happy to have it as even though my carefully selected spot was smoother than most of the area, there were still patches of grass, bumps and rocks in the ground beneath me. The view out my tent wasn't half bad and I had the world all to myself. The temps dropped by a surprising amount, I snuggled up in the sleeping bag quite proud of my comfy setup.



Unfortunately the air mattress went flat 2 hours after I'd fallen asleep. I tried to ignore the cold, bumpy ground but eventually decided to blow it up again. That lasted another two hours or so.

Here's the route I ended up riding
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:44 PM   #27
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The next morning I broke camp before dawn and had everything loaded up just as the sun peaked over the horizon.

The early-morning shadows were still long, it was a great time to be riding!


These critters were also enjoying the morning.





It was still semi-dark down in the canyons - and yep, that's a cow (or bull, didn't look that close...) by the side of the road.




After riding though the fantastic canyons to get to Canyons Land National Park I wondered how much better it could get. I'd come all this way and figured I'd splurge for the $5 and check it out.







The park was actually fairly small and not all that different from the free canyon roads in the surrounding area, but I met a cool park ranger who also road street and he gave me some great route info to get though Utah - most appreciated!


With the new route advice I motored on.


The scenery was great!






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Old 09-16-2009, 03:46 PM   #28
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I passed by more fantastic scenery!




Then up this twisty canyon road


Which wound along this precipice.


And there were great views - the Bandit struck another pose.




Then I was out of the canyons as quickly as I'd entered and made my way across the semi-arid planes of southern Utah.


For miles (probably two hundred), there were dirt trails lining the hills and formations along the road. A person could spend a month exploring just this area on a dual sport....

These trails culminated in what must be the most extreme squid-pit ever! My pic is lame, but there are dirt tracks up hills and over peaks that are just breath taking. That folks ride these things and launch these jumps is amazing - wish they were out when I was passing though!


I made my way to another park that showcased some really old graffiti - judging from Wade's graffiti thread (http://www.tlzone.net/forums/bike-pi...-whoring.html), I think civilization has actually gotten better in the ancient art.

Anyway, here's the old school work.


The fantastic scenery and twisty roads continued.


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Old 09-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #29
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The road continued and wound its way up a hill then along the top of a ridge-line. It was twisty but too many cars and rv's to really carve it up much. The scenery was great and the ridgeline was truly impressive - no guardrail in most of the area and shear drops on both sides! I did a lousy job capturing it in the pix (didn't stop), so use a little imagination.






Then the road flattened out and I found myself behind a couple of other bikes which I quickly passed.


Then I rode over to here


Where I saw views like these








And rode through this


See?




After Bryce I was hungry (I'd been skipping most meals since I left Denver) and stopped at what I think was a Subway just outside of town. While I was there I got a voice mail from the firm where I worked earlier this summer letting me know that the hiring partners' committee had met and decided to extend an offer to me to return full time after I graduate and take the bar. Good news!

I ended up eating with a guy who was also traveling alone. He turned out to be a Western singer (Sons of the Pioneers type stuff). Cool guy, but perhaps just slightly off kilter in some way I couldn't quite identify.

After leaving Bryce the Canyons gave way to more arid, dusty desert.


The sun was getting low in the sky and made visibility difficult.


The desert had a certain beauty to it, but also a danger - in the ditches and brush along the road where a very large number of deer. Spotting them was difficult due to the position of the sun so I had to back off a bit from my ordinarily high-speed cruise.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:49 PM   #30
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I'd planned to stop for the night somewhere near Great Basin which was quite a bit north of Bryce and on the UT/NV border. I decided I didn't want to camp in the park in a real campground but would rather somewhere more remote.

Previously I saw a couple that was bicycling across the country camped on the side of the road in a scenic spot. It was great seeing the two of them out there, many many miles from anything resembling civilization with just their bicycles and camping gear, obviously in love with each other and the nature around them.

As I rode up into the Great Basin area i climbed out of the flat desert into some fairly scenic hilly desert. I wanted to be a bit off the road if possible. First I saw a very old cattle corral and thought about staying there - it was really cool looking, but despite being quite old still had a bit of a cattle-smell to it. I decided against it and rode on.

I saw an ATV trail to the right that led up a hill. I rode up a ways. It was ok, but not fantastic. I didn't see a super smooth place to pitch the tent other than in the trail and the scenery was good but not great.

I rode on.

Shortly later I spotted an amazing lake on the left with grassy beaches chock full of deer. I'd found my spot.

I found an ATV trail that went down to the lake. I made it most of the way down and decided the sand was getting a bit deep. I hiked down, the mosquitoes were terrible, I didn't have netting or bug spray = no camping on the grassy beach for me.

There was another ATV trail that looked to climb a hill behind the lake. I began to make my way along the trail. There were a few sandy parts that proved a bit challenging, then a couple of dips and hills, then one off camber hill climb that had me a little nervous, but years of dirt riding combined with the bandit's very manageable motor allowed me to pick my way though stuff that'd make a GS type proud.
Here's one of the easier sections.


I found a perfect spot to pitch the tent. I thought I had a pic, but haven't found it yet. I had rolling hills behind me, small hills on either side to block the wind and the lake and grassy, deer-covered beaches in front.

I got the tent setup just as it was getting dark, life was good. I'm not actually sure if this pic was after I got setup or when I got up the next morning.


The ground was a bit rough and I wished I'd done something about the failed air mattress. I decided to give it another shot, the valve was a bit weird and I thought that perhaps I could get it to seal up.

I blew it up by mouth again and this time, in the silence of the wilderness, was able to hear the slow leak. Definitely coming from the valve. I found some flaws in the plastic and scraped off some extra bits, still leaked but not as much. I tightened down the main valve body really hard and the leak sounded like it stopped.

I laid down and watched the stars though the mess roof of the tent.

After a while it started to get cold, so I put the rain fly on to stop some of the breeze, no more stars but it was time to go to sleep. I fell asleep listening to coyotes howelling. I awoke a while later to something scratching on the tent. I looked out the window and didn't see anything. But there was more scratching. I deduced that it must be some under-ground critter. I'd noticed various holes a couple inches in diameter in the ground all over and there were probably some under the tent. A mole or whatever made the hole must have decided to come up, only to find my tent blocking his exit. I banged on the floor of the tent a bit and the scratching stopped. I went back to sleep.

I got up before dawn, (the air mattress was still inflated!) and had the tent packed by the time that it was starting to get light out.

I was considering a detour though the main section of Great Basin park itself, but decided that it wasn't worth it - I wanted to make the west coast by nightfall.

The early-morning ride in Nevada was quite nice


I stopped for breakfast after a while and ate with a cool team that was on their way home from setting a new record at Bonneville for their class (open wheel, antique roadster I think - they went 260mph iirc).

So lets see - Nevada. I'd just had breakfast with the Salt Flats race team at a McD's (breakfast choices were sparse and their pancakes aren't bad).


I met a cool couple on a 'wing trike towing a trailer. They were nearly done with a 4-corners ride and for good measure had ridden all the way down to Cabo (sp? - southern tip of baja) too.

After chatting with them for a bit I struck off.

I'd filled with fuel 64 miles prior and had been re-fueling every 200 miles or so which left me with about a 40-mile safety zone.

Everyone warned me to take plenty of water for my trek across the Nevada desert. I looked all over for a place to fill with water in the little town with the McD's. McD's didn't have a water filler with the soda fountain. I asked the McD's lady where I could get water, she sorta wavered for a bit, then finally pointed me to a water faucet in the back where they make the burgers and such - I was all set, 70oz of water in the camleback (which I kept in the tank bag).

After I rode for a little bit on Rt 6 across NV, I came across a sign that said no fuel for 167 miles. Now this sign would have been a lot more helpful if it were near a fuel station, but no such luck and I didn't want to turn back - a quick calculation in my head said I should make it, but without a lot of room to spare. I made a mental note to stay out of the throttle just a little bit extra.

One other item weighed on my mind - my rear tire. I picked the bike up with a good front tire and a rear tire that was probably 1/3rd of the way though its useful life, so not bad. I figured that if things looked sketchy in Colorado I'd snag rubber there before I headed further west.

The tires weren't great by the time I was done riding in CO, but weren't terrible either. The 450 mile ride on the final day didn't help though, but by that time it was too late to get a rear. I was still well above the wear indicators and figured I'd make it to San Diego, but would probably not have any tread in the center.

Southern CO and Utah were fairly hot and had a lot of really rough chip-seal roads. This tore up the rear tire much more quickly than expected.

I was into the wear indicators by the time I hit the NV border. Once section was wearing particularly quickly - I must say quality control on these Michelins isn't on the same level as the Avons I was used to. I was seriously concerned that I'd have a rear blowout and be stranded in Nevada. Now ordinary I'd just limp to the nearest bike shop and buy a tire, but this place was so remote that could easily have been 300+ miles!

Not much I could do about it at this point so I pressed on and again reminded myself to stay out of the throttle just a bit extra.

After about 90 miles I stopped to take off my extra layers (cold mornings, hot days). I noticed just a little bit of whatever rubber is under the rubber you are supposed to ride on starting to show though on the tire.

I pressed on. The nearest water or fuel behind me was about 100 miles, the nearest ahead was around 70 miles. At times I'd ride for a solid half-hour, perhaps longer, without seeing another living human.

I didn't take many pictures, but I did stop to snag these.




And took these on the move.


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'09 Buell XB12XT, TL1000S, H1F, M620, CR250R, KX100, XR650R, Cota 315R

Summer 2009 Ride Report http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...1509c&t=507038
Summer 2008 RR. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=367703
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