Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Colors on Guanella Pass

Today I rode Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer, up on US285 and to the summit of Guanella Pass. The objective was to try and capture the changing of the aspen trees colors with the advent of Fall.

I rode out of the Denver Metro area using US285 and was in the vicinity of Grant, CO by around 10:00AM. Temperatures were in the high 50s to low 60s so not bad at all and it was quite sunny as well.

As I started riding the Guanella Pass Road, I passed several aspen trees which were looking a "might peaked" already. I was starting to worry that I'd missed that short window when the colors are just right and before the leaves fall off the trees!  Note, the first couple to three miles of the road are washboarded dirt surface, not really bad, but I was not going much faster than 15 mph.

As I gained altitude though, the trees started to look a bit healthier and I found that finding good spots with the trees illuminated by the sun were plentiful. The trick you see, is to have the sun behind the turning leaves, not in front of the leaves.

Near Grant, CO after two-three dirt miles

I made it to the summit of Guanella Pass near 11:00 AM and there were many cars parked along the side of the road as the main parking lot at the summit was blocked off by construction vehicles.  The light was all wrong in terms of the nearby mountains that I like to photograph, so I kept going towards Georgetown.

The road is closed near the Clear Lake Campground but its a nicely paved, though unmarked, two lane road with many enjoyable twists and turns.  The mountainsides seemed aflame at times with the bright yellow aspen leaves being brilliantly lit by the overhead sun.

The mountainsides with their aspen in full color change, quite dramatic don't  you think?

It was black asphalt, bright yellow and deep greens all the way down to the Clear Lake Camping Ground  By the way, the camping grounds are already closed for the season.  The snow is coming......

 Near the Clear Lake Camping Grounds

At the entrance to the Clear Lake Camping Sites.

As the road is blocked to Georgetown, I turned Brigitta around and slowly made my way back up to the summit of Guanella Pass.  Twisting and turning on the nearly empty road, enjoying the sunshine which had warmed things up nicely by now.  I stopped at the apex of the hairpin turn just before the summit for a quick snack and to wait for the light to be right:

As I sat there for about half an hour or so, I enjoyed the utter quiet and tranquility of the spot I parked at.  The only sounds were the occasional breeze and the infrequent passing car heading down towards Clear Lake.  I shed my jacket liner, sat on the guard rail and soaked in the sun.

Soon enough though, it was time to get moving.  I geared up and rode up to the next hair pin turn just before the summit and got this shot of the eye-catching mountains nearby:

The summit area remained full of vehicles and I carefully made my way past the mob and to the Guanella Pass sign for the requisite pass picture of one's motorcycle.

Yep, Brigitta's out of focus, was concentrating on the mountains in the background
and forgot to adjust the focal length accordingly.

I cruised on back down towards Grant and stopped just once more time to take a picture of another hillside seemingly on fire with the colorful yellows of the turning aspen leaves:

The rest of the ride down to Grant was uneventful, with just a bit of a traffic jam near the end of the road as fellow motorcycle riders gathered at the bar in Grant.  Lots of car drivers out today as well but they remained well spread out on the Guanella Pass Road, I am happy to report.

I cruised on back to the Denver Metro area on US285 to E470 to the I-25 Northbound Slab.  I was home by 2:30 PM, after roughly 200 miles of riding.  I hope you like the fall colors I saw today, they're not going to be around much longer I'm afraid.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Servicing Natasha's Front Shocks

Recently, I'd noted both my front shocks on Natasha, my Ural Sportsman Sidecar Rig, had leaked oil out of the shock absorbers.  I figure the final straw was my taking Natasha on an attempt to reach Argentine Pass, after all, they're supposed to be serviced every 10K Km I believe.

Natasha is now over 25K Km and she was way overdue the servicing of her front shocks.  I consulted the goldmine of Ural information at Bill Glaser's site and assembled my tools.  You have to compress the shock absorbers in order to remove the retaining rings that hold everything together under pressure.

The above link shows you the procedure step by step, I shall just write about some of the "highlights" I encountered during my servicing of the front shocks on Natasha.

This is a shot from Bill Glaser's site showing the homemade shock compression tool he made and which I copied:

image source: Bill Glaser

I started with the right front shock, here's a view of Natasha's front wheel sans the shock

From Bill Glaser's website: Top view of shock showing the two chrome keepers 
which hold the shock inside the bell cover and spring.

Here's a shot of my shock compression tool, after I'd compressed it and removed the shock assembly
from the above spring housing

Here's the shock's housing, wiped down clean and secured to a vise so I can remove the cap
holding the shock components within the black shock housing.

Here's the Ural shock tool needed to loosen and spin off the threaded metal cap that secures the shock components inside the oil reservoir which itself is inside the black metal tube

Note: the cap tells me I have the 12mm seal model of the shocks.  This is good as its the one in stock at Ural dealers, the 14mm seal is apparently unobtanium here in the west.

While Bill Glaser's site goes into detail on how to further disassemble the shock further if components are damaged, I only had to replace the old oil with new 20W50 Engine Oil.  A bit messy until I got the hang of it but really it was just cleaning and replacing of the shock absorbing fluid.

You can see, not much of the old oil was left in the reservoir (light brown tube)
The lower item is the shock itself which fits inside the brown tube.

from Bill Glaser's website: a better view of the shock's piston body free of the oil reservoir

Here's Natasha's left side front shock, after having removed it from the spring cap assembly
note the dirt and grease on it which I would clean off.

The left front shock had some damage to the metal cap on the piston, I'll be ordering a replacement soon I think.  Also the shock tensioner appeared to have been damaged before and re-welded, another thing to order for my peace of mind.  It did however, have much more old oil remaining in its reservoir than the right side shock!

The first shock took about an hour, the second one took less than 20 minutes as I had the hang of things now.  Re-assembly of the shocks was a bit messy as I got used to the new oil spilling out a bit when introducing the shock into the reservoir tube.

Once capped into place, I slid the clean shock housing into the cap and spring assembly, worked the nuts loose on my compression tool and voila, a serviced shock ready for installation onto Natasha.

The original plan had been to only do the front shocks as I was bidding on a pair of barely used shocks on Ebay.  I then changed my mind and removed the left rear shock and started working on it!  Alas, the motorcycling gods decided I'd push my luck enough for one day.  I could not, after much effort, remove the metal cap off that third shock!  I stopped before I buggered the cap up and made things worse.  It seems to be working fine as is, though not as "strong" as the newly service front shocks.

I put the un-serviced left rear shock back in place, got cleaned up and put away my tools.  After lunch, it was a short test ride to make sure nothing fell off Natasha.  I have to tell you, the front end suspension is much smoother now when hitting bumps, no more feeling like she's bottoming out and no fighting the handlebars when hitting a bump on a turn!  All good stuff.

My continued thanks to Bill Glaser and the wealth of maintenance/servicing information he's compiled and posted freely for the benefit of the Uralisti community.

So, except for the difficulty in removing the cap to the shock, it was a pretty easy maintenance operation.  I am going to figure out a way to put a "cheater bar" on the end of the Ural shock wrench to enable me to service the remaining three shock absorbers on Natasha.  For now though, we're ready for the rocky trails once again!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Firstgear's Customer Service

My first riding jacket was a Firstgear Kilimanjaro Air. I loved its fit, it's striking visibility pattern and how it kept me cool enough in hot weather and warm enough in cold weather riding.  I bought it the same day I bought my first motorcycle, a 2006 Honda Shadow 750 Aero, which I named: Gretl.

Four winters and five summers later, that Firstgear Jacket is still ready for the next ride, though it has been relegated to my backup riding jacket since I purchased the Motoport Kevlar Air Mesh riding jacket and pants.

However, a part of that Firstgear Jacket has always rode with me or on me during the cold riding months here in Colorado.  For you see, it came with a waterproof/insulated Tex-Mesh liner, which transfered easily for use under the Motorport jacket.  That liner was a key part of my warm layers which allowed me to ride in temperatures as low as -17°F this past winter.

I'd recently managed to lose that great jacket liner, probably worked its way out of the covered sidecar on one of my recent rides on Natasha, my Ural Sportsman sidecar rig.  I was quite bummed about it and had contacted Firstgear about purchasing a replacement as cold weather riding approaches again here in Colorado.

Through phone calls and emails exchanged (quite timely in terms of their response time by the way), they let me know that they no longer made or stocked the liner that came with my Kilimanjaro Air Riding Jacket.

But, all was not lost, they said they had available (from returned for repairs jackets) a size Large jacket liner that went with their new top of the line riding jacket: The Technical Performance Gear (TPG) Rainier Jacket!  They just offered it to me, no charge!  Now that's standing behind your product!

I sent them my address and today I took receipt of the above gorgeous looking jacket liner.  It's got a smooth tactile feel to the waterproof outside layer, is insulated, fits like a glove and feels great under my riding jackets!

I was so impressed with Firstgear's customer service, willingness to stand behind a product that was not even made anymore and concious effort to keep a past customer happy that I wrote this posting to let others know!  NOTE:  They didn't ask me to write this in exchange for the liner, I write this as a happy customer of Firstgear!

The Rainier Riding Jacket itself  looks to be quite an achievement in terms of rider comfort and protection also, check out it's specs here on the firstgear-usa website:  LINK   I believe it would give my existing Motoport Kevlar Jacket a run for the money in terms of key areas such as comfort and protection for a rider.  It's not inexpensive but then again, you really want to skimp on protecting yourself during a crash?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One Year Anniversary with Natasha

A year ago today, I took receipt of Natasha: my '96 Ural Sportsman Sidecar motorcycle from Phil B, in exchange for my giving him Maria, my 2004 BMW R1150RT motorcycle.  I think both of us got a good deal in this swap, and hopefully Maria is getting ridden far and often by her new owner.

Phil B. and I, one year ago, with my new to me Natasha

In this last year of Ural ownership, there have been quite a few bumps in the road but in the end it's made me a better wrench turner.  The Ural design is clean and simple if a bit rough around the edges, seams, welds and performance!  : )

I got Natasha with 5125 Kilometers on her odometer, today she reads 25,602 Kilometers.  Not bad considering some of the issues that had to be overcome along the way to making her a reliable companion on the road:

The Russian Hand Grenade Episode, the sheared apart propeller shaft for the sidecar, assorted minor electrical gotchas, broken brackets, going Total Loss on the electricals due to the failed alternator, learning about loose spokes the hard way, the importance of a spare tire, re-learning how to tune/troubleshoot and live with carburetor technology aka dark magic, dealing with recalcitrant ignition systems/coils on hot and/or rainy days and just the day and night difference when riding on three wheels vice two.

On the other hand, Natasha allows me to ride in Winter weather with no major issues.  Snow is a welcome sight and not a soul-crushing event to me now.  It's really amusing the looks I get when riding by on snow-covered streets.

Natasha's "batwing" fairing enable me to ride in temperatures below zero with only the electric grips being needed; though it does get a bit "nippy" at times.  Windy days?  No problem and no heart-stopping moments leaning into 20-30 mph gusts when on two wheels and the wind stops.  Rain?  Bring it on, last time it rained so hard that intersections in my neighborhood were flooding, I had a great time doing "river crossings" on Natasha.

Sure, her max speed is 65 mph, on a good day, going downhill, with a following wind, so not the speediest vehicle on the slabs.  Off-road though, there's very few trails now that will stop me, and if in the company of fellow Uralisti, I'd be willing to try the tough "trails" as well!  Speaking of the Uralisti, their support and companionship on rides and wrenching is another of the benefits of owning Natasha.

I've learned a lot while riding/wrenching on Natasha, the main thing I've learned is that I like the simpler designs and motorcycles of yesteryear.  Both my motorcycles are from designs predating their manufacture dates, in the case of Natasha, by several decades!  It allows me to work on them with my ham-fisted skills and they damn near always bring me home.  What more could I ask?

Natasha and I, during a recent ride through the Rocky Mountain National Park

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bonneville Salt Flats Motorcycle Racing 2010

Back in March of this year, I was invited to attend the regular monthly meeting of the British Motorcycle Association of Colorado or BMAC, down in Colorado Springs.

I met some hard core British Iron enthusiasts there and have run into them at other events such as Bob Ohman's Old Bike Ride #7 and #8.

Recently, one of the BMAC members, Super_Chief, achieved quite a feat as part of a team running a sidecar rig down in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  Here's his story of the event:

Bonneville Salt Flats Motorcycle Racing 2010
    We found no fault, with the salt !

It was last year when my friend Kris got the bug, he was hooked. He just had to race one of his motorcycles at the Bonneville Salt Flats !  He had just returned from the 2009 “Speed Week’ at Bonneville as a crew member, helping one of our other motorcycle club members, Jerry, race his bike

At our next club meeting Kris approached me about joining with him to race one of his Harley Sportsters at Bonneville.  I not only said yes but, heck yes !  Then he told me that he was going to race in the sidecar class.  Whoa, wait a minute, I am not going to get in any sidecar at those speeds !  He then told me that they don’t allow a passenger for safety reasons, and that I would be his crew chief.

After a year of arduous work, myself finding the parts, race fairing, sidecar wheel etc., and Kris putting the whole thing together, we were ready.  With our one off ’69 Harley Sportster sidecar racer, sitting atop our open trailer and being pulled by our trusty Honda Station Wagon with over 200,000 miles, we were off !

13 hours later we were there, Wendover Utah is a place like no other. It sits right at the Utah/Nevada border, casinos on one side, the Bonneville salt flats on the other. We arrived too late in the day to drive out on the salt flats. So my first taste of salt would have to wait until morning.

At 8:00 AM I became a certified “salt-aholic”, it is truly amazing, the salt falts are like being on another planet, maybe Mars!  It is so white in all directions that you lose perspective, where am I?  Wait a minute Kris found a sign . . .

We nicknamed our sidecar rig “Bonneville Betty” and the name of our racing team is “Super_Chief”.  I designed up a T-shirt to announce our race team to the world of Land Speed Racing .

image source: google

Our first day on the salt was a busy one, setup the pit area, fill out the paperwork, get the race bike and our gear through technical inspection, fuel up the bike with the $10 per gallon mandatory race fuel,  man, when do we get to race down the course?

We could race the next day, but only after we passed rookie school, which we did. Oh no, it meant that now we were really going to go down the course!  Would the bike make us proud and at least go over the ton (100 mph)?

The record in our class was set @ 126 MPH, we surely wouldn’t beat that this year. No more waiting, we were next in line and it was now or never . . . 

The bike started just fine, the flagman waved Kris on and he left the starting line. Hang on, here we go !  I followed in the chase vehicle (can you say Honda Station Wagon) to pick Kris up after the 2 mile marker. 

When I got there Kris looked discouraged, he said when he shifted into high gear it felt like the bike was not accelerating, so he attempted to shift back down to third gear, then the engine quit, darn.  Back at the pits we discovered that Kris had merely hit the kill switch with his thumb when working the throttle during the downshift. The engine was fine, we repositioned the switch, but it was too late in the day for another run.  

We would have to wait until the next morning to run again, and run we did. Our next run netted us an average speed over the second mile of, get this,  111 MPH, WOW !  After yours truly, aptly nicknamed “Super Chief”, did some adjustments to the engine timing and mixture setting we went out to give it another go.  

This time the waiting line at the short course was really long , an umbrella can really help keep you cool out there, just ask Kris with all his race leathers on, it gets a bit toasty.  .  . 

Well, they don’t call me Super (Crew) Chief for nothing!  This time we hit over 115 mph, we were dancing in the pits.  We had met our goal of over 100 MPH, and knew our old engine had given us everything she had.

Another member in our motorcycle club, Jerry, finally got his BSA to run decent and set the production vintage 650 class record . . .

Jerry on his BSA

Jerry (black BSA 650) was going after an open record in the 650cc Production Pushrod Vintage (P-PV) prior to 1955 is vintage. So all he had to do is get down the track twice and he would have the record.

Problem is that many people think that BSA stands for "Bast*rd Stopped Again", and Jerry's BSA was living proof.  Over the past two years Jerry's BSA has seized 3 times, including right @ Bonneville this year !

It was only a mild seizure, once cooled down, it started. So he kept the revs down and managed about 50 MPH and got the record.  If nothing else Jerry is tenacious, he stuck with that old bike and we are proud of him for sure.

Another member, Jack, was going after upping his own record, but just missed it  . . . 

With his red/blue 250 Triumph, Jack holds the record in 250cc Class for Motorcycle Partial Streamliner - Pushrod Gas (MPS-PG).  His record is an amazing 101 MPH, he had reworked the cyclinder head on his bike for this year, but only managed about 97 MPH, the God Of Speed can be cruel!

George’s new bike, a beautiful bike which he designed himself, had some handling problems but still managed about 80 mph, not bad for his first year out . . . 

George (low slung black Triumph) was in the 650cc Special Construction Pushrod - Gas  (SC-PG). The record in this class is 126 MPH, so once George gets his handling dialed in I feel he is a shoe in.  His motor with those open pipes sounds really healthy, he'll get the reord next year !

Will we be back next year ? with a rebuilt engine ? and try our luck again?  You betcha we will !
Well that’s about it, one fun time, neatest people you’ll ever meet, and yes, if you go once you’re the real salt of the earth !


For more information about our motorcycle club here in Colorado Springs, visit our website:

My thanks to Super_Chief for this great story of their exploits on the Salt!


Ride Safe.  Ride Aware.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uraling in the Ride for Freedom Service Dogs Poker Rally

Another beautifully sunny day today here in Colorado, perfect weather for riding one's motorcycle in the 2010 Freedom Service Dogs Poker Rally Ride with friends.

I again was fortunate to have James Briggs as my "monkey", riding in the sidecar rig which I call Natasha.  I'd met James during this Spring's Ride for the Kids put on by the Pediatric Tumor Foundation.

I invited a fellow Uralista, Craig H. and he rode his Ural Arctic Rig.  This allowed James' brother Lachlan to also get a sidecar ride in while their father Terry rode escort on his Triumph America motorcycle.

Rounding out our little group was a neighborhood friend, Bob T. who is new to motorcycling with his Suzuki Cruiser; he brought along his son Andrew riding pillion.

We all met at the Festival of the Bastardino in Centennial Park, in Englewood, CO which was the starting point for the Ride for Freedom Service Dogs Poker Rally.  I must say, the event organizers did a great job getting everyone registered, checked in and moving in the right direction!  A very well run event!

We all were on the road a bit before 11:00 AM and the route had us cruising south on US85, the four of our motorcycles riding together of course, with most of the riders way ahead of us already.  This was fine as I was setting a comfortable pace that would allow us a safe and scenic ride.

We took US85 south out of the Denver Metro area until we got to the small town of Sedalia where we turned right onto CO67 for a brief passage through the town.  Soon we turned South onto CO105 and were riding smoothly towards the town of Palmer Lake.  Did I mention the weather was gorgeous?  It was some great riding conditions that accompanied us the entire day.

Our first poker card stop, where one draws the second poker card for one's "hand" which is turned in at the end of the ride for prizes.  The stop was the Rock House Ice Cream shop in Palmer Lake, most of us got some ice cream cones and it was a nice place to take a break during the ride.

photo: Craig H.
Lachlan and Craig near the Rock House Ice Cream Shop

This rider shows there's other ways to bring one's dog along besides a sidecar rig!
photo: Terry B.

Soon though we continued heading South on CO105 until we got to the town of Monument, here we turned eastward.   Our route had us heading towards the junction of CO105 and CO83, aka Parker Road.  Turning south once more on CO83, it was less than 25 miles until we reached the outskirts of Colorado Springs.  A brief sprint on I-25 was performed with no incident and soon I was leading our small group onto the Garden of the Gods Road exit.

The trading post within the Garden of the Gods Park, with its beautifully sunlit gigantic rock formations, was the next stop for a poker card drawing.  There was good parking for the many motorcycles that comprised the riders of this rally and a small lunch was provided by the event organizers.

The crew lines up for hot dogs
photo: Craig H.

After the quick lunch and some rest, we meandered out of the park and go on westbound US24 after unintentionally transiting through Manitou Springs, my fault, I missed the turn.  Still, it was only a short delay and soon we were winging our way through the winding canyon roads west of Manitou Springs heading towards Woodland Park and CO67.

The "Balancing Rock" in the Garden of the Gods
photo by Lachlan

The scenery along US24 (I think)
photo by James

The published fuel stop for the rally was the "Loaf and Jug" in Woodland Park but I elected instead to stop short at a different gas station.  It was kismet, for who walks up to me at the gas station but Gary France!  I mean, what are the odds of our meeting again like this?  He'd just come off of riding to the top of Pikes Peak and he spotted me pulling up to fuel up!

Gary France and the Leading Ladies
Fresh from the top of Pikes Peak!  

After tanking up, we all rode together for a little bit and parted ways at the junction of US24 and Northbound CO67.  You see, Gary was headed for Cripple Creek and the Shelf Road to Canon City; we were heading west on CO67 towards Deckers, the next stop of the poker rally.

The road was mostly empty and we made pretty good time.  The hillsides along the way are still showing signs of the vast destruction wrought by the Haman Fires of not so long ago.  Natasha, my Ural Sidecar Rig, must be quite the smooth ride for the passenger as James managed to catch a few winks as we rode along.  I was kind of worried about his helmeted head weaving back and forth so I slowed the pace down a bit.

We got to Deckers with no problems and everyone enjoyed the break from the riding while getting some drinks and snacks.

Some of the motorcycles which took part in the Poker Run
photo: Craig H.

The crew at Decker's
photo: Terry B.

We left Deckers at around 3:30 PM and headed north on CO126's nicely twisty roads, slowly climbing up from the valley floor carved out by the Platte River.  Natasha was doing well though still only managing speeds in the high 40s on the steeper portions of CO126.

We got to Pine Junction and turned east onto US285 and it was a quick, twisting at times, but uneventful ride all the way to the town of Morrison where the rally ended.

Last shot of the crew at rally's end

I took my leave of this merry crew at this time, as I had work to do which required me to get on the Internet. So they went off to the end of rally festivities and I went to work.  Found myself a nice shady spot right about the time the work conference call started and got to work.  I'd brought along my laptop you see, and almost 90 minutes later, we were done.

Got home just before 7:00 PM, a bit over 200 miles or so of riding done, with no incidents but some ongoing carburetion (I think) issues with Natasha.  Still, she performed like a champ!

On a non-motorcycling note, I was given a present by James as a token of his thanks for his ride with me this Spring, he gave me a copy of his newly published book!  Yep, James Briggs, 12 years old, is a published author of this book:

Image Source:

I was quite touched by this gift, and very impressed with this achievement by this young man.  I plan to read it as soon as possible!  Thanks James, I do appreciate it very much!  Note, James has finished his second book and its currently being edited.

A picture of me after receiving the book from James, that light you see isn't 
the sun, it's the flash of realization that James was the author!  : )

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Showing Gary around Denver's Downtown

Last Sunday it was Gary's turn to ride in Natasha's sidecar as we took a short tour of the downtown area of Denver. The Taste of Colorado Festival was in its third day and we also took that in to see what kind of people watching we could do.

I'll let Gary cover the people-watching and sights he saw as we rode Denver's steel and glass canyons.

Traffic was very light since it was the Labor Day Holiday and the weather was a bit warm but very sunny and not much wind. We basically rode up and down the main drags of downtown Denver, stopping where Gary fancied a picture or two.

I was mostly the "hack chauffer" for Gary today so not many pictures. I invite you to check out his posting of today's riding. LINK.

One of the sights I did take a picture of was the Colorado Convention Center's Blue Bear:

The Blue Bear

We then wandered about some more, finally ending up near the Colorado State Capitol.  I parked Natasha after Gary finished taking pictures of this impressive structure and we walked into the "Taste of Colorado" area.

Not much to report, pretty much your typical festival with some kid rides, vendors selling everything from food/snacks/drinks to trinkets to artisans hawking their wares.  The crowds were tolerable and Gary seemed to be having a good time doing some people watching; again please check out his blog posting for today.

The festival was located in what's called the Civic Center.  One of the nearby buildings houses the Denver Post.  At the front of the building, I knew that there was the Pioneer Monument and statues representing the pioneers who helped settle Colorado and atop the monument, a statue of famed scout and trail blazer: Kit Carson.

I mentioned this to Gary and drew a blank stare from him.  I said to him: "You know, Kit Carson!"  He responded back with: "Oh you mean the TV personality, right?  Johnny Carson?"

I laughed out loud and quickly explained to him who Kit Carson was, as I'd forgotten that since Gary is British, that western history of the USA was probably not  widely covered when he was going through the English school system.  I kidded Gary about this for a bit and told him it'd end up in the blog.

One last "dig", Gary initially pointed at the statue of the miner before pointing correctly at Kit Carson

We left the "Taste of Colorado and were home a bit before 1:00 PM I think, a quick lunch later and soon it was time for Gary to ride off into the sunset.  Or in this case, an interview with fellow writer: Ken Bingenheimer.

Quite the enjoyable visit by Gary, and it was over way too soon we think.  As his departure neared, we took some last photos of the bikes and of each other:

He looks right at home on Natasha doesn't he?

Our last shot of Gary as he resumes his adventure

Safe Travels Gary!  We'll see you online.....Cheers!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 - Remembering

9 years ago today, I was driving (the motorcycling bug had not hit me yet) to work listening to the radio when the announcer said a plane had flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

First thing that popped into my mind was that it was something similar to when a military aircraft had flown into the Empire State Building back in 1945.  The announcer and I really had no idea it was but the first of two  airliners crashing into the World Trade Center buildings; a third plane flew into the Pentagon Building in Washington, D.C and what would have been a fourth airliner probably onto the White House or Congress were it not for the bravery of the passengers of United Airlines flight 93.

A good short narrative here on  Attack on America.

Image source:

The History Channel recently debuted a film showing a compilation of video and stories of some of the people who survived this cowardly attack and of the heroic first responders who risked their lives to save them.  Over four hundred firefighters and police officers died doing their job....remember them today.

Nearly 3000 people, most probably not involved with the stated terrorist rationale for the attack, died in this cowardly attack....their only crime was being Americans, working in buildings that had come to symbolize America's greatness or symbols that focused the hate of the cowards who hide behind a perverted version of Islam.   Remember those victims today.

Today I ride in support of a foundation that works to provide "Service Dogs" to help wounded Veterans recover from injuries sustained in the ongoing wars.  More on that later.

To the above statement I also add: