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Unscheduled trip to Colorado

Oct 16, 2008
Bryan, TX
Belated ride report. This all happened a couple of months ago.

I went into Procycle in Bryan to eat lunch. It was Friday and Ray, the owner, and I had been talking about a trip to Big Bend and I wanted to continue the planning. We both have DRZ400s, but his is pristine and mine has 20,000 miles with a lot of jeep trails included in that mileage. Ray knew I had been looking for a newer bike and that I was looking for that “special” deal and was in no hurry. He asked me if I had found any deals and I said there was a good one in Denver. He said, “Let’s go get it.” We called friends. Mark wanted to go, but it was too short notice for others. We left Saturday night with 2 bikes on the trailer and picked up Mark and his bike in Flower Mound. You see, we took my bike just in case the bike in Denver was not as good as the ad stated. We drove overnight and arrived in Aurora around 2:00 on Sunday afternoon. I bought the DRZ and asked if we could leave the DRZ, the truck and the trailer at the seller’s house. The bike would be OK in his garage, but the HOA would not allow overnight parking on the street. A friend of his owned a few motels. A quick phone call and his friend said we could leave the truck and trailer in the motel parking lot if we would stay the night in the motel. Very nice motel, but no rooms available. The manager told us to go ahead and leave the truck and trailer since the owner didn’t know our names and would never check to see if we had stayed there.

Ray had just picked up his new FZ09 and hadn’t ridden it until we got to Colorado. I had ridden it from the front of his shop to the back and that was all the break in it was going to get, except for speed and rev limitations. He hadn’t owned the bike long enough to have luggage other than a tank bag, which worked out perfectly since I didn’t need 2 saddle bags full for just a week of riding, especially since we were going to motel it the entire trip. His clothes balanced out my clothes perfectly.
Mark’s CB something or other. You may be able to see the lack of tread on Mark’s rear tire. Part of Day 2 would be spent changing oil on one bike and changing a tire on another. The joys that come with planning a trip in 1 day.

My FZ1. The tan duffle is mainly first aid kit, tools and tubes for all 3 bikes.

And Ray’s fully loaded touring bike.

Gassed up and hydrating before heading to Boulder and Estes park.

Our first hint of things to come. I pulled over to take this picture and my partners didn’t follow the golden rule of group riding, “don’t turn unless the whole group is visible.” There is a possibility it was intentional since I had been admonished not to take pictures of every flower we see beside the road. We met back up at McDonalds in Estes Park. They deserved the sorry burger.

A few miles down the road we came across this bridge. Nice, well designed and safe, right?

The recent floods had done a little damage.

Welcome and some unknown visitors.

I have come to the conclusion that any road with the word canyon in its name is a good one.


We met this guy traveling the US in his homemade trailer. He sharpens knives as a vocation.

From New York.

Inside. All the comforts of home except bathroom, kitchen and AC.

This waterfall is at the end of a short hike along the east portal on the west side of the park.

From above the falls.

The camera bag in Mark’s right hand is proof that I’m not the only one taking pictures on our trips. You would never know it since none of them ever posts pictures on TWT. They are members.

There was a little snow around the visitor center on Trail Ridge Road. Ray parked his bike away from any possibility of water splashing on his new chrome.

The view from just outside our motel, looking towards RMNP and Estes Park.

$104/night with breakfast included for 3 people. This would prove to be our cheapest motel to share and one we would return to later.

End of day 1. We stopped in a large dealership in Boulder to buy a tire for Mark. They didn’t have the one he wanted in stock so he called a dealer in Denver and headed there. Ray needed to do his 600 mile oil change and the same dealership couldn’t get to it for several hours so we decided to go back to the truck and do it ourselves. We headed back to Brighton, bought a turkey basting pan, a gallon of water for a jug to store the used oil, and some paper towels. Ray had thought to bring oil and a filter just in case we couldn’t find a service center to do his oil change. We would pick up Mark on the west side of Denver after several attempts. It seems his map wasn’t the same as ours. It was either that or Mark can't read a map.

Day 2 later.
Oct 16, 2008
Bryan, TX
Day 2
As I said earlier, day 2 was partially used up by a trip back to the truck and to Denver. Mark did a beeline to Denver to get his tire and Ray and I did a curvy route to meet up with him. Ray and I rode on 119 from Boulder down to Black Hawk where we got on Highway 6 to Denver. Highway 119 from boulder to Nederland is Boulder Canyon Drive and is very scenic and fun even if the pavement is a little loose. Highway 6 is another canyon road. I only took about 5 pictures between Boulder and Denver since I have been on that route many times.

We stopped beside this beautiful lake. Cell service was not available.

On the road to Lookout Mountain. That’s Golden Colorado down below.

That’s all for day 2. Much more probably happened, but like I said, it happened a couple of months ago and I would probably be considered gray headed by just about anyone younger than 80.

Day 3
We spent the night in Denver with plans to ride up Pikes Peak since my riding partners had never done so. They are both road racers so they were interested in the “track”.

This is probably from the day before.

The track. AKA the road up Pikes Peak.

Not a lot of runoff area in this turn and the race is only a few days away.

Ray and a little more snow closer to the top. It’s gotten a little cooler than it was down in Manitou Springs.

At the top. The only thing not paved is the parking lot on top. When I went in 1980, nearly the whole road was gravel.

Mark, me and Ray. I’ve decided not to ever pay for another haircut and since my wife doesn’t want me to cut it all off, I’ll grow it until it is long enough to pull around front and cut with a pocket knife. My hair grows fast and I counted $350 spent last year at one of the cheaper places. That’s enough for gas money to Utah and back.

These hay bales lined the outside of most of the corners. I believe I saw a couple missing covers on the way back down.

We did meet this guy on his Dookotty. He’s from Texas and has raced with the TMGP and CMRA. I didn’t write down his name because I was sure I would remember it. I didn’t. Cool guy.

We left Pikes peak and went on some roads to Breckenridge. Maybe my partners can recall which roads we rode. Mark really wanted to rent bikes and do the downhill run down the Ski slopes. I think he talked himself out of it.

We saw a sign with an absolutely stunning view behind it. “12 acres for sale” Ray called and the price was $700.000. Actually it was two 6 acre tracts with a small cabin on one. The one with the cabin was $30,000 more than the other. This was the view behind the sign.

We also saw this cabin. Ray didn’t inquire about the price, but I’m sure it’s more in line with what we can afford.

It did have 2 rooms, but I think the roof may leak.

Donkeys were very watchful.

This cabin didn’t have a for sale sign. It had a no trespassing sign.

It also had a mother in law cabin.

Not far to Breckenridge.

I saw this one hit the ground. It tried several times to get up, but my two yahoo riding buddies were so focused on getting to the next place that sold beer and pizza that they didn’t notice. After watching two attempts to stand, I decided to try to catch up with my partners. This time they abided by the golden rule of group riding and stopped before turning.

Breckenridge, like many ski resorts, has beautiful hanging baskets during the summer months.

I guess I should have eliminated the trees in the background of this one.

The Ski slopes make you want to come back during the winter, something I have never done.

Mark on the way to Loveland Pass. If you are ever heading north out of Breckenridge, I recommend you turn right on Co 1 just before Dillon Reservoir. It’s also call Swan Mountain road. It’s not very long before you get to highway 6, but it’s a pretty ride.

Along highway 6.

Another mountain. Ho hum.

What could ray possible see in his hand that’s prettier or more interesting than the sight behind him?

The required pose at the top.

Tonight was wild and wooly night at the local pizza joint. All the pizza, salad, and Stromboli that you can eat for less than $10. First beer is included and the next ones are $1 each. Anyway, I need to go to bed. More tomorrow.
Oct 16, 2008
Bryan, TX
The mountains have drawn me back to Colorado for 35 years. Sometimes I skipped a year. Sometimes I went twice. One trip was for 2 days. One was for 28 days and didn't include a motorcycle. Actually 3 trips didn't include a motorcycle. If I trailer, I can leave my house after work on Friday and be setting up camp in western Colorado by noon Saturday, essentially extending my stay in Colorado by 3 days. This was my 34th trip to Colorado and scenes like this one are what keeps me coming back.

There were people tubing on the slopes.

Some times not successfully.

Just east of Estes Park we saw this travel trailer. It was obvious that someone was living in it.

We have come full circle and stayed at the same motel in Estes park for our 5th night that we stayed in for our 2nd night. Friday morning we headed back to Brighton to load the truck and trailer. Ray and Mark went to pick up my DRZ and headed back to Texas. Again, they drove overnight and got back to Bryan early Saturday morning. I decided to take a couple days and ride back.

A year ago, I stopped here with 3 friends and had lunch. We had never been down a dirt road close to the restaurant/bar and asked the only person working there several questions. He was quite helpful with directions and also prepared and served us a great lunch. Long story short, I accidentally stiffed him for his tip. I felt bad about that for nearly a year. He still works there and he finally got his well deserved tip.

There is a very large off road riding area starting just across the road from the bar. One seldom sees oil, brake fluid, spark plugs, tubes, air compressors and levers for sale in a bar/restaurant, but it’s all here.

Highway 67 south of Sprucewood bar.

The obligatory shot of the Rio Grande Gorge west of Taos

My brother lives in Taos, NM and he just happened to be babysitting my newest great nephew.

After a short visit, I headed to Santa Fe on The High Road. This memorial just outside Taos saw me doing a U-turn. Since I’m riding alone, I see no reason not to stop and take pictures of every flower. There are a lot of roadside memorials in Texas, but most are not as ornate as this one. Levi was a much loved man.


After turning on the High Road, a cemetery caught my eye. I don’t know the circumstance surrounding this guy’s death, but I’m fairly sure he loved motorcycles. Can you imagine a memorial like this in one of our nicely landscaped and manicured Memorial Parks.


This grave even has a private bench for visitors. I’m fascinated by graveyards and this one is now one of my favorites.

It may be the High Road to Taos, but it is also the narrow road in places. This is the main drag through one of the small towns.

Narrow roads with wide trees. This is a cottonwood tree growing beside an irrigation ditch.

I saw this decorated tree and had to do another U-turn. It's actually the root system for a fallen tree.

The desert is blooming and it is beautiful.



Some roads go on forever.

Both ways.

See the F in the middle left? That comes on when the bike goes on reserve. Ftrip is the number of miles since going on reserve. On an FZ1, 39.2 is how many miles you can go on reserve before running out of gas.

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Forum Supporter
Dec 30, 2004
Highland Village
First Name
Dang nice images, I missed a Colorado trip this summer due to overwork and those pix remind me of the last journey.

How many miles on a tank for the FZ 1 ? And the FZ09 ?

Looks like a fine trip man.
Oct 16, 2008
Bryan, TX
I've never checked the mileage on the FZ1 and I doubt Ray has on his FZ09, but when we stopped for gas all 3 bikes usually fell within 0.2 gallons of each other. I usually bested the others because I ride at a sedate pace, seldom going close to the speed limit and slowing for all turns.:trust:


Registered Lurker
Forum Supporter
Jul 21, 2004
Katy, TX
First Name
Last Name
Nice report & pictures!
Oct 16, 2008
Bryan, TX
Thanks, it was a very enjoyable trip with 2 great friends. Four days riding the mountains is hard to beat. Add my 2 days of riding back with a visit with my brother and the only way to beat it is to extend the stay.


Great report & pictures.

I luv the Fazer line of bikes. I took mine north this summer and really enjoyed the small bike feel. It handled pretty well considering I had about 70 pounds of gear on it. I did experience way too much smoke from the various forest fires. It tended to make my pictures a bit cloudy in appearance. You can see the smoke haze around Coulee Dam.




You do have a little more gear on your bike than we have on ours. Was it easy to do wheelies?:-P
My wife says I travel light.


With the bike in A mode, yes, but with the extra weight on the rear it will probably do a non-recoverable back-flip.


Oct 5, 2005
Flower Mound TX
Im one of the lucky ones that went on this trip with humanrace.
He is the best ride Guide EVER!!!
Thank for the pics, there all awesome, well except the one of the horse afterbirth! I had to keep riding!!! Haha