My last ride was in March. I had planned to ride to SE Ohio for an NT mini-rally in Caldwell, OH. From there I was going to Alabama and visit the Barber Motorcycle Museum. From there I was going to ride from the NE corner of Mississippi down the Natchez Trace to Vicksburg, then home across Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma. But my mechanical nightmares came true as I tried to upgrade my bikes Denali driving lights to Clearwater Darlas. I struggled with it and thought I had figured out the night before I was leaving. I started the bike. No lights. But even worse, no power to my GPS, my heated grips, my heated gear, my voltmeter, or my digital thermometer. 😦 Plus as were buttoning things up, my wife noticed that my right fork was leaking a LOT.
The first appointment I could get at my local HARLEY / honda dealer was this Wednesday, June 3. I had ordered all the parts for a rebuild of the forks and I had also bought a set of 2012 Triumph Bonneville gaiters. The dealer rebuilt the forks, got the Clearwaters connected and diagnosed all the other electrical issues. I picked up the bike yesterday and as far as I could tell, all was well.
Today Ken Malone (RedBird on the NT-Owners.org forum) and I took a ride into the mountains! It was the first time in 2021 that I’ve been anywhere except east onto the Colorado Plains (which are a lot like the Kansas Plains. We had our Cardo Pack Talks installed but we didn’t think to bring the “cheat sheet” and we never got “meshed” with each other. So, we never talked. We met in Loveland at the junction of US-34 and US-287. I ate lunch and then we took US-34 west about 20 miles to Estes Park. From there we took CO-7 south between the Twin Sisters on the east and Long’s Peak on the west, past St. Catherine’s Chapel on the Rock.
The chapel is close to hiway 7, just east of Camp Malo. Back in ’93, when Pope John Paul II held a World Youth Day in Denver, he came to Camp Malo for two days before the event. The Camp had a picture that had been taken of John Paul before he was elected Pope. While he was there a little boy saw him and took a look at the picture. Then he went to Pope and said, “Mister, you sure do look like that guy in the picture there.” The Pope went over and bent down and looked at the picture for a minute. And then he turned back to the little boy and said, “I sure do. I think I am that man!”
After we rode by the chapel and Allen’s Park, we came to the turn where the Peak to Peak Highway (CO-71) heads south to Netherland. I had told Ken that I was going to stay on 7 and ride down South St. Vrain Canyon to Lyons partly because I didn’t want to ride through Boulder’s rush hour traffic. I was 1/4 mile or so ahead of Ken when I turned east on 7. When he got there, he pulled into the turn lane and we couldn’t talk with our Cardo PackTalks! I went on down through Lyons, crossed I-25 and turned north on US-85 at Platteville. Turned out that Ken had turned around and followed me to Lyons, but I was already through. He waited for me somewhere else before heading to his place in Berthoud. It had been three months since I had lasted ridden and I’m leaving here to ride to Provo, so I hope I can get some more riding in before then.
If you want to see the Spotwalla track of the ride, go here: https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/9fe2-a47b6e6-7f4e/view?homeActive=1&showAll=1&allHistory=0&numDays=7
I’ll be leaving for my first trip of any length on the 23rd. First I’ll ride to Provo, UT, to see the start of the Iron Butt Rally. Then I’ll ride to Spearfish for the NT-Owners.org National Rally from June 23-26. From there, Ken Malone and I will ride US-16, US-14, and US-14A in the Big Horns, do Beartooth Pass and the Chief Joseph Highway and then ride south. We’ll split and I’ll go back to Provo for the finish of the Iron Butt Rally. I’ll come home on US-40. The whole trip will be about 2800 miles. So, I’m hoping to get some more rides before I leave on the 23rd.