Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Good Start for the 2008 BMWMOA Mileage Contest

Temperatures in the 40s, sunny and very very windy!

Today was the start of the 2008 BMWMOA (BMW Motorcycle Owners of America)Annual Mileage Contest for its members. I went to my Beemer dealer and got the parts manager, Matt, to sign off on my entry form with a starting mileage of 53,651 on Maria's odometer. Now to rack up a few miles today, we'll see if I can beat my mileage totals for 2007: 15,181 within the six month contest period.

After the paperwork, I headed out via the the I-225 and I-70 slabs towards Limon and the town of Genoa which lies about 9 miles beyond Limon to the East. It's the location for the "Wonder Tower", a rather kitschy roadside attraction and one of the stops for my motorcycle club's ride for today.

Enroute on the I-70 slab, I paced a group of four beemers for most of the way to Limon. I lost them when I stopped near Limon to tank up. The winds really picked up as I got close to Limon! There were some gusts that had me leaning over pretty severely just to keep a straight headway. I was reminded of my ride to Sturgis on my 2006 Honda Shadow Aero the day I traded it in for Maria, my 2004 BMW R1150RT. The winds were coming from the North so I has leaning to the left and while very strong, was not too troubling. It would not be that simple on the way back from Genoa later.

I got to the Wonder Tower and Museum just behind a group of about ten or so Beemers. Apparently the group had kind of broken up upon departing Morrison and got separated on their way to Genoa. So my timing was perfect!

Here's some pictures of the motorcycles lined up on the dirt/gravel parking lot in front of the Wonder Tower.

That's Maria on the right

The Wonder Tower and Museum

Local guard dog faces off against the Beemers

We all went inside the museum that the Wonder Tower is part of, I've never seen such a huge collection of "stuff". Seemingly every possible flat surface, whether horizontal or vertical is covered with "collectibles". Many if not all are for sale but I don't think the owner is in it for that. He greeted us warmly and showed us a couple of items before letting us wander deeper into the convoluted recesses of his museum.

Here's just a few shots of a of some the rooms in the establishment. It should give you an inkling of the "plethora" of stuff. Almost mind boggling to me!

The museum is quite big and extensive in its variety of stuff that's on display. It's worth a stop if you're riding/driving by Genoa on I-70.

Of course, most of us wandered up to the observation tower, and I was part of a smaller section that went all the way up to the roof of the tower to take a look. I tried some pano shots of the prairie all around us but it did not work out. The sign outside says you can see six states, not sure about that. It was pretty hazy today and clouds near the horizon would have precluded us from accomplishing that claim.

After everyone was done touring the museum and such, we all headed off back towards Denver. The winds and the temperatures had changed everyone's minds as to continuing on to the next stop which was lunch at Brush and then a visit to a missile silo. Since I'd already done that last weekend, no problem.

I broke off from the group shortly before taking the below pictured of a highway warning sign. The rest of the group headed off to Limon for lunch.

I took the CO86 exit from I-70 Westbound. On the way there and through the first half of the way to Kiowa, I was fighting some pretty strong wind conditions coming from the North/Northwest. It was hitting my right side this time and that's my "weak" side in terms of leaning the motorcycle. There were a couple of "tense" moments when I had to lean way over and was still being pushed sideways by the wind. I managed to stay in my lane though, it was just not enjoyable. These were the strongest winds I've ridden in, pretty scary stuff at times.

This is how I must have looked - LINK to Road Rash Cartoons

I was glad when the winds slackened as I neared Kiowa. I took the usual county roads all the way back to my home neighborhood. It was still gusty when I neared home but compared to the pummeling I took near Limon, they were just love taps!

A little of 200 miles today with about 4.5 hrs in the saddle, a pretty good start for me in terms of mileage racked up for the mileage contest.

Update: 08May08: Found a web-based photo-stitching service which did a pretty good job stitching together the photos I took from atop the wonder tower into a "moving panorama shot". Take a look here.


irondad said...

White knuckled rides make the best war stories! Glad you did ok in the wind. What's really cool is to ride towards the end of a line of bikes. There's open space as far as one can see around us. The wind's so strong that all the bikes are leaned over like on a track just to go straight.

Some bikes literally blew over at one stop.

Liked the pictures of the bikes, especially the one with the dog!

Conchscooter said...

The whole expedition looks gnarly to me, never mind the breeze.I wonder how my Bonneville would cope with all those hills and snow drifts and blasted heaths.