Sunday, July 10, 2016

Adventures on the GS Adventure - July 8 - 10, 2016

On Friday, I awoke to a beautiful day but it promised to get hot later.  I managed to get out of Grand Junction by 10:00 am after a yummy brekkie at the Palomino Inn.  A quick fuel stop and I hopped on I-70 and headed east toward Denver.  The stretch of Interstate from Grand Junction to Denver is especially pretty and I always enjoy riding it even though the speed limits are way to low!  I deliberately made a rest stop along the river because it is so pretty.  There were a ton of blue jays at the rest stop.

 Here are some pics of the views at the rest stop.  Simply spectacular.  You can see how beautiful the day was!

 Some nice information boards.
 And, views of the river.  I saw a lot of folks rafting and some paddle boards on the slow areas of the river.  Kind of wished it was me doing that water stuff :-)

 Very nice memorial bench at the rest stop.  Below the bench were bricks with the names of those who lost their lives.
 It was a VERY popular rest stop and I was lucky to get a parking place.
 Yeah, I know.  I need to work on those selfies.  Maybe if I get a stick they might be better?  I do have short arms, lol.
 I continued along I-70 and eventually got to the summit where I took another break.  This stop was also busy.  But, heck, what did I expect?  It's summer vacation season and the Rockies are ripe for vacationers and sports enthusiasts.
 There was a large group of bicyclists.  I had to laugh as they pedaled out of the rest stop because one guy was smoking a ciggie as he rode away.  Unfortunately, that's all too like me!
 Yup, I know :-)
 There are trails all around this rest stop and the very young people were eager to run up and down the paths.

 Of course, a picture of my new ride!
 From the summit it was all down hill, lol.  Really!  I stopped for fuel in Georgetown and headed into Denver.  Yuck!  Once I got into town it was hellish.  I-70 was okay but when I turned onto I-25, the traffic got crazy.  It wasn't yet rush hour but people were just plain crazy.  All the on-ramps are metered so traffic only enters one by one on a green light.  Yet, all lanes of traffic (3 or 4) would almost stop at the on-ramp entrance for no reason.  Jeez, every single on-ramp.  I kept looking at my GPS, only 3 miles, only 2.5 miles, etc.  I couldn't wait to get off the I-25!

Finally, I pulled into the Marriott Tech Center parking lot.  Yippee!!!!  I got front row parking so the slog with the luggage wasn't so bad ;-)
 Looks like I arrived before a storm!
 Actually, although the sky got dark it never rained, it remained hot, hot, hot!!
 I shared a room with Minna Case (from Vermont).  It was lovely :-)

As nice as the room was, we didn't spend much time there at all!  We were both busy as volunteer scorers and other tasks.  And, of course, socializing!
 So, after unpacking my bike and getting the room sorted I headed back outside to see who was arriving.  No rally riders yet, but plenty of staff and spectators!

 Peter Behm and Derek Dickson made it back from Reno and said they had a blast in the Colorado Rockies!  They arrived with huge grins :-)
 Friday night I attended a "Scorer's Meeting" for a tutorial on how to use the scoring software.  It was very well presented and I have to commend David E. B. Smith on the software, it was fabulous and made scoring very easy and quick.  After the meeting, a bunch of us hung out in the parking lot until late waiting for the rally riders to arrive.  They had to be in by 4:00 am Saturday morning.  A few trickled into the parking lot but it got late and I had to go to bed!

Saturday morning I was up early and at the scoring room by 4:00 am, yikes!!!!  Riders were already lined up waiting to see how they did on the rally.

Sorry, no time for photos at scoring.  It was quite intense as riders had spent the past week riding all over the west trying to grab bonus points.  The Butt Lite staff were extremely strict about scoring and even a misspelled bonus code would cause a rider to lose points!  A LOT of riders lost points because of spelling errors or date errors and other careless mistakes.  It was actually such a big deal that several riders fell down in the standings significantly because of little errors.  This is a good test to sharpen their skills for the Big Dance, the Iron Butt Rally next year.

Many riders use the Butt Lite Rally as an intense practice for the Iron Butt Rally and the Butt Lite Staff are tough on the riders.

After scoring closed, I spent a lot of time outside just socializing and chatting.  It was hot so we spent time under the trees for shade.
 Lots of bikes in the parking lot after the rally.  An observation, see most bikes are covered?  I learned this many years ago at my first rally and noticed most of the riders covered their bikes.  Well, yes, out of sight, out of mind.  This is an excellent way to thwart any miscreants who might want to poke at your bike or take things from it.  People are more likely to move on to an uncovered bike than mess with a cover and possibly bring attention to themselves.  So, I always cover my bike at the end of the day when riding around the country.  It only takes a minute and may save you a lot of headache and stress!

 There was not a LOT of shade, lol.  Notice the water bottle in the crook of the tree?
 Jeff Johnson and Dace Raven were hanging out and we had a great conversation!  Good peeps, these two :-)
 Oh yeah, baby, more bikes!
 Hahahaha, Yogi 1.  I don't know who this is but the license made me laugh.
 After scoring and now off to get some service done on the bike, Kirsten and Jennifer Talken-Spaulding humored me and let me take this photo.  I think it's a great picture!!  Oh, I'll give a link shortly, but Kirsten was on the podium in SECOND PLACE!!!!  Wowza!!!
 Jim Winterer had a mechanical issue just a few hours from rally central and DNF'd.  Booooo!!!  He thinks it's the stator on his V Strom.  But he was all smiles when he finally made it back to the hotel and his honey, Lisa Erbes (also the Rally Mistress) was happy to see him safe and sound :-)
 Ed Otto, the Big Huggy Bear, was hanging in the shade, chatting up peeps!
 Oh, yeah, we followed the shade around posts, trees, etc.  It was HOT.  There really wasn't a good gathering place in the hotel as it was under renovation and most of the public areas were closed.  So, outside we went.
 Some Team Strange dudes chillin.
 You all know I got the new bike (oh yes, I love it, love it, love it!).  But most of you probably don't know that Brant Moteelall of Team Strange also bought the same bike, the same color, the same everything except his is the full size monster while mine is the lowered Beastie.  Brant couldn't resist and had to try a sit on my Beastie Bike.  Hahahaha!
 He makes my bike look like a peanut!  Of course, I think he's like 6'4" or taller ;-)  I laughed a long time.
 Connie Gabrick, also a rally rider with a great finish had a sit on my bike too.  She rides a monstrous Victory Vision and she rides it with aplomb!  However, after her sit on my bike, we'll have to watch and see if she ends up with one!
 Oh yes, we had a ton of fun.  And was time....time for the finish banquet and to find out how everyone performed on the rally.  Here are some pictures of the crowd of people waiting for dinner and the Butt Lite VIII Rally results.  I think there were about 150 people!

After a lovely buffet dinner, Lisa Erbes and the Butt Lite VIII Rally Staff gave us an overview summary of the rally.  Not one person was hurt!  Yes, several bikes had some severe issues and are dead but nobody was injured.  Even Martin Cover who had a deer attack him and total his bike was sound, bruised and battered but not broken!!!  That's what everyone involved in a rally wants to hear at the end of the day, that all riders are safe and sound even if they DNF'd or their bike had issues.  We want everyone safe.  So that makes a rally a huge success regardless of rider standings :-)

Here are the final standings, Butt Lite VIII Final Standings.  It was so much fun to hear each rider being called up to receive their finishers plaque and then.....the moment we were all waiting for...who were in the top ten and most important, who won??????  Lisa Erbes call all ten top finishers to the podium without disclosing who was in what place.  Oh, the drama built, the tension could be palpably felt.  I jumped to my feet, unable to sit still while waiting to hear who was in what place.  Yes, there was a winner, but in my mind they were all winners.  Actually, all the riders are winners and I cheered and clapped for each and every one of them.

What a fantastic event.  A HUGE shout out to the Butt Lite VIII Rally Master, Staff, Volunteers and Riders and Spectators.  A true class act.  I'd never been to one before but now I'm thinking 2018 might be a good year for me to try a Butt Lite!

After the banquet, lots of folks hung out until the wee hours in the parking lot telling stories and sipping adult beverages.  I went to bed way to late, hahahaha.  I had such a wonderful time and I'm so glad I decided to go and even more delighted that Lisa Erbes and Staff let me crash the party and attend the event.  Thank YOU!!!

Sunday morning was departure for most of the folks at the rally.  Some are staying another day or so and being tourists but others have work calling and left very early.  I am super duper lucky and only have the BMW MOA rally in Hamburg, NY calling me and I have until Wednesday afternoon to get there.  Although I got up fairly early (my roomie, Minna was long gone as she was one who had a work commitment) it took me forever to get packed up and moving.

A bunch of little, silly things.  I needed to change the EZ Pass on my windshield to the Pike Pass since I had decided to take I-70.  Well, my sharp cutter tools aren't very sharp so that took a long time to cut the zip tie and then I had to dig around to find another zip tie the proper length, blah, blah, blah.  Oh, and of course, people kept stopping by to say good bye which always takes a long time because, heck, we didn't talk enough yesterday!

So, it was about 9 am before I left Denver.  Fortunately it was Sunday and traffic wasn't bad.  I got on the I-70 and headed east.  I stopped at a rest stop for a break and took a few pictures.  Eastern Colorado is nothing like Western Colorado!  No mountains or rivers, only rolling prairie and fields of crops!

 Shortly after the rest stop, I crossed into Kansas.  What????  Did someone throw a switch somewhere?  While it was breezy in Colorado, as soon as I crossed into Kansas it was like a wind turbine was turned on full blast.  Extremely strong cross-winds kept me on my toes.  It was crazy!  Fortunately, I had only planned a 350 mile day but still, I rode 180 miles in ferocious winds!  It plumb wore me out.  I was pleased, however, at how my Beastie Bike handled in the wind.

About 60 miles before my planned stop for the night, I pulled into another rest stop.  I ran into (not literally) this guy, Carlos from Colorado who rides a Super Tenere and is also going to New York for the BMW MOA!  We had a pleasant chat.
 While we were chatting, another Super Tenere pulled into the rest stop with a two up couple on a fully loaded bike!  We all had a great chat :-)  The couple are from Florida and have been on quite an adventure going all the way to Wyoming and Sturgis and all the states in between and are now making their way back home to Florida.  The little lady was terrified from the wind!  She didn't like it at all :-(
 Hahaha, we ended up posing for a group selfie (unfortunately, it wasn't my camera).  It was a good rest stop :-)  I snapped a few photos of the markers because there wasn't anything to take a picture of in Kansas! Just corn and grass a blowin' in the wind!

 I ended up in Hays, Kansas at a Day's Inn.  I was fortunate enough to get a freshly refurbished room and it is very nice.  I'm sure I'll be comfortable here tonight.  And, I'm TIRED.  It will be early to bed for me.

 All tucked in :-)

Yup, early to bed after I plan my route for tomorrow.  I hope to get in 500 miles or so.  That means I need to get up early (which is not my strong point).  Hopefully, I can keep my blog updated again tomorrow.

Thanks for following along!  I am truly enjoying my ride-a-bout adventure and am looking forward to what the next few days will bring.



  1. Try a selfie through the mirror...

    1. Okay, you mean on the bike mirror? Cause otherwise it might be difficult on the road, lol. Cheers, Andre'

  2. It sure looks like you had, and still having, a good time. I know that Denver east on I-70 section well all the way to St. Louis as it is often my route to/from the PNW. Yes, mucho gusty in Kansas for sure. Isn't Hamburg near one of your checkpoints for the 2011 IBR?

    1. Yeah, lots and lots of wind! Yes, Hamburg is near Buffalo, NY which was the first checkpoints in the 2011 IBR. Thanks for reading my blog, Jim!

  3. What a fun adventure! I am envious of your trip to the MOA rally in Hamburg. We have a family wedding this weekend, which will be fun, but it's not 'Das Rally'! Looking forward to more Posts.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.