My Taos weekend ride... We survived. - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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My Taos weekend ride... We survived.

I really wanted to get away from it all for the weekend, and thought a trip to Taos, NM would be just the thing, so I convinced a married couple I know to come along... I didn't have to try very hard, they really wanted to go.

Bryan & KJ are new to motorcycling, they just bought bikes a few weeks ago and took the MSF basic rider's course. Since they are newbs, I didn't plan any serious canyon-carving for us, mostly just highway and maybe some nice sedate mountain riding. Bryan has an 09 Suzuki Gladius, and KJ has a Boulevard S40.

At the last minute, Jen a girl I know somewhat, decided she would like to go too. This is the nervous-making part....Jen has never even sat on a bike before, and last summer wouldn't go riding with me saying she was terrified of riding. When I mentioned what I was doing for the weekend, she insisted that she really wanted to come (REALLYREALLYREALLY) so I pulled no punches, telling her about long hours on the bikes, that we would likely get rained on (which we did) and that even with rest breaks she would be tired & sore. she still wanted to go. I let her come, despite delaying departure to wait for her for about an hour.

Now, at first i thought that this combination of factors might prove less than good. a 600+ mile round trip with a bunch of inexperienced riders...Lots of room for problems.

Well, everyone showed up ready to ride. everyone was dressed appropriately for an april road trip, in multiple layers, extra warm clothes, etc. Bryan and KJ don't have riding pants yet, and were in jeans and had stout boots, helmets, good riding jackets & gloves. No rain gear, but they are both veteran soldiers I've served overseas with and when they said they could persevere I took em at their word. Jen said she had a good leather jacket, but it turned out to be a fashion-weight jobby that just wouldn't do. I lent her my leather flight jacket, a waterproof liner, and some goretex pants for if (when) it rained...along with my spare gloves, she was good to go.

We set out. I'd explained te rules to Jen, about where to put her feet, how to lean with me and not to lean away from me...not to make sudden, jerky movements when I was in the middle of a maneuver, how to communicate with me, etc.

Not to point a finger of blame at poor Jen, but she never did get the hang of it during the whole trip. I do think she had some fun, but her fidgety, squirmy, off-kilter jiggles, nervous lunges, and movements in general made for some very nervous moments for me, since she couldn't abide any but the very very gentlest of braking, leaning, accelerating, gear-changing, or any other maneuver. it taught me patience, it taught me the art of piloting the bike in a very smooth & graceful fashion, and it taught me to use great forethought in every circumstance. it also generated endless complaints from her, and when I tried to make some gentle suggestions on different things that might improve her perception, she was insulted as if she already knew as much as she needed to. I can't blame her for it, it's my own fault for bringing an inexperienced and untried pillion along. so be it.

Well, the first leg of our trip was superslab from Denver to Walsenberg, CO, where we left the interstate and went to surface highway. we hadn't made time like I'd wanted because of frequent stops.

We left Walsenberg, headed to Ft Gardner CO over La Veta Pass, which in daylight is very beautiful. We did it at dusk, and there was rain...and there was thick fog...and it was cold. that was an interesting 30 miles.

We warmed up a bit at Ft Gardner, and then headed out across the San Luis Valley, and into New Mexico. By now it was full-dark. eventually we made it to Taos.

In Taos, I had to look at some written directions. My family has a vacation house out in the country down there, and it's been a couple years since I've been there. Well, the last little stretch of road is dirt/gravel, and it's pitch-dark. Landmarks are not evident like they should be. we turned onto the wrong road, and spent some time fumbling around with me trying to find
my way. Eventually I figured out the problem, and got us where we needed to be, but not before dumping my bike while doing a U-turn.

It was a real slo-mo kind of thing, the dirt/gravel road had some big ruts under a thin layer of gravel and when the bike hit one, over it went. slowly. I tried heroically, but it still went over...but no dents, one small scratch on the paint of my bar-end mirror. Whew!

We had a nice time at the Taos house, took a side-trip to Santa Fe, saw some sights, it was good! We headed back yesterday (sunday) and made decent time.

We detoured through the San Isabel national forest, and stopped to see Bishop Castle
Mr Bishop, the castle builder was there, and made us very uncomfortable due to his being a raving lunatic (literally), a conspiracy theorist of major proportions, and a really crazy old dude. we didn't stay long.

Then, DISASTER! On the way down to Pueblo CO, while negotiating a slow, tight, hairpin curve, Bryan wiped out on some gravel and slid his bike into the guardrail... Bryan was completely uninjured. his gear performed well. His Scorpion jacket has an abrasion on the left shoulder but that's all. His bike has bent handlebars, and some scratches on the tank, and that's about it. Very lucky..... Jen got pretty freaked out by all this, and says she won't go riding again, but I dont think I'll be inviting her along again in any case. Feh!

After a good look-over, we decided his bike was ok to ride. we went the rest of the way into town paying close attention to how it handled...no problems. so we all continued our journey back up to Denver and arrived late last night.

All in all, I'm glad that adventure is done & over with. now I'm gonna go bive the bike a good wash and go for a ride!

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

"The Shadow"
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 11:43 AM
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Nice writeup. Glad things worked out well.

Here was the first hint of a problem:
let her come, despite delaying departure to wait for her for about an hour.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 01:45 PM
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You are a brave man!
There is no way I'd make a road trip with people so new to bikes.

I'm going to be in Taos, Santa Fe, and Durango CO in June. I'd love any suggestions that you have.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 06:56 PM
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Declan, Wow, sounds like quite and adventure you had!!

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Originally Posted by Kristen View Post
You are a brave man!
There is no way I'd make a road trip with people so new to bikes.

I'm going to be in Taos, Santa Fe, and Durango CO in June. I'd love any suggestions that you have.
You better call us with dates and times so we can come see you!! Hopefully its not the same week we have planned to go to ND!

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 07:14 PM
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I wish I would have known....I would have invited myself and tagged along! My family is from the San Luis Valley, one of my aunts live in Ft. Garland, she makes yummy chile rojo con papas y bunuelos (fry bread.)

Glad you all made it home safe! I would have probably slapped her around LOL J/K :P

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post #6 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Myztical, I just snorted soda out my nose! That's funny...I seriously considered dropping her off at the bus station in Santa Fe and telling her to have a nice trip home...lol, I just looked at what I wrote above, I meant Ft Garland, not gardner. That area is really pretty! I'd love to taste your aunt's cooking sometime, it sounds great!


Kristen, when are you going to be making your trip? I'm going to be out of town doing some Army training from 5-20 June, but if it's after that, I'd come down to Taos again to meet you!

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

"The Shadow"
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 09:00 PM
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I'd like to meet you too Kristin, any idea when you will be in Durango? I know I have time off in June, the first week I think...I have to check the bid annual schedule at work.

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post #8 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 10:07 PM
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Glad everyone made it back ok. Sounds like quite an adventure!

I like Taos and love the south western area of Colorado. I haven't had the chance to ride any of it on the 919 yet, but a few years ago I did a mtn bike trip to Durango to meet a friend from Boulder. So much good mtn biking in that whole region.

I remember having some really good store bought salsa the last time I was in Taos.

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post #9 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 03:49 PM
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Glad it turned out reasonably ok. Any pics?

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post #10 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justintyme73 View Post

You better call us with dates and times so we can come see you!! Hopefully its not the same week we have planned to go to ND!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post


Kristen, when are you going to be making your trip?
Quote:
Originally Posted by myztical View Post
I'd like to meet you too Kristin, any idea when you will be in Durango? .
I would love to get together with y'all.
If we can't get it together in Taos, I will be near Durango June 25-28.
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-11-2013, 08:29 PM
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Revive!

600 miles with someone who's never been on a bike before?! Crap man, I would've probably gave her bus fare 30 miles out. Hope it was worth it lol

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post #12 of 14 Old 02-11-2013, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Not to point a finger of blame at poor Jen, but she never did get the hang of it during the whole trip. I do think she had some fun, but her fidgety, squirmy, off-kilter jiggles, nervous lunges, and movements in general made for some very nervous moments for me, since she couldn't abide any but the very very gentlest of braking, leaning, accelerating, gear-changing, or any other maneuver. it taught me patience, it taught me the art of piloting the bike in a very smooth & graceful fashion, and it taught me to use great forethought in every circumstance. it also generated endless complaints from her, and when I tried to make some gentle suggestions on different things that might improve her perception, she was insulted as if she already knew as much as she needed to. I can't blame her for it, it's my own fault for bringing an inexperienced and untried pillion along. so be it.
As I look back on this adventure, I shudder. Jen, my pillion for the weekend made me absolutely miserable! She really was like a bowl of jello on the back of the bike, but her squirms were as if on a slight time delay...very hard to predict, while in the middle of a corner in the mountains!

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

We had stopped at this scenic attraction, which is really pretty cool. It has sidewalks along both sides, for pedestrians, which are elevated about a foot above the roadway. I hate to say it, but Jen faceplanted as she tried to run from one side of the bridge to the other, and she misjudged the height of the sidewalk. She really biffed it, and we all laughed at her...how mean of us!

I wonder if she knew how close I was to just dropping her off at the greyhound bus station in Santa fe, leaving her to make her own way back to Denver?

At the end of our weekend, Jen said to me, "I don't ever want to ride on that thing again!"

I told her, "What makes you think you'd be invited?"
Last I ever saw of her!

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

"The Shadow"
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-12-2013, 01:24 PM
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You realize she was probably into you, right? (not sure if you were married at this time, or are now? whatever...)

It seems like she was more interested in someone in the group and 'tagging along' was a good way of getting some time in.

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post #14 of 14 Old 02-12-2013, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You realize she was probably into you, right? (not sure if you were married at this time, or are now? whatever...)

It seems like she was more interested in someone in the group and 'tagging along' was a good way of getting some time in.
I was otherwise unattached at the time.

Actually, I was kinda into her. I was hoping that she was into me, but it turned out that she wasn't so much into me, as that she wanted to infect me with her bat-shit-crazy BS. Once I realized that, and discovered that she was not going to work out as a passenger...well, it was an easy decision to cut her loose.

After that, she hooked up with some douchy "bad boy" that would treat her badly, just as she wanted. Apparently she got what she was looking for.




.

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

"The Shadow"
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