Coast to Coast (and back?) with an Italian Supermodel

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    I'm a bit behind. LA threw me off and by the time I got back it's been a zoo on fire. Now I'm in Rapid City listening to all the hogs 'potato potato potato' into town wishing I had just gone east to avoid all the trailered-in bikers heading to Sturgis. I picked the wrong day to be here.

    Anyhow, so after LA (which I'll get to later), I took Tuesday off of work and wanted to head up to Pikes Peak. Flynbulldog offered to take me there via some awesome local backroads.

    [​IMG]

    We met up in I don't know where, gassed up and took off. I normally don't ride with other riders because, 1) I don't know too many; 2) someone always crashes or 3) the ride pace is off. Mr. Bulldog and I have very similar riding styles, though--meaning slow in the straights (mostly) and fast in the turns. Worked out perfectly.

    The roads were smooth and mostly car-less, just like most of Colorado mountain asphalt. And the scenery still looked like what it would look like if we were riding tiny motorcycles through a giant model train diorama, complete with trees so perfect they looked fake.

    [​IMG]

    Our intent was to hit up Pikes Peak, but the roads we took were some of the best I've been on anywhere. I kind of wanted to turn around and retrace our steps, but Pikes Peak was calling.
  2. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    When we got to Pikes our biggest fear (no, not dying while trying to perform a highside base-jump off a parachute-less motorcycle) was realized: TRAFFIC! I had flashbacks of Yellowstone--bumper to bumper cars, miserable heat and nothing to see you wouldn't see in a parking lot in anytown USA.

    [​IMG]

    I started feeling the magnetic pull back to the lonely and isolated ribbons of black we had covered on our way. We sat there in front of the entrance in about the same amount of time it would take to get to the top at race pace (if you're immortal). But fortunately after the initial section, cars spread out, pulled over and after one too many rockslide covered turns, started enjoying ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    Flynbulldog rode his 1098R in and the beast just looked and sounded sinister. Was great to 'introduce' the Panigale to its older big-brother.

    [​IMG]

    The road climbs quickly. There's a lot of twists and turns, but it seemed every three or four we were having to adjust and re-calibrate our wrists to deal with the lack of oxygen and power the bikes were making. None-the-less, the road is fucking epic:

    [​IMG]

    Being eye-level with clouds on the edge of barrier-less cliffs has a way of instilling a sense of self-preservation that I've just not experienced on any other road ever. One mistake--which could be caused by something as innocuous as admiring the scenery for a little longer than prudence would dictate could easily end in disaster. Not only are there no barriers in most places, the shoulder is sometimes only a few inches wide, with nothing to stop a thousand foot free-fall except a bunch of jagged rocks.

    [​IMG]
  3. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    "No Caption Needed" Ducati Porn:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Though pics don't do the peak justice, you can still tell how f'in high up the top is. And keep in mind that we're looking down at a landscape that's still a mile up. The air was THIN! Take 20 steps and all of a sudden you're gasping for air. It was great, but you could feel that if you spent too much time fooling around altitude sickness would set in, making for a very dangerous descent.

    [​IMG]

    This barrier should do a pretty good job of stopping a lowside, though. :)

    [​IMG]
  4. zingo

    zingo @ ?

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    be safe
  5. gallinastrips

    gallinastrips Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    720
    Location:
    Taos NM
    Nice! and good to see a street bike report. Howz that rear tire holding up?:freaky
  6. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    A little more on Pikes Peak--if you ever have the chance to go, GO! The road is simply amazing. As of October of 2011, it's been paved it all the way to the top, which makes travel to the top probably a bit safer for sportbikes, but it had me really wondering about the safety of the guys who race up it. Dirt might be a bit sketchy, but it's fairly predictable and relatively slow compared to asphalt. Now that the entire road is paved, it's the annual "Pikes Peak Hillclimb" is now an unofficial TT (and I would imagine it's going to start attracting TT heroes from all over the world). TT courses are inherently dangerous, but at least there's a chance of survival if one goes off at say, the Isle of Man. No such chance at Pikes. Parachutes, imho, should be required from here on out.

    I almost decided to stay a couple more weeks in CO just to watch the race, but I need to push on and MotoGP awaits.

    After pikes we headed down to the Garden of the Gods. It, too, was fairly amazing, but there were a buttload of cars, so I took in the scenery nice and slowly. If anyone is looking to make the next Jurassic Park, this would be an ideal location.

    [​IMG]
  7. woolsocks

    woolsocks Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Don't make fun of me for saying this haha, but for some reason the front of the Panigale reminds me of this girl, Audrina Patridge (see below). My gf watches some lame show with her on it. She has a "different" look with droopy eyes but is still gorgeous, IMO :evil

    [​IMG]
  8. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    My 'guide' for the day (flynbulldog) offered me a place to stay and dinner after our day of riding. I had an early con call the next morning, but took him up on his offer. The road out to his place was another awesome road (I was really beginning to absolutely love Colorado). Despite being fairly far away from 'civilization', the surroundings had this naturally peaceful effect. It was as if the land around me was sucking all the stress out of my nervous system. Kind of like that feeling you get the second day of a week long vacation on the beach in Mexico or Hawaii, only instead of beaches and sunshine there were rolling green hills, sandstone rock temples and lots of ominous looking clouds. None-the-less, it was serene and peaceful and perfect.

    Mr. Bulldog is a fairly private person, so I won't post any pictures of his house, or the absolutely AMAZING view or his garage or 'man cave'. But his garage looked like a Ducati dealership and his 'office' area had two vintage Ducati's and a really cool Honda Tourist Trophy. He's also an amazing photographer and both he and his wife were two of the most genuine, kind and authentic people you could meet. I was fortunate to have them host me and can't thank them enough for their generosity and hospitality. One of the best days of the trip so far!
  9. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    I know what you're talking about--the intakes look like droopy bags. Difficult, if not impossible, to improve on the extremely sinister looks of the 1098 front end, which still looks better imho.
  10. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    More Pikes eye candy:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. gremor

    gremor RS'er

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    967
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Great RR, I'm in.

    :clap
  12. limeymike

    limeymike Who Me?

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    657
    Location:
    Dakota Territories.
    Yeah the Sturgis rally really screws up the great roads around Rapid City in the Black Hills. Bad time of year to be there on the Duc unless you wanna chugga chugga 2 by 2 with the pirate crowd.
  13. MuskegonBrian

    MuskegonBrian n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    West Michigan
    Subscribe. Great writing. Thanks for sharing you story.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
  14. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    He had a Tricolore for a couple days....I haven't been on a 1098R, but have spent some time on a fairly modded S.

    He did give me his permission to post some pics of my time at his place....

    [​IMG]

    Yup...he's got a highly modded and super sick Streetfighter, a 250 Cafe Ducati he's building up to race, a 1098R and a Multi. And that's just what's in the garage. ;)

    [​IMG]

    View from second story deck is sublime.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    Oh it's not all street! Been in the dirt at least 5 or 6 times now. Mostly fire-road type stuff and some grasslands, but still--I see something interesting off in the dusty distance and I go for it. The tire is holding up well, too. 4600 miles now?
  16. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    On the way back in the morning I'd seen a sign for Buffalo Bill's Grave. I had been making excellent time, so I figured another 5 minutes wouldn't hurt. Unfortunately the historical site was not just 5 minutes away, but the road was, as per usual, incredible. Lots of cyclists and a few longboarders sliding their way down the hill as I went up and up and up. Only got one shot before I had to turn down and haul ass so I could make an 8am con call....

    [​IMG]
  17. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    Left Boulder in the late afternoon. It had looked like rain for a couple hours, but with in five minutes of leaving I had to stop and put on my rain gear, consisting of the lightweight 'screaming yellow' jacket and an extra pair of pants flynbulldog insisted I take with me. Thanks again! I needed them. Too bad I detailed my bike before I left.

    It would rain, then stop, then start again. What worried me the most was when leaving Boulder there were two strikes that hit on the mountainside just to the west. I saw one hit the ground--and just kept trying to think negative electric charge to protect myself since I had no mana to tap! Each were only a few sound-seconds away, but still that's a little close for comfort (1800 feet).....

    [​IMG]

    A nice big mushroom cloud:

    [​IMG]

    Skies cleared up and the scenery was beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    Blazed through Wyoming (yawn) and made it into Nebraska without much drama.

    [​IMG]

    There were some extremely tranquil stretches of road, making me feel like I was riding through a Van Gogh Painting

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Saw my first taste of real ranch life--girl on horseback herding cattle:

    [​IMG]
  18. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    Now I don't know about you guys, but whenever I drive by cows I usually honk, figuring they could use at least something to break up the dreary litany of chewing grass they poop all over. And rarely do they ever flinch. Didn't have to honk for these bovines...they seemed to really like the sound the Duck was making and even ran over as I slowed down to stop.

    [​IMG]

    It was around this time I really was feeling the magnitude of the trip. My left shoulder was killing me and, well, these long stretches of road were just a prelude to all the miles coming ahead. It kept getting more gorgeous as the sun started to set, though, and I drank in the scenery as much as I could.

    [​IMG]

    That's me on the shadow-horizon:

    [​IMG]

    Nature's prozac:

    [​IMG]

    Somewhere with around 30 miles on my 'recent gas' trip meter I saw a "next services 70 miles." I thought, no problem--until after 70 miles no services. Ended up having to go off to a small city just to see if they had gas. Looked like a ghost town, but I did end up finding a pump. The city was deserted except for a couple kids playing on a sidewalk (who looked at me as if I was riding on a spaceship). Out in these rural areas it seems all the beauty is outside of the 'towns' in the countryside.

    [​IMG]

    This church was super creepy and had a little moat of mosquito-laden holy water around it.

    [​IMG]

    Moonlight Superquadro Sonata:

    [​IMG]
  19. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    Once into the armpit of a city called Alliance, NE, I checked into a semi-fleabag of a hotel and had dinner:

    [​IMG]

    The only other choices were Arby's and McDonalds. I was starving, but not THAT hungry. And that Tuna thing I got was disgusting. Don't ever get one. Revolting! Regular tuna-in-a-can is perfect, but they'd added what tasted like creamy, celery flavored mucus to the tuna, making it quite inedible.

    For all the Cohen Brothers fans out there, I like to leave a little "easter egg" on the 5th or 6th page for future guests whenever I have the opportunity:

    [​IMG]

    Once again, I couldn't wait to be out of these strip-mall towns filled with many, many uhappy people. Out on the road I felt safe and free again.

    [​IMG]
  20. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,408
    Location:
    Above ground
    My MPG has been around 42, but into my ride towards SD I thought I'd see what I could milk out of the engine. Prius deekheads can suck on 51 mpg:

    [​IMG]

    Journey so far:

    [​IMG]

    Then SD at last:

    [​IMG]
    Fred Oliff likes this.