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. :-)