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Monday, July 31, 2006

Trouble in Steamboat Springs

It WAS Trouble (Not Really)…

However it was a great deal of fun!!

Imagine, a group of seven women…each on their own ride…heading out of town on a road trip! Destination: Steamboat Springs some 200 miles “that-a-way”. What a journey it turned out to be!!

Initially, our group was to be eight, but one of the ladies forgot about the ride, so we ended up with seven. Six motorcycles, one trike. Five of us started out together, we picked up two more riders on the way (yes, we knew about them). The beginning of the ride is pretty uneventful; I’ve never ridden with a couple of the gals, so it was a matter of learning about everyone’s ride style and getting in with the groove. I had been warned; our leader was not one for stopping. Thank goodness her tank had a little over a hundred mile range so I knew a stop was in order at least every hundred miles!!

It’s all good. We do what we have to!!

Like I said, the beginning of the trip was pretty uneventful as we make our way. It is around noon and we are up in Breckenridge—as we round the curve and see…..a whole parking lot FULL of Corvettes…I look over at Miss Kaybee and I know what she’s thinking…perhaps there is a purple one??

As luck would have it, there WAS!! We pull in whooping and hollering…we found a purple corvette!! The vehicle is from Arkansas and sadly, no personalized plate for the extra points. We shoot the images and pull out…and incredibly, another purple Corvette pulls into the parking lot. The Blonde Smoothie yells…the tag is personalized!

I make a split-second decision—I’m turning around—and tell the group I’ll catch up. Not only did we locate a purple Corvette, the tag is personalized and get this…says PURPLE!! LOL….that was a stroke of dumb and blind luck if you ask me!

I snap the photo, thank the owner and get back on the road. My friends had pulled over and were waiting and I found one additional member in the group. We are now up to six…one more girl is to join us…

Lunch was a great stop at the Dam Brewery and we spent the time catching up on everyone’s lives and rattling on about the things girls talk about. In the middle of lunch, the last of our group joins us. Thank goodness for cell phones and voice mail. Otherwise, she would have booked it on up to Steamboat!

Full from lunch and talking, we head out. The weather has warmed up, but I’m pretty comfortable. As we head down the road a bit, I notice one of Miss Kaybee’s saddlebags isn’t latched…and gear hanging out. I honk at her and point…she starts fiddling around with her bags then pulls out of the group. I pull over and wait for her to come back—I know she lost some gear.
At the next stop, I quiz her on what she lost….her favorite gloves and a neck gaiter. Neck gaiter in July? Yes it’s true...neck gaiter. I have one on my bike too, believe it or not. We are up in the unpredictable Rocky Mountain Region!

Fortunately, our trike rider was riding sweep and saw that gear was flying by. She pulled over and picked up the gloves and neck gaiter. She said Santa was early this year—a matched set of gloves and neck gaiter…whooooohooooo!!

At that point, it had warmed up quite a bit and I decided to grab and extra bottle of water to down before we leave. Whew….

When we pull out, I notice that one of our other riders forgot to put her stand down. We honked at her, but the motorcycle spirits must have been looking down because she went over a bump and the thing popped up!

A bit of good karma.

We head over the pass and it cools down nicely. Again, riding down the road and the slow down signal comes up—we are on free range land and there’s a cow about five feet from the road. YIKES!! I look back and…..where did everyone go?? I pull over and wait….I’ll give the riders a handful of time and then head back, when the rider ahead of me comes back down the road and asks “what’s up”? I don’t know…and I’m just going to wait. She decides to head on back. I head up to catch up with the others and let them know what’s going on.

LOL..they pulled over and are waiting. We talk about ride up from after lunch and wonder what’s up…

Our other riders ride by and we mount and catch them. Everything looks to be okay.

Alrighty then, we continue on. The scenery is beautiful, of course. I’ve never ridden in this area before and am enjoying myself. I notice large orange signs….construction, road construction, etc. No worries, this isn’t anything I haven’t dealt with.

Then, we pass a big orange sign…ROAD ENDS.


Okay, I understand ROAD ENDS and I have no problem riding on dirt…but the question that begs to be asked is….exactly how long?

We set off down this dirt road and I’m not too happy—I’m hoping that it’s not 20 miles of dirt road…I had that when I rode Phantom Canyon. Not to mention one of the girls absolutely hates riding on dirt and I’m not sure of the others. Well, we all take it slow.

Fortunately, it’s only a few looooonnnnnggggg miles and we are back on pavement and closer to Steamboat. Unfortunately, the accumulation of black clouds has occurred and my biggest fear—lightning.

A bolt flashes across the sky and hits the ground and I’m thinking “are we there yet”?

If I see another, I’m off the road.

Thank goodness we round the curve and pass the sign “Welcome to Steamboat Springs”. Whew….lets find the condo and get off the road!!!

That was an easy enough task and I finally get to ask my girlfriend why she pulled out the last time. It seems her highway peg came loose and fell off. Our trike sweep replies that Miss Kaybee is throwing gear at her!! First gloves, then neck gaiter..and then highway peg!!


Thank goodness we are there… least she won’t lose any more gear!

So how long did it take us to get from Colorado Springs to Steamboat Springs (approximately 200 miles)? About eight hours. Factor in Scavenger Hunting, lunch, gas, mountain pass riding, potty breaks, lost gear part one, lost gear part two, dirt road due to construction and snack stops….yeah, that sounds about right!!

I’m hoping the ride back the following day is less problematic!!

Oh, for the record, it never did rain……

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Call That Trouble…….

Eight girls…eight motorcycles….Road trip…..

What do you call that??


Stay tuned for details!!

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Great Derby Cover Switcherooni

Sigh, I was hoping that the metal leafing on my derby cover would hold.  One, because I like it and think it is cool.  Two….I won’t have to change it out.

Well, it won’t hold, so I’m up to the task of changing it out.

Yes, it’s an easy enough job and my friends at the Harley Dealership were more than happy to sell me the necessary gaskets to make the change.  I have a new derby cover—that’s how I met my crazy friends and did The Great Colorado Motorcycle Vacation.

So, the stage it set.  Parts needed—check.  Work space ready—check.  Large enough block of time to anticipate every ever-loving disaster that could happen—check….make-up—check…

LOL…only kidding.  

My handy dandy helpful Harley parts counter friend made sure that all the bases were covered.  Yeah, he gives me a hard time and I give it right back.  It’s all good.

Stay tuned.  This SHOULD be an easy task…

Keep the Shiny Side UP!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Scavenger Hunt Riding in the Springs

Sunday was a half-day riding—my riding friends decided that we didn’t want an early day in the saddle so we set off after lunch… Scavenger Hunt in town!

There are quite a few items in town to be had and every time I think I have gotten them all—yes, I find I need something else!  No worries, I’m adding points to the list!!  Crossing each item off the list one at a time means I’m closer to finishing…..

I’m still pretty far behind Miss Kaybee; I believe she’s about half way through the list already!!  I don’t think I’ll catch her!!

The Blonde Smoothie, Miss Kaybee and I talk about the items, where they are located in the city and the order to get to them.  Miss KB needs a police station, The Blonde needs a fire station and both are close by.  To the daycare center then off to the veterinarian.  Hospital, and then hey…isn’t that a flower garden as Miss Kaybee takes a quick pick of me and the flower garden while waiting at a traffic signal!!

The flea market causes a headache….there is a lot of traffic to deal with!!  And the Bus Stop requires a stop along a busy road…not only that, Miss Kaybee makes a U-turn in the middle of the street to shoot the image…

Hurry, hurry, hurry…get out of the way….

Oh, then there’s the stuff downtown.  Uncle Wilbur’s Fountain…surrounded by one way streets that make it difficult to get in…but we do manage.  Pike’s Peak Center and again, up on the sidewalk to get a close shot!   Kimball’s Twin Peak’s Theater.    

We made a stop at the US Olympic Center—the security guard is asking what the heck we were doing while pulling our bikes on the sidewalk….  LOL…the Blonde Smoothie makes nice and explains what we are doing.  Miss Kaybee is getting her Volusia into position and I’m yelling “NO NO NO NO” to no one in particular.

It seems that I thought I put my kickstand down and was going to put my motorcycle down.  Uhhhh…..going over and over and over and I’m yelling to pick the Fatboy back up.  No drop, but boy it was close.  What was I thinking?  Obviously nothing!!  Happy ending, so no worries!!

Hey, isn’t that a security guard the The Blonde is talking to??   He he he…we ask to take his photograph and he agrees, so that one is off the list.

The mall…..and Sonic…and the ever hard-to-fine car hop on roller skates.  He was soooo accommodating!  I still haven’t gotten food, but that’s another adventure for another day….

Fruit stand, and then lastly, baseball field.  

I don’t know whose idea it was to ride in the middle of the afternoon, but it was hotter than blue blazes and this was a full afternoon of riding around town.   It was hot, but we did have fun.  

I’ll give kudos to The Blonde Smoothie for making a great U-turn in the middle of the street!!  Her riding skills have really improved as well as her confidence level!!!  My hat is off to her; she rode with a passenger on the back and that’s no easy feat to do!!  Of course, I’m glad that Miss Kaybee came along; it’s been a while since I’ve done some unstructured “fun” riding with her and enjoyed it immensely!

Just another Sunday afternoon ride…..hotter than you know what, but what a great day!

Yeah, the story is all discombobulated; the narration of items is not in the correct order, but it was a day of riding around town.  I still have quite a few items to get in town…so another story for another day….

Oh, and Miss Kaybee had a guy ask her if he would trade his old Dodge Dart for her motorcycle…the car was in great shape and I’m thinking it would be a good trade indeed!!

That’s my report for the day!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Motorcycle Group

Hi everyone! I’ve finally got a moment to write a blurb on a new project I was invited to help out on: The Motorcycle Group.

A good many riders-slash-writers have congregated here to the new community of moto-enthusiasts. We are a group of varied folks on varied motorcycles who have one thing in common: the love for our two-wheeled vehicles and adventure!

My thanks to Gymi of Gymi’s Place for putting this great idea into motion and nominating me as moderator of the women’s board. He’s been great for allowing to be more or less absent with the excuse of I’M RIDING…he he he…every time he calls me I’m either on my computer doing work, homework or out on the bike…

Check it out and sign up if you want to join us.

As always,

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

P.S. I'm still single, still not dating...and STILL LOOKING (somehow I realized that that little point is important) *smile*

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pike's Peak or Bust Run

What a dazzling day to ride the Peak! Sigh, you roll your eyes…it’s just another mountain in Colorado!

Yes, it is, however, Pike’s Peak isn’t paved all the way to the top. The hairpin turns are there along with switchbacks and a few don’t go to close to the edge because it’s straight down stretches of roads.

I put the word out that I wanted to do this run and two of my friends decided that it was the ride to do for that day—so our little group was three. No one else wanted to do the dirt portion! Well, I can certainly understand…….

If you didn’t know, the song America the Beautiful was penned back in 1893 by Katharine Lee Bates on her journey up Pike’s Peak. I’m almost sure that her trip, by wagon, took quite a bit longer than our ride! We had about 150 motorcycles show up for this run!

Registration, gabbing with the other folks and breakfast made up our early morning…and we mounted for the mountain (LOL) right before 11:00 am. The ride up is always fun; Highway 24 is one of my favorite “local” rides to do.

Goofin' at registration

There were several scheduled stops—one of which included the souvenir shop at Crystal Lake. You know we all want the pin and patch….well, I rode the Peak last year and already have the pin, so I wanted the patch for this year!

My friends and I are pretty far back in the pack—as a matter of fact we are in the back so when we get to the parking lot (which happens to be fine gravel over hard-packed dirt) there’s very little room. I am trying to maneuver in, turn and slow all at the same time—in a shallow hole while on this not too agreeable surface. It doesn’t work.

One thing about a motorcycle is that it’s not as maneuverable when it is not rolling. As I pull in, I have to stop—there is no room for me to go. Unfortunately, gravity takes over and I am hanging on for dear life to stay upright. At a “funny” (read, not level) angle with all the conditions makes a prime situation for a drop.

Fortunately, my feet are planted and I am able to stay upright. I correct all the issues—get out of the hole, turned and parked with the rest of the pack. It was just rotten timing that gets me stopped at that particular spot.

I need a break to recover my nerves!

We have a bit of a break, shop a bit (did you know that shopping cures most ills??), and then head back up. I’m pretty okay at this point so it back up the mountain. I’m grateful that the road is still pavement at this point so I can get back in the groove!

Of course, the pavement ends and we have a few pull out. One being a custom chopper. I don’t blame him. The road from that point forward is hard packed dirt and I’d be crying if something happened. Heck, I was almost crying from my near-drop!

The temps had been steadily dropping and the clouds were moving in. At this time during the day any cloud cover manages to accumulate on the mountain and this was no exception. One of my friends had noticed that a couple coming down had their rain gear on. Are we going to see rain??

We did not see any rain, but the clouds were low lying and we rode through it. It was pretty interesting to see the cloud cover roll over the road! Doesn’t really “feel” like anything; it is more or less like watching thick patches of fog drift over the road.

We also get to see quite a bit of wildlife—the bighorn sheep were all over the mountain!!

Finally, the summit! We get in and get parked. I yell at my girlfriend—I’ve got to get the bike and the sign…for the scavenger hunt. We are competing pretty hard so she pulls out behind me and away we go!

Part of the Group with Karla and Me
Scavenger Hunt Image--25 points!!!

Well, the rest of the group gets together for the group shot…so my pic of my motorcycle and the Pike’s Peak Summit sign includes 100+ of my newest friends!! LOL….

Group Shot--but not everyone!

What can I say *grins*??

The three Brave MSR ladies

We visit for a while and do more shopping!

Then it is time to head down. Really, the ride down is pretty uneventful. First and second gear and letting gravity do the work. There were a couple of “pucker factor” spots in our little group, but for the most part it was fine! There were no drops, crashes or breakdowns!!

We headed out to the after ride party and chilled for a bit….

It was a good day in motorcycle land for this girl!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

P.S….I should have my pics up fairly soon….

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hey! There Goes My Jacket!!!!!

LOL…Well, it’s a motorcycle story and a cute one at that!

On our ride down from the 5-in-1 was a party of three—my girlfriend Jeanne, her son on her Dyna, Doc, and me on my Fatboy, Mr. Chubbs. We set out early to do some Scavenger Hunting in Leadville.

One of the items was Turquoise Lake in Leadville and while we were at the lake doing the shots we came upon a group that also participated in the 5-in-1. We took everyone’s pictures and chit-chatted for a bit. Seems they were on their way back to the Springs.

Jeanne and I had the intent to ride Mt. Evans, a gorgeous ride in Idaho Springs. Looking at the map, we saw how far it was and decided that home was closer so we decided to skip the ride. Unless there is a major disaster, the mountain would be there for us to ride another day.

We talked about making sure to get the Turquoise Lake sign and head down off the lake. In the distance I see two bikers….hmmmm…..could it be???

LOL…yes, it was! My friend Deb and Biker Betty! Funny catching them!! Since we were headed in the same direction we decided to ride together.

The closer we get to Colorado Springs, the higher the temps get. It is HOT!!! The chaps and leather jackets come off....shorty gloves replace full-fingered gloves and I’m wishing I could ride in a bathing suit!!! Yowza it’s hot!!!

I have to give props to Biker Betty….as she wears ALL her safety gear. Full-faced helmet, her protective jacket, full fingered gloves…and I know she’s sweltering. *I’m* sweltering and I’m down to jeans and t-shirt!

I remembered that I have my handy dandy brand-spanking new mesh textile jacket in my bag and I offer it up to her. At first, she doesn’t want to take it. I insist. It’s in my bag and I’m not wearing it…so she decides to take me up on the offer and wear it.

We ride into town and yes, the weather does get hotter. Gee, I’m wishing to get back into the mountains at this point! It’s just that hot!!!

I get home, strip down the bike, check my all-important e-mails and then decide I’m not staying home because it’s just too hot! So off I go to do more riding. I head north a bit then turn around to head south. While I’m southbound on Powers I notice two specialty headlights coming at me…could that possibly be Biker Betty and her husband, Unsupported?? I am accustomed to looking for the red textile jacket…but not this day…but….


It IS Betty….I recognized the purple bike….oh wait….there goes my Harley jacket!!!

Ha ha ha!! She’s still testing it out.

I decide to get out and ride in the new subdivisions in the east part of the city. What a big mistake…that is a residential nightmare. I couldn’t get out!! I was so frustrated going around in circles that I took a break and called my friends and vented to them.

Finally, off the phone and back on the bike…and I find my way out. Kept heading west.

As I’m at the intersection of Powers and Barnes…two motorcycles pass me….

Hey…..that’s my Harley jacket!! Yes, it’s Biker Betty and Unsupported headed back from their jaunt. This time, I chase them down and we spend a bit of time chatting.

Oh, I did get my jacket back. It wasn’t a big deal, I knew I would get it back eventually, but I thought it was funny as I’m riding down the road and they pass me…

Hey, there goes my jacket!!

LOL…what a day!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ride To Work Day

Hi All!! Remember, it’s Ride to Work Day!! If you aren’t riding, please remember that there will be plenty of motorcycles on the road and keep a watchful eye out!!

Since my commute is short, I’ll take the motorcycle out for a short spin..then pull back into the garage….LOL..

Be safe out there!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Pike's Peak Harley Davidson 5 in 1 Run

My friends and I have been awaiting this adventure for quite some time! Five mountain passes over 10,000 feet in one day. We have been worried about one issue: weather.

The previous weekend was one full of rain…I think there’s been rain every single day I’ve been back from the Great Colorado Motorcycle trip. We’ve all be quite worried that the weather would be miserable. Riding in the rain is certainly no picnic, but riding in the rain/snow in the mountains is misery in the worst form!!!

There was nothing to worry about…the day opened up to be a glorious one!! I’m up early…at 5 AM. I’m riding wing for a good friend of mine and he was gracious enough to let me not make my appearance at Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson at 5:00 AM—I could be in between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM. Thank goodness!

The plan was to get my group of friends to meet at another point then ride in together. I’m running around my house getting last-minute things done and am on the verge of panic because I’m going to be late. Well, I wasn’t—but everyone else was!! Deb pulls in first, followed by Biker Betty and then Jeanne and Alec.

Murphy’s Law in reverse, eh??

We pull in after 6:30 AM and my fearless leader pointedly looks at his watch. Yeah, yeah, I know…late….rub it in!!

Fortunately, I have my spot reserved. I pull in and park it, head up to register and find out who else is has shown up. Lots of my friends, evidently!! Whoo hooo…it’s gonna be fun!!

The Line--at too early in the morning
Biker Betty and my G'friend Deb

We don’t actually head out until 8:00 AM…and before we mount up, we have our ride instructions concerning group riding. I had been warned we could have a really large group, but fortunately, it wasn’t overly excessive. I walked the line and counted: 28 motorcycles including a really cool Fatboy trike!! This event is an open event and we had our fair share of all the different Harleys, we had Yamahas, Hondas, Suzukis, Triumphs, Kawasakis and other brands I can't remember at the moment. I also heard that we had riders from 48 states!

Everything appeared to be in order; bikes looked fine from a pre-ride inspection. The shout out reminder of “five minutes” is issued and we mount up and fire up the motorcycles.

A thumbs up…and off we go.

The first leg is challenging as we have to head out of town and navigate all the in-town traffic. Everyone does an excellent job of staying together and we have the cooperation of traffic signals. Our fearless leader has red-light karma and seems to somehow catch the lights. Today, we caught most green and the ones we caught red were ones that we stopped behind—keeping the group together!

Riding through Fairplay to Kenosha Pass

Riding up to Kenosha Pass--view from behind

Our first pass was Wilkerson, but since it’s not over 10,000 feet—it didn’t officially count. The first “official” pass was Kenosha. It was here that we all found out that we are the Double Stuf group…and we toasted the pass appropriately…with Double Stuf cookies.

My girlfriend Deb at Kenosha Pass

My girlfriend The Blonde Smoothie at Kenosha Pass

Helping my diet…grr….but then again, I’m starting to believe the wife’s tale of calories not counting at high altitudes! Well, I can believe it all I want, unfortunately, my pants don’t lie!!

Group Pic at Kenosha Pass

Group pic done, it’s time to get back on the bikes. We have the thumbs up and off we go!!

Thumbs up--Leaving Kenosha Pass

Riding down from Kenosha to Hoosier Pass

Next pass: Hoosier. We have quite a hike to get there and the scenery is always spectacular!! We get the group shot and the general goofiness pics too!! Once again, we meet another group and give the general razzing we’ve started!! Hoosier has the designation of being the highest pass to ride at 11,541 feet. I know one thing: I’m glad I wore my leathers because it’s nippy!!

Travis goofin' at Hoosier Pass

At Hoosier--Almost ready to go!

Once over Hoosier…we head out to Freemont. Freemont is at 11,318 feet and yes, it’s still cold. Did we not get any pics at Freemont?? Well, at any rate, Alec does a super job of taking pics off the back and yes, our group does ride together quite nicely!!!

Funny, I didn’t see any more Oreo cookies….Hmmm..I’m thinking our fearless leader has eaten them all!! LOL

After Freemont, our next stop is: Lunch in Leadville. Yes, the theory of time passing quickly when fun is at hand is absolutely true!! My girlfriend Deb about said it all…I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I stopped!!

Lunch was a nice stop…and it was warm. I found a patch of grass and I hunkered down. Big mistake! Half a day’s riding and lunch…NAP TIME!

Alas, it was not meant to be…I had a short 15 minutes to get my motorcycle down to the gas station or face the wrath of my fearless leader. Well, wrath might be too strong of a word…..he’s just too much of a nice guy!!

We continue up Highway 24. I’m in for a treat because I’ve never ridden Highway 24 north of Leadville. Tennessee Pass is our next stop and typical of our previous stops, we pull over, take pics, and do more socializing. Tennessee Pass, at 10,424 feet, is our second highest. The scenery is gorgeous!!!

Riding up to Tennessee Pass

It's so beautiful!

Left to Right:
Reyna, Christine E, Alec, me, and Jeanne
(it isn't an illusion, you can't see Alec's face)

The 10th Mountain Division War Memorial also happens to be here. Hmmm…Scavenger Hunt item?? Well, Travis and I ride up for the pic…You know how it is…ride up on the pathway *grins*.

We mount up and head out…and a few miles down the road I realize I don’t have my gloves on. I’m not really happy with myself at this point because I really like my gloves! I have three other pairs in my saddlebags, but these were my favorite. I just hope that someone behind me saw that I left them behind and grabs them. Sigh.

The ride to Vail Pass is incredible. This is our leader’s favorite road to ride on and I can see why. I’ll have to ride it again when I have the chance!! It is amazing!!

On the way to Vail Pass

Once at Vail Pass (10,660 feet), we stop and have our post-ride meeting. Of course, Mr. Fearless Leader thanked us all and then told another bad joke. Oh, I forgot…we were subjected to at least one bad joke at every stop. That’s okay….we retaliated by promising to be lemmings!! LOL.

It was a fair enough trade!

What a great ride!! And my thanks to Leafer, our infamous Fearless Leader for doing such a great job of leading. I basically had no job of riding wing on that day as he did all the work!! I’ve ridden with him on occasion and he does a terrific job and makes it fun (even though his jokes are goofy). I’m only kidding, of course, he’s a good friend of mine and I’m quite fond of him and his goofy jokes!!!

Group at Vail Pass and the end of the ride

We all head out in different directions…we have a small group returning to Leadville to stay the night. Travis and Leaf take the lead and wing and burn the roads back....the rest of us putz back.

Right before we pull into Leadville, we get the first spattering of rain. The weather held! Yippee!! With the exception of losing our sweep due to mechanical issues and one rider pulling out of our line early in the ride, everyone else in our group survived. The day could not have been more perfect!!

A little birdie says the ride for next year holds quite a few changes. Geee…I have to wait a whole year??

Well, in between that time…I’ll continue to ride. On deck for next weekend is The Pike’s Peak Run. Since the Peak is only paved two-thirds of the way, it’s a two part run. The first part is the paved section only and they will turn around when the pavement ends. The second part is up to the top. I’ve had the opportunity to ride it up to the top last year and look forward to doing it again. Except this time I’ll be on my Fatboy instead of the V-Star.

Keep The Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Monday, July 17, 2006

Colorado Motorcycle Trip: Final Day

It’s the last day and while I’m happy of the idea to being back home, I’m sad this adventure is coming to an end. We gear up and head to Buena Vista for breakfast and the stop is yummy…SOS. Sigh. I haven’t had good SOS in forever!!

While we are eating, Tim proposes a toast to the safe ride and notes that I’m being returned safe and sound! Yes, I was in the midst of wonderful people and am happy that I made a lot of new friends! I was reminded of the upcoming California trip….as much as I’d love to do it, I do have other commitments. The time will once again open up and I hope to ride again with everyone!!

After breakfast, our group split up with most everyone heading up Highway 285 back to Denver. We have four motorcycles—John, Daniel, Ed and Gloria, and myself. We are taking Highway 24 back to the Springs. The plan is to stop in the Garden of the Gods.

The ride back was uneventful and is always fun. My favorite, of course is the short stint of twisties before we get to Manitou. I love riding it down!! Too bad there are way too many cars!

We have one final stop: The Garden of the Gods. It’s a short ride through the park. A stop at Balancing Rock determines another separation: Daniel and John parting ways and I’m leading Ed and Gloria out of town. I hug my new friends good bye and off we go. The ride through town is busy…traffic is a nightmare. Once on Powers, Ed and Gloria head up and I head home.

I pull in my drive and I know I am happy to park my very dirty Harley in the garage and my very tired body in my home.

The mileage on my bike is almost 1,600 miles!!!!

My rest is short-lived; as I know it is Family Dinner Night with the Mountain Shadow Riders!

Unpack my T-Bag and saddle bags, I head out to the car wash to give the Fatboy a washdown. While the bike isn't detailed, at least the chrome is somewhat shiny. Now, it's time to get to dinner. It’s good to be back!

For once, I’m early to the dinner and I find my fellow trike rider and Chapter Assistant Director, Wendy waiting. Now, this is one hot trike! She rides a custom built trike—her brother built this for her! It’s a trike with a VW engine and can you say RED and LOUD?!?!?!

Kudos for her winning the bike contest at the Tejon Street Bike Fest!!

We are the only two in the parking lot so I ask the one question that has been begging to be asked:

“Take me for a ride?”

Off we go! It’s a short ride, but let me tell you……I felt like Cinderella riding on the back of this screaming hot machine. And yes, I did wave like the princess at all the people we passed…as well as my shout of whooooooohoooooooooo echoed behind us as we roll down the street.

Sigh, the end of my vacation was be highlighted with a ride on a cool trike and dinner with my Mountain Shadow Rider family!!

It was a good week, indeed!!

The next adventure: The Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson 5 in 1….

Monday, July 10, 2006

Colorado Motorcycle Trip: Day Six

Colorado Motorcycle Trip: Day Six

Our start out was around 10:00 AM—we wanted to get over Monarch Pass around noon in order to have the most heat available. Gunnison and the surrounding area is the coldest part of Colorado and I’ve seen instances of SNOW in July over Monarch. I have never crossed Monarch Pass on a clear day. Every instance has been cloudy. I’m sure those days exist; however I’ve never seen them!

Before we pull out of Pitkin, we get Jake to snap our group photo. I’m the last dragging out…and Steve points out the church behind me and how he thinks I need to go.

Huh? It’s City Hall, silly…..

Besides, can you take someone who acts this silly seriously??

Mr. Bad Boy himself--Steve!

I think he’s implying something….I’m not sure what it is..and I don’t think I want to know…those biker people…..

Our group pic

At any rate, we mount up and have Monarch Pass to conquer. The weather is predictable—it is typically cloudy and cold.

Our next stop is St. Elmo, which is out there in the middle of nowhere. It does require to ride on dirt which I’m fine with. Unfortunately, it’s not completely hard packed and I’m not crazy at all on sand…so I’m puttering down the middle of the road very slow…

The ride to St. Elmo is worth it! This is a little mountain town and we set out exploring. I think there’s one store open to the public; everything else is either a private cabin with campers or vacant. The display outside of the general store pretty much says it all!!!

The chipmunks are pretty tame; there are kids feeding them almost by hand.

We piddle around and I do a bit of shopping. I find a gift for a musical friend of mine. Cool!!!

Once back on the road, it’s time to head to the stop for the day. This day’s ride is a short one; the plan is to go white water rafting! Half the group goes to raft, the other half (my half) decides we’d rather eat. Sounds good to me!! Eat, nap time, and visit.

The others get back and of course—we are full….they are hungry. They decide to go eat and we’ll walk down and join them in a few for a margarita. We never made it. Instead, we headed down to Buena Vista for ice cream. Ice cream beats out a margarita nine times out of ten!! LOL!!!

Besides, had gone, we would have missed the opportunity for more goofiness! One being Steve in the general store being the town sheriff. The picture is priceless! We spent forever in this store because it was so highly entertaining….Steve running around cutting up…trying to pick up a mannequin (no, I’m not posting that pic)….and other things. Oh, we can’t resist bathtub lounging, either (I’m not posting that one, either)!!!

It’s an early night in and I’m beat. We want to set out early Friday.

One more night and I’ll be back in the Springs and home home home!! It’s always good to travel—because of coming home!!

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Colorado Motorcycle Trip: Day Five Part Two

I’m glad I did catch up with the group in Gunnison since I had so little information to where our accommodations for the night. I was not really worried about it; Pitkin has a population of about 300 people during the summer and 60 in the winter. Yeah, it’s a happening place!! I’d have just looked for a group of motorcycles and voila! I found my group!!

Our digs for the night: The Pitkin Hotel

City Hall in our "parking lot" next to the Pitkin Hotel

Pitkin: Looking up the street

Pitkin: DOWN the street!

I ended up riding with Ed. Tim went with the ladies to do the grocery shopping for the dinner and breakfast. I would have helped, but I figured between the very capable other ladies I would just be in the way!!

I pull in and park my bike in the line of bikes. I take a hard look at my Harley and shake my head—boy what a dirty Fatboy! At this point, it’s a badge of passage that I wear proudly…I earned every one of those muddy spots! Besides, we still have more dirt to ride on the following day.

Pretty maids...errr...bikes all in a row at the Pitkin Hotel

Mr. Chubbs is a very dirty boy!!


The Pitkin Hotel is an interesting place. Everyone has chosen their rooms and there is one more left or I can bunk in the main bunk room. Even though I’m a girl I have no problem bunking with the guys. I dig my blankets out of the stack and choose my bunk. I’ll be unconscious before my head hits the pillow!!!

But dinner first! No, the Pitkin Hotel does not have a full-service kitchen. Well, it does, but the guests (that means US) have to cook and clean. The grocery shopper returned with a treasure trove of steaks, potatoes, salad and cookies are on the menu for the night. Along with Fat Tire, Moose Drool, and various bottles of wine! It was determined that the ladies would cook and the guys would do clean up…works for me!!

I don’t know how it was determined that Rob would be the grill master, but I suspect that it was due to his preference in steak “done-ness”….he, his wife and I were the only ones that wanted our steaks medium-rare, the others were medium and one was requested burnt. Of course, the only way to determine if your steak is perfect is to cook it yourself and I knew I was in good hands…so yes, I agreed…Rob was the designated grill master.

The live in resident, Jake, is quite nice and starts a fire in the stove for us. Sigh, it’s June and we need a fire! For the record, the Gunnison area is the coldest part of Colorado! The night before recorded 30 degree temps. Yes, we NEED a fire!! He started the one inside the older than dirt cast iron stove and was kind enough to start a bonfire up outside.

Inside, we girls open up the beers and wine and set to the task of cooking. Okay, well, nuking the potatoes to half done and then finishing up in the oven. That and throw together salad, cut up cheese for the crackers and get the dip and chips out. I was way full on cheese and crackers even before I got my dinner!! The guys meander in and out and mostly park by the campfire outside and/or loaded up an old movie in the VCR and watched it. This place has an amazing amount of VCR tapes for entertainment.

I wandered out with the steak cooking and visited with everyone. We were talking about the ride and the next ride….everyone was teasing me about riding in with the group and how they were glad that I had ridden in. I thanked them and told them I was having a great time as well….and hoped that they enjoyed my company. I also put in the “little” statement “I guess I know you guys really enjoyed my company if I get invited to ride in again”….LOL….

For the record, they did invite me back…the “official” ride for the year (hmmmm….this was an “unofficial” official ride) is in September and will be the coast of California. Not only did I get invited to that ride, but I was also clued in on their “five year ride”—the ride that they had said in five years they were going to do…and ’07 is year five. I know it involves rented bikes and Europe. I would love to do that ride!!! It just depends on my plans for Run For the Wall.

Dinner gets served and we all sit down and eat and continue to visit. I set up the laptop and we all look at the photos taken so far in the trip. I snag Donna’s and John’s photos and we look at them. The views are just terrific and we laugh and talk about our previous days.

Well, dinner is done and the guys get busy. What starts off with teasing the guys in the kitchen turns into a joke fest with Steve leading the way. That man kept us in stitches. Not only were the jokes hilarious, but watching Donna and Gloria’s reactions made it funnier!! Who let this man out of his cage *smiles*.

After the dishes are done, we all wander outside to sit around the bonfire and chit chat more. The sky is clear and the view of the stars is just unbelievable. With the exception of the view from the Kilauea Military Camp on the Big Island of Hawaii, I don’t think I’ve seen a clearer carpet of stars.

We visited for a bit then called it a night…what a full day. I think my head hit the pillow around 10:00 PM and I was exhausted. I don’t think I even had an ending thought for the day.

Until tomorrow….

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Colorado Motorcycle Vacation: Day Five Part One

Day five map
Click on image for larger view
The part in red is my "extra" stuff to Four Corners

This one was my longest day in the saddle by miles….about 350 altogether for me.

I missed my 6am leave time…I didn’t pull out until 7:30. My destination: Four Corners.

Everyone else decided to continue on the scheduled ride…no worries…I had to get to Four Corners. Of course, our lovely proprietor for the night was very clear on his opinion of Four Corners: There’s nothing out there AND I would have to pay to see it.

Yes, there is, it’s a marker and on the Scavenger Hunt list. I’m going.

As I’m backtracking back down to Cortez, I recall my incident of the previous day. I see the skid mark on the road and give thanks for a happy ending. Enough pondering; I put the incident behind me.

The desolate scenery...beautiful in its own right

On to Four Corners!! The ride was basically simple…mostly straight line riding! On my way out, I pass a casino…ahhh Scavenger Hunt item, so I pull in and take the shot. Hey, there are teepees over there…and I get that one too!!

Scavenger Hunt Item: Casino

Scavenger Hunt Item: Teepee

Once at Four Corners, I pay my $3.00 to get in and then ride down to the marker. The motel keeper was right...there isn’t much there. The marker and a whole lot of vendors selling jewelry. From what I understand, this area is extremely depressed, so I don’t mind about the $3.00. After all, the entry fee into Rocky Mountain National Park is $20.00 per four wheels!

Four Corners and the Harley
...and my shadow...
All pretty neat if you ask me!!

I did get the shot, thanks to another bunch of riders that pulled in behind me. He did the "goofy shot"... I did a bit of shopping as well…so that put me….very late getting out.

Look Ma! I get around...four states at the same time!!!

Since I am at Four Corners, I get the opportunity to get the “Welcome to (other state) sign”…Except for Utah...where did I miss that?? At any rate, I do snap the photo where I am in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado all at the same time. I think it’s pretty neat! Not to mention more Scavenger Hunt items!! Getting the Colorado sign took some doing, as I had the privilege of riding on six inches of sand…ugh!! Not ideal conditions for a Harley. I managed it and got my motorcycle turned around to get the image….

My feet are figure it out!!

Welcome to Arizona!

Welcome to New Mexico!

Welcome to Colorful Colorado!

I double back to continue my journey for the day…I want to get to Telluride and meet up with the group. They have a stop there—lunch, sightseeing and the gondola ride….However, the ride is much too pretty to hurry, so I take my time and don’t sweat it. I had a serious Zen moment—the scenery, my motorcycle, very little traffic and the lovely music from Les Miserables…so I was enjoying the ride! Well, at least until I got pounded by rain!!

I meet the group as they are coming out of Telluride. I’m arriving, they are leaving. Thank goodness I was there last year so I didn’t miss too much (or so I think)!! I double back and then join the group. As we ride down, the sky once again clouds over. Part of the group pulls over for rain gear. I stop too. I am still in no hurry. Our destination is Pitkin—and we have to ride back to Montrose to Gunnison on Hwy 550 and then 50. The rain is hard but doesn’t last long. However, when I see the lightning…I pull off. I dislike lightning at all costs so I’m getting off the road. I pull into a gas station.

While I’m waiting the storm out, there are several other bikers doing the same, so I chat with them. Most are locals doing a long weekend ride and so we trade stories and just make general chit-chat. One gentleman, from Denver, was on a particularly gorgeous white Road King Custom….I can’t remember his name, but I darn well remember what he was riding!! We all talk about our destinations…his being Durango and mine being Pitkin.

“Where on earth is Pitkin and what is there” asks my Road King Custom rider. I showed him on the map—that’s about all I know!!

Storm moves on and so do I. Again, I am enjoying my ride and am in no particular hurry. As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten used to the five miles under the speed limit so I’m cruising down the road, scooting over to let cars pass. No worries….I’ll get to Pitkin soon enough.

Imagine my surprise as I get to Gunnison and find Ed waving at me. I caught up? LOL. Well, it seems that they’ve been doing their share of moseying down the road as well. Well, that and Tim lost part of his gear and went back for it. I mentioned that I was surprised to have caught them—to which Tim responded “well, you did drive like a bat out of *%$$, right”? Nope, I had some spots of speed, but mostly it was cruising around the speed limit!

On to Pitkin we go. That stop is a story in itself so I’ll leave it for tomorrow….there was a lot that happened in that short period of time!! I this rider gets her bike there and parks it….

Until tomorrow…..

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine

Friday, July 07, 2006

Colorado Motorcycle Vacation: Day Four

Day Four Map
Click on image for larger view

Ouray ~> Silverton ~> Durango ~> Mesa Verde ~> Delores

Doesn’t seem like much, but about 150 miles through the passes….yes, it can be.

We head out early…I think we agreed to depart at 8:00 am. I wasn’t particularly happy; my eating has been out of whack and for the most part has been disagreeable. Sigh…just too much overindulging with food all the time. I….need…..fruit….

Not only that, but I’m getting weary from being away from my bed…homesick and I’m only on the other side of the state.

So it’s a quiet start for me. John notices that I’m not my happy-happy self and comments. I’ll be okay in a bit, I smile.

The ride out starts together and after a couple of miles down the road—I pull out of the pack to shoot an image. Besides, I’m not feeling the best and want a bit of Zen time alone. I had some back in Glenwood Springs, but I was really feeling the morning call.

Welcome to Mining Country

Besides, the sign was pretty cool. I also got a chance to stop and get the rock arch tunnel. It would have been close to impossible to get all our bikes on the side of the road—since there wasn’t really a side of the road!!

Rock Tunnel

The ride down the Silverton was really nice and did much to charge my batteries. I met up with the group in Silverton—I found the pack of bikes parked along the street. Funny…everyone is backed in—except me!! Yes, I just have to be different!

Our gang is backed in..except me
(The two on the end don't belong to our group)

One shot of "Downtown" Silverton

Shopping in Silverton was fun…I didn’t get a chance last time I was through to do so. It has a lot of quaint little shops and the locals were great to talk to! I could have spent much more time here. I wanted to go into this leather shop—but it wasn’t open at the early hour so I had to be content to take a picture of the entryway. These two just crack me up!!

Isn't this the funniest??

We did have a recommendation to stop at Mad Mama’s Pies. You know, unhappy stomach and all…I’m going in this bakery which is my Achilles’ Tendon of diet busters. I am a pastry freak! I was good; I had an apricot and cream cheese croissant and a glass of milk. Unfortunately, I found out that my friends had purchased an entire pie and we all were “invited” to eat it…so I had a Luscious Lola something or another. Vanilla, chocolate cream and all other kinds of goodies…as I had my extra very small slice of three bites and then bolted to resist temptation.

Well, sort of bolted. We all had a wonderful conversation with “Mad Mama”. Mary Rusch, the owner, overheard us talking about doo-rags…and offered up selling her own “Mad Mama” doo-rag. At $6.50 per rag, it was pretty good…until Steve tried to bargain with her. It was all in good fun and we had a chance to visit with Mary. Seems she used to be a nurse in Chicago and decided to retire out in Silverton. Baking pies. Hmm…I love to bake but I can’t get it right in the high altitude!

Leaving Silverton we continued on our trek to Durango. I can’t remember why I got separated from the group again…oh wait, yes I do…it was raining and I wanted to put my rain gear on. Rain? Possibly. You decide with the mist on the mountains.

Rain in thar mountains....

As I passed the city limits of Durango, I passed the group gassing up. I just caught them as I was blowing by, so I just pulled over to wait. It is something to be on the side of a busy highway getting buffeted by the vehicles. I had a really nice gentleman pull over to make sure that I was okay. I assured him I was and thanked him for stopping. He was on a really great looking VTX1800 and had Nebraska tags.

Once in Durango, we determined the lunch stop was Subway and we would eat at Mesa Verde. Well, the plans went very awry since the ugly looking rain cloud I had been eyeing was fast approaching (I’m thinking it’s following us). Instead, we beat feet to Durango Harley Davidson and camped out at the picnic tables for our lunch. It never did rain; it just got darker and darker. The gang decided to pull out and try to make it to Mesa Verde…

Me, I had to stop for gas. Everyone else was full and so they headed out…I was going to catch them on my way up to Mesa Verde.

Not really…there was a really cool stop. After all, how could I pass up the giant arrows stuck in the ground?? I couldn’t….and you can see why!!! What a great shot!!

How great is this? Except for the dark clouds...

I did eventually get to Mesa Verde and entered the park. Of course, back off the bike to get the “I was here at Mesa Verde” shot…..

See..I WAS here!!

The ride into the park was really great! I enjoyed the scenery of the park and wanted to stop many more times, but I was behind as it was. I eventually caught up with the group as they were leaving the visitor center. No worries…I wanted to get a pin and then I’d catch them at the next stop.

Ride in the park..see the rain in the distance??

I did catch them at the next stop…and we spent a fair amount of time at the cliff dwellings. What a neat place! I even took a shot of the footpath because I thought it was funny…twisties by foot!! LOL!!! Okay, I amuse easily!!

Twisties by foot!!

Cave Dwellings

Tim asked if I wanted to lead out of the park…absolutely! Riding the twisties of the park out in front was right up my alley! No, not in any crazy riding form, but I was glad to set the pace.

Out of the park, our destination became Delores. Tim took the lead. The ride in was without incident and it stayed dry. The plan was to check into the hotel and then anyone that was interested in going to Four Corners would ride out with me.

Well, that was the plan until…….we were cruising down Hwy 145. Doing the speed limit and working the lanes as we should—I’m riding wing to Tim and Donna. Our two lanes are about to become one. Imagine 9 motorcycles and a semi. I knew there wasn’t enough room to get all the bikes around this truck and Tim suddenly slowed down. Where did I have to go? I braked but gave my rear too much and I ended up with a rear-wheel lock up. Thank goodness it was the rear and not the front! As a result, I had the screech of a tire and a pretty wild fishtail. Immediately letting go of the brake, I was able to stay up. I was pretty calm about the whole thing until I got to thinking about what could have happened.

No worries, everything worked out in the end and it was all good.

At least until we got to our motel and Steve quipped…”got a bald spot on that tire of yours?”

Evidently, I had a huge plume of smoke from the lockup and those behind me saw the fishtail. They said it was pretty scary.

Yeah, I agree…I was in the middle of it.

I decided I wanted off the bike for the night…so the Four Corners ride was off…I would get up in the morning and head out…as I was so close to Four Corners it would be a shame to not get it.

We had an early night in, ate at a wonderful local restaurant and then called it a night. I had to get up early in the morning. Did a bit of internet surfing…but not much else. I wanted to have a bit of mindless entertainment after the last bit of pavement I rode.

That’s the end of this day…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine