1999 Rockies Trip

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Carl Jones and I successfully executed our 13th annual "Head-for-the-Hills" motorcycle ride, this time to the Colorado Rockies. Over the past dozen years, we’ve done the California Sierras, there not being much in the northeast quadrant of California that we don’t know in fair detail. Extending out sights and our wallets, we flew to Denver and rented decent-sized road bikes.

Day 1: San Jose to Denver to Boulder

Arrived to damned hot weather after flight from San Jose. Actually the new Denver airport is really in New Jersey, requiring a serious ride west back to the city proper. In the proper spirit of glass-is-half-empty, I didn’t really expect the rental agency to have the bikes, but lo! The agency was womanned in large part by young German women, here for the summer to care for the large number of German tourists who cross the country in large caravans.

Bikes were there: one with 2 miles on the odometer, the other with 15. 1200cc V-twin Honda Shadows, not Harleys, but not actually girls’ bikes. The bikes were equipped with tiny leather saddlebags, each suitable for a fully-packed lunch bag. So we spent some time with straps, bungy cords, paper clips, rubber bands, and string in order to attach our gear to the bikes for the trip.

bike rental.jpg

Just before we left, we inquired as to the fuel tank capacity and expected gas mileage (no fuel gauge on these beasts). Multiplying the two numbers, we fully expected to get 160-200 miles before going to reserve. The air stills, dark music is heard: a foreshadowing.

Motored to Boulder through fields of golden… suburbs. Saw neither Mork nor Mindy. Consumed steak dinner number one.

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