Well, I wanted to get a quick ride in before the snow flies and today seemed like as good a time as any. So, about 11:30 I thought I'd take my lunch break and do a quick ride before my 1:00 meeting. I picked out a short loop up the canyon, printed it out, geared up and headed out. Here is the route I had in mind.
But somehow I ended up doing this:
The original plan was to go up Broadway and take a left on Mapleton. Mapleton turns into Sunshine Canyon Road (according to Google maps). There appeared to be a dirt road (Poorman Rd.) that I could make a left on, connect to Fourmile Canyon Rd., and then head back to Boulder. It was going to be about 13 miles or half an hour. Plenty of time to get back to the office, take my gear off, warm up my lunch and go to my meeting. Well, some how I missed the left onto Mapleton. I'm not sure how but I never saw it. No big deal though. I thought I'd just go up the road a bit and loop around through town and head back anyway. But, then I got as far as Lee Hill Rd. and I was curious. I wonder how far this goes. I'll just go up a ways and turn around.
So, I started up Lee Hill Rd. It's quite scenic and an easy ride but not a lot of places to turn around. So, I kept going. I'll just keep an eye on the clock I thought. I can always turn around. Lee Hill dead ends at Lefthand Canyon. Well, directionally challenged me thought, I'll go left to make a different loop. First I pulled over at a park to put on my warmer gloves. It's chilly in the canyon. That was probably where I should have turned around. But, I didn't.
I made that left onto Lefthand Canyon Rd. I'll just see where it goes. It was only noon and my meeting was at 1:00 so I had plenty of time. Well, Lefthand Canyon goes a long way. I didn't see any main roads that I thought would loop back. Well, I'll just keep going, I thought. It must loop back at some point. Then I saw a sign for Ward. That sounded familiar. I can turn around there. It was only 10.5 miles away according to the sign. I'm sure Boulder isn't that much farther from Ward. I'll surely make it back for my meeting at 1:00.
Now at this point, I'm pretty sure turning around isn't a good plan anymore even though I really have no idea where I am in relation to where I need to be. I wasn't really lost, but I was thinking I was definitely going to be late. Lefthand Canyon Rd. keeps on going. It's quite scenic as well but I had no time to enjoy it because now I'm going to be late. At some point I started to worry that maybe I'd missed some turn off to Ward and was headed who knows where. But, then, miraculously, there is the little town of Ward. Yay!
Now what? Which way do I go from here? I have no idea (and no map). At Hwy 72 (which I've been on before) I have to decide. Left or right? To the right is a road sign. I'll go that way to see what towns are listed. Estes Park! Oops, wrong way. I turn around and head in the proper direction, which is towards Nederland.
Now that I know where I am, I am 95% sure I'll be late. I know I can get from Nederland to Boulder in about half an hour. But, I don't know how far it is from Ward to Nederland. It was about 12:20 or so. And now I really have to pee on top of everything else.
So, I hit the throttle and head south to Nederland. I really wish I had time to take photos because this route is beautiful! I made one curve and nearly hit the brakes to stop and look out over the scene. Gorgeous! Mental note to go back at some later point.
Did I mention that it's cold in the canyon?
I'm making good time but have no idea really where I am or how far I have to go. Finally! The town appears. It's only 12:30! Now I'm thinking I might make it or at least only be about 5-10 minutes late. Not so bad. But I do have to pee. So, I stop at the community library (very cool place!). That takes the usual amount of time. I walk out to the bike and wouldn't you know it. Mr. Friendly wants to chat about my bike. Folks in Nederland are very friendly and I love it but I was on a mission. So, he walks over as I start putting my gear on and asks what kind of bike I am riding. I tell him, steadily putting on my gear. I send an email from my phone hoping to alert folks that I'll be late getting back. He starts to tell me how cool it looks and what bike he rides and about the great weather for riding we had last weekend. I even put in my ear plugs while he was talking and he kept on. Just before I was about to put my helmet on, he says well, have a good ride! I thank him and mount up.
I hit the round about and point the bike towards Boulder. Wouldn't you know it. An RTD bus is in front of me!! Wow! How bad is my luck (or judgment) today? So, I sit in behind the bus and resign myself to being late for the meeting. About half way down the canyon the bus pulls over and I hit the throttle. I've done this road a few times recently so felt comfortable in the curves. I hit the city limits about 1:00. But, getting through town takes the usual amount of time. I get back to my desk at 1:30. Yikes!
So, I missed the meeting. But, had a very nice ride. Maybe next time I can actually enjoy it more! The 30 minute ride turned into a 2 hour adventure. Instead of 13 quick miles, I put on about 50 miles. :-)
I'm supposed to be writing an article for the newsletter of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado about my new GS. It sounded like fun at the time, and still does, but I'm suddenly quite busy at work, which means I don't feel much like coming home to the computer. We're working on writing a grant so coming home to a writing project, well, I'd rather be riding or watching TV. But, I'm sure I'll become inspired soon. I've got about 5 days to turn it in and it only has to be 8 paragraphs. Maybe I should ride out some where with the laptop for inspiration. :-) Too bad it's supposed to snow this week. :-(
I bought the "Trail & Recreation Map of Boulder County Colorado" today. It is published by the Boulder Area Trails Coalition. It's probably a good thing the snow is about to fly. Some of these trails are very close to my office. :-) It looks to be a fabulous map. Check it out if you don't have it yet.
Bought these at MotoGear Outlet during their end of summer sale. There was a Wolfman rep there selling some seconds. I'm pretty happy with them although, they don't really keep rain out at all. The bike sat in the parking lot at work during a steady but not heavy rain and water got inside. Then I rode home in the rain. It was hard to tell if more water got in during the ride, or how much more, since things were already wet. They also do a decent job (the saddle bags anyway) of keeping water inside. Several days later, when I went to check on some stuff in the saddle bags, there was still water sitting in the bottom of the bags. I had to take my rain jacket out to let it dry. (I didn't wear it on the rainy ride home.) Oh well. The price was right and they do keep my stuff handy. I just have to remember to put things inside ziplock bags in the future.
Hand guards - purchased on eBay. They were tested last week in the rain and worked fabulously. Yay! And, just got my new plate yesterday! I can finally put this plate holder to use! I've had it for a couple of years I think. It didn't work on the Rebel because I had the extra brake light hooked up to my license plate. Yay!! Who dat!!
This past Saturday I dropped the bike off at Foothills BMW in Lakewood for the 600 mile break in service. I was told to bring it in some time after 600 miles but definitely before 1,000 miles. There were just over 800 miles on the bike when I dropped it off. :-) I was going to get a loaner bike but there weren't any lowered ones that I felt comfortable riding. And the bike wasn't going to be gone for very long anyway so maybe next time.
I have ties to Mother Cabrini so the visit is always sentimental for me. It is a very short ride up the hill but it is a very nice destination point. After the break in service, which included a wash, the bike seemed quite peppy. Maybe it was just because I was supposed to keep it under 5,000rpm before the service. I hopped on the highway to head to Golden just to open it up a bit. That was fun! I wonder what the bike can do when it is loaded down with gear. Might be time for a camping trip. :-)
So, I'd been lusting after this particular flavor of motorcycle for quite some time now. I guess I've talked about it more often than I even realized because once I bought it, many people didn't seem too surprised. My brother at one point told be he wished I'd just get it because he was tired of listening to me talk about it. Ha! That was the spark I needed. And now, it is mine, all mine. :-)
This was the pitch.
I ride a lot. Since getting the Rebel 4 years ago, I've become quite comfortable riding and pretty confident as well. The Rebel is 23 years old. We don't know what previous owners have done or not done to it, even though it seems to run just fine. But, it's old and is showing it's age. Things are starting to leak. I put about 1,000 miles a month on it just commuting. As problems develop, there is no dealer who will work on it, so it's up to us to maintain it. The BMW has the same reliability reputation as the Honda. It is known for being able to go many many miles in it's lifetime. With a new one, I'd be able to maintain it properly from the beginning. All of the problems and solutions will be known. High miles on a new bike, especially the BMW, are nothing. And, it fits. I've test ridden it. I know I'll love it. I'll feed it and clean up after it and love it forever. Pleeeease!?!
Well, that's the cliff's notes version of the story anyway. :-)
I was quite excited! That's me at the dealership. The whole family was there! Hehehe! My sister-in-law and her hubby, and my parents-in-law who happened to be in town, they all came and took lots of pictures to document the fabulous day. Below is the nice man at Northern BMW who sold me the bike. Thanks Jeff! He spent lots of time with us explaining various things about the bike and their services at the shop.
It was a fabulous day made even more fabulous by being able to share it with the family. :-)
When the bike left the dealership it had 13 miles on it. Today, 19 days later, it has over 800 miles on it. My break in service (600-1,000 miles) is scheduled for Saturday. I'll be taking it to Foothills BMW though since it is closer. The two shops are sister shops.