Archive for the ‘antique motorcycles’ Category

Old Bikes, Empty Roads, Riding Skills

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
old motorcycles

There were just a few old bikes at the Ameristar when I stopped by in the middle of the day. Everyone else was out riding!

The Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA) is holding a get-together in Black Hawk this week so what more excuse did I need to take a ride up in the hills? Besides, we’re setting new heat records down here in Denver so a little cooler air can only be welcome. Of course, considering the event, I rode my 1980 CB750. It may not be an antique but it sure ain’t some spring chicken.

Bill and I rode to Black Hawk two Saturdays ago and the road up Clear Creek Canyon had a sign warning of road work and grooved pavement, so we took a different route. That sign was gone so I headed up Clear Creek.

As expected, there was a good bit of excellent, brand new asphalt and there wasn’t a lot of traffic. In fact, after awhile it got odd how little traffic there was, and then there was suddenly an endless stream of vehicles bumper to bumper. I (correctly) deduced there must still be some road work up ahead and at least one spot where the road is down to one lane. Fortunately I got there just as the throng in front of me started to move so all I had to do was slow down and keep cruising.

The gathering place for the AMCA was the 10th floor parking garage at the Ameristar Casino. Who ever heard of a 10th floor parking garage. But in fact it’s just a parking garage and you go all the way up to the top, at the 10th floor. I knew the group had a ride planned for the day and I didn’t expect many bikes at mid-day and again I was correct, but there were some, such as those in that photo above.

I only stayed around long enough to give the Ameristar some cash–just because they’re such nice folks, you know?–and then headed toward the Golden Gate Canyon road to head back down. There were way too many trucks in Clear Creek Canyon. I considered going down via Coal Creek Canyon but while I was in Black Hawk the wind kicked up quite a bit so I went with Golden Gate Canyon.

Good choice. There was nobody at all on this road. That is, there were just a few vehicles going the other way but I didn’t see any at all going my way until I was almost all the way down, at around Mount Galbraith Park.

So it’s not that I was trying to go fast but I bet I made it down that road in record time, for me at least. There was just nothing and nobody to slow me down. I went zipping along, straightening out the curves, and just generally having a really fun time. Just the kind of thing motorcycling is all about.

About halfway down, however, I started feeling the heat again. It was cool up high but hot and getting hotter down low. Thank goodness for my mesh jacket.

Then I had one more interesting encounter on my way home. Getting off 6th Avenue onto southbound I-25 traffic was backed up way more than I could see any reason for at this time of day, so it was stop and go. Except there was one guy on a Suzuki sportbike in the lane to my right who was refusing to so much as dab a foot. I might have been able to do that, too, but I wasn’t inclined to do the work. And it is work.

You have to simultaneously rev the engine so gyroscopic force keeps you and the bike upright while feathering the clutch and modulating the brakes so you go slowly, slowly, slowly. You’re always monitoring the gap in front of you as it shrinks and widens. It takes concentration and it is work. I just did the stop and start thing, riding most of the time with my feet just skimming the pavement. But I was enjoying watching him, and in all the time I could watch him he never once dabbed.

Good riding, dude!

Biker Quote for Today

Meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit still.