19 November 2013

Colorado Front Range Tag-O-Rama

When I first joined the ADV Rider forum, a little more than a year ago, there was so much to look at and so much to read about. Eventually, I checked out all the local threads in the Rockies regional posts, and I happened upon one called Colorado Front Range Tag-O-Rama. It is a photo tag game played within certain boundaries on our front range. It's an area, approximately, from Ft. Collins to Pueblo, before the snow starts to the west, and somewhere out on the plains to the east.

I thought it sounded like a fun game to play. The first person picks a location, hopefully with some historical or cultural interest and take a picture of their bike in front of it. Then the game is on. Everyone tries to figure out where the location is, get there and "grab" the "tag" by replicating the picture with his or her own bike. The first person to do so and get it posted wins that tag and gets to choose the next location.

Although I read about it a year and a half ago, I didn't start playing until about a month ago. But now I'm hooked, and I love the hunt, even if I can't get to the tag in time.


The aerial turbine in Rollinsville was the first tag I grabbed. However, I had to ride to Nederland in order to post it, as I had no cell service in Rollinsville, all the while hoping no one else had sniped it.

This was my first tag I posted--his name is Sun Spot and I felt it represented me fairly well as it was a piece of public art, and a dog! He resides in the parking lot at the new Denver Animal Shelter and can be glimpsed from I-25 if you know where to look.

The second tag I grabbed was after daylight savings time ended, so I had to get it in the dark. This is the Wings Over The Rockies museum in the Lowry district of Denver, a former Air Force Base.

My next post was downtown, right down the street from the theaters. The artist is David Choe, and the building behind where I am standing to take this picture also has some of his work on it.


I have Googled and located several other tags, but have not been able to make it in time. However, last Thursday night, one of the players tagged The Walnut Room, a local eatery, and it was determined it should wind up being a group grab for lunch. So, not long after I started playing, I got to meet six other players at lunch. Now, being something of an introvert, this is not always easy for me. I don't do well in large crowds of people, and really have a hard time walking into groups of people I don't know at all. My worst fears were realized as I walked up to the animated table full of (male) motorbike riders, introduced myself, and sat down to complete silence. Oh god! It was awful and awkward. Nothing like a girl to bring an entire table full of men to abrupt and complete silence. THIS is why I am terrified to try new things!

So, I asked who everyone was, they introduced themselves, and silence returned. Eventually, smaller conversations started again, and it became more comfortable. One of the other players asked what I do for the Denver Center and as it turns out, he is the Technical Director for the Lone Tree Arts Center, and had been trying to find out who Powered Productions Llc. was, after seeing our company's name listed in the Central City Opera program. We got a good laugh out of what a small world it is, and he gave me his card, telling me he needed some scenery built.

In the end I met some nice people, did a little networking, and it was a nice lunch. I left feeling much happier and calmer than when I showed up. And THIS is why I sometimes bite the bullet and try new things!

As to why I was "calmer" than when I showed up, well, that is a whole other story that had nothing to do with me feeling anxious about going to meet a new group of people. When I left the shop and walked out to my motorcycle, I found that someone had stolen my tank bag, and Josh's as well. We spent about half an hour watching video footage of the loading dock, and two assholes working together ripped us off. There was nothing of high value in either bag, and nothing of any value to the two douche bags who stole them. However, as I have added up the costs of what was in there, along with the costs of the bags, it's about a $600 loss.

My sense of good feelings towards human beings as a whole took a nose dive that day also. That seemed to be a greater loss. But then, something good happened. I sent a message to the Tag-O-Rama group explaining what had happened, not sure that I would make it to lunch in time, or at all, and throughout the course of the day, I got messages of support from people in the group. I even got a message from one guy, who was not at lunch, saying that he had plenty of tank bags if I needed to borrow one until I replaced mine. I don't know this guy, haven't met him, but that offer made me smile and helped restore some of my faith in humanity.

I found out another parking area got hit later that night, and now have nothing on my bike that can't be completely locked down. Tank bags, with their four dog clips, will now be only for long rides--no longer a commuter bag. Nothing in that bag couldn't be replaced, so that's a plus. Going to head up to the Wolfman store and get a new bag soon--yeah, a shopping trip!

My two favorites pictures with that bag. It went to Alaska with me and rode the trails in the San Juan mountains too. So sad....


Where have I been?

It seems as though it has been forever since I posted something new. I have been riding, just not a whole lot. There is, of course, the daily commute. It's somewhat boring, and full of distracted drivers, but it keeps me on my toes and constantly reinforces my defensive driving/riding skills.

The day after the first snow of the season, I took a ride into the foothills. I took roads that have all been mentioned here numerous times, but was caught off guard by the cold factor. Having just returned from summer weather in San Diego, I was unready for the abrupt change to winter temps, particularly going up into the mountains. I stopped in the post office parking lot in Blackhawk to take off my pants and zip the quilted liner in. Boy was I glad I had leggings on that day (though after the deluge of Facebook articles claiming leggings are not pants, I must apologize to drivers on 119 for having to witness my ass in leggings as I got everything together--sorry!), but I was sorely missing my heavy jacket and electric gloves.


The aspens were turning, and Golden Gate Canyon was a lovely ride that day.


Roads were still closed for repairs after the massive flooding that happened in September, so I put few miles on that day. They were lovely miles, however, riding in the bright sunshine, snow lining the roads, and aspens just turning to gold.

Later in October, we received an invite to a dual sport event hosted by Rampart Rider and Fay Myers Motorsports. It was small, limited to the first 30 or so people, but it was a fun day of riding. Dan and Mary Predovich hosted the group at their home outside of Sedalia, welcoming us with coffee on their deck. Fay Myers had 4 or 5 people there, setting up courses, handing out SWAG, and talking about riding, checklists, and general motorcycle maintenance.

As people were arriving, a new BMW 700GS pulled up with panniers that looked strangely familiar. When the rider got off and removed her helmet, I recognized Sherrie, a woman I met and rode with in Silverton with the RMAR. It was great to see her and catch up, but I was horrified to find out the reason I recognized the boxes and not the bike was that a jeep had hit her head-on on a trail going about 30 mph. Her bike was totaled, but she miraculously came out of it only with sprained wrists. Amazing woman that she is, she went out and ordered herself another bike and kept going.

We had a great day of riding the off-road course, lunch, and a skills competition following lunch. Dave from Fay Myers judged the skills competition which included three challenges: weaving through cones as slowly as possible, picking up tennis balls off the top of cones, and tossing hula hoops over cones. These types of challenges are often done at events, but we were doing them off-road and uphill. No smooth asphalt for us! There were originally two competitive groups: smaller engine dirt/trail bikes, and larger cc dual sports. In the end, the Fay Myers group found an extra gift card (the competition prizes) and added a third breakdown--the women's group. I won the women's group! But, in all fairness, there were only three of us, and only Sherrie and I actually competed in all the events. I had a blast though!


Me with my gift card prize from Fay Myers! It was a gorgeous, warm sunny day. If we weren't on the bikes, we stripped down to as little clothing as we could. Fay Myers provided burgers and potato salad for lunch, and we all had a great day!

Mary Predovich, one of our hosts, on her little Honda. Many thanks to Dan and Mary for hosting!

Part of the GS contingent. It also included my 650, Sherrie's 700, and another guy's 1200. The bikes ran the gamut, from little 100s to giant 1200s--I watched a guy catch air off a berm on a Triumph Tiger 800. I was impressed by everyone's riding abilities!



The trick with the tennis balls was not dropping them after you grabbed them. It subtracted from your score each time.


We were supposed to be getting together again, the same group minus the Fay Myers guys, and riding in the meadow again last weekend. Sadly, the (In)Accurate Pinpoint Weather people forecasted bad weather that day, so it was cancelled. FYI--the weather was gorgeous that day. I raked leaves.