Archive for April, 2006

Unsolicited Plug for Mountain Thunder Motor Sports

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I had some trouble with my old Honda awhile back and I was less than thrilled at the response from the dealer where I had been taking the bike for years. They told me flat out that they didn’t want to work on my bike–it was too old. Mind you, this was just a couple months after they had been happy to take my money to put on a new rear tire. But do work on the carbs or whatever else might be causing the problem? No sir, buddy.

So I took it to another shop and they got it running again but not quickly. Seems this other shop prefers to specialize in racing bikes and only works on others to keep the mechanics busy and pay the bills. I had to wait six weeks for them to get around to doing my bike.

Then, just a couple months later, I had the same sort of problem I had had before. This time I took the recommendation of the guy with 2 Wheel Transport and took it to Mountain Thunder Motor Sports for work. What they found out was that it was not the simple problem with gummed up carbs that the other place found, it was the accelerator pump, something much more subtle that required some real investigation to uncover. So Mountain Thunder fixed it for me in a week and it has run just as smooth and sweet as can be ever since. In the meantime, I also needed a new front tire and I dropped in to Mountain Thunder one Saturday unannounced and they put on a new tire while I waited. That’s service.

So this is an unpaid, unsolicited plug for Mountain Thunder Motor Sports, at 2670 W. Hampden Avenue, in Denver. The phone is 303-806-5054. They work on old bikes. They’ll get my business from now on.

Many Rallies in Colorado This Year

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

There is going to be a lot of two-wheeling going on in Colorado this year. Just looking at the Rides and Rallies page I see:

July 1 – Colorado VTX Ride-In
July 12 – InZane 6, Valkyrie World Summit
July 13 – 34th Annual Top O’ the Rockies Rally (BMW)
July 27 – Star Touring and Riding Association

Of course there’s the Four Corners Rally in the Rockies in Ignacio starting August 30, and then Thunder in the Rockies September 1.

I’m sure there are other things going on, too, but if you don’t tell me about them I can’t get them up on the list. So hey, it’s free publicity, as well as an extra link to your site. Let me know what’s happening and I’ll get it up on the site. Thanks.

Took a Ride Up Boulder Canyon and Down Coal Creek Canyon

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

I knew I didn’t have photos from Boulder Canyon yet but when I realized I didn’t have any from Coal Creek Canyon either that made it clear what I was going to do today. Headed up to Boulder on US 36 and then up Boulder Canyon on Colorado 119 to Nederland. Along the way, if you’re in the mood for a stop, you can pull over at Boulder Falls and hike up to the falls. Nearing Nederland you come upon Barker Dam, which forms the reservoir that is just downstream from the town.

A quick jaunt south on combined Colorado 119 and 72 and then they split. Highway 119 continues as the Peak-to-Peak Highway and 72 cuts back east toward Rocky Flats, down on the prairie. But first you pass through Pinecliffe and then climb steeply, with lots of tight switchbacks, to the crest at Wondervue. Over the top and then down you go through Coal Creek Canyon. Finally, bursting suddenly onto the flatlands, you see all of Denver laid out before you.

Of course I shot pictures. You can check them out on the Peak-to-Peak and Canyons page.

By the way, on the run I turned over 77,000 miles on my Honda. She just keeps on running.

OFMC Heading for Sturgis This Year

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

We’ve been to Sturgis before but this year we’re going to the rally. Who is “we”? The guys I ride with have taken the whimsical name of “Old Farts Motorcycle Club” although, as one wife points out, some of the guys have just cause to dispute that name. It all started with John, Bill, and me (Ken) when we first got our bikes and started taking these summer trips. After awhile John’s son Johnathon joined us (after his dad got a new Shadow and gave him the old Virago) and then Bill’s brother Friggs moved back to town and got a bike. Bill’s brother-in-law Dennis joined us with his Gold Wing, and next, Bill’s son Jason joined us on his dad’s old Shadow when Bill bought his Harley, and Jason’s friend Todd came with Jason. Finally, Johnathon’s friend Randy hooked in with us.

So this year we’re headed to Sturgis, although the OFMC line-up is already changing. Just got word yesterday from Jason that Todd wiped out on his VTX just a few days ago. Totaled the bike, broke a few bones, and demolished his helmet (not his head!). Don’t have details yet but Jason says he should be OK. In the meantime Jason has another friend who is interested in coming and is working to get a hall pass from his wife and employer.

We don’t always have stops plannned and accommodations reserved but this year, traveling near the Black Hills during the rally, we figured it’s essential. I’ve been looking at motels half-way between Rapid City and Denver — some place we can reach easily after work on a Friday night — and it sure is funny how the price on this date is higher than their highest posted price. Can someone explain that to me? Oh, I get it.

That’s OK. No one bought a motorcycle in order to save money, or if they did they were misinformed.

So anyway, we’ll see you maybe in Sturgis. We’ll be the large group of Hondas with a Yamaha and one Harley mixed in.

Gorgeous Day for a Ride

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

I rode my Kawasaki today, its first trip for April. I own two bikes — a 1980 Honda CB750 Custom and a 1999 Kawasaki Conours — and I make it a point to ride both of them at least once a month every single month. I’ve had the Honda since 1989 and the Kawi since 1999 and haven’t missed a month with either. Of course there have been plenty of months when I’ve ridden each numerous times but even in the coldest part of winter I manage to get out on each of them at least once. I already rode the Honda about a week ago so today was the Kawi’s turn.

Of course this is one of the joys of living in Colorado. I read about how people in Wisconsin or Ohio or so many other places put their bikes up for the winter. You read articles about “do I drain the gas or should I just use stabilizer” and those things just don’t mean anything here. Sure there are plenty of days in winter when you couldn’t ride if you wanted to, thanks to deep snow, icy roads, etc., but it never lasts. You just have to be opportunistic. Maybe it’s only 30 degrees out but the roads are clear — let’s ride! Sure, tomorrow may be 40 but it may snow tonight. You never know, so don’t hesitate, do it now! You may not get a chance tomorrow. It’s a dirty job but you’re the one who gets to do it. How lucky can you get?

Passes and Canyons Enters the Blogosphere

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

Step by step this thing progresses. I launched the website Passes and Canyons, Motorcycle Touring in Colorado in November of 2005 at Now I’m expanding it to the blogosphere.

I’ve been extremely pleased with the reception this website has gotten since it went live. You may not know it but a webmaster can look to see not only how many people are coming to the site and what pages they visit while there, they can also look to see where you came from. It really makes my day when I follow a visitor back to the link they followed and find that someone has said something along the lines of “Check out this website. It’s great!” And I’ve had that pleasure a number of times. Thank you. A very sincere thank you.

There is still a lot to be done. I need to get out all over the state this summer shooting pictures, gathering campground information, adding more dealers and repair shops . . . and the list goes on. You can help. If you had a good experience — or a bad one — at a motel, let me know. Your experience can help someone else. If you’ve had a good ride and want to tell everyone about it, this is the place. Pictures are welcome.

Thanks for visiting. Come again. Tell your friends. And ride, ride, ride.