I went for a solo ride through Colorado on my K-GT after the ‘family vacation’ in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The ride was loosely planned as a (primarily) riding vacation – not really to experience Colorado, but rather to experience the roads in Colorado.
What I did confirm during this trip was that I probably am not a good “group rider.” In fact, besides the two “slabbing” days getting to Colorado and
getting back home, most days consisted of taking to mostly two-lane roads between 8am and 9am Mountain time, riding, stopping for gas every 150-200
miles or so, and using one of those gas stops to get a couple of granola bars and water bottles for “lunch” around noon or 1pm. After ‘lunch’,
I continued to ride until 4 or 5pm, then turning into a hotel, having some dinner, and a (couple of) cold one(s). Due to the elevations, and the
late season, I decided to forego camping and just find a hotel ‘on the fly.’
To save space and weight on the bike, I decided to leave my “big” Nikon D80 at home and instead only take the little Nikon L10.
I had good luck with this camera in the past shooting “on the move” from the bike, and figured it’ll do for this ride.
As far as riding gear is concerned, I took along my Patagonia boxer-briefs as a first layer “downstairs,” and Under Armour Cool and Warm ‘long johns’
as the second layer. Also took ‘smartwool’ and ‘coolmax’ socks. I only took one pair of riding boots – my Sidi ‘Gore-Tex’ waterproof touring boots.
“Upstairs,” I took along Under Armor Cool and Warm stretch shirts as my fist layer, and my Gerbings (electrical) undergarment. Also had a couple of
buffs, both coolmax and fleece-lined to keep the neck protected. To keep the noggin’ safe, I wore my Shoei X11 with the Scala Rider Q2 installed.
Finally, to keep me dry, warm and cool, I was wearing my Olympia Phantom one-piece suit.
Street clothes were one pair of jeans, tennis shoes, a couple of light T-shirts, a sweat shirt, and my Crocs (to run around the hotel, as well
as in the shower). Also along came my IPod, my SPoT, and my Zumo. And of course carrying me and that ‘stuff’ was the K-GT, with around 15,000
miles on the odometer at departure, bone stock, but for the Corbin front and back seats (with OEM heat). The ESA was set to ‘rider plus luggage’
preload and ‘comfort’ for the slab runs, ‘normal’ or ‘sport’ (depending on mood) dampening for the passes.
Finally, I took along my half Covermax to protect the bike overnight from the elements, and my tire plug kit with 12V pump. Everything fit into the
panniers, so no need to carry any bags etc (no camping equipment helped too
Not that Net, just ‘netting’ it out here…
Departure was set for Sunday 14 September; return home was planned for Saturday 20 September. Planned overnight points
(assuming hotel suitability/availability) were in Ft Collins, Glenwood Springs, Telluride, Ridgway, Gunnison, and Denver.
As usual, not everything worked out as planned, but more about that later as part of the daily detail accounting…
In summary, the trip totaled 2,667.6 miles, with a moving time totaling 45h 58m over six days, translating to a moving average of round 58mph.
Over the next couple of days (as work load permits), I will update this thread with posts for each day - as I am not a man of many words, I will mostly
let the pictures do the "talking"
Day One - Sunday, 14 September, Home to Ft Collins
Started with a healthy, light breakfast and got on the road slightly before 10am Central. Took I-29 to I-680, going North around Omaha, NE, then I-80
West towards Lincoln. Fortunately, I-80 West of Lincoln has a 75mph limit, so I'm running cruise control at 82mph (approx. 10% over the limit -
without radar detector that seems to be a "safe bet" on Highways in most states...). Knowing the "nothingness" around I-80 in Nebraska, I had the camera
in the tank bag for the first 300-400 miles.
Getting gas in Kearney (Nebraska).
And back onto the slab (I-80) we go...
Finally - Heading SW onto I-76 after passing Ogalalla (Nebraska) and into Colorado.
Stopping (no pic, sorry) in Julesburg (Colorado) for another fill-up - this time for both the K-GT and myself: I get two granola bars and a 16oz bottle
of water. And I take this opportunity to drain some fluids... Then it's back onto I-76 towards Sterling (until further notice, all towns are in
). In Sterling, I leave I-76 and take 14 West.
Finally, Ft Collins...
Turning in at the Comfort Inn, with the bike right outside my window...
After freshening up, I walk down the street to the "Sundance Steakhouse" for a Ribeye and a couple of beers. After walking back to the hotel, I hit
Total of 551.4 miles, mostly Interstate. Tomorrow heading to Glenwood Springs - teaser: