My bike was out of commission waiting on water pump housing seals, Karla was a saint and offered her bike. She gracefully hopped on the back, helping me direct traffic and taking the spectacular photos we all grew to love when she was riding with me on the Concours and the ST1100. Sit back and enjoy the ride, thanks to her!
The group meeting up at the gas station start, we had 15 bikes (if memory serves) and Stacy in her Mustang!
A good pre-ride chat is absolutely necessary to safely manage a group of this size. Got everyone on the same page with signals and a general idea of the route. John, our ride leader, is doing the talking.
Up Golden Gate Canyon we go, one of my favorite local roads.
Our trusty tail gunner Dan was back, for the first time in years on his own bike! Liz joined the ride too, great to have her with us. Stacy did an excellent job keeping any impatient drivers at bay, that's her behind Dan in her shiny blue Mustang.
Big group of friends, bluebird day, clean twisties. Oh yeah.
When you could see through the corners the group seemed to go on forever!
White capped mountains say we're getting closer to the Peak to Peak scenic byway
Big grins on these two all day! Happy to have them back for sure.
Peak to Peak!
We were right in front of Dan so we could easily get in and out to help with traffic, so lots of pictures of them and Stacy!
A bathroom break in Nederland, topped off the cruiser tanks too. Should be good on fuel until this afternoon now!
Back on Peak to Peak aiming for lunch in Estes Park
A little detour through the teeny, creekside town of Raymond is a great way to slow down and enjoy the scenery.
Back on Peak to Peak
Next stop was the stone church at the base of Mt. Meeker for a photo op:
Found something unexpected hanging in the church, no one knew who put it there! Purple was the color of Jerrimy's bike, it's the color we use to honor his memory.
Suiting up and getting ready to head out, Dan (Dank) and Dan (Panda) had a little game of dueling radios. I grabbed Doug and we do si do'd!
"Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments we will be starting our descent into Estes Park..."
As always happens, the group got a little split at one of the first stop lights in town. No worries, Karla and I jumped ahead to the front of the second group. Doug and Scott on the orange Sabre.
Dennis and Jill on the red M109R, Phil on the orange Sabre with black fairing.
We caught up quickly at the next light. Segway!!
Phil (from Georgia!), Dan and Liz
Through Estes Park we go, big parking lots on the other side of town near our lunch stop. Doug and Scott, Dan (Panda) and Tracy, Steve.
Yep, their still smiling. :-)
Awesome shot Karla!!
Lined up, time for lunch!
The Wapiti Restaurant graciously hosted us, we had spoken with them the previous weekend and they reserved their best tables for us! This is Karla's and my favorite place to east in Estes. It's tucked out of the way, doesn't tend to get too crowded, the food is great, they have over 100 bottles/cans of beer and a fantastic rotating tap list. They're a little hard to find, but if you're in Estes hungry, check them out!
Our fearless leader John and Stacy
Rocketman outside of the restaurant, another something we do to honor Jerrimy. This was one of his favorite poses for pictures.
Up into Rocky Mountain National Park next, time to take our visitors to 12,000 feet!
It's still relatively early in the season (this road was closed just three weeks before the ride because of snow), so lots of road side waterfalls from snow melt.
Up, up, up we go!
Spotty rain showers, as usual at this altitude after lunch. We managed to miss them! Our weather good luck would continue all day.
Doug and Dan (Panda). LOL
LOL, Don and Debbie (from Missouri) cracked me up. We'd warned folks to expect a significant drop in temperature on the way up, we suited up warm when we left lunch. Well, yep it got chilly and windy, but not too bad in my opinion. Hop off the bikes above 12k for these pics, Don yells above the wind, "man you guys have a completely DIFFERENT definition of cold than I do!!" Haha, they couldn't scramble into their rain jackets fast enough! Thankfully they warmed up quick, don't like our guests to be too uncomfortable!
Down a bit to the Alpine Visitor Center
Hmmm, what's Don doing? From here... Yeah that doesn't look good... Bathrooms are on the other side of the parking lot!
Oh hey, good idea Don!
Time to loose some altitude! It's chilly up there!
Road on the left, beautiful
Been running this baby, want to see the video?
Uploaded this in 1080p, please take advantage! Up that quality and go full screen!
Lower altititude = warmer temperatures = stop to strip off some layers!!
If you have to stop, always stop somewhere scenic!
Of course with a view like that you know what Karla was taking pictures of....
Bye bye big mountains, we'll be in some more in a bit.
Until then, we'll admire the snow caps from afar.
Check out the sign at the city limit of Fraser!! LOL!!
An extra lane means its time for a photo shoot!
Dan and Tracy
Dennis and Jill
Phil (from Georgia)
Doug and Scott
Don and Debbie (from Missouri)
Michelle (from Minneapolis)
Nate (from Minneapolis)
Dan and Liz
Up Berthoud Pass we go!
Lots and lots of these!!
11,300 feet at the top, spectacular! I hopped off to get pictures of everyone at the sign, unfortunately only with their personal cameras, I didn't get them with ours (oops!). Karla hopped in the "drivers seat" and did some laps around the parking lot yelling "FREEEDOOOOOM!!!" Hahahahahaha I almost wet myself laughing when I finished taking everyones pictures and turned around to see what was going on. LOL!! Some friends had joked around they wanted to see a picture of me on the back of Karla's bike. Well, here it is!! Have I mentioned recently Karla is THE BEST woman in the world?!
Doooooown Berthoud Pass, Karla was manning a friend's video camera so I rolled the GoPro.
From there a bit of a hop on I-70 down to Evergreen. Karla and I took the lead, got some pictures looking back on the group. Can you see Nate behind John running the missing man? The guy never skipped a beat!!
See that big storm in the background? Yep, our weather luck was holding! We just missed it.
From what we heard, it was a real frog soaker! Roads were VERY wet. Learned the hard way Karla's back tire throws up quite the rooster tail!! Karla might have gotten a bit moist sitting back there (sorry honey!)... You can see the water being thrown up in the pictures, pretty cool!
Wet roads, setting sun, awesome pics. Way to go Karla!
John's having a good time!
I think the riders are happy all we're seeing are wet roads!
Check out the steam!
Nate still staying right on point with the missing man formation!
Safe and sound at the Morrison Holiday Bar where we were joined by some folks that couldn't make the ride. The more the merrier!
Dan and Liz's daughter soaked up the attention
Thank you to everyone who participated and help make this ride such a success!! Biggest thanks to Karla for taking a back seat so we could still be there. Her ability to document a ride is unparalleled!
Full slideshow, 231 pics