Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the old in with the new....

The GS was purchased on September 11, 2009 with 13 miles on it. Today it has 2,245 miles. I didn't keep track very well of my starting mileage last year at this time. So, I'm not sure how many miles I have for the year. But, my lifetime miles are sitting at just over 15K. :-)

The Rebel was a fabulous bike. It was the bike I most wanted at the time and am glad to have been able to learn to ride on it. It never let me down, did all I asked, and never left me stranded. (Thanks to my wonderful hubby for that!) But, the time came, after about 15,000 miles (in 3 years) on it, when I wanted something more, something new and shiny, with only my miles on it.

Here's to much more of this in 2010!!

and this...

Happy New Year! Shiny side up!


Sunday, December 20, 2009


I wanted to get a quick ride in before our family solstice celebration Sunday evening, so I mapped out this route, just west of Golden.
I even printed it out this time, and made sure I had the real map in my tank bag before heading out. I have a terrible sense of direction and time management on the bike. :-) I had two hours. On the way out, I passed this empty parking lot near 44th and McIntyre that I've always thought would make a great place to practice some slow speed maneuvers and emergency stops. Passing it, I thought to myself, I'll stop on the way back. As I got into Golden, I thought I might not have enough time to do my loop and practice, and I wasn't planning to return home this way. So, I looped back to McIntyre on 32nd and hit the parking lot.

In this image from Google maps, it is the lot to the left of the empty one. This is an older image. The lot is well maintained, with fairly new asphalt, and it rarely has any gravel or any other obstacles to slow speed motorcycle maneuvers. I haven't done any practice on this bike yet so I was glad to have time enough today to take my time with it. I started with some sweeping turns and a bit of weaving and then moved on to quick stops and figure eights.

Below is the MSF range at Front Range Community College where I've taken a few classes.

I was trying to figure out how large the figure eight box was but didn't look up this image until after I got home. So, instead I decided I'd just practice a possible real world situation. I did figure eights, between the parking lanes as if I was traveling down the traffic lane, got to the end and had to turn around. It was fun and gave me something to think about while practicing. The turns were lots of fun and I think I did very well. I wasn't sure how I'd handle the bike. I killed it once and put my foot down once but other than that, it was a good time.

The quick stops were weird. This bike is a lot different than the 450 Rebel. I'm not sure if it's the knobby tires, the ABS, or what but it felt weird. And it was harder to brake quickly. I think it'll be good for me to take the ERC again with this bike. I'm pretty sure I was doing something wrong but I don't know what it was. I'll need an instructor to point this out to me. But, it was good to get a feel for how the bike would handle and how I would handle the bike. I think I was braking too much and should have braked more gradually. I'll have to try it out again when we get another warm day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Windshield

Here it is! It's the 18 inch Cee Baileys shield. It mounts on in place of the stock short one. (Check out the stickers on the hand guards too. Those are black but reflected the light from the flash.) The last photo is a view from the cockpit. It is tall enough for me to duck behind it, even with the tank bag on. It is short enough that I can look over it without any effort. It isn't very wide but keeps the wind off my body.

Two in a row...

But I think tomorrow there will be snow. Maybe, maybe not. It will be colder than today was. The sun came out briefly today but for the ride home, it was cloudy and windy. On the way in this morning the roads were a bit shiny. But, turned out to be nothing to worry about.

There's all my gear hanging in my office - boots, helmet, mesh pants with the liner in, rain pants to go over the mesh, winter (i.e., not mesh) jacket, and hi-viz vest over the jacket. :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ah....that's better....

Finally! Rode to work today! Woo hoo!! I was so excited to be on the GS again. Ah.... it's such a fabulous bike. :-) Yesterday, and for the last 17 mornings or so, it was in the low 20s as I was leaving for work. Too cold for me especially in the dark with snow and ice and gravel on the ground. This morning it was a balmy 45 degrees! I couldn't believe it. It was like waking up on Christmas morning and finding a present waiting for me. :-) I'd sort of resigned myself to missing every day of December. The future forecasts aren't looking warm at all but I think we've hit the mass melting point. The sheet of ice that was my street is now just a street again. Yay! Even the river of ice that flows in front of the driveway has melted.

So, I was finally able to test out the new windshield my lovely hubby got me for my birthday. I decided to take the gusty road, also known as highway 93. The bike was pushed all over the place but I don't think it had anything to do with the windshield. It's just a gusty windy place to be. It was quite fun actually. I didn't like that so much on the Rebel. I always felt as though the bike was going to come right out from under me. But the GS just sort of floats with it. I didn't feel out of control at all. Just relaxed and went with it. :-) Yay me!

I did leave early enough (3:30) so I'd get home before dark though. There's still enough gravel and patches of ice out there that I'd like to be able to see them well ahead of me in the daylight. The ride home was uneventful as well. I hopped on US36 for a bit to try out the windshield at speed and it was fabulous. I didn't even notice it at first but then realized I wasn't being buffeted by the wind. It's had been so long since I'd ridden I'd forgotten what it was like. Now it feels more like the Rebel did in that regard. I can just sit and relax and not fight the wind or the bike. Yay! (Thanks my love!)

I'll have to post photos of it later, when it is warm and not dark outside.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The weather outside is frightful.....


Maybe my lovely hubby can retro fit my Rebel with ghost rider tires to melt the snow and ice as I ride.......

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Drew Hill Road

This past Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I was able to get in a short ride. First I went to Foothills BMW to check on my windshield that my lovely hubby had ordered for me for my birthday. It wasn't in. So, then I headed to Golden, which is the old standby when we can't decide where to ride to. Well, being black Friday, it was quite crowded out on the roads. So, I didn't have a very good time. And it was lunchtime, so I headed back home for a leftover turkey sandwich. After that, I took out one of my maps. I hadn't ridden in weeks and I really just wanted to be on the bike. So, I decided to take hwy 93 towards Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Instead of taking the road straight to the park, I turned on CO Rd 57/Crawford Gulch Rd. towards White Ranch Open Space Park. That was fun. Not crowded at all. Just what I wanted. But, there isn't a road that goes through White Ranch, so I had to turn around. At that junction, CO Rd 57 becomes Drew Hill Road. I wondered where it went so made the right turn and set off to find out. Soon enough I came to this point:

Can you see the yellow road sign to the right of center? It says "Pavement Ends". :-) Cool! I kept going.

Friday the temps were in the upper 60s, so I had on my mesh pants over my jeans, with my mesh jacket with the liner and a long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirt on underneath. I was quite warm in town but once I hit the canyon, I was glad to have my liner. And the further I went, I had to turn on the heated grips. At some point along the ride I probably should have pulled over and put my rain pants on over my mesh pants but I didn't want to stop riding.

I'd never been on Drew Hill Road before and I didn't really know where I was going to end up. I am very directionally challenged and had some how left the map at home. But, I was glad to be out on the bike and didn't really have any place to be so I just enjoyed the ride. The unpaved part of the road was pretty easy. Not many curves at all, not too much grade, but it was snow packed and icy in spots. That was a first for me. I just took it easy and slow and tried to relax and look ahead. It was a bit scary but I didn't slip at all. So, that was very cool and very fun too! But it sure got cold fast when the road is shady and covered in snow. I was glad to have the heated grips for sure!

Drew Hill Road ends up in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, so I knew I wasn't far from where I wanted to be but I still wasn't sure where I was exactly. But, I kept going. I think there is some internal map that tells me when I've gone to far to turn around. I don't have any idea how accurate it is, and considering my navigating skills, it is probably quite inaccurate. But, I like to think of it as intuition, so I listen to it. Maybe it's just the bike talking, saying just keep riding... Anyway, once I was in the park, and on the paved road again, I thought I was good to go. And eventually, I did end up at the park visitor's center and was able to get my bearings and head back home. Once I made it back to hwy 93 I warmed up and could get home before the sun set.

I saw some deer in the canyon, in fact, the car ahead of me stopped and put their hazard lights on because the deer was in the road. That was a bit scary but I'm glad the car was ahead of me then. Even the roads in the park were snow packed and a bit icy but it was fun to be able to ride in those conditions too. I managed just fine and was quite proud of myself.

So, all in all, it was a very good ride. I wish it could have been longer but that's ok. It's so cold now and snowy and icy out, I don't think I'll be riding for a while. Guess I'll keep planning my summer trips and thinking about new farkles for the bike. :-)

Summer Riding Goals

Winter is upon us, again, and by winter I mean actual cold temperatures and snow flying, you know, bad riding conditions. Now that it is here, it's a good time to think about some riding goals. I have two main goals. 1.) Take a riding class with the new GS. 2.) Old Fall River Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. Additional goals would be to take a longer trip with my hubby and my sister-in-law and her hubby, perhaps to New Mexico, find some dirt trails to ride on, maybe a camping trip, and add more farkles to the bike.

1.) Riding class
There are a few options out there. T3RG Motorcycle School has many options including a Total Control advanced class, in addition to the MSF Experienced Rider Course. I've done the ERC on the Rebel. I liked it but could have probably done something else at the time. But I think the ERC would be perfect for the GS right now. I'll probably look into that one first. And probably through Abate since that's were we've done them in the past. It's close to home and I liked the instructors there.

2.) Old Fall River Road
10,640 feet and dirt. Could be scary. Could be fun. I usually don't like my fun to be scary. It's good though that this ride would have to wait until later in the season after the snow is all gone. I'll have many more miles on the GS by the time I attempt it.

I've seen a ride report of a dirt trek out to Albuquerque. I wonder if I bookmarked that one... Ok, it wasn't dirt but still will be worthwhile for future reference.

Some dirt roads to ride on, well I've got the books and the maps to guide me. That should be easy. And there was some talk of the Switzerland Trail....definitely on the short list. I could probably do that on a long lunch break. :-)

Camping sounds fun too. Although, I think I may be getting to old to sleep on the ground and like it. Might have to reconsider or reformulate that one.

Farkles. :-) That list is always changing and growing. My new taller windshield has arrived. More on that later, when I get some sunshine for better photos. Hubby is working on my trunk and mount. (He's the best!) I've decided to go with some yellow Pelican cases for saddlebags. Mostly because they are yellow and because they can be purchased for a lot less than the aluminum ones. It's good to have a handy hubby who enjoys working on the farkles. (Did I mention that he's the best? Because he is.) At some point I'd like to add more lights. It's good to be visible. Aside from those things, the rest might just be gravy.

Motogear Outlet is having their winter clearance this Saturday! Woot! I've got my eye on some non-mesh riding pants. I don't think I need anything else though. But, we'll see. :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

F650GS Instructional DVD

Hubby and I just watched this DVD. I picked it up from the library through InterLibrary Loan. This might be a very nice Xmas present for some of us. It was fun to watch and informative too. Since my GS is brand new, I haven't even thought of any maintenance issues yet, let alone, do it yourself ones. But, that time will come. The DVD is available through many of your favorite online stores like Amazon and also many motorcycle specific ones like Touratech, Whitehorse, etc.

Haven't been riding much myself. Was away for a week on vacation and now it's cold and a bit icy in the mornings. Really cold. Below freezing cold in the mornings and dark to boot. Dark when I leave work too. Bums me out big time. Maybe this weekend I'll get to ride in the warmth of the early afternoon. That would be nice.

Hubby ordered a new windshield for me for my birthday. We're just waiting for it to arrive. One of us is waiting patiently. The other, not so much. (Yeah, that would be me.) :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Books

I forgot to make this post. I won a new book and picked up a couple more along with it. (Thanks tbolt!) More Proficient Motorcycling was my prize. The other two are about 4WD and ATV trails in Colorado. And I also picked up this nice map of the Boulder area. I so cannot wait for spring and summer! Woot!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Riding home in the dark

Well, the time has fallen back an hour, so I am now riding home in the dark. Today, I left work a bit later in order to miss the traffic (and make up some time). So, I wore my new Olympia hi-viz vest over my Airglide hi-viz jacket. Over kill? I wore it to add more reflectivity to myself since it is dark out. It's actually pretty cold now so I'll probably wear my Tourmaster non-mesh jacket from now on. Which is why I bought the vest. That jacket is silver.

Let the sun shine!

After the snow last week, it's just about all melted! Yay! Back on the GS for the commute. Parking services plows the parking lot into the moto parking spaces so this is what we have to deal with...

Friday, October 30, 2009


I am a sad sad new GS owner. This is in our backyard yesterday.

Sun should be out today and all of next week.

Gonna be a long winter.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Accidental Ride

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. :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Colorado Beemers

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. :-(

Boulder County Trails Map

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.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I asked my lovely hubby about learning to wheelie on the moto. He said perhaps I should wait until it is paid off. Good point. In the meantime, I found this link.

One of the tips says:
"p.s. don't fall off and start small"


Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Tires

These are the tires that came stock with my GS.

Front are Bridgestone Trail Wing 101, 100/90-19 M/C.
Rear are Bridgestone Trail Wing 152, 130/80R17 M/C.

The photos are of the front.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wolfman tank bag and tank saddle bags

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.

Latest accessories!!

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!!

Goal #1 met!

1,000 miles! I wanted to roll over 1,000 miles before making my first payment. :-) And even though the weather is not ideal for riding, next week I'm sure to get more miles on the bike. :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

600 mile Break in Service

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.

After I picked up the bike I rode out to the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden.

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. :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The story.....

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.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Purchased 9-11-2009! 13 miles on it when I rode away from the dealership in Loveland. :-)