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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


Biker Betty said...

That was an awesome ride. I loved every mile of it. From the time I left my house on Saturday morning and then returned Sunday afternoon, I clocked exactly 450 miles!!! I sure hope I can do next year"s run. With it a year away, it's hard to know what I will have going. It was neat getting to know my friends better and making new friends.

KT Did said...

I really have to book a trip there! You have the most beautiful pics and best rides!