Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cabela's Ride March 24

Saturday, March 24th Karla and I invited a bunch of friends to join us on a ride to the Cabela's headquarters store in Sidney, Nebraska. Karla had never been, and their display of stuffed animals really is something to see! The store itself is neat but not that huge, I don't make any special trips there to buy things. Most items can be found here in Denver at Bass Pro Shops, which is about the same size or maybe even a little bigger than the Sidney Cabela's.

John was the only person to take us up on the offer, it made for a nice little group for the day!

We met up at a truck stop on the north east side of town, riding through Denver is no fun with more than 2 bikes. Saw 3 or 4 other bikes pull in and out of the truck stop, and get this, they ALL had ape hangers! For those not familiar with ape hangers, they are really high handlebars, usually atleast at shoulder level.

  • Karla: Why do all the bikes out here have ape hangers?
  • Me: Cause there aren't any turns out here! 

Now I've never ridden a bike with ape hangers, but they seem like a purely cosmetic modification with likely detrimental handling effects to me...

We stopped about half way for a bathroom break and a fuel top off for John's motorcycle. John had a McDonald's urge to satisfy.

 You know you're in farm country when...


He even shared some chicken nuggets. Hot!

 Photo op at the border. Haha, it looks like Karla's resting and John's popping his back. What guys, did I wear you out already?? 

Karla's thoughts on the rather dramatic headwind....

The ride actually was quite pleasant.  As long as you don't have to spend a 600 mile day riding across the plains, especially on an interstate, riding out here can be very nice. Great view of the mountains for a while, plenty of small towns, farms, etc. Now the smells? Well... It's fertilizing season... We all agreed it's a bad sign when you pass a dead skunk on the road and think, "huh, that doesn't smell too bad at all." 

Popped around the side of the building to find a good spot for lunch. Once you got out of the cool wind, man did that sun feel good!

John opted to go get McDonald's again, he hadn't packed a lunch. You can imagine how 2x McDonald's in one day went later...  

Cabela's signature statue. You can tell how big it is by the size of the big park benches:

It's been years since I've been in this store, but the displays still didn't disappoint! How about some photos...

Haha, Karla sees the moose and in her best Brother Bear (movie) moose impression: "They stuffed me eh!"  I almost died laughing....

Same pose as the statue out front:

Can you imagine the poor guy that had to stuff this??

Uneventful and rather beautiful ride home, watching the Rockies slowly come into view. The tail wind was nice too! I don't know if we'll head back anytime soon, as it's not really a shopping destination as we have great local offerings. Was absolutely worth the trip though, and what a beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quick Ride, March 13

The weather is staggeringly beautiful this week! Saw 74 yesterday! Had to get the bike out for an afternoon jaunt. Actually stopped to take a few photos as well, so I'll let them do the talking in this short blog post. Enjoy!

One of my favorite roads along the Front Range. It's still really sandy, but it's the first time I've been on it in months.

See? I DO wash it sometimes.

Look who else is soaking up the sun. :-)

No more pictures, I spent the rest of the ride chasing a guy on a FJR1300 without bags. I see him a lot, this is the first time I've had a chance to follow him though. Weeeeee. Great ride.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eastern Wandering with Karla, March 11

After enjoyig a Saturday in the upper 60s working on bikes (garage is too cold and impossible to heat, so bike maintenance waits for warm weather), Sunday was time to ride! We got up bright and early, with intention of hitting some mountain roads as they were nice and clear. Man that time change makes for a rough morning! Noticed it was cloudy when we got up, no problem, supposed to get nice and warm. Got dressed, lunch packed, bikes ready to go. I step outside and it smells like rain. Look west to the mountains where we planned on riding... Uh oh, better go check the radar... Didn't look great, so we decided to give it an hour and see what happened. We had invited a bunch of friends to join us but no one accepted, so thankfully this meant we didn't have to try and get a hold of anyone. It was all ok, Karla made chocolate chip pancakes! YUMMY! After an hour the radar was still spotty to the west, and cold enough up there that any snow melt across the road might still be ice without the sun to melt it. No problem, we'll go east, away from the clouds!

We ended up wandering all over the place, on quite a few dirt roads. It was Karla's first time taking her new bike out on gravel roads, no better time than the present to see how it does! Total miles only 160, we stopped a lot! What a great, relaxing day. On to the photos!

I took us out to the Front Range Airport first. I've ridden past it a bunch, but never stopped in.

This guy was camouflage!

We think this guy was a student, they did a touch and go

There's an old National Guard Armory out here too. This thing looked small, till Karla got next to it!

Next we got as close as we could to the final approach at DIA. Not as close as you can get if they are coming in from the east. Running south to north today, BUT that means they can run two finals at a time, so more to watch! Bummer being the touch down was just past this little rise, so we couldn't see it. We definitely couldn't get any closer though, and all the dirt roads had big private property signs.

That was a Frontier plane, wanna guess what the animal on the tail was? Here's a hint from Karla:

We headed north-northeast from here, exploring some side roads as we went. Riding out here can be fun with the right company!

Flushed out some deer

Big rack on this guy

Heading back to the bigger road

After I came down Karla said, "ah man, when you said you were videoing I shouldn't have taken the smooth route!" LOL!

Found a spot for lunch. Tucked in with a small oil rig, as the mounts created when they cleared the plot made for a nice wind break. Man it was WARM once you got out of the cold breeze!

That's Denver International in the background

More wandering, and another stop to shed a few layers and discuss how the ZR-7 (Karla's bike) was doing on the gravel

Lots of hangers, a windsock, what looked like the top bit of a control tower and even some planes. What we couldn't find was the dirt runway...

I guess they just levitated... Like Harriers...

Next we headed north, then west to Longmont for a stop at Left Hand Brewery for some refreshment. I knew they had plenty of outdoor seating, perfect for basking in the warm sun.

Here's a stock photo, cause I forgot to take one! We parked in the spaces just to the right.


After a beer and a glass of water each, feeling like crocodiles soaking up the sun, we headed further west to hook up with some nice two laners to take us south home. We topped it off with dinner of huge salads and watched the movie Red (it's hilaroius!). What a fantastic day!

Full slideshow of 27 photos here.