Finer weather has returned to the front range of Colorado, and so has that itch we all have to get out and ride. Everyone is emerging from the winter months, ready to drag the bikes out, meet up, and head out on adventures. Last weekend kind of marked the start of the Colorado GS Girl riding season, in a way none of us thought it would.
|Jennifer Zakaria was hoping a couple people might want ride. Twenty-five showed up!|
One of our newest members, Jennifer, posted on our Facebook page, asking if anyone was up for a ride on Saturday. Immediately, Kandi Spangler said the equivalent of "Hell yes!" and created an event to get people out and brush off the cob webs. I saw it and said I was IN and would sweep for her ride, and by the day before the event, it appeared fourteen people would be joining us.
We met at a restaurant in Golden, and pretty quickly, those fourteen showed up. Then more. Then more. Pretty soon, we had about 25 people eating, chatting, laughing, and planning out three different ride routes. Kandi and I stuck with our plan to take people out on a beginner-friendly, road ride.
Well, we mostly stuck with that plan. We left Golden with eight of us in the group--seven women and one man. Getting out of Golden was the most difficult part of the ride as it turns out. There is a bunch of construction happening at a bridge, that on a busy Saturday afternoon of tourists, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, backs traffic up past a roundabout. The group of eight of us patiently sat at that roundabout for a good, long while, waiting for the chance to get us all through, and one of my favorite moments of the day happened.
As we were sitting, a group of three men on bicycles rode past us up the sidewalk, and as they did, the guy in the back yelled to the other two, "They're all GIRLS!"
I laughed in my helmet. It wasn't a surprise to us we were all--well, mostly all...sorry, Scott--girls. But I suppose an entire line-up of women riding adventure bikes, could be a surprise. In fact, I have to say we could have made a great commercial or print ad for BMW--all seven women were riding F700 or 650 Twin GSs. And this was purely by coincidence!
We headed south, and I watched my outside temperature gauge climb to just above 80 degrees. Hello, Colorado spring day! We stopped at a gas station in Sedalia, and while a couple people topped off tanks, more of us shed layers and bought Gatorade. A discussion quickly ensued over which flavor was best. Though I usually buy something in the pale green or pale yellow color--I like my energy drink to look like urine, apparently--the store had been out and I picked up blue. What flavor was it? Blue. Seriously, what flavor even is a pale blue energy drink? No idea, I'll just call it blue.
|Our first stop in Sedalia to shed layers and buy some colorful drinks.|
We discussed the route we would take from there, with the lead rider, mid-sweep, and sweep (me) riders all checking they knew the route. We headed south from Sedalia, riding towards Palmer Lake, with the idea we would cut east on Noe Road. That would take us under I-25, then further east to the plains. From there, the idea was to turn north on 83, ride to Parker, and then everyone would return to her own home from there.
|SUCH a fun group!|
So, remember how I said we were going to do a road ride? When we looked at the map, I said I thought that one of the roads we were looking at might be dirt. But, the map made it look like it was paved...so the plans were made.
Guess what--it was not paved. We all safely and comfortably rode the short section of Noe to I-25, where we said goodbye to Scott, and discussed what was ahead. It was agreed that a few more miles of the wide, well-cared-for dirt roads would be preferable to the interstate, and we gave a few tips about turning off ABS and standing up. We also talked about weighting the outside peg in a turn/curve, but on the nearly straight road we were on, it wasn't needed much.
With Kandi leading, we made it east to 83 almost without incident. A few miles in, I was happily riding along enjoying the sweeping views of the plains. As I turned my my gaze back to the road, I see the bike in front of me lose traction in a loose, washboard area of the road. She went into a pretty good tank-slapper, dabbed her left foot, righted her bike, and continued on. She gave me a thumbs-up, and about a mile later when we got to the intersection with the pavement, I pulled up next to her and asked if she was ok. She was pretty rattled, but also feeling good about having pulled out of it.
|Tess Landon--we couldn't have asked for a better day to ride!|
We turned north and rode into Parker, stopping at a large gas station. We took a few pics of the group, drinks were purchased, and bathrooms were used. While we were chatting, one of the truck drivers honked his horn. I thought I should show off my Stebel Nautilus horn.
So everyone could hear the difference, I had Kandi blow her stock horn first--wheeeeeeee.
Then I blew mine--WHAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!
There were many "wow"s, some laughter, and Kandi declared it was her mission to install one louder than mine! My horn sounds like a freight train, so I'll be curious to see how loud hers gets.
Eventually, we all went our separate ways, feeling like we had kicked the dust off with our first real spring ride, and happy to have gotten to know some new friends, and spent some good time with old friends. The day forecasted a great riding season to come!
|Kandi Spangler--my moto sister!|
|Ilise Merritt--a longtime CO GS Girl!|
|Chris Briggs--on her return from a Baja trip on her Triumph cruiser, she stopped at a BMW dealer in San Diego, traded in her bike, and bought her first GS!|
|Wyatt--she also rides a Ruckus!|
|Jennifer--she's on the fence about keeping her 700, but I think the fun day helped tip her towards keeping it.|
|Tess--she got the "Tank Slapper of the Day" award!|
|That's the smile of a happy girl!|