Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Colorado Trip - Suck it, bitches! It's hammer time!

It took me an entire month to get this post done. Immediately after the ride, I went to Hawaii to relax for 3 weeks. Now I'm home and back at work, and finally had some time to go through all the photos and videos on my computer.

We'd been planning this trip for about eight months, and waiting impatiently as we counted down the final days: 6 dudes, 6 bikes, 6 days of riding mountain passes. Suck it, bitches! It's hammer time! That was the theme of the trip.

Finally, on August 1, 2012, four members of the Manypause Beer & Motorcycle Club's offroad splinter group set out from Ottawa, Canada bound for a week of debauchery and riding in Colorado -- with a pit stop in St. Louis, Missouri. The reason for the stop in STL was to abduct the fifth member, as we made our way to meet the sixth crew member in Denver.  Of course, this meant we'd party in STL for a couple of days.

Since the drive from Ottawa to St. Louis was going to be long and boring, with bikes strapped onto a trailer, John and I decided that part of the trip was for suckers. So, being smarter than the others, we used air miles points and flew to St. Louis, which allowed us to drink beer and eat red meat with Paul -- while the two suckers from Ottawa trailered our motorcycles for 20 hours on the highway. Yes, that's how we roll.

By the time Jason and Eric arrived in St. Louis with our bikes, they were exhausted from the long drive. Likewise, Paul, John and I were also exhausted from a full day and a half visiting motorcycle museums, bike shops, drinking beer, and dining in fancy restaurants as we waited for our bikes to arrive. When they finally showed up, the five of us spent another day visiting more bike shops, antique car museums, and exotic car dealerships. Before leaving St. Louis, we also took in a Cardinals baseball game, and we went for a tour or the Anheuser-Bush Budweiser Brewery. Three nights and four terrific days spent in St. Louis. But it was time to make tracks for Denver, where Donnie was waiting for us.

We used Paul's monster truck to pull the bike-laden trailer. That huge Ram 3500 HD with it's 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel is strong enough to pull a cruise ship, and the five of us piled in for the 13 hour drive across Missouri, Kansas, and into Colorado.

Cardinals game in STL

MotoEuropa  in St. Louis

Donelson's Cycle, Inc. in St. Louis is a very cool, old school moto shop.
They've also got a nice museum with 30 or 40 old bikes. Nice stuff.

The big turbo diesel in Paul's truck.

Eric needs to watch that he doesn't mash his junk against his new Safari tank.






Drunken noodle fight after ingesting a bucket of margaritas

Chester, Paul's English bull dog

and Blossom, the aged rottweiler

We went to visit a huge antique car museum/dealer called Hyman Ltd 
about 40 minutes away from Paul's place 

While in St. Louis, we also went for a tour of the 
Anheuser-Busch / Budweiser brewery

Free Beer at the Budweiser brewery

At 5:00am Sunday morning, we filled up the monster truck 
and hit the road for the 13-hour drive from St. Louis to Denver.

After we crossed into Kansas, we stopped at this moto shop.

Paul and Jason were partial to the purple Goldwing

I thought the indoor track they had was cool.

Back on the road again, John was wiped out from having 
downed too many margaritas the previous night

"Don't worry Dennis, we're taking good care of your trailer, 
and we're not going too fast" -- we joked as we cruised the I-70 at 99mph across Kansas.
(Note: Dennis is very particular about his prized motorcycle trailer, and worries 
about sudden failure of wheel bearings and/or tires. But the rest of us are care-free and
we just deal with shit when it happens.)

Upon arrival at Donnie's in Denver, we lined up the 6 bikes.
All clean and shiny, and a bunch of new rubber, and oil freshly changed.

Laid out my riding gear .
I really liked my new Fox Racing pressure suit.

5 minutes before departure from Donnie's.
Now it really is hammer time!

This was the route we traveled as recorded by my GPS. 
Different color represent different days. 6 colors, 6 days of riding.
We rode in a counter-clockwise loop.
To come up with this image, I loaded my GPX file into and then I just took a screen shot (Alt + PrtScr)

About an hour of pavement and we finally hit the dirt.

Gumby had no choice but to ride with me for the entire week:
his legs were zip-tied to the headlight shroud.

John & Paul at the top of Brokeback Mountain

This was our first group photo on the ride. We called it "Tall Paul" 
Where's Jason?

Trail's End Mexican restaurant in Lake City, Colorado
Fantastic beef burrito

Denver Donnie, a.k.a. the Donnie Lama

Top of California Pass, in the rain.

We reached the top of California Pass during a lightning storm
That's when John realized his brand new Moose Racing tail pack was missing.
Fell off somewhere along the trail and had some important / valuable crap inside. 
We never found it.

Donnie rides a mean XR650R 

Spotted these guys from the bathroom window at the 
Best Western Hotel in Ouray @ 6:30am
Highly recommend this hotel

Motley crew 

Trail side fuel tank repairs.

Paul & Jason

While John & I were stopped for a rest, we I spotted a small doe.

Super 8 Motel, Leadville, Colorado.  
Paul wanted to help John get ready.
"Time to get up, John... we've got miles of mountain passes to 
cover today, and we need an early start."

The motel was nice enough for the price, but Leadville is one dumpy shit hole of a town.

At the top of Mosquito Pass, an hour or so after we 
checked out of the Super 8 Motel in Leadville.

Euro Grill restaurant in Georgetown
Food was very good (score 8/10 overall)

This shot of Eric was taken just seconds after he was nailed by the local 
red neck sheriff on the dirt road that leads to Moffat train tunnel. 
He was given a notice to appear in court for "failing to provide 
proof of insurance."  He had forgotten it back at Donnie's. Of course, the court 
date would be set for a month after his return to Canada. He's now a wanted man 
in the state of Colorado as the district attorney refused his offer to provide a 
notarized letter to prove that he did in fact have insurance on his bike. 
Silly red neck law men.... It looks like Eric will never be able to travel back 
to Colorado because of some stupid sheriff.

Moffat railway tunnel is 6 1/2 miles long and crosses through the mountains.

Lunch at the Stage Stop moments after Eric was given his notice to appear in court 

Just as we were leaving, some other dual sport dudes showed up

Almost over. At the top of Bald Mountain (I think) just before we rode 
into Boulder, almost back in Denver. The trip is just about over.

Evidence of a previous fire as you descend into Boulder, Colorado
From Boulder, we rode the last few miles of pavement back to 
Donnie's house in Denver, and then the awesome week was done.

Oh, and here's some random video clips from the week. I recorded 70GB of video on my GoPro camera @ 1280x720 (that's 720P)

Sure was an awesome week. We were all sad when it was over. 
But we're all hoping to do it again next year!
We crashed at Donnie's that night, and at 5:00am, the truck was loaded up and the 4 other boys hit the road, and Donnie drove me to the airport...I had 3 weeks of lying on the beach ahead of me in Hawaii -- but that's another story.