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Old 07-26-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
wswartzwel OP
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Father/Son Top of the Rockies riding

My son is a reasonably good kid. Makes decent grades, Will mow the yard on a semi annual basis... And will come work at my shop to help out when i get too busy if i pay him more than I make in a week... However a few years ago he seemed to become distant, answering questions about what his day at school was like with "ok"... Communication was always as few syllables as possible.. I know this is normal, but I began to worry. Ever seen the Walt Disney's "A Goofy Movie" with Goofy and his son Max????

One day last year I asked my son.. "you know, you will be moving out for College soon. Anything you would like to do with your old man before you are on your own?" His reply was music to my ears. "Yeah, when you go to Colorado in July for the Top of the Rockies Rally, I want to go too."

Every July I make the journey on my R1100S from Arkansas to Colorado to attend one of the most enjoyable BMW rally's around. Great venders, Rocking live music, fantastic scenery, and wide open spaces with room to play on twisty roads. My son however has much more experience off road riding on enduro trails than highway miles. And currently was between bikes. We talked about what bike to buy whether to replace his street bike with a larger one, or to get a dual sport. Since I hadn't done dual sport yet in CO. and he had more interest in that type of riding we found him a KLX250.
We did some local riding with some of my friends to help him understand how to ride in groups and so he would know what to expect. The rougher trails were more to his liking than gravel roads.

A couple pics from local rides...

He saved his money, and instead of buying more amplifiers and guitars... He actually spent money on new riding gear... So I knew he was actually interested in going. So now I realized I would have to uphold my end of the deal and actually take him, :)

July finally arrived, Oklahoma is flat and hot... Since i only had a week to vacation, we decided to trailer the bikes to Colorado, rather than trying to TAT them. And that gave us lots of time to interact, being cooped up in the jeep, even if conversation was just a one or two word response on his end.

My brother in AZ recently got a G650X challenge and his riding friend picked up a KTM enduro, another buddy from Moab would be breaking in his 800GS, and some other friends would be arriving at the rally too. I was really looking forward to the weekend, and was expecting my 17 year old kid to experience a rite of passage so to speak. We stopped the first night in Cimarron Canyon State Park, to camp. A huge storm came through that night, and my North Face Nebula leaked, dripping water on me all night... He however was nice and dry. The next day we made for Paonia, for the rally...

A few pics from along the way.

We arrived at the rally around noon and got set up. My brother showed up pretty soon after...

From the left.. son's KLX250, My Dakar, Brother "AZtwin" and his X challenge, and his friend "Lightfighter"'s KTM.. My kid up by the fence.

Friday we got out fairly early and made a loop from Paonia, across Kebler Pass to Crested Butte for lunch, then over Cumberland Pass through Tincup, and then back via kebler again.

Some pics of Fridays ride..

We had a great lunch in Crested Butte.

After lunch over Cumberland Pass and through Tincup.

Got to hang around with many of my online friends Friday evening... He took some jabs during the BS sessions and handled himself quite well and even exchanged a few jabs with wit that took me a few seconds to get the punchline... Sat morning we headed out again with fewer numbers, and some new faces.. We took 133 up toward McClure Pass, then turned on a forest road that went to Colbran, then we took the highway to Mesa and over grand mesa.

Gas stop in Colbran

Back at the Rally I had hoped he would hang with us, and enjoy the band, since he is a musician, and has his own band... However unlike motorcycle riding that is cross generational.... Music is not. He likes some screaming stuff called Hardcore.... and the Strolling Scones just didn't do it for him.

He seemed to have a great time... and on the way home I kept feeling like I was talking to my brother, rather than my son... Not sure who changed this weekend, Me or Him.... But I see him in a much different way.
2002 BMW R1100S/ 2006 BMW R1200GS

wswartzwel screwed with this post 07-26-2010 at 06:36 PM
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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Super report! Nothing like father son bonding, reminds me of fishing in Wisconsin with my dad...

Hope Bill had a good time out here!

See you next year!
cRaIg cArR

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Old 07-26-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
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Nice report, Mr. Bill, thanks for sharing. Good to see that the trip helped y'all get closer.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:19 PM   #4
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As both a father and a son, I can only applaud you guys and can't wait for the opportunity to do the same with my little ones.
"...When your time comes to die, do not be like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
So that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." - Tecumseh
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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Nice report Bill. Here are a couple pics I took of you and the boy.


The boy.

Good seeing both of you in CO.
Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
97 M900, 07 G650 XChallenge,11 KTM 990 ADV R
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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looks like a lot of fun.... Glad it worked out....
Shouda, woulda, coulda but dint.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:52 AM   #7
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Was nice seeing you & your son there BIll, not sure how I missed Rob, were you keeping him hidden ? I ended up on the routes you took (obviously at different times, went over Cumberland Sunday). You could have taken your S over them, wouldn't have been as much fun though.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:19 AM   #8
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Lovely story there Bill. Glad you two got to go to include meeting Uncle Rob. With a ckcarr sighting to boot!

Reference the teen chat...or lack thing I've learned, is if you want someone else to speak, you (I) must provide the verbal vacuum and be willing to wait it out. What with CNN and MSNBC and Fox talking heads shouting over one another, we get accustomed to competitive conversation....not a good thing, imho.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:09 AM   #9
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Point taken Bob. FWIW, I am working on that.

Thanks for your wisdom, I am learning to listen. I even stopped, asked directions friday when were were not sure of our route. Should have seen the look on Brian and Rob's face. :)
2002 BMW R1100S/ 2006 BMW R1200GS
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:18 AM   #10
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Wow. What a great story. That goes to tell that there is nothing like doing activities with your kids to keep them close. Awesome pics too. That rally looks like it's uber fun.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:48 AM   #11
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I recently read a speech by an old fighter pilot who flew the F-105G Wild Weasel in Vietnam. He was shot down in Rolling Thunder and spent 6 years in the Hilton....time to reflect. One of the main points he made was that, when allowed to talk, none of his fellow prisoners discussed work. It was mostly faith and family that kept their hearts energized and brought them out. I consider this a point taken and why I believe Bill's ride report so important. Time well spent.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:27 AM   #12
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Great Report

Always enjoy the Father Son reports! Great that you both connected and now have some common interest you can build on too! Super pictures, looks like you had a great time. Thanks for taking us along!
10Cup - WR250R - BMW R1200GS
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:42 AM   #13
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Thank for the rr, I never tire of seeing pictures of Colorado; I can't wait to get back out there and explore more of the state. That and being on the other end of a recent father/son ride, I know exactly how meaningful these trips are.

Nice job!
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:15 PM   #14
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Hey that was great. Sounds like you have a great kid on yer hands.

Now I know I have to get out to CO.
Whatever/Whenever, Father/son to AK

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:58 PM   #15
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Time very well spent!

I stumbled on this at work the other day and didn't have time to read it through so I've just hunted it up and read all of it. Glad to see that you've made good memories with your son. Great pictures and that Dakar was sweet. Having never ridden either, I'll assume the KTM is really something to displace a Dakar. BTW my brother rides A KLX250 and he loves it.Gary
Well they say time loves a hero, but only time will tell......Little Feat
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