All photos -
Someone said to me a while back "It's not a real bike run unless
you cross 3 state borders" (think it might have been Woovis).
I spent today on one road. US40 across Utah then Colorado.
Nothing much to report.
The landscape is becoming what I'm used to in the west.
The ride today would have been OK it it wasn't for the wind.
I think an early night is in order.
Let's take a wander through perception.
In the UK the image is based on the riots of the 1960s when the Mods
& Bikers beat the shit out of each other on the 'pleasure beaches'
on the south coast of England.
In the US most pubs (especially in the Black Hills during Sturgis) have signs outside saying "Welcome Bikers".
Both groups, UK & US, tend to be people who have enough disposable
income to have a bike as a toy. The US riders tend to be on Harleys and
wearing HD clothing. The UK riders tend to be on sports bikes and wearing
colourful full leathers.
Why are they considered scum in one place and welcomed into bars in the other.
One difference might be that - as a Harley rider said to me "We just cruise from bar to bar" where as the sports bike riders in the UK will drink orange juice during the day and beer once the bike is parked.
But that can't be enough to explain the difference.
The 'worst' reputation that bikers ever had must be the Hells Angels out of California - but the US is not where they are least welcome.
One similarity is that the majority makes mock of the minority.
The diary has become my contact with the outside world.
You meet people at work, in the evening you catch up with friends. There's
the neighbours and family on the phone.
Days on the road become monotonous.
OK - so that's not all that goes through my head.
Hold on a sec.
It gets cold at 12,200 feet, and the edge of the road has a drop off
in the thousands of feet.
The bike is due a service and is getting hard to start in the mornings.
Ran some lovely roads with stupid speed limits.
Heading south to New Mexico to stay with some folks there for the labour day weekend when the roads and motels will all be really busy.
Headed south down some real straight roads into New Mexico (state number 22 in my travels) to visit Steve & Linda in Albuquerque.
They usually avoid travelling over holiday weekends for exactly the same reason that I'm not keen on being on the road this weekend.
Pretty much as soon as you get into New Mexico you start coming across the Spanish influences. The architecture, the restaurants, the place names, the driving ...
Linda used to live in Ohio & knows the folks that I stayed with there.
Dropped the bike off for it's 28,000 mile service.
Linda gave me a tour of Albuquerque old town where we wandered round an old church and some gift shops.
Spent the afternoon & evening getting a history lesson of the Spanish
& Mexican 'ownership' of the area before we ended up going through
the history of the US from the declaration of independence to the final
addition of the last of the lower 48 states.
Chilling on a Sunday morning in a coffee shop with free wifi.
Linda and Steve had promised me that if I visited then I would experience
the words best Margarita.
Washed the bike & did little else.
I realise that I haven't written much over the few days.
Back on the road again.
The trip south to Albuquerque was down 285 to Santa Fe then I-25.
That was my first view of New Mexico - a dump.
Having spoken to Steve & pored over maps I came north in a big "S".
Through native pueblos, mountain passes, desert, cliffs and escarpments,
river gorges and dry gulches.
Spending the weekend with Linda & Steve was a very refreshing break.
Spent the evening with a lovely couple from Indiana - sitting outside
Back into Colorado tomorrow and playing in the high passes.
Spend most of the day above 8,000 feet.
Four passes - two in the 10,000s and two in the 11,000s.
For any biker reading this - check out Hwy. 149 from South Fork to Gunnison - cracking road !
I don't often see many other VFRs.
Back in Salida - where I was last Thursday.
Time to post this.