Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ST3 is back! Ride to Fossil Creek Reservoir

This afternoon I went t pick up my ST3 form the dealer. The good news -the bike is fixed and is running beautifully. The bad news - apparently I paid over $1,000 for another dealer to totally screw up my Ducati. (More on that in another post).

I was finally going to be reunited with my ST3 this afternoon. I felt a little nervous driving to the dealership. Was the bike really going to be fixed this time? I drove the to car to Loveland to Northern Colorado Euro, about 9 miles from my house. Mike was going to drop me off here tonight, so I could drive my car back home.

As I was paying for the service, I heard my ST3 start up in the back of the dealership. The tech was taking it for one last test ride. I came around the corner and I saw the ST3 parked, ready for me to take it home. I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about riding it again. Mostly because I haven’t ridden street in a while and I felt out of practice and because the ST3 is a physically large bike for me, heavy and harder to ride than the 954RR. I haven’t ridden the ST3 since last year… that’s 10 months! I had honestly forgot how it sounded, how it handled, how it shifted and how heavy it felt. Would I still even enjoy riding this bike?

I geared up, started it up, sat on it and backed it out of the parking spot. Without the side cases and things inside them, the bike is just a bit taller. Plus, I had a brand new back tire installed last year on the ST3 - new tires also make the bike taller. During that same time Mike had also installed new sprockets and chain on the ST3. This was the first ride with the new back tire, chain and sprockets.

What a sweet looking road through the Fossil Creek Reservoir Open Space south of Fort Collins

Same as above but zoomed out

It was a strange feeling riding the ST3, new - but yet familiar. The bike is definitely more top heavy then my Honda and heavier overall. The seating position is also so different on the ST3 compared to my 954RR. On the Honda I’m sitting on top of the bike, the instrument cluster is just below me, the wind screen is slightly below and in front, and the clip-ons are just under me slightly forward. With the ST3 I’m sitting in the bike, the clip-ons are in front of me, the instrument cluster is way up front, almost like in my car, and the wind screen is even further away. I can't reach the spot of the windscreen where it meet up with the front plastics just above the instrument cluster - that's how far way it is. There is definitely more bike in front of me on the ST3, and that adds to the feeling I get of it being a “large” bike.

Fossil Creek Reservoir, playing with colors in Photoshop

The ST3 was totally out of gas, so my first stop was a gas station. Then a ride on some of the roads south of Fort Collins. Within a few minutes, the new to me bike started to feel very familiar. After all the ST3 and I, we’ve had a 26,720 mile history over the last 3.5 years. That couldn’t possibly be forgotten in 10 months. The more I rode the ST3, the more I remembered how much I used to love riding it. The sound of the motor, even with my stock exhaust, is just beautiful. The bike flows effortlessly through the corners, the power - and there is plenty of it - and that torque. One just can’t help but accelerate hard, just to decelerate, to hear that beautiful grunt that the bike makes. That’s a sound that an in-line-4 will never make.

I wanted to have the ST3 and me together in a pic but there was nothing to put the camera on - I messed up on this shot, I'm totally blocking the ST3 - it's actually parked right behind me on that road

Fossil Creek Reservoir located on Carpenter Rd south of Fort Collins

On the way to the dealership I passed an open space I’ve been meaning to check out to ride my bicycle at, as I passed by it the curvy road at the Fossil Creek Reservoir open space grabbed my attention. Once my tank was full of gas, I headed back there to check out it out. There was no one here. On a beautiful day with mid 70’s temps, I was alone. Amazing! The speed limit in the park was 25MPH and the curvy road is a short one. As always, the ride isn’t just about the ride for me, it’s also about seeing new places and capturing the beauty of the area, the scenery around me becoming the back drop for the machine that brought me here, the pictures are the memories that live after the ride is done. And today’s ride would be one that I will remember even though, it was short and insignificant when comparing it to some of my other rides.

1 comment:

Payne said...

> apparently I paid over $1,000 for another dealer to totally screw up my Ducati

Eh, hate to hear that. I recently had a similar experience with my car, though not quite that much money.