Oh boy, did I sleep well last night! I was beat up from all the skills exercises and the heat. Yup, I was in bed by 9 pm and sound asleep by 9:01 pm. As a matter of fact, both Lydia and I returned to the motel room and decided to not go back to the Rodeo Grounds for dinner. Instead, Lydia went to the Drive by Pie place and bought us each a slice of pie for dinner. Isn't life grand?
A photo of me and Ruth Belcher. She is definitely the life of the party, a great rider, and a super good person! So glad I got to finally meet her in person :-)
Hmmm....we tried a few things in the parking lot but nothing worked. The warning light was telling me that my traction control was not engaged. So, I asked if I rode the bike with the light on, would I cause any damage. He said no, but not to be a hooligan and get too aggressive! Hahahaha, like I ride that way :-) Anyway, I took off for the Rocky Mountain National Park and on my way, tried to re-engage the traction control. Eventually, I hit the correct sequence and the light went out and now I had both ABS and traction control engaged. Yippee! Now, I can be a hooligan :-)
Well, not really because the speed limit was between 35 and 45 in the park and there were plenty of rangers out to make sure nobody got crazy. Dang, I wish they would also do the opposite and stop those going 15 mph with a white knuckle grip on the wheel and slowing down to 5 for every curve on the road! Oh well...
I did have a lovely ride. I stopped here along Granby Lake for a photo op. It was a beautiful day, the sky a perfect blue and the water looked inviting.
I spied an Egg & I restaurant and thought, yes, that's where I'll have a brunch. But.....I couldn't get to the parking lot from where I was, so I waited in line and finally got through the light. I pulled into a shopping center parking lot to turn around. That took forever. Finally, almost 45 minutes after I spied the restaurant, I pulled into their parking lot only to find no parking spaces available at all. I circled a few times and then just parked illegally next to the dumpster in back of the restaurant.
Was it worth it? No, not at all. I did get a nice booth and had some french toast with bacon and eggs. I managed to eat about half my lunch, paid my bill and mounted up again. Now, I was looking for an escape other than Rocky Mountain National Park because it seemed that all the tourons in Estes Park were headed for RMNP. Suffice it to say, I got lost, turned around, lost again, turned around again and finally just said F*ck it and headed back to RMNP!
My original intent had been to ride through RMNP, have lunch at Estes Park, return to Granby in time for afternoon classes. Heck, I had plenty of time when I left this morning. However, with all the stupid stuff in Estes Park, time was getting short. And, to cap it all off, a big, black, ugly thunder storm was quickly approaching. Crap, I was pretty certain I'd get close to the summit and hit the wall of storms. Not what one wants to do on a motorcycle!
So, I got in line, showed the Park Ranger my park pass and motored along, very, very, very slowly up, up, up the mountain as the storm clouds darkened and it began to spit rain. You know, some people just shouldn't drive mountain passes. Yeah, the people who white knuckle the steering wheel and can't manage to go any faster than 15 mph and slow down to 5 mph for every curve in the road. Lucky me, I got behind several of those kind of folks! Nothing to do, no passing areas, too many people. I just plugged along in first and second gear, although my honey has told me many times that 1st gear is NOT a travel gear. Hahahaha!
As I neared the summit I was worried about the cold and wind I had experienced earlier. However, much to my surprise, it was quite pleasant. The wind had died down and it had warmed up. Those thunder clouds were still hanging low but so far, I avoided any real weather. I was praying that would last until I was off the side of the mountain!
I very slowly made my way down through the Park and was delighted when I could finally go 25 or 30 mph! No opportunities to pass, so I just stayed in line. Of course, rounding a curve, I found traffic stopped and both sides of the road packed with cars. Jam on the brakes (yay for good brakes!) and slow to a crawl and stop. Go a foot, stop, go two feet, stop. You guessed it, a moose was spotted and contrary to Park rules, people had to stop in the road and on the side to chase after it. Really? Yes, really. Tourons.... This happened twice on my way down the mountain. No pictures of the Estes Park or return trip - it was just too stressful!
Okay, it was past time now for my first class on motorcycle maintenance. Boo! Guess I'll have to get Eric to give me a tutorial :-) Once out of the Park and onto a larger highway, I rode straight to the Rodeo Grounds to try and catch the second class I wanted to take, Flat Repair.
When I pulled up, I ran into Annie who is our neighbor at the motel. She was going back to the motel to shower and change and was catching a ride with Traci back to the event. Oh, yeah, that sounded good so I did the same and missed both classes.
It felt good to get into street clothes (although I had to wear my boots because all I brought was flip flops and it was going to storm big time!). Traci took us back to the Rodeo Grounds in her Jeep. We got there just in time for dinner and for the festivities afterward.
The event tent was starting to fill up!
A wonderful time was had by all. Unfortunately, some of the peeps had to scoot out early and missed the dinner and party. I was so pooped that after the awards, I begged a ride to my motel and didn't hang around for the DJ music and dancing. I don't know where those ladies got the energy! Anyway, Lydia was of a like mind and we both ended up at our motel at the same time.
We had a good chat, a few belly laughs and I had a cocktail! We both did some preliminary packing and then not too long later, were both fast asleep.
What a fantastic weekend of riding, learning, bonding, meeting new friends, learning new skills, kicking butt and having my butt kicked! It was a wicked good time. A big shout out to all who attended and an extra big shout out to Pat Jacques and her team for putting on such a fabulous event. I'm looking forward to next year!
That about wraps my Saturday. I'm pooped but in a good way. As always, thanks for following along. I'll be posting another blog as I come to the end of my ride-a-bout!