Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beautiful day, crazy night.

After a night of fun in Denver we woke up and unloaded those bikes. Cody, Blake and Anita were headed for The Garden of the Gods and I set out for Denver to pick up Mariam on the way to my uncle Stephen's for lunch. Riding I-25 north was a pretty good time even though all the cars on the road were doing 75 it was a good time. I was poking along at 60-65 because my new tires are probably still a little slick from being new and there's no need to consume more fuel just to arrive too early. Also the new front sprocket is to increase my first gear performance so at 75 MPH my tachometer is about 1200 RPMs away from the red line. It was good to see Mariam having appropriate gear on and having dread-locked woman in a leather jacket on the back. I don't always haul someone around on my bike but when I do they're not ugly. She made fun of me for always wearing so much gear/ATGATT(All The Gear All The Time) but also using headphones. The music isn't so loud that I can't hear traffic so it's all good. Rock N' Roll makes me a better driver.

I hadn't seen my uncle since my brother's funeral and we didn't really have much time to catch up then. It had been about 10 years since we saw each other before that at my mom's wedding and I don't remember talking for that long. Before that was when I lived with him in Virginia for a few months. Those were some good times back then. It really was more fun than I thought it was at the time. So it was really cool to meet his family and have a nice lunch while talking about the world, traveling and recent shenanigans.

Mariam had a good time meeting some new people that I had told her about several times. They became friends pretty quick and might be getting together in the future for more hang outs. It's always nice when my friends and family like each other. Riding at night is not my favorite thing to do in the world so we set out for Denver so I'd have enough time to get back to Castle Rock before sundown. We followed Stephen's car to the highway. Just before taking the exit I had to switch lanes at the last minute. The person behind me honked and I was flipping her off as I watched Stephen wave goodbye. I don't doubt being a jackass. We had enough time to cruise around downtown Denver and by the state capitol. The fourth capitol builing I've seen in a week looked pretty much like every other one I've seen. It was a rad day and I have some pictures but I don't have permission yet from anyone to post photos or videos so you'll just have to believe it happened.

When I dropped off Mariam I went up to her apartment to hang out with the new kitten and had some tea. Her wheat allergy prevents her from being able to drink whiskey and tequila so I got a half bottle of each donated to our mission. Thanks Mariam!

That night we enjoyed a few cigars and I had some of that tequila. It was 100% agave and I shared some with a bonified tequila expert. He approved and gave me a cigar from his private collection. Tequila on ice and a cigar? Yum. The cigar shop has a nice lounge in the back and Blake's buddies were all in there puffing away. There was a sports ball game playing.

Cody puffed and made a bunch of flame.

We told them about our trip and the Red Rocket and showed off the video. No one has ever seen that video and said it wasn't cool. The shop was closing and Randy was encouraging us to go to "The Dirty" to play some pool. Blake used our lack of knowledge about the town to lead us to believe it was a shady place and that fights break out easily but it would be alright because he was packing heat. Needless to say, I was mortified. It's not a roadtrip without a little danger, right?

"Let's go! This sounds awesome.", said the tequila in my system.

The Dirty was turned out to be the oldest bar in town and was exempt from the non-smoking lawas in the state. Nice. Blake is a prankster and was just messing with us about the shadiness of the place. The patrons were pumping the jukebox full of techno and dance music. That didn't strike me as being too hardcore and everyone was friendly. I even ran into an Iowan from Mason City that knows a friend of mine, Corey, who I met in Ames.

Randy and Cody discussed routes to take when we leave. He was adamant about avoiding New Mexico. His suggestion was to take the Cisco exit and go south through Moab. Something we both wanted to see so it was an easy decision. We made that the plan and I informed my cousin in Albuquerque we wouldn't be passign through. Maybe on the way back.

"New Mexico is a world of pain." The best Randy quote of the night.

We wrote down all of his suggestions on a beer coaster as he listed them off.

See? Right there at the bottom. It's upside down but it says "New Mexico = World of pain."

After leaving the bar we went back to the house, hung out for a bit then we were all ready for bed.

In the morning I was the first up so I made a huge pan of scrambled eggs, baked some bacon and cooked a few pounds of potato, caramelized onions and celery in the left over bacon fat. That meal absolutely destroyed me. It was way to much for me to handle and lethargy made me temporarily stupid and lazy. Cody wanted to get up and ride and I wasn't quite ready to even think about moving about. He explained his frustration that I got to ride the day before without him and he explained why it was stupid that I didn't feel like riding. He was absolutely correct and I felt really selfish. It wasn't fair and I was trying to say it would be fine with me if he went for a ride on his own. Dumb idea. Just plain stupid. That's not as much fun and it defeats the purpose of traveling with someone. This soured both our moods and we both were unsure of what was going to happen. I started to pack up all my things in case we were going to leave for Utah. At the same time I was also getting ready for a ride. The entire hour was pretty silent for both of us and I was feeling better and really hoping we'd go for a ride even though I messed up the mood.

"Wanna go check out Devil's Head?", I finally said.


"I'm going to need gas".

Cody let me empty his gas can into mine but it was only enough to get there and back. I'd still need some just for exploring. We hit up a gas station and I topped mine off. Cody was on the phone for a bit so I rode a few laps around him and the pump. 0.4 miles of laps to be exact. As soon as I had a full tank and a few minutes to look at those mountains I became instantly excited and extremely happy. I stopped, pulled up my face shield and then apologized for being a grade-A bastard. We said a few things, we bashed fists and then we were good again. I pointed at my wrist where I normally have a wrist watch with a smiley face instead of a clock face drawn on my hand and said from now on I would write "Ride" their. The priority of this isn't fun. It's to ride. If we ride then fun is guaranteed. He seemed pleased. I hope making this apology shows how sincere I am about that. Sometimes I have to be reminded of how much fun can be had by not being a lazy ass. Taylor has done this for me far too many times and I always have thanked her for it. I hope.

Let the fun begin! Let's see that mountain!

For the next 15 minutes we had an amazing view of the mountain, curvy roads, warm weather and clear skies. Nothing can ever be perfect though. Never. As we're entering the on-ramp to I-70 West I notice Cody looking back and to the right towards the ground. I look at his rear tire and notice it's flapping around, flat style. Balls. Balls. Balls. We pull over and start pulling out tools.

I had everything I needed for a tire change on mine but Cody left his in the truck and my tool kit doesn't include a bolt in the size he needed. My spare rear tube also wasn't the right size but it would have worked if it were an emergency IF we had a way to loosen that axle bolt. I even had a tube repair kit that would have worked in that case. I also can't find where I packed my hand pump so it wasn't with me for the ride. If anyone I stayed with in the last month happens to find a nice hand pump with an inline pressure gauge please let me know. I will pay you to ship it to me. That sucker is nice.

We look over the fence and see a nice surprise. Check out when we pulled over.

NICE! A tire shop! So we head over there to see if there's anything they can do for us. There said there was nothing they could do for us because they don't work on motorcycle tires. Fine. There's a Target just down the street from there so Cody ran over there to get a pump and some of that green tire goo stuff. It didn't work. He thought maybe it needed higher pressure air. I decided to finish the previous night's cigar while Cody was away but I forgot my lighter and headed over to the tire place to see if I could borrow one for a minute. As I walked over there I realized I could just ask to borrow a socket of the right size and we could fix it right there and continue on. NOPE! They claimed that they don't work on metric anything. I bet not every bolt on a car tire is standard. Jerks.

Cody fired up the GPS to locate a gas station so he could try using the compressed air to force the goo into the hole. He walked it along the highway to the gas station on the other side of the tire shop while I rode down to Broadway Ave., took a right, and another right on County Line Road and followed that up to a block short of University Street where I found Cody pumping air into his flat tire. The goo was just coming out as fast as it went in. The nice lady working the register happened to be from Iowa so she was very nice and let us borrow a phone book to track down a number for a motorcycle parts store that is too stupid to put their phone number or hours on their website. As I was walking up with the number I heard Cody talking to a place that was open and that had a tube in the right size. It was about 13 miles away and is called Performance Powersports. The plan was to pay for the stuff over the phone while I rode to the shop to pick it up and return with the parts. He also asked if they had some tire levers that have the right sized wrench for the axles on the other end. So If went to get back on Broadway Avenue through Littleton right past South Park, the area the show is named after. I didn't stop to look at it just like I wouldn't stop while flipping through channels if the show was on.

The store was pretty awesome and a guy named Keith showed me around the store while I recorded a short video that I could use to show Cody later. After looking around for five minutes I was back on the street returning with the parts. The complete trip took an hour and was around 25 miles total. When I showed Cody the parts he realized that they had sold him and extra front tube and the tire levers/wrenches he wanted was just a double-sided wrench. Ooops. Those fools misunderstood his clear description of what he wanted. Not a big deal really as it's still something he could use. I have tire levers but it's not really a bad idea for everyone to have their own. He finished the tube change in around 30 minutes and we decided to make the most of the little light we had left to go back to Performance Powersports so Cody could check it out.

Here's the video for that ride See if you can spot the lady that tried to kill me. It happens within the first 2 minutes of the ride. This sort of horrible driving happens all the time and that's why I ALWAYS look both ways and I love recording every ride so I have evidence I could use in court if I needed to.

They are selling GoPro 2 cameras for $10 cheaper than most stores. He bought one! Wooooot! Now we both have one of those suckers and we'll be recording everything from two perspectives from now on. The store has a lot of cool stuff and some good deals. There's a dual-sport helmet there for $130. Not bad. I might pick one of those up in the future because my helmet is better for highway riding where you don't really want a lot of wind getting in.

Check out all the tires!

It was getting dark so we booked it back to Castle Rock on I-25 south. This gave Cody his first opportunity to legally ride at 80 MPH. Want to see? Not much took at because it was really dark out. I switched out my shaded visor for the clear one that has a lot of scratches in it. It wasn't connected correctly so I tried to ride with it up a lot. What a pain in the ass. Night riding really isn't cool. Tomorrow I'm going to work on making that better by fixing the headlight that shines on the ground as opposed to directly into the rear view mirrors of whoever is in front of me.

Here's video of the way back. At some point in this video there's a guy who nearly turns right into Cody from a red light. We made him feel pretty bad for it and he pulled up several times to apologize.

When we got back everyone was feeling pretty tired so we hung out for a bit before we said some mini-goodbyes and planned to do a full goodbye in the morning. We were up too early in the morning to see Anita and Blake so we wrote them a thank you note. I quoted a White Snake song and drew a picture of someone launching a rocket.

Farewell, Denver area, you're a very nice place. Maybe I'll be back!

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