When we left the hotel this morning, it actually looked like it was going to be a nice day of riding. And considering how tough it was yesterday, we needed that last 144 miles into Denver (Denver Tech Center) to be a breeze.
But it was more than just a breeze. It was gusty, cold, and I still saw some snow falling.
As we took off, the air temperature gauge on the Honda ST1300 said, 55 degrees F (12.7 C), and the sun was shining. I had on full cold weather gear and decided to strip some of it off.
And it was a good idea that I did. Because as we rode east along US-50, heading into Pueblo, CO, it warmed up to 59 degrees. And very little wind at this point, and only partly sunny skies. I kept thinking, "If it warmed up another 10 degrees, this would actually be a gorgeous day of riding."
But then we headed north along I-25, the interstate, the freeway, the superslab, where it was supposed to be warmer, less windy, more dry, and more safe to ride.
When we got into Colorado Springs, the temperature dropped 14 notches, down to 45 degrees F (7.2 C), and the winds were blowing right at us head on, taking down our fuel mileage. We pulled into a Popeye's Louisiana Chicken for some grub and hot tea to warm up. I saw snow falling, but it was still not cold enough to stick to the ground.
Nonetheless, this was still Sash's day of victory. Only 40 miles left to go before we hit our exit in South Denver. It was exit 196 we were looking for. So for the rest of the way up, she counted down the exit numbers.
And when we finally hit ext 196, she raised her fist in all of her pink-haired female-empowered glory. She had made it (or we had made it). When we pulled up to our hotel for the next couple nights, she hugged her motorcycle.
"I love you Tatonka!" she said.
We had gone 1,504 miles to get here from San Diego.
For me, I loved taking the back roads. On this trip, I got to do a lot of roads that I hadn't ridden before, and got to see some more of the landscape that makes the Western USA such a beautiful place to see. Albeit some of it was really cold, snowy, and otherwise miserable conditions, it feels good to know that I hacked it with a machete and gave it my best.
And as a lifelong rider, I'm looking to push myself just a little bit more each time I go on a road trip. And I know Sash is pushing herself a little bit more each time also, but that she's still hundreds of thousands of miles behind me in experience, and I'm asking a lot of her to ride along with me.
But then again, she's a pretty tough chick, of the rude biker variety. You don't see many female riders who take on Wolf Creek Pass under icy conditions.
So over the next several days, at least until Sunday, we'll be in Denver. She's going to hang with her new sisters at the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit, while I hang with my brother. I'll actually be staying at his place for few nights while Sash devotes herself to the Summit.
Then after that, comes the ride home.
|Sash taped this bunny photo to the inside of her windshield to help her through the ride.|
|US-50 east of Canon City, heading towards Pueblo|
|Sash on US-50 heading towards Pueblo|
|Me riding along US-50 eastbound towards Pueblo|
|I-25 northbound entering Colorado Springs|
|Sash is happy because we have only 40 miles to go|
|Sash raises his arms in victory for reaching our final exit|
|Sash hugs her motorcycle after a 1,500+ mile ride through heat, cold, wind, rain, hail, and snow|
|That evening, Sash met with Joan Krenning, and the rest of the staff with Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit|