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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.
Cool trip with a beautiful Italian Supermodel, looking for more on coast to coast stories.
awaiting... great read! Thanks for taking the time to share.
The weather leaving Grand Junction, CO, looked like it could go either way. but fortunately temps were extremely mild and there was a nice cool breeze.
(My tweets are all out of order, btw...I need to work on a better system!
Seeing all the green on the map gave me hope that the ride to Boulder would be awesome.
I got off at a lot of exits to explore the surrounding areas and prove that you don't need a 700lb Adventure bike to ride in the dirt.
Certain sections reminded me a lot of Death Valley:
The coolest part about this section of the trip was I really felt like I was on a planet. We tend to think of Venus and Jupiter and Neptune as planets, but often don't realize that we're on one too. It's easy to get swept away imagining what it would be like to 4x4 on Mars or how fun it would be to explore Saturn's (possibly life-sustaining) moon Titan. And I think if it was reasonable to get there not many would pass up an opportunity to visit. Yet here we are on this massive, awesome planet ourselves and the average person sees so little of it. Anyhow....the unique and unfamiliar geological formations really made me feel like I was indeed on a different planet and I enjoyed every second of it--so much so that cars were passing me as I was just cruising and taking it all in.
And then I got into town to gas up. You could tell who the locals were and who the travelers were. The chick driving this truck, I'm guessing, was from Manhattan:
And this here was proof that rural American chivalry was alive and well (in the form of, "bitch, I drive, you pay and you pump").
Kum & Go = the perfect name for a "filling" station.
I lived in Denver in '08 but sadly did not run into this chain.
Springhill Suites? I stayed in one in Pittsburgh last month with the EXACT same interior and decorations.
Ha! Yep--exactly right. Glad to see they found a cool formula that works and then replicated it.
Soon after the various small town, charming gas station encounters (like dudes in full camo getting out of Corollas who looked like they lived in a bunker in the woods and only came into town when the urge to slurp down a squishee overwhelmed their fear of government monitoring) I ran into the green areas of the map, exactly what I imagined Colorado to look like:
Life was good. But I kept seeing signs that there was traffic congestion coming up. It never came so I figured that their idea of traffic in Colorado was 20 cars per mile.
Dead stop. In a tunnel. With a bunch of busses and semis (and Harleys and my Ducati) spewing carbon monoxide into a breezeless tube. It really was a parking lot. We'd stop for 30 seconds to 2 minutes at a time, then move 20 feet. Occasionally we'd get up to 11 or 12 mph.
What really infuriated me was that there was PLENTY of room to lanesplit. But that's not legal in CO (or nearly any other states). You can ride without a helmet in Colorado, but lanesplitting is deemed to be too dangerous. No sense. The guy next to me on a 954 said his temps were 268. Shortly thereafter the bottom end of his engine started spewing coolant and steam. I kept telling him, 'dude, you have to get moving NOW--use the shoulder'. Reluctantly he took off and then saw him on the shoulder on his cell phone. Hoping he didn't seize his engine.
20 min. later it was still hell:
To make matters worse, I had to piss like a water buffalo. And exits were miles (read: 15-20 minutes, easily) apart. Finally pulled off and got some relief.
I was thinking to myself--man, it would suck to be stuck in this traffic right after ingesting a 12 oz coffee and a bran muffin. And then I saw some fast food napkins....and a bunch of flies....and a giant pile of poo. It was disgusting, but I imagined how happy that person was to have found the only secluded spot for miles. And as I was leaving a car was hauling ass up into the same spot I was leaving. Hopefully they look before they step. I snapped a shot of it, but figured there's a limit to what people want to see.
Anyhow, after realizing there was no end in site (and there were absolutely no alternate routes) I cruised up the middle and split the lanes like I'd done for hundreds of miles in CA. And good thing I did. It was a solid 20 more miles of parking lot. Anyhow, what would have been a spectacular and relatively fast drive turned into a frustratingly LONG and exhausting ride. Funny that states like Colorado don't allow you to lanesplit out of concerns for danger, but wearing a helmet is not required. Anyhow, the bike held up during all the idling and slow speeds. Water temps (at max) never went above low 220s and the hard-start-in-the-heat problem was never a problem in the literal 'start and stop' traffic.
Then right after Idaho Springs, traffic picked right up for no reason. From there I took a cool mountain/canyon road, but again, lots of congestion. Some woman on a Harley putted at 5 under, causing another backup. Soon thereafter, though, the end was in sight:
And then made it to my friend Niki's, who happily demonstrated what safety gear looks like in Colorado.
This is great.....and you're not even halfway across the country yet.
Excellent report -- really enjoying it!
wait how could you possibly do this trip on a sexy Italian sport bike, without planning it for 6months, without 100lbs of gear, without asking what roads to ride, without asking if Mexico is safe...I'm liking it
Heh heh. Good point. A long time ago I did start planning it. I had an Excel spreadsheet and started identifying cool places to go and then started drawing lines on a map connecting it all and then thought, WTF, this (a planned existence) is the exact shit I'm trying to escape from. Hit the delete button and never looked back.
KUM & GO Gas station chain.
Yeah, my grandson needed some cash for gas so I flipped him a 20 and told him to go to the Kum & Go on the corner as its cheaper and he said "Oh, you mean the "Squirt and Split". My wife almost dropped the tray of food she was carrying in the kitchen.
So after a trip to the store (in the rain. I think I'm going to need a thin shell for this trip), I got back and turned on my PC. Nothing. Just black. And it beeped a lot. Plugged it into an external monitor thinking maybe the rain damaged something I still had nothing. After removing all the RAM and swapping them out one by one, bingo!
Assuming you did Escape from Alcataz Triathlon. What Ironman did you do?
It surprises me how many people I've observed that have cross-over interest in triathlon and adventure riding.
Guess the narcissistic personality normally associated with triathletes is the same in adventure riders...
Keep up the reports. Enjoying them.
Thanks for posting subscribed.
LOL! Funny....whenever I trained I always worried about riding. But in the end it was always mountain biking, cycling or running that led to injuries, not motorcycling. Did Ironman Nice, Coeur d'Alene, Louisville and Cozumel. You?
Dito. Motorcycle injuries zero. Running injuries/cycling crashes...too numerous to count. I've enjoyed trading 6 hour Saturday morning tri-bike rides in the aero position for 6 hour Saturday motorcycle rides.
Being 60 miles from home on a motorcycle is so much more relaxing than being 60 miles from home on a bicycle...
Have done countless 70.3 races all over the US including West coast, Northeast, Texas, Florida. Did Ironman twice, both FL.
I have much respect for you if you completed Louisville. Tough course with always tough conditions.
While doing your motorcycle touring, do you find opportunities to train? I would think adventure riding and touring would provide some great opportunities for epic trail runs in many of the locations you visit.
Nice trip and report so far! I have a 999 and I know what you mean about hotter than brass in hell. I am really surprised you're enduring on the 1199, the ergos much be better. I know after a couple hours, my knees cramp up and the back of my legs are leathered. :eek1 But I wouldn't trade my Ducati for anything, except maybe another Ducati. Good luck on your journey...looking forward to more!