I took off through Golden, but immediately turned onto 119 and headed through Blackhawk. On the weekends, this road is clogged with car- and busloads of people heading out to the small gaming town. But on a Thursday morning, it's a nice swift, twisty ride. I rode out to Nederland, where I stopped at my usual haunt, the Blue Moon Cafe. It has been around for a number of years, but was purchased about three years ago by a German man who ran out to chat with me about my bike. He used to have an 1150GS, and it's pretty clear he misses riding.
|Stopped for a few minutes right off the Peak to Peak Highway.|
|At The Stanley Hotel. Hell no I didn't go in. If you don't know, Stephen King stayed here and it inspired The Shining--the sole reason identical twin girls creep me out!|
At the east end of the canyon is a sign saying Carter Lake to the right. I took that and headed south. I wasn't really sure where I would get to, but how lost could I get if I kept the mountains off my right shoulder and kept going. Eventually I would hit something I knew, and that was 75th St which goes through the west side of Longmont, jogs to 73rd, and spits you out onto Diagonal Highway at Niwot. I rode through Boulder and picked up 93, successfully making it home before dark and avoiding wildlife.
Friday was maintenance day. I decided it was time I learned to change my own oil. How difficult can it be? I have the repair manual on the iPad, and I know how to read AND follow directions. I wouldn't even write about this, but for those of you who do your own oil changes, I feel like you should understand what a pain in the ass it is to change the oil and filter on a F650GS. It takes twenty minutes to assemble all the crap you need just to do it--which includes time to root through the garbage and find an empty toilet paper tube. What's that? You don't need and empty toilet paper tube to change your oil?? Well, I do--you clearly don't ride a bike like mine. To be honest, dealers actually have an optional part you can buy, but why spend the money when a toilet paper tube will do.
|Changing oil requires 3 different Torx, 2 Phillips head screwdrivers, a hex set, and the removal of so much hardware, you think your bike will fall apart. Did I mention the toilet paper tube...?|
First step, take bike almost completely apart. I'm. Not. Kidding.
|The front sprocket cover on the other side and the bash plate have to come off also.|
|Draining oil from the tank happens first, then the drain plug, then from the spot where the filter lives.|
|A black cat is useful to have around when changing oil. If any is spilled, you can wipe it off the driveway with the cat, and you never see it (if I had used the big dumb orange cat, it would have stained...)|
I got a super fancy thermometer for my birthday last weekend and I would have installed that also, but I'm waiting for one more mounting piece. So, now I could put my bike back together. And wash my hands. I don't mind getting a little dirty, but I'm happy to hit the Gojo at the end of the festivities.
Motogear Outlet in Arvada has a couple of sales a year. The last one I went to was in April, and I ordered my Olympia AST 2 jacket at that time. I wore that jacket to Alaska, and the rest of the summer anytime I rode out of the city. It's a great jacket, but it is a little heavy and bulky to really be a comfortable summer jacket. At the end of summer I tried on the Olympia Airglide 3 jacket. It's a three season jacket that is perfect for our summers here. It was still a little too pricey at the time to justify buying it at the end of the season, so I held off. Saturday it was on sale and a great deal. I bought it in red!
|I am a short girl, but I've got long legs and long arms. Olympia seems to be the only company that makes jackets with sleeves long enough for me. I love their gear!|
|Be aware-- if you are on a motorbike, there are 3 Irish Wolfhounds that live just inside the sanctuary who are bigger than my bike and WILL charge you. It was slightly terrifying.|
|This tiger wasn't rolling around on his back, he was sleeping like this--belly to the sky, paws in the air.|
|This was the vantage point for the sanctuary--about 15 feet above the habitats. Most of the animals paid no attention to the two-leggeds above them, but this guy checked me out and we had a little chat. He says life is good.|
|Somewhere north of Brighton. I loved that Hotel 85 sign--totally classy! I think they might be cash only....|
Not gonna lie, the bike didn't even make it out of the garage. I had shit to do, and a Broncos game to watch. Still, it was a great weekend!
*UPDATE* The mounting part for my new thermometer came in, so I installed it tonight when I got home from work. Now I just need a compass and an altimeter, and I'll be all set. I have found that on long trips I become obsessed with knowing the temp, altitude, and direction in which I am heading. I also want to know the population of all the towns and cities I pass through, but as far as I know, they haven't made an instrument which can tell me that.