Saturday, September 19, 2009

954RR gets new tires and oil

This was going to be another weekend dedicated to motorcycle maintenance. This time the 954RR was going to get some attention. My new set of tires has been waiting for me at Dalton’s house for a few weeks now, I just haven‘t had much time to get out there and get them mounted. Next week I was flying to Chicago for a visit, so this weekend I wanted to get this done.

Sportbikes look so nice up on the stands

Oil change

The old Pirelli Diablo Strada tires with 11, 760 miles

Taking off the wheels

Dalton removing the old tire off the rim

A piece of metal hanger holding the brake caliper

Grime under my nails, and proof that I did work on my bike

Unlike working on the ST3, the 954RR was easy and quick. The most time consuming thing was scrubbing the wheels, frame and the under tail. The bike was filthy. Dalton took the old Pirelli Diablo Strada tires off my rims and mounted my new Pirelli Diablo Strada tires. I truly love these tires. This is my second set of Stradas on the 954RR, and the reason I had Stradas mounted on my ST3 last month. Coincidently, I have Pirelli tires on my XT225 as well. Lets just say, I like Pirelli tires.

Heading back home as it starts to rain

Showing off my brand new front and back tire

43,281 miles on the odometer today, lets hope these new tires get me to 53,000 miles

The Pirelli Diablo Strada tires that were coming off the 954RR today had 11, 760 miles on them. And up until the last few hundred miles, they felt as grippy as new tires.

Totally soaked from rain

The 95 mile ride up to Strasburg was sunny and pleasant temps in the mid 60‘s. The 95 miles back home was totally nasty. Rain and 40 degrees. I didn’t see that coming at all, so I didn’t bring my Gerbing heated liner, or the even the quilted liner for my jacket, or rain gear. All I had was a t-shirt and a thin fleece and I froze on my way back and arrived with my gear totally soaked through. Up until this ride, I’ve never been this cold on a motorcycle ride. Of course, since I don’t tour on the954RR anymore, the Gerbing and my rain gear were tucked away in the hard luggage of my ST3. By the way, new tire and rain, not a good combination.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barr Lake State Park, Brighton, CO

Yesterday was my birthday and I was celebrating it downtown Denver. Since I wasn’t riding my motorcycle this weekend, I decided to bring my mountain bike hoping to check out Barr Lake State Park, which according to the website, has some easy trails. I keep saying I’m going to bike more, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t happen often enough.

Barr Lake

The 8.8 miles around the lake consisted of dirt, gravel and single track

The town of Brighton in the distance

So today Dalton and I went riding our bicycles. The 8.8 trail was perfect for someone that doesn’t ride very often. And the trail was pretty much empty. Unfortunately Dalton got a tire puncture early on. I rode the entire trail without any issues, but when I unloaded my bike from the car and rolled it in to the garage I noticed that the front and back tires were both totally flat, both tires had one goat heads stuck in the tire.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Strasburg to Loveland, CO

The ride was technically over. Instead of riding directly home, I jumped on I-70 and headed west. I took the exit for Golden and rode highway 6 through the lovely twisties. I pulled over at the Starbucks in Idaho Springs to had some coffee and a Luna bar and looked over the map. I already knew what road I wanted to ride next. I’ve been wanting to ride highway 103 for a while and today was a good day to do it.

Breakfast - Idaho Springs

After I finished my coffee, I geared up, rode through town and found highway 103. I’ve read some ride reports on this road and it was as good as people made it out to be. Plus, on this Wednesday morning, there was hardly any traffic here. I liked 103 so much that I arrived at highway 74, I turned around and rode 103 back to Idaho Springs.

Highway 103

Fall colors on highway 103

Rain in the distance on highway 103

Amazing views on highway 103

Highway 103

The rain found me on highway 103

Pristine pavement on highway 103

From Idaho Springs I jumped back on to I-70 and headed east for a bit, took the exit for Golden and and then took 119 north to Nederland, and in Nederland I stayed on 119 in to Boulder. I’ve done the first section of 119 a few times already, but I have never been on the section of 119 from Nederland to Boulder before.

A lake near Nederland and highway 119

Highway 119

There was a lot of construction along 119 today. So many sections of the road had only one lane open in both directions, so there was a lot of waiting involved.

Highway 119

Once in Boulder, it was stop and go traffic through town. It was already after 3PM so I decided to head directly to Loveland from here on highway 119 and in Longmont I took 287 to Loveland.

After 6 days on the bike, some great roads and amazing scenery, the highlight of this trip was the Colorado National Monument. An amazing place with an amazing road. I also enjoyed camping at Mueller State Park and Ridgway State Park, those I will have to re-visit for sure.

Today's route 218 miles: Highways I-70, 58, 6, 103, I-70, 119 and 287

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Royal Gorge

The Royal Gorge is a major tourist attraction located west of Canon City, Colorado with a $23 hefty entry fee. The main attraction here is the Royal Gorge Bridge, America's highest suspension bridge.

The entrance of the Royal Gorge

The Royal Gorge Bridge is a quarter-mile long

Along the length of bridge there are flags from every state

Looking down from the bridge, it's a 1,500 feet to the canyon floor

A view from the bridge

Riding the world's steepest incline railway

Almost at the bottom of the canyon

(Left) world's steepest incline railway, (right) view from the bridge