Saturday, June 16, 2012

Can’t Let it Get Ya Down..

Saturday turned out to be a busy day for us, not by design, but just turned out that way. Last night I looked at the road atlas and found what looked to be a great route for a motorcycle ride. Weather was going to be nice today (71 degrees) and even warmer tomorrow(75). We headed out at 11 and made our way towards Vail on I-70. Just past Vail, where we made our turn onto route 24, we went through a really cute town called Minturn. Not very big but some really cute store fronts.

The cyclists were out in full force today, all over the mountains…climbing the steepest ones and whizzing down the other side.That would not be my idea of fun even though I used to ride eight miles a day for exercise, when I was in college. Riding in the mountains just seems really dangerous plus the height (and lack of guard rails) makes me a little nauseous.

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Linda took tons of pictures, while riding on the back.

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We stopped about 3/4 of the way up this mountain and ate some lunchP6160079. That’s what we call a tailgate lunch. The scene below us, looked like an abandoned mining town. Different colored houses all lined up, perched on the side of the mountain.







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The route ran up and over mountains, through the valleys and over the gorges. Beautiful scenery for sure !

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We went through the area where the one and only mountain regiment, for the US Army, trained. Near the Tennessee Pass sign, there is a memorial to the men who lost their lives from this regiment when they fought in the northern region of Italy, against the Germans.

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When Linda took that picture above on the right, we were coming down the mountain towards the village of Copper Mountain. I pulled off the road, at a pull off area to get a drink and stretch. As I pulled off the road, and went to down shift, I realized that the shifter had broken and I couldn’t downshift. At this point, I was in high gear. Linda tried to check for cell phone signal…research on our tablet for any close bike shops (but we had no idea where we even were at this point) and make a plan. I looked through our saddle bags for some tools or something to try and piece it together to make it work. I thought I might have a “MacGyver” solution but since it needed to push down on the shifter to downshift, that wasn’t as easy a solution as shifting up. We decided to just keep going and hope that we hit a town, where there might be a service station. Starting out in high gear was a little tricky but luckily we were headed down the mountain so it only stalled once before we picked up enough speed to keep it running. It was only about another five miles and we came upon a gas station, but more of the convenience store variety. Long story short…even after enlisting the help of several bikers who stopped in the station, there wasn’t really a fix for it. I got a large screwdriver from the clerk in the store and tried to get it into 4th gear and didn’t think I was successful but I was. Once we got headed down the road, I could tell that it was in 4th and wasn’t so hard to start from a standstill and get it going. We made it to a Yamaha shop in Silverthorne and left it there to be repaired. Right across the street, from the bike shop, was the “Summit Stage” bus stop. This is a free bus that runs between several towns in the area and we found out what a wonderful asset that is to the community. After 50 minutes of riding and changing buses, we made it home. A free bus that took us right to the bus stop outside Tiger Run Resort….how cool is that. Yeah, it was a little stressful to deal with the break down but the ride was amazing and there was no way we were going to let that ruin our day. The shop will work on the bike on Tuesday, when they re-open from being closed Sunday and Monday and we’ll get it back in time for our departure next weekend. Our little angel was riding on our shoulder, guiding us to the best possible outcome after an awesome day of exploration in the Rocky Mountains. Our explorations tomorrow will have to be by car, if we do any. There is a BBQ festival going on in Frisco and some sort of event in Breckenridge. Do tell, I think the outhouse races are tomorrow in Breck…..might be something to see (or not). We’ll see what tomorrow brings….Hope your weekend is full of excitement and exploration too !

1 comment:

Dave and Susie said...

You were very fortunate to be able to get back to a repair shop. Had your bike been working you would have made it to Leadville, one of our favorite places in Colorado. The Golden Burro Cafe, home to the Mountain of Pleasure, all the old mine shafts up in the hills. The Opera House where I have actually sung on their stage. All the Victorian houses, Sugar Loafin Campground which we have stayed at several times, we just love it there. The campgound is just outside of town and Turquoise Lake which you can see from up in the mountains. It's a diamond in the rough. Just make sure your propane tanks are full and it gets very chilly at night there in the summer. You will actually see the "Unsinkable Molly Brown Mine" there and who can forget about the "Ledgend of Baby Doe Tabor". The area has so many tales and stories surrounding it. You really should go visit it. I really think you two would enjoy it there.