Friday, July 27, 2012

Great Riding

Well, tonight's post is a threefer, my first of this type.  I've just been busy or tired, so there was no time to write.  I'll combine the last 3 days into this post.

On Wednesday, at the Unrally, we did a group ride.  There were about a dozen bikes, some two-up and some singles.  We left at 8am and returned at 5:15pm, and covered a little over 300 miles.  It was a great ride, and included several high mountain passes, including Independence Pass, at 12,095 feet.  While the temperatures in the lower areas were hot (lower areas are at about 7-8,000 feet), it was 46 degrees on top of Independence Pass!  I had to put on more clothes!  The other highlight was seeing the Gunnison area of Colorado. Huge gorge, deep colors, rivers, and high mountains.  Just gorgeous and amazing.

Wednesday's rides (there were several taking place at the same time) included at least 3 bikes going down.  At one traffic circle, one bike ran into the bike in front of it, and both riders went down.  I heard of another one, and we saw one of our riders and his bike on the side of the road being supported by other riders.  I had no  issues, but others did.

When I got back to the hotel, my friend Kevin was there.  We visited with each other, had dinner, and turned in for the day.  I had not seen him in almost a year, so it was good to see him.  One item we discussed was whether to stay another day with the rally, or whether to ride together on Thursday and to stay at his house Thursday night.  After thinking it over, I decided to leave the rally and to ride with Kevin and stay at his house.

Thursday morning, we got up, packed the bikes and were riding by 7:30am.  For the most part, we were headed to his house just south of Denver, but we took interesting roads and 4 high passes.  A great ride!  The highlight was riding up Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in North America.  14,240 feet high.  It was an awesome ride, with road surfaces ranging from silky smooth to roller-coaster.  Scenic views overlooking lower mountains, and seeing vistas for what seemed like thousands of miles.  Incredible!  At the top are the remains of an old restaurant that burned some time ago.  It's a "Don't Miss" item, and I'm so glad Kevin took me there.

We did 4 high mountain passes, each one very unique, and so pretty.   Words can't do justice to all of the beauty I've seen out west, on this trip as well as other trips.  I can't describe them; and I'd highly recommend folks reading this to go west if they haven't done it already.  I am already looking forward to another visit to Colorado to ride the roads.  I think it is my favorite riding state of all.

Today's ride was shorter, but awesome as well.  As a bonus, his daughter rode on the back of his bike.  She was a good passenger, it was obvious that she had been on the bike a fair amount.  It was good having her with us and I enjoyed picking with her.  We went north of Denver on roads that were amazing to ride.  Two of the roads had just been resurfaced, making them so nice to ride on.

The other highlight for the day was going to The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.  It's an old white hotel that was the basis for Stephen King's "The Shining" movie and TV series.  Neat old place.  We had lunch there in the Cascades Room; very good!

On the way back home, thunderstorms came up, making us damp but not wet.  Got back home around 4:30pm.  I was tired, so I took a short note before dinner.

New phone arrived while I was in Salida, and it is now pretty much set up to use.  Glad I brought a spare phone so I would not be without telephone service along the way.

All in all, the Unrally was a bit of a disappointment to me.  I'm glad I went, but found that outsiders like me were't truly welcomed into the group.  They weren't cold, but it was clear that there were a number of groups of people who knew each other very well, and it was awkward trying to join in their group.  I doubt that I'll go to another one unless it's very close by home.

I think I've decided what to do when I leave Kevin's tomorrow morning.  I had considered a number of options, but have decided to head  east towards home.  But to make Ozark, MO a waypoint going east.  Ozark has a restaurant I want to see and to eat in, the place famous for it's Throwed Rolls.  It sounds like fun and good.  And doing that will keep me off the Interstates at least into MO.  After there, I don't know yet.

So, this concludes my threefer post.  More tomorrow, I hope.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures! The western states are awesome.