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BikePilot 07-29-2008 02:57 PM

What I did this summer - a 9,000 mile ride report

As many of you know I've been attending law school in MA and finished my first year this spring. I was born in Denver, but my parents moved to the DC area when I was quite young. I always wanted to return and love the outdoors and mountains. An opportunity came up for me to spend half the summer in Denver working for a judge and I jumped on it. At first I thought I was going to be bikeless and have to fly out (tight schedule between finals and work, probably not enough time to ride the DR250 out or retrieve the TL from storage in VA and get it preped for the ride). Then, my dad happened across a low millage 919 for nearly nothing on his local craigs list. He went to look at it right away and rode off with it just before two other guys showed up to buy it. He offered it to me for the summer and I took, oh about .00000000001 seconds to say YES!

Once finals were done I flew down to FL to hang with my parents for a week and finish up some school stuff and then made my way out to Denver for a 6-week internship and as much riding as I could squeeze in.

Also, as it happened, when I was moving from my house in VA to a tiny apartment in Cambridge, I had to put a lot of stuff in storage. I was running out of room and a fellow from another forum offered to baby-sit my CR250R. My local dealership was able to crate the CR up and send it to him for very little money so off the bike went. As luck woudl have it, this fine fellow lived just outside Denver. So now I'd be equipped with both a 919 and a CR250R:clap

Now, back to the Denver thing. It was unpaid and I had no cash, but really wanted to be in Denver for the summer. I posted up a thread seeking advice on cheap housing in the Rockies forum and several inmates offered their spare rooms:bow Things worked out for me to stay at Casey's place which was absolutely fantastic. I really don't think I could have pulled this whole thing off without his generosity and the support of the Rockies Advrider crew. I'm also ultra-grateful to Malcolm in Shreveport for feeding me and putting me up for the night on my way from FL to Denver and to Allen in SD for riding with me and playing the part of moto-tour guide in the Black Hills of SD.

While in FL we did a little dirt biking at Croom.

stay tuned...

BikePilot 07-29-2008 02:57 PM

We also swam in the pool

And caught some beautiful sunsets

And modded the 919 :evil

Then took it for a test-ride

BikePilot 07-29-2008 02:59 PM

There were torti in the lawn

And at the Zoo

Then played tennis with my wife and parents. My parents just took up the sport and it was my wife and I's first time playing. My mom had her form down pretty well I thought. :bow

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:02 PM

My wife is a huge animal lover and wasn't quite satisfied with seeing the critters in the zoo so we struck out in hunt of creatures in their natural habitat...

We canoed/kayaked out to where the dolphins like to feed

This one snagged a fish right next to our boat. It was so close I thought for a second that the dophine was going to give us a bump.

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:02 PM

Then, at 4:30am on the 29th of May I was on my way.

I covered 1086 miles of rather boring roadways the first day and didn't take any pics. That evening I stayed with fellow inmate Malcom in Shreveport LA who kindly fed me and put me up for the night.:bow :bow I arrived at his place just before dark.
This is my track from day 1. I maintained an overall average speed of 66mph (including stops).

The following day I swung though Benbrook TX to have lunch with my dad's mom and her husband Herbert.

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:03 PM

I then rode across the vast expanse of nothingness known as West Texas to visit my mom's dad and his wife in Silverton TX.

This was my route for the day. Much fewer miles, but dinner and lunch with grandparents takes time. I was glad I didn't need to go as far because the temps were hovering around 100 deg F.

I arrived at my Grandad's in time for dinner. We grilled some delicious steaks for dinner and the next morning went to the local airfield where my grandad's new-to-him 1969 Aero Commander 100 Darter awaited us

Planes have lean angle too ya know:deal

We managed to get down inside a canyon which was pretty cool!

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:04 PM

I left his house that afternoon and struck off to attend an Advrider BBQ hosted by Mountain Eagle in Denver.

Flat nothingness continued and went unphotographed, then in NM the rocky mountains loomed in the distance (and thankfully the temps dropped out of the tripple digits!)

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:07 PM

These are my tracks from Day 3, well the latter half of it anyway. I didn't take the GPS flying with me.

I arrived at the BBQ as things were winding down. I was pretty worn out and didn't take any pics. There was some food left though and I met lots of cool people. One of these people was Casey (aka Chacha) who volunteered to put me up while I was in Denver:bow

I followed Casey back to his place from the BBQ, then from there we went to a Hawaiian-themed Lou hosted by a friend of his. More good food:yumyum Eventually we got back to the house and I got some overdue sleep:)

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:08 PM

Then I went to work. My internship was as a summer law clerk for Judge Gorsuch on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Byron White Courthouse in Denver. A fine place to spend 6 weeks imho.

The courthouse used to be the city post office

Denver had some very nice architecture. It was more fresh, modern and clean than most of the east coast, but still had perhaps a few more historical buildings in use than much of the west coast. A very nice mix. I particularly liked the integration of old and new with this church and office building

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:09 PM

The next Saturday I went riding with Duken. First time really riding the 919 without luggage and first time riding in the mountains!

Blasted 2,200 miles of bugs off the headlight

Started out in warm sunny weather, then before too long ended up in the snow!

There were some folks on touring bikes putting on rain gear. It was pretty chilly. I liked this Victory. Way cooler than a wing or road king imho.

Then, before we were done putting on warmer gear, the sun was out (still pretty cool though)

The weather moving around the mountains

The roads were fantastic as was the scenery

On the way home this crazy plastic bag blew up onto Duken, but he was unfazed and expertly removed it from its perch on his screen. I then ran it over and this was left on my shifter

On the way home from Duken's a train was blocking the road...

All in all, an awesome ride:bow

Duken totally hauls, he could just dial on the power and leave me at will in a totally smooth, controlled but fast manner with the FZ1 sounding something like a turbine engine, his rear tire spinning up just a tad and I'm sure a big smile under his lid!

Tracks from the day

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:15 PM

The next day we went and played in the dirt, now this is where I'm in my element:deal

Craig, aka Duken4evr wrote up this section (he's the one on the DRZ, I'm in the CR250R).

First event of interest was playing on this huge chunk of granite. The trail that leads to it has a sign that says "easy" and "difficult". Of course we chose "difficult" :devious

Craig on the DRZ, playing on the rock. Later on, some guys on CRF 450s and the like stopped and watched. We went up the rock, they didn't dare. Actually BP went up and down the thing like 15 times.

BP going up and down the rock. It looks pretty steep in the pictures, it was steeper in real life :D

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:20 PM

Craig aka Duken wrote up this bit (he's on the TL site and Thumpertalk)

I like his writing so I'm blatantly plagiarizing it for my RR:deal
After "The Rock" we rode a bit and stopped to take in some scenery.

The it was off to the 676 Trail, "The Devil's Slide". Rated most difficult in the place. Nah, it was cake :pirate

About 40% through the ride now, having a blueberry bagel in my favorite shady spot. The realization that I am a 46
year old dude on a tanklike DRZ and BP is a young gun on a CR250 has thoroughly sunken in by now :banghead

Cresting a long hillclimb, BP was at the top. I thought it would be cool to do a hill topping wheelie past him. Kinda
forgot about that tree branch though. Oof! Oh well. 300 pounds of charging on the gas DRZ was unperterbed by
such fripparies as tree branches!

All in all an awesome day. I have not slept this well in awhile.

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:21 PM

Now back to me doing the writing...

Then after work one evening the following week I made a run up Mt. Evans.

Here's my tracks

Cameras are forbidden at the courthouse so I didn't have mine with me. Not to fear, Casey and I returned to Mt. Evans a short while later and took pics!

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:24 PM

Then six days later Duken, Casey and I went riding again.

The Scenery wasn't half bad:bow

Squidding it up on a rock;)

Then I found another rock that looked even better:devious

Duken enjoying the scenery

Duken and Casey

The trails were really nice, just lots of curvy bits though the woods with the occasional open section along a stream like this.

Duken squidding it up in the stream.

And a hill climb - good fun:clap

to be continued

BikePilot 07-29-2008 03:26 PM

Duken is a wheelie master:clap

My noble steed. Seems some firefighter thought it would be a good idea to light the woods on fire:huh


More sweet scenery

And the poster in Duken's garage:bow

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