Archive for the ‘Info to Add to Website’ Category

Guanella Pass Now Has A Page Of Its Own

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Guanella Pass page.

I just got a new page up for the recently paved Guanella Pass.

Well, it took me awhile. It always does. Guanella Pass has been completely paved for at least a year now, maybe longer, I don’t recall, but I only just now got it up on its own page on the website. Plus, a few days earlier, I set up the Motorcycle Camping on Guanella Pass page, with info about each of the four campgrounds along this road.

Previous to this–and previous to it being paved–I had this pass up on the Dirt Roads and Side Trips in Colorado page. Not any more.

The reason it takes me so long to get these things done is that there is so much involved. First I had to go ride the pass a few times, shooting photos and jotting down pertinent information. Then in the middle of it all I got this GoPro camera so I went and rode it again shooting video so I could include some video highlights of the ride.

Well, you can chalk that one up to learning how to use the GoPro. I won’t bother you with more detail of that, only just say there is no video on the page at this point. And the photos are basically OK for now; I had to patch together a bunch from several different trips up there over the course of several years. At some point I’d like to make it less of a hodge-podge.

I also decided I want to make Guanella the first of a second batch of web pages that are designed to be mobile friendly. Something you can view easily on your smartphone. And along with that I wanted to use an interactive Google map rather than the static Microsoft Streets and Trips maps I’ve always used till now.

Once again, there was a learning curve but I figured it out and that is what this new page has. There is an issue, though, in that at least on my desktop computer the map loads very slowly. Like, five to ten seconds, during which time there is just this empty rectangle. I may swap out the desktop version with a Streets and Trips map, while keeping the mobile-friendly page with the Google map.

And oh yeah, I haven’t got the mobile-friendly page ready yet. You can’t just do a copy and paste. What works on a big screen usually doesn’t work very well at all on a tiny screen.

I won’t bore you either with all the little tweaks necessary to integrate a couple entirely new pages into the overall website. Let’s just say there is a ripple effect that no one but me would even be aware of.

Now it appears they are finally paving the west side of Cottonwood Pass. I guess in about a year I’m going to need to do this all over again for Cottonwood.

Biker Quote for Today

Oh, you ride a motorcycle? That explains why you’re getting so many women.

Guanella Pass Really Is Open Again

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Guanella Pass

I owe thanks on this one to Steve Farson, author of the newly released The Complete Guide to Motorcycling Colorado. I reviewed his book last week and mentioned that he did not tell his readers that Guanella Pass is closed. They closed it in 2008 and the most recent thing I had heard was that there were no plans to reopen it.

Well, what do you know, Steve emailed me to thank me for the positive review AND to tell me that in fact, Guanella was reopened earlier this year. Finally. And he said the road was beautiful, that they have done a terrific job.

Of course Judy and I had to go see for ourselves, and we did on Saturday.

Holy smokes, what a nice road! The asphalt is beautiful, there are a lot of guard rails where there didn’t used to be any, and the new retaining walls are impressive. On top of that, the pavement goes a lot farther than it used to. Used to be, it was paved all the way to the top on the Georgetown side and then just over the crest it turned to gravel. Then it was gravel all the way to Grant, except for some spots where the asphalt from many years ago was still holding together a little.

We checked it on the odometer and here’s what we found. From the top headed toward Grant, the new pavement extends another 3.8 miles. At 8 miles from the top the old surviving pavement starts to get bad and at 9.2 miles it ends altogether. There are then 3.6 miles of gravel before you hit pavement again 0.5 mile from Grant.

So there’s really no reason not to ride this pass. The 3.6 miles of gravel are easily traversable on any street bike as long as you take it nice and easy. Heck, before they closed it for nearly 3 years I used to see Harley baggers and everything else up there, and there was a lot more gravel back then.

Truth is, this road is so much better than it was before I’ve concluded I need to promote it on the website from just a “Dirty Road” mention to its own full page. Look for that sometime next year, as I doubt I’ll have time to get to that right away.

Thanks for the update Steve.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
‘Mythbusters’ reiterates previous ‘bikes not greener’ conclusions

Biker Quote for Today

So many roads, so little time!

Passes and Canyons Maps Now on GPS

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I know I’m a bit behind the times but I still don’t have a GPS unit. I know a lot of people do, and I have been asked several times if the maps on the Passes and Canyons site are available in GPS. Up till now I’ve had to say no.

map of an area in ColoradoWell, the answer now is “Yes.” Thanks go to Gord Ripley, who has been using the site to plan his Colorado trip. He plotted the routes for the rides I’ve highlighted on the site and then sent me his GPS file. You can download it here.

Now, it won’t look like this map here; I just put that up for illustration purposes. Fact is, I can’t really say what it will look like because I don’t do GPS. But I suspect that for those of you who do, you know all about it so I’m not going to worry about it.

I really want to thank Gord for this. I have always welcomed any efforts you folks out there make to make this a better site for everyone using it. And I’ll take this opportunity to put in a plug for riding stories. If you make a trip to Colorado and have a great time, send me an email telling me about it and I’ll post it on the Riding Stories page. And if you’ll tell me about the places you stayed, good, bad, or indifferent, I’ll put that info up on the Motels and Hotels page. That way other people can benefit from your experience.

Thanks.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
MotoAdventureGal update: To the Darien Gap, then the hop to Colombia

Biker Quote for Today

Be a biker–kick start your day.

Cottonwood Pass and Taylor Canyon Now Up On Website

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Eight months ago I went up Taylor Canyon and over Cottonwood Pass shooting pictures and gathering information to put these places up on the Passes and Canyons, Motorcycle Touring in Colorado website. Taylor Canyon is a beautiful canyon, with lots of good motorcycle-accessible camping spots. Cottonwood Pass is only paved on the east side but the gravel road is passable on the west. Both deserved to be on the site.

I’ve been busy. But I finally got it done. Here are some photos from these places.

Taylor Canyon

Cottonwood Pass

The top of Cottonwood Pass

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
SuperSkin helmet touted as lifesaver

Biker Quote for Today

To me, the best kind of trips are the ones you planned on the way, allowed yourself to change, and maybe didn’t end up where you expected.

Taylor Canyon and Cottonwood Pass Are Keepers

Monday, July 27th, 2009

After cruising Kebler Pass last weekend we went on up Taylor Canyon and over Cottonwood Pass. This was another of those Colorado roads that I haven’t been on because it wasn’t paved and I wasn’t sure how good it would be on a motorcycle. I had been hearing that it was decent gravel, however, and needed to check it out.

sport bikes
  Cottonwood Pass looking west

Well here’s the verdict. It is not as good a gravel road as Kebler Pass. It is passable, however. I know this for a fact because there were Harleys and all sorts of bikes doing the ride.

I knew that Cottonwood Pass was paved on the eastern side, from Buena Vista, and I have been up there on my bike previously. What I didn’t know was that on the western side, coming east out of Almont, you pass through Taylor Canyon, which is absolutely gorgeous, and the road is paved all the way to Taylor Reservoir. It’s only about 12 miles then from the reservoir to the top of Cottonwood Pass.

Considering all that, I would definitely add this road to my list of good rides in Colorado. Personally, I would prefer going east to west so all of the gravel would be downhill. I just feel more comfortable on a street bike going downhill on rough gravel. And some of it is rough, make no mistake. But if those Harleys can do it anyone can.

I’ll be adding Cottonwood Pass and Taylor Canyon to the website as soon as time permits. I have a lot of good photos but you’ll have to wait until I get the new page up to see the rest of them.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Motorcycles 101: Becoming a riding instructor

Biker Quote for Today

Destinations are merely excuses to ride.

OFMC Route Was Big Boon for Passes and Canyons Site

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Man, have I got a lot of work ahead of me. If you have gone through the Passes and Canyons, Motorcycle Touring in Colorado website thoroughly you know that even three years in it is still weak in information on some roads. The simple fact is that although I’ve been all over this state numerous times, there were some places I had not been back to since I started the website. Therefore, although I could show a map and talk a little about the route, I did not have the photos and other information I routinely collect and post.

Well, that’s about to change. The OFMC trip last week could not have been better tailored to meet my needs if I had planned the route myself with that in mind–which I did not do. I had made a list some time ago of 27 places I needed to get to. On this trip I hit 15 of those spots. It’s going to take time to work through it all but in the next few weeks you can expect to see improvements on a lot of pages, including:

And more. Here’s a map showing our route. What a great ride we had.

OFMC 2008 route

Biker Quote for Today

The ride IS the destination.

A Blog for You Fans of Italian Bikes; Contacting Me

Monday, May 19th, 2008

There was a comment on a previous post from Gianluca Pezzi, who is involved with Blogo.it. In case the name and the “it” at the end of that website name didn’t give it away, Gianluca is Italian. He mentioned two things that caught my interest.

First, he was calling my attention to their Two Wheels Blog, which he describes as “for readers interested in what’s happening on the motorcycling scene in Italy.” If you click on these links you’ll see that the blog is in English, but the website is in Italian. Unless you read Italian I guess I’d stick with the blog.

Anyway, the blog is a variety of information, including a lot of videos of bikes and such. Interesting to check out if you’re a big fan of Italian bikes. Says Gianluca:

Two Wheels Blog is a new initiative from Blogo.it, and is dedicated to the motorcycling sector in Italy: with everything from championships, to new models released, our favourite brands, photos and videos, we’re hoping to give voice to the dedicated motorcycling community around these parts.

So far we’ve written about our testing of the new Beta Urban 200 pre-series, included a video on a new BMW, written about the new Halley, and reviewed all the style of the Italian scootering tradition. We have a photo of the day spot, where readers can send their best pics from around the world, and you can point us to news or make comments.

The other thing Gianluca mentioned was that he couldn’t find any way to contact me directly on the blog. Now, on the main motorcyclecolorado.com website there are a number of places where I have placed javascript no-spam email links so people can contact me directly, but I had not thought to do the same here on the blog. I’ll need to do something about that right away but in the meantime, if you want to email me just send to either ken at motorcyclecolorado.com or to webmaster at motorcyclecolorado.com. Thanks. I always love to hear from you.

Biker Quote for Today

Tomorrow is uncertain, so today I ride.

Help on Website Offered by Others

Friday, May 9th, 2008

I want to take this opportunity to thank a few people who have very generously offered me photos and other information that has helped make this Passes and Canyons, Motorcycle Touring in Colorado website better and more complete.

Most recently, Andy Simons has sent me a considerable number of his photos from different roads around the state. I’ve got some of them up on the site already but there are quite a few more that will take me awhile yet to put to use. You can see his work on these pages now: Arkansas River Valley; Monarch Pass, Montrose area, and CO 92 from Hotchkiss to Blue Mesa Reservoir.

What I find really exciting is that Andy has sent me some photos of some roads I’ve never been on. Just recently I started adding a few roads that are not paved but are suitable for the more adventurous street-bike rider. Larry Matkovich, who runs Larry’s Custom Cycle in Canon City, got me started on this by sending me some info on a few such roads. Thanks here, then, to Larry as well. The material Andy has sent me will enable me to expand that section.

By the way, Andy is quite the motorcycle traveler and an avid photographer. If you want to see more of what he has done you can check him out on Smugmug.com and Angelfire.

I also want to thank guys like Brad Betts and Steve Shards who have written asking me for information as they plan their trips to Colorado. There is no better way for me to know what topics I should write about than for you to ask me for something in particular. Brad’s questions generated my most recent two posts and Steve’s questions resulted in the whole New Zealand Rides the Rockies series of posts.

There have been other folks along the way who have helped make this website what it is and I offer them my thanks as well. Keep those cards and letters coming in. I’m always eager to do what I can to assist.

One other thing. You may have noticed this “Biker Quote for Today” bit that I now end each post with. In case you wonder where these quotes come from, I have started copying down interesting/relevant quotes that people use in their signatures on motorcycle web forums. So thanks to all those folks as well for providing us all with their quotes.

Biker Quote for Today

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.

New Page Up On Colorado 165

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Back in August I got an email from SECO saying

I can’t hardly believe that you have Bishop’s Castle listed and not hwy 165 (the hwy that runs past the Castle from Rye to McKenzie Jct)?

Near the Bigelow Divide has to be the most awesome double hairpin in the state.

I had ridden that road but it was long before I built the website and I hadn’t been back. Well, this got me fired up so about a month later we went back there and I shot pictures and gathered information. Unfortunately, I’ve been very busy so it only now that I managed to get the stuff up on the site.

Here it is, go check it out.

http://www.motorcyclecolorado.com/colorado_165_west_from_colorado_city.htm

If anyone else has thoughts as to what ought to be added let me know. I may not get it up right away but I will get it done.

Why Isn’t Mount Evans On The Site?

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

That’s the question I got from M Rockey. With all the motorcycle roads I have posted info about on the website, where is the road up Mount Evans. Actually, I’ll let him speak for himself:

Nice site, very enjoyable…but where is MT Evans? :) It’s the best ride of them all in my opinion….I couldn’t find it if it is there..:)

But thanks..this gets me all worked up for this summer’s CO trip!

He’s right, you know, and I had realized that last fall. I’ve spent so much time putting up info on routes that get you from A to B that I forgot about rides where you just go and come back. So I’ve had it on my list of things to do soon to add Mount Evans. The thing is, I can’t do it now because that road is closed for the winter, and is probably under six feet of snow at the moment. But check back in June or so and you’ll see Mount Evans. Thanks for the prodding.