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Old 07-06-2013, 06:44 AM   #1
Narsisco Lopez OP
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Location: Golden (Showers), Colorado
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Ride to Barber Motorsports... The Long Way

Just about 4 years ago, I re-connected with a childhood friend... we were inseparable for most of our early years. From building Lego "moon bases" to building tree forts, we did it all. Around age 12, his dad bought him a Honda 50 mini bike and that started the love we both share for all things 2-wheeled.

As it so often happens, for one reason or another we lost touch. Through the social media world (aka: Facebook), we managed to reconnect back in 2009. We soon realized we still had a lot in common: including motorcycles.

It didn't take much for me to talk him into riding out from Rhode Island to Denver and before we knew it, we'd planned a 5 day jaunt through the American southwest.

We are now into year 4... and still not sick of riding with each other (at least he puts up with me long enough to complete each year's ride).

This year, once again, he rode out from Rhode Island to the Denver area... our goal: the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, The Dragon, the BRP, and then into New England so I can stuff my face at all my favorite seafood joints.

We left Denver June 19th, 2013

Day One Route
http://goo.gl/maps/v9Fu4

Google says 503 miles, but my trip meter says 534... going with my trip meter.

A few of the day's photos...

Leaving my house in Golden and saying goodbye to my little girl: Gretchen, my 4 year old German Shepherd.


My riding buddy, Kevin (with ADV Salute) in front of Chapel on the Rock, Allenspark, CO


Eastern ascent of Trail Ridge Road, from the Estes Park entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park


Not as much snow as just last month up near 12,000 feet on Trail Ridge Road... last month this section had at least 20 feet!


Looking south at about 12,200 feet


Up on Loveland Pass... just happy to be on the team ;-)




We kame and went...


Loveland Pass


Eastern ascent of McClure Pass


A "Texas Taco" at Serious Texas BBQ in Durango, CO


the original route for Day Two was supposed to be south out of Durango, CO to Shiprock, NM with a detour into the Navajo reservation, before heading south to do the Devil's Highway (US-191 from St. John's, AZ to Clifton, AZ) and spend the night in Silver City, NM, but we decided to chop that bit off to allow a bit more time on the eastern seaboard, so we took up my friend's offer to spend the night at her awesome place in Santa Fe.

Day Two Route
http://goo.gl/maps/xpQk6

Crossing into New Mexico...







Shiprock!







Self portrait at 100mph (Not a tribal cop for 100s of miles!)



Great photo-op just after the very short, VERY steep 14% grade hairpins...



No one wants to see my I-40 east slab photos, but here's one of me profusely-thanking our very dear friend, Bernadette Mora, for letting us crash at her uber-comfy Santa Fe home and for her amazing hospitality...




Day Three Route
http://goo.gl/maps/T2Arp

We rolled out of Santa Fe just as the sun was rising... took I-25 north to Las Vegas, NM to NM 104 and was just amazed at the smooth, empty, beautifully-stark high prairie mixed with open range and remote ranch land. The canyon road right before Conchas Lake State Park was singularly-gorgeous...







From Tucumcari, I simply picked the route as due east as possible and kept it to smaller farm roads... and we were rewarded with wide open, fast straights and the vistas gave me a new appreciation of the Texas Panhandle...









We ran across some unexpected sweepers and another section of great road near Caprock Canyons State Park (just west of the Texas/Oklahoma border), but I can't seem to find the photos right now. I'll snag some from Kevin and post as the area is worth highlighting.

Crossing into Oklahoma...



Temps were rising as was the wind. Lawton, OK was our stopping point for the night and I was surprised to find a very good Mexican restaurant... Salas.

Tacos al Carbon
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Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure

Narsisco Lopez screwed with this post 07-06-2013 at 06:56 AM
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:46 AM   #2
Narsisco Lopez OP
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Day Four Route
http://goo.gl/maps/Njeuw

Another early morning to beat the heat and make time paid off with calm air, cool temps and a gorgeous sunrise...







Many may already know this, but eastern Oklahoma is lush, green, and has some great riding roads...



The Winding Stair Parkway was another great piece of road and great fun to ride!

We crossed over into Arkansas and the humidity and heat rise was noticeable. By the time we made Hot Springs, we were both done for the day.

Both Kevin and I are fairly organized and, since we've done this exercise in endurance miles for 4 years in a row, after the first day we've got our routine down. Like a Roman Republican army camp, we set up and tear down our shared motel bivvy the same way every evening/morning; even picking the same bed location.

By this time, our morning drill had set in: Kevin is a chronic insomniac, so regularly pops awake at an ungodly 2am. I refuse to get my ass out of bed this early, but even while asleep, I can sense him already up and on his laptop (hopefully not cruising porn... I don't wanna know! LOL!).

But, I do manage to drag my tired ass out of the bed by 3:30am and we're ready to roll by 4:45am.

Day Five Route
http://goo.gl/maps/4DCLY

Today's mission: Get to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum by at least 1pm so we could see the whole place at a relaxed pace and be able to do the Dragon and a good section of the BRP on Monday (the following day).

I-40 and I-22 were uneventful and we rolled into the Barber complex to find a Triumph Superbike Classic Weekend in progress... so cool to hear the bikes zipping around the track as we rolled into the "motorcycles only" parking lot right in front of the museum.





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Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:47 AM   #3
Narsisco Lopez OP
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I sort of knew from the posts and photos of others what the Barber was about, but still... you have to be pulse-less to not get a thrill as you walk into the place and realize the treat you're in for...

(Anyone seen a Honda Alligator lately???)







We got our tickets and were informed that we were lucky enough to be there on only one of the 3 days they open the basement restoration area to the public...





A rare Honda inline 6 (a tech started it up for us... talk about thunder inside the building!)...



I immediately fell in love with this '55 Porsche Spyder and started visualizing myself driving it up the Kamehameha Highway on Oahu's east shore...






I guess the Stig's brother likes to tinkle the ivories for the Barber visitors...







The Whizzer!

















Caught a few laps of the AMA PRO Vance & Hines XR1200 Race (racers all ride nearly identical Harley-Davidson XR1200s... "a handlebar-to-handlebar battle the entire race"



"Hey Norton!"



The rare Nor-Vin! DROOL FACTOR TEN!!!!





OOH LA LA!





A 1964 East German MZ 250 GP...





The iconic Brough Superior...



And the butt-ugly Navy HD... looks like it was pried straight off the bridge of a battleship!



Allan Millyard's 1974 1600 V8 Kawasaki!



Ok... I LITERALLY have hundreds more photos from this day's visit. I'll start another thread dedicated to the Barber and add a linky here for those crazy enough to want to see them all.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtpUv4VBDhA
Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:49 AM   #4
Narsisco Lopez OP
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Day Six Route
http://goo.gl/maps/6P7sA

Day six saw us up (again!) before dawn to crank out some highway miles, heading northeast up I-59 to Chattanooga... destination: the western entrance into the Nantahala National forest via US-129 and, of course... the Tail of the Dragon.

Of course, a little snack before heading in was called for...



Mmmmmmm.... Krystal! Like White Castle on steroids!



I had my Drift HD170 vid cam running for the whole Dragon run, but I won't have the time to edit it into something watchable till I get back to the Denver area. In the meantime...







129 Slayer.com screen scrapes... need to figure out which ones I actually want to buy, if any.

Of course, we HAD to stop at Deal's Gap for trinkets and photos...







Then, it was up to Cherokee and the western entrance to the BRP...





A sign PERFECT for my shiny-pated riding partner...





We rode the BRP as long as our butts would tolerate, then jumped off at Asheville, NC for the evening.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtpUv4VBDhA
Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:51 AM   #5
Narsisco Lopez OP
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Day Seven Route
http://goo.gl/maps/ACFWh

Day seven had us up a bit later than usual since we were so close to a route that would get up back up on the BRP. Early mornings on weekdays in June are obviously a GREAT time to ride it... we pretty much had the road to ourselves at 6am!

North Carolina 80 is a pretty nice road to access the BRP!



The visual rewards for getting up early...





We didn't go see Mt. Airy (Andy Griffin's birthplace), but we COULD NOT pass up a visit to Mayberry!





My shoulder was killing me most of this day and I was dying to get off the bike. I was super relieved to check into the Strasburg Ramada, stuff my face, and pass out.

Day Eight Route
http://goo.gl/maps/YM54R

As I mentioned, the knot in my shoulder has put a fairly big damper on the enjoyment factor of this year's ride. When we woke up on Day Eight, my sole mission was getting to my hotel in Westport, MA and staying off the bike for at least 4 days while I searched for a massage therapist. So, we did the interstate beeline and made the 580 miles by 4:30pm.

Somewhere in Penn, I ran across this tanker and I thought, "Yep... a tanker full of coffee is EXACTLY what I need to finish this leg!"



Of course, we needed to make a slight detour in Fall River to document the official end of ride with we both did together...

Nick's Coney Island (aka: Dirty Nick's, as we locals call it) is pretty much a Fall River historical landmark... you cannot grow up around these parts and not have eaten at least 1 "gagga"...



My total miles from my home in Golden, CO to Nick's Coney Island in Fall River, MA: 5484

The bike's been under it's cover, napping peacefully, ever since I checked into my room at the Westport Hampton Inn. It's been raining pretty steadily and I was smart enough to rent a car for the short time I'll be around. It made going to all my regular seafood haunts so much easier (and easier on my still aching shoulder and wrist)...

My First Lobster Roll (of this visit home) at LePage's Seafood in Fall River, MA...


Barcelo's Portuguese Bakery...


My all time favorite: The Liberal Club (in Fall River, MA)


Seafood Bisque


Fried Clam Roll


Littlenecks in Oil and Garlic


And my FAVORITE NEW ENGLAND TREAT: "LOBSTA' ROLL!!!!"



My dad retired 4 years ago and is living the dream: he spends his summers on the Southcoast sailing his 38' sailboat. Or, more accurately, working on it in between the sailing! (What's that old saw? "A sailboat is a hole in the water where you throw your money.")

I managed to take him and my uncle out to dinner and at popular New Bedford Portuguese restaurant tonight (Friday, June 28th)...



Portuguese Kale Soup...


Chourico Fritter...


Fresh New Bedford Scallops, and 2 plates of Bacalhau (Portuguese Salt Cod with onions and potatoes)


My dad (in the hat) and my Uncle Jordan...
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Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:53 AM   #6
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It's another rainy day in New England and it doesn't look like it's gonna let up much before I leave at 0-Dark-30 tonight/tomorrow (July 2nd) at 2am... yep, it's an evil time to start my return leg home, but it's better to ride in the dark in the rain in this part of the country than in the rain with a bunch of sleepy commuters AND truckers trying to dodge the morning rush in the greater NYC/Conn. area.

I figured it couldn't hurt to taunt my fellow chow hounds with more food porn...

Our trip to the Nordic Lodge in Charlestown, RI (All-You-Can-Eat FRESH Seafood Buffet)...












Kevin poses with his new best friend (the friendship lasted about 3 minutes...)



Not to brag, but I ate 5 of these bad boys, 2lbs of King crab legs, and 12 raw littlenecks on the half-shell. (plus coffee and dessert... I think I got my $88 bucks worth! LOL!)


The grounds of the Nordic are scenic and relaxing; plus, the hammocks aid digestion...



I was able to go see my cousin's classic rock band in Bristol, RI Saturday night and had the extra-special treat of hanging out with the "Quahog Mafia" and my other gorgeous cousins...







I was also able to squeeze in lunch with a couple of my other childhood friends/high school classmates for a mini Class of 1980 Reunion yesterday (Sunday)...



The sangria was plentiful and damned tasty...



Spanish Littlenecks...



Combo Shish Kabob (sirloin tips, scallops, and shrimp in a house sauce)...



Bacalhau a Gomes (salt cod with potatoes)...



Shrimp Mozambique with Pasta...



And my mantra for this New England visit...



Time to start eating lighter while back on the road and then hit the gym to pay the piper for all this rich New England Portuguese and seafood!

The oil in the bike was changed on Saturday, the rental car was just returned this morning, got a load of laundry in the hotel machines, and my gear is ready to go back on the bike.




Route Home
http://goo.gl/maps/3sZC0

If I see anything of interest while covering the 2100 miles home, you'll be the first to know
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FYYFF!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtpUv4VBDhA
Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:54 AM   #7
Narsisco Lopez OP
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Got home right at 10:45am Thursday, July 4th...









Total miles for the return leg: 2092
Total miles for trip: 5907
Total days riding: 10.25
Total day away from home: 14.25
Lessons learned: NEVER ride a K13S that many interstate miles in that short a time again!!!!

I did get home for the Fourth and was welcomed with a nice, relaxing BBQ at our dear friends' house...



Sleeping in my own bed with my pup and wife was a nice treat and helped to shed away the "road buzz" my body's been feeling for the past 2 weeks.

Gotta go see my doc this afternoon and get an initial diagnosis for my shoulder/nerve bundle and get my ass into PT asap. Some table time at my massage therapist is on the calendar, too.

Once I settle back into my normal routine, I'm gonna start a new thread and do a post-mortem on the ride with a focus on the bike's performance, and its pros and cons. The skinny is that it's an AMAZING machine and will take whatever you throw at it. But, for me, it was the wrong machine for this many miles in this short of a time-frame. It was a freaking ROCK STAR on the b-road twisties and in the mountains, but a BAVARIAN TORTURE DEVICE on the LONG interstate days. Every time I saw a Goldwing slide past me at 90 while I was fighting the wind at 75-80, I was tempted to pull into a dealer and trade it in!
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtpUv4VBDhA
Bikes: 2013 BMW K1600GT
A Few Past Bikes
: 2003 Suzuki DRZ400E | 2012 BMW K13S | 2009 KTM 990 Adventure
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:31 AM   #8
marty hill
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Wonderful RR! I ride to new england every other year just to taste the lobster/yeah I'm nuts. Was based in boston and bristol, many years ago.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
AteamNM
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Dang what was the total miles? Made me very hungry.
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