Your Stars are all aligned. Thanks for continuing to share your memories and your adventure as it unfolds.
Your Stars are all aligned. Thanks for continuing to share your memories and your adventure as it unfolds.
[QUOTE=manwohr;824230]Today turned out to be one of those epic days. I guess I should have seen it coming when it all started just before sunrise. Riding a few miles into the Bonneville Salt Flats in three figures. No coffee can provide the jolt of hauling ass on the flats, on a bike, a fully loaded one at that. After my morning run a shut her down and just stopped right there in the middle of the salt flats. Not a soul in sight, only the sound of my Alpine Stars boots as I stepped over the salt. A full moon was setting to the west over the mountains while the morning sky to the east was growing full of color by the minute.
Now IÔÇÖve had some pretty special moments in my life, having been blessed with some of the best stuff anyone could hope for, and this was a major moment, and it was fabulous. And the day was just beginning.
After all of this, what else could there be?
Reality. Tons of salt all over everything. Living in south Florida, I know what salt can do to things. So I rode back into town to look for a car wash. CouldnÔÇÖt find one. I spotted a hose in front of a hotel that I hadnÔÇÖt stayed at so I went to the office to ask permission. Locked. So I decided to turn the water on and give OlÔÇÖ Blue a bath. All of a sudden a guy shows up who turned out to be the owner of the hotel. Instead of giving my grief, he encouraged me to continue to rinse my bike. He turned out to be a sweetheart of a guy, asking about the ride, how I liked the bike, etc. When I was done, he sent me off with, ÔÇ£Say hi to Mickey (Mouse) for me.ÔÇØ He couldÔÇÖve been a real hard ass and instead was an angel.
Now when I added it all up, the way things were going, the thought entered my mind of this maybe being my last day on earth. It was all just a bit too good of a start to a day.
After my head cleared, and the salt was rinsed away, the days ride commenced. Heading east from Wendover on I-80 towards Salt Lake City is a ride right out of the Florida riding book...long and straight. A lot of salt flat left and right (mostly left). Another day of pristine weather, slate blue skies, cool temps.
Eventually I hit I-15 again (I took it from LA through Vegas and it heads diagonally across Utah), headed south to US 6/191 to I-70 for about 25 miles to US 191 south.
I took some time to explore Arches National Park. As with all of our national parks, itÔÇÖs a ÔÇ£no brainerÔÇØ. Five bucks, two hours and I was back heading toward my destination, Four Corners.
About 10-15 years ago, driving my sister-in-lawÔÇÖs car back from Scottsdale, my Dad and I stopped here and played a goofy, silly, fun game of catch with a couple of gloves and a baseball. He had brought the stuff without my knowledge. As I was looking in amazement at the way the four states meet at this spot, he smacked me on the back with a glove. I could only grin and take my position in one state while he was in another. This went on and on with both of us enjoying the moment. A dad and a son playing a game of catch, randomly standing in a different state for each throw and catch. ÔÇ£Field of DreamsÔÇØ had nothing on us. Was this heaven? No, it was Arizona and New Mexico and Utah and Colorado. It sure felt like heaven.
So this is where my day ended. The sun setting in much the same way it rose at the dayÔÇÖs beginning, and spreading DadÔÇÖs ashes in each state.[/QUOTE]
Today I woke up in Cortez, CO with three other BMW's parked outside my door. As I gathered my gear and prepped for the day's ride, the owners of the bikes and myself struck up a conversation. Turns out they were from Phoenix. They gave me a number of roads in which to get to my destination, Pikes Peak. I want to thank them for the tips, whether they'll ever know it or not.
Meeting people like this on the road is one of the pleasures of a ride like this. They appear to be genuinely interested in my plight, and somewhat envious. I guess it gives me some street cred that I'm so far from home.
Anyway my opinion of the Colorado roads did not get off to a good start. About 5 miles from the hotel, a flag man flashed the "Stop" sign at the start of a construction zone. Twenty minutes later, I was still there. A short time later he flashed the "Slow" sign and I proceeded through the zone. After about another two miles, another flag man. Another 15 minutes. Three or four miles later the same thing.
After my first hour of driving, I had probably covered 10 miles. Brutal!
Luckily I've never believed in first impressions.
Colorado started laying out the most beautiful roads before me. I grew more and more intoxicated with each turn. The scenery was astounding.
For the duration of the ride (375 miles), I relaxed and let the RT sing.
I got to Pikes Peak at around 3:30 and they close at 3. I got off my bike and walked around outside of the gate. Betty (#47) the ranger there came out and gave me the scoop. She was a sweetheart. Told me everything I needed to know about the mountain, including that the high temperature at the peak today was 30˚!
Probably better off as I'll be dressing accordingly tomorrow morning for the ride to the summit. It also gives me the opportunity to downsize my gear, emptying and / or removing all of the cases.
I want to have every advantage to make it to the top.
Awesome Colorado roads
More Colorado Beauty
By the way, me and O'l Blue crossed a milestone as we pulled into Pikes Peak.
10,000 miles traveled so far.
Loving your ride report. :thumb Would love to follow in your steps.
Your brick (24-70mm) really shines in CO!
I got up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. Pikes Peak was calling. I bundled up in anticipation of the cold temps I would experience at the summit.
My hotel was about five miles from the entrance and after the short ride over there, I was fourth in line at the gate.
This was it, and I was psyched.
The ride starts out pretty much like an ordinary mountain pass or canyon road. But as I climbed higher and higher an analogy came to mind, Like winding the rubber band of the propeller on a toy airplane. Tighter and tighter.
Not to mention that the higher I went, the more light-headed I got. I told myself to not lose concentration.
Somewhere past the 11,000 foot level, a warning flashed on the Beemer’s dash indicating there might be ice on the road.
Great. A tight, winding road with no guardrails, rocky drop-offs and maybe ice.
No need for the heated grips. My hands were sweating.
A short time later I noticed the weather station that told me I was near the top. Sure enough, one more corner and the mountain had been conquered.
Really though, it was no more scary than the PCH.
What a view! The sky grows to a dark shade of blue at this altitude. Snow on the ground. It was a winter wonderland.
Now if I could only make it back down. It seems like it would be easier, and it was except that on the way down there appeared to be more exposure to the edge. Anyway, highly recommended whether on a bike or in a car.
After all of this fun, I shot over to Pikes Peak Motorsports to get tires on Ol’ Blue. It was time. I had gotten about 7000 miles out of the Metzlers which is okay. I reflected back on the roads these tires had traveled. It was some great memories. Going with Michelin Pilot 2’s only because the 3’s weren’t available right now, today.
From this point it is more of a direct shot back home with, I believe, most of the interesting roads behind me; but you never know.
Me and Ol' Blue at the summit of Pikes Peak.
The Peak from about 3/4's the way down.
[QUOTE=mhuf;824622]Your brick (24-70mm) really shines in CO![/QUOTE]
Brick? Most pics are from iPhone.
Right after my Pikes Peak ride I had an appointment with Pikes Peak Motorsports (an official BMW Dealer) to shoe up Ol' Blue with a set of Michelins. While there the service adviser advised me to replace the fork seals which are under warranty. When I asked how long it would take he replied with "Pop the old ones out, pop the new ones in."
This was Tuesday at about noon. A short time later he approached me and said their was a problem. They "popped" the old ones out and realized that they didn't have any new ones in stock. Okay, pop the old ones back in and I'll get it done down the road. Not so fast. The old fork seals are sacrificed when they are removed. Huh?
He told me that he placed the overnight order with BMW and the new seals will be at the dealership first thing in the morning.
The next morning when the BMW shipment arrived, the fork seals had not made it. I was then told that BMW treats Colorado Springs as an east coast vendor, and the shipment wouldn't arrive until the following morning. Huh?
The service adviser then told me that the Denver dealer had the part and he was sending his guy to pick it up; a three hour round trip. This was at around 10am yesterday. Two hours later and the guy who was making the trip is still hanging around the Colorado Springs / Pikes Peak shop. I asked what the story was and was told that another courier was bringing the part from Denver, ETA 4:30pm.
Okay, I can still lay down some miles after the seals are popped in.
At around 4:30 the parts arrived and I'm ready to go. As I'm gathering all of my stuff, the adviser approaches me and shows me the new seals which are either damaged or defective. He tells me that the original BMW order will arrived the next morning, which is today. Huh?
During this whole fiasco, the mechanic who's doing the work on my bike comes out and appears to be pissed off. He tells me that his parts guy is the biggest idiot to order only one set of these fork seals at a time. "Order a dozen for Christ sakes!" he exclaimed. He also said the exact same scenario, with the exact same parts occurred just a week ago.
So, cutting to the chase, I incurred two extra nights in Colorado Spring's Hampton Inn, and instead of offering to take care of at least a portion of my additional expense, they took 10% off their already inflated price of the tires; two Michelin Pilot Power CT 2's installed with the discount, $575. Before paying the bill, I asked the service adviser for something positive from the whole experience so that I could put it on my blog, because I really don't like to write the negative stuff about people. His response? "Nobody reads those blogs anyway."
This is the worst dealership of any kind that I have ever come across.
Avoid Pikes Peak Motorsports like poison!
Well, I finally got on the road at 1pm and picked up I-70 just north and east of town. Heading east for about 200 miles, I exited onto US 83 south to Garden City, KS. The sun was getting low on the horizon and bathing these vast fields in some beautiful light. It was nothing more than a straight road, but it was heavenly.
From there I headed east again on US 50 and into Dodge City, a 360 mile trip after everything was said and done.
By the way, today was my dad's birthday. He would have been 82 and I miss him. His voice was in my head throughout the ride today. Dad, I hope you are in a peaceful place.
So, as for tomorrow, you know what I'll be doing? That's right.
Gettin' outta Dodge.
If you had seen this thread earlier you would have kept on riding right on past this dealer. Have a safe trip home.