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Topic: NAFO SS1K Ride Report  (Read 1009 times)

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Years Contributed: '08
Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: Yamaha FJR1300
GPS: Here, Now
Miles Typed: 138

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« on: July 30, 2008, 07:20:14 pm »

From a Virgin's Perspective.

NAFO had been in planning for a while and Beeroux decided to come up with a SS1K for the party. Man, did he.

The Rider's Meeting went off at 6 pm with Beeroux looking a little crusty. He had finished the ride earlier at about 23 hours with 3 off the bike. I don't know much but that ran a shiver down my spine. He's pretty salty and I'm new to all this and it took him almost all day to do this thing! Man, it looked like I might have grabbed the tiger by the tail. I had imagined my first Saddlesore would be a thousand mile jaunt down the slab. Not a bunch of twisties in Colorado!

During the meeting Mr. Roux demonstrated his prowness with the English language. "Towel means Towel, not T-shirt, flag, etc." Well that put me to doing a little extra work along with Hycle after the rider's meeting. We obviously do better with Pig Latin than English.

Got TriggerT his towel (NOT FLAG!), studied the route some. Having lived for a year in Colorado in 05, I was familiar with some of the route. It looked like a bear. Lot's of 25 mph speed limit or less.

Got up at 3:45, took a shower and quaffed down a 20 oz Blue Sky energy drink that was 50% juice. Whole Foods across the way didn't carry Red Bull and I'm pretty suspect of the "natural" alternatives. It would take an hour or two to kick in but when it did "Huzza"!

Got the bike packed up, Zumo on and route loaded. The crusty RallyBastard was actually in a fine mood gave us the UGJ (Use Good Judgement) talk. Believe you me those words went over and over in my mind throughout the day.

First wave took off. I'm leading the second wave. The first wave however has taken a left turn at Albuquerque and headed into the fire lane. Woooo, Hoooo!  30 seconds into it and I'm leading the Saddlesore! Don't worry it would not last long. There was one goal: Use Good Judgement and Finish This Ride!

Being the first FJR of the group on I-70 was cool. The early morning air was crisp and there was no traffic as I headed up 70 and climbed the Front Range. However, I would soon move over to the right lane and maintain a decent pace. Having NEVER been up MT. Evans road and only knowing it's by bad reputation ( which was well deserved) there was no way I was going to try to lead the entourage up that thing. It's snakey as all get out getting up to it. It's a left turn from 103 to the true Mt Evans Road. This road is intimidating with 10 to 15 MPH curves most without guard rails and and 4 figure cliffs. It was like a paved Motocross track from mile marker 9 to 11 with ramps, whoop de doos et al. The RallyBastard had warned us about the Road Damage sign. The one at MM 6 was a Red Herring, so when I hit MM 9 I maintained a little speed. All the sudden I'm in the air, butt off the Saddle and settling into a hole that can hold an FJR or three. Nice one!

It was a few more miles up to the Crest House Ruins. It is beautiful up there at 14K. The altitude will definitely increase the respiratory rate!

There's a picture of our first stop. Road to the Stars. Mt Evans road truly is.

On the way down, didn't run into any Mountain Goats or Bighorn Sheep, but dodged the biggest Marmot I've ever seen. It must have weighed 20 lbs!

Made it back down 103 to Idaho Springs after playing dodgeball with 5 mule deer or so.  There was a curve or two on 103 with some gravel as we were warned by said RallyBastard.

Got on I-70 West and looked at the Zumo GPS unit. 86 miles covered at the 2 hour mark. Averaging 43 mph. This thing may take 24 hours after all. Thank goodness I was well rested.

Going down I70 W to Minturn I think "Hey the Blue Sky Energy drink kicked in!" I started having some minor palpations on I70. Watch out for that Ginseng and guarana! It works!

On I 70 buzzed into some riders that would later become a 4 man group. Griff, James and Hycle. We ran into each other at Mt. Evans and again at the Phillips 66 in Minturn on US 24. Here's a pic of that bonus.

Sorry about the Sideway's nature of the Picture.  US 24 was great and then all the sudden turned into GRAVEL! This was looking ugly. Just start to averaging 50 mph and then this. Then it got even better. We stopped for oncoming traffic for about 10 minutes and then were allowed to pass. ARG! Crazy

Then I head out in front of Hycle, Griff and James to lead the charge down to Poncha Springs. Needless to say Colorado is an amazing state with a lot of twisties and the vast majority of motorcyclists there ( and I guess pretty much everywhere) rides a Harley. Even better this pack of Harley riders I'm running into between Buena Vista and Poncha Springs are riding in a pack of about 25 and were traveling  about 5 miles per hour below the speed limit. A few were nice and let us through. However the majority were unwilling to allows us to pass.

 The FJR has some low and mid range torque that certainly put those guys in the rear view mirror post haste. The horse part of the equation was settled.

Pulled into the station at Poncha Springs for a required gas reciept with the Triumvirate 5 seconds behind me. I hit out quick for my next designated stop at Slugmullion Summit just south of Lake City CO on CO 149 via Monarch Pass and Gunnison. I was in new territory with this road (Silver Thread Scenic Byway) and it did not disappoint. There were some real tight twisties along the river bottom just north of Lake City. Here's my photo at Slumgullion Summit

Needless to say, I stopped and started getting my towel and camera out and who pops up? The Triumvirate! Okay, guys this is silly. Do you mind if I ride with you. Of course not they respond and so we became the Fantastic Four!

From Slumgullion Summit we headed down through Creede and the head waters of the Rio Grande! This really blows me away. I'm from Arkansas ( pronounced R-Can-Saw NOT R-Kansas) and going through Leadville we passed through the Headwaters of the Arkansas River and rode along the river to Poncha Springs. Now we are riding along the Headwaters of the Rio Grande. Before it's all over we will be doing a magical dance in unision along the Colorado River. Colorado, Mother of Rivers!

So we head down to South Fork and take US 160 for a required gas reciept in Pagosa Springs. We stop, fill up with gas and cipher for a while in Pagosa. We were averaging about 54 mph. Looking like a 19 to 20 hour finish given that we had a run through Silverton, and Rico and Gateway. Everyone felt great as we headed to Durango.

We go from US 160 to US 550 with good expectations. We felt great, we were having a blast and it looked like we would make it with hours to spare.

We ground to a halt for about 20 minutes on 550 waiting for traffic to pass and be allowed through. As scenery changed from deserty to alpine the rain started!

By the time we got to Silverton it had rained a good bit on us. Also the bonus here was plainly written the Silverton sign across from the gas station. We did slow down at the city limits sign, but after Mr. Roux's lesson in rhetoric we took his words literally.

Here's the photo:

We then proceeded to Ouray and Ridgway. WOW the stretch between Silverton and Ouray may be the most scenic road I have traveled. Unfortunately it is overpopulated by RV's that refuse to pull over in the pull out areas. Needless to say our mph average drops significantly here. And the rain. OMG it came a toad stangler! We were seriously getting doused but the ole Tourmaster raingear was holding it's own. A group later would run into marble sized hail that made them take cover it hurt so bad when it hit. Another group in said hail saw lightning hit a tree alongside the road!

The Motocycling Gods were miffed that a few salty dogs and a bunch of young pups were about to eat up 1K miles in Colorful Colorado which was largely schaweet mountain twisties! Damn the Gods, twist another one!

We fuel up at Ridgway for the trip down to Rico and Hanging Flume. A friend of one of the NAFO SS1K riders saw us at the Ridgway gas station totally out of the blue. He recognized us for what we were and told us to say Hi to his friend. Strange how small the world is.

So we are off to Rico. Going up on 62 we run up on a long stretch that is asphalt, but has been graveled by the state? I've never heard of that kind of maintenance and it really shocked me. We turned onto 145 to Rico and the bottom fell out again. Rain!

Going down by Telluride had quite nearly a religous experience I was so awed by the natural beauty of that valley. The smooth pastels, clouds and fog. That place is close to heaven on Earth.

Such experience is not without cost. We make it to Rico and a straight pin could have punctured my bladder it was under so much pressure. First things first when we get to the bonus location. Here's the picture:

There's hell to pay from Rico though. Sheets of driving rain! The road was narrow, curvy. The face shield was gray, wavering and fuzzy. I wiped and finally just flipped it up. My glasses the only thing between my eyes and the rain. F*&k!

It lightened up some by Placerville and our tail gunner James wasn't to be found. He will be around though, you can count on him.

We head up 145/141 to Naturita and Uravan to Hanging Flume our last bonus.  I look in the rearview after about 10 minutes. Yep, there he is: our tailgunner James.

This 141 is one seriously cool road in a different way. It snakes along the ?San Miguel? River between these wonderful Mesas. Gotta watch for deer. There's little traffic. The cool pink and red pastels add to the visual enhancement.  Heres the bonus photo.

There's a 200 foot cliff behind the sign you can whizz down. Check my stuff. Guess what? My Reciepts are wet! Dastardly raingear. I stuff the reciepts in the FJR's sidecase and pray that they dry out legibly?! EEK!

From here the head back to the barn. We buzzed through Gateway, stopped in  Cliffton for fuel and went down I70 to Denver.

It was dark by then and so we were unable to appreciate the day time beauty of that portion part of I70 through Glenwood canyon. It is the most beautiful stretch of Interstate that I've experienced in daylight.

Our tailgunner James had a great perspective to watch the group ride down I70. We had rode together so long that we knew what the other person in front of us was going to do before they did it! It was like the Borg or Vulcan Mind Meld. James said it was a magical dance with swirling lights bouncing off the Glenwood Canyon walls.

We pulled into the parking lot around 12:30 am. Nineteen and a half hours after we left. The reciepts were dry and legible! The next day Hycle went out and got a cool tatoo:

The Superman symbol adds a nice touch.

The ole RallyBastard had done us right. It was a tough ride, but filled with fellowship, adventure, beauty and magic. Thanks Beeroux Wink

IBA # 30982
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 07:40:07 pm by protondecay123 » Logged

Sometimes the Lights all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been!

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