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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a short version of my quest to attend my second Yamaha FJR Eastern Owners Meeting "EOM" in the fall of 2005.

I put some huge pictures here:
http://home.mindspring.com/~worcesterfjr/id2.html
If you don't have broadband then take a long dinner break while they load!

Hurricane Ivan chased me away from the 2004 meeting and managed to drench me in a deluge of rain for most of a days ride home. Hurricane Isabel drenched me on the way to the 2003 EOM and washed out many roads on our route that year. This year was different because there were no hurricanes. After the prior two years fiasco with weather I thought I would detour to Colorado and come back up into the EOM area behind any hurricane that might happen to come along. This is just a little detour to make my ride an 11 day adventure.

I made plans with another FJR owner from Pennsylvania, whom I had ridden with on EOM and Catskill rides, to take the detour with me. The EOM is in Eastern Tennessee for the second year in a row. We planned to hightail it to North Central Colorado and ride in the Colorado Rockies for a few days and then proceed to Tennessee via the New Mexico Rockies and then I-40.

I packed my bike with camping gear, food and tools and left Friday September 9 at 5 am so that I would avoid Hartford and NY traffic jams. The ride to Colorado and back had to be quick because I only had 11 days to complete it and two of those would be in Tennessee at the EOM.

Daily ride usually started with a wake up around 5 local time and on the road by 6 or 6:30 and then riding until evening:

Friday 550 miles of (yawn) Interstate 90,84,81,76, 70. We stopped early this first day due to a change of start time by a few hours and then finding the hotel reservation that was made on the internet could not be canceled. I had planned to leave around 9am to avoid Hartford and New York rush hours, but left early to beat them because my riding partner found he could leave earlier than planned. We met up on I81 both arriving within a few minutes of each other

Saturday 830 miles of (big yawn) Interstate 70 North at Indianapolis to I-80 stopping in Des Moines IA

Sunday - 687 miles - Nebraska and Wyoming interstate - 75 mph speed limit was observed - NOT BY US - We had a twenty mph tail wind and a hazard waste disaster that every emergency vehicle had to respond to, so there was zero police presence on I-80 in Nebraska! We averaged 95 through the state with nice road condition and little traffic. Who says the Great Plains are boring! I didn't dare cruise any faster because the temperature was in the high 90s and my new Avon tires had to make it back home. I saw the tire rubber beading up into little balls on the sides of the tires on this ride until the weather cooled down heading out of the Rockies. Sunday we stopped a little early and set up camping gear at our entrance to the Rocky Mountains on the high plains just North of Fort Collins CO.

Monday through Wednesday was spent riding the Rockies:

Monday 334 miles
SR 14 Very scenic twisting road into the mountains and through Roosevelt National Forest
US 40 to Steamboat Springs
SR 131 South to I 70 using this as link to US 24 South we did some off road near Mt Elbert to see the land my riding partner had recently purchased for his retirement home and stayed in Buena Vista.

Tuesday 391 miles

US 24 to US 50 West finding a very scenic twisty road SR 149
US 160 (yes the construction continues another year) we got to take a 45 minute break on the highway just East of Wolf Creek Pass where the decade process of removing the curves in the road continues
US 550 to Ouray Colorado - this town is also know as Little Switzerland. The town has swimming pools feed by hot springs coming out of the surrounding mountains. Our hotel also had hot tubs feed by hot springs. Walking around the town after dinner we spotted an FJR from New Mexico in a hotel parking lot, but no one was around so I thought we could gas up our bikes and park next to this thing and see if the owner comes out at the sound of a couple of FJR's rumbling outside. Well it worked and we got to meet another rider who had to check our peg feelers to see if we were wild riders or not (I've only done that once and now I know to put my significant body weight into turns so the pegs don't touch down). We were making so much noise talking that some BMW guys (tough guys on those on/off road type BMW's) came over to say hi and I learned they were from Kentucky. Well hey my sister has a bike just like that and lives in Louisville. Well I got strange looks and they ask what my name is and come to find out they were my sisters riding group and she had ridden to Colorado a couple of years ago with them.

Wednesday 546 miles

US 550 to Ridgway
SR 62 turns into SR 145 turns into 90 turns into 141 which is an unusual Colorado road. This is more like riding through Utah Canyonlands or Bryce Canyon. Gateway Colorado has new construction - hotel, grocery store, outfitters - the parking lot has bike only parking with built in kickstand plates of steel. This looks like a nice future destination if they can make a go of it. The grocery store is 3 months old and well stocked, but the town population is less than 50 even counting dogs and cats. Who is going to buy all that food was not very apparent. The hotel is a very beautiful/upscale place with reasonable rates.
US 50 to get to the most twisty and scary road (if your afraid of heights that is)
SR 92 Hugs the North side of the Gunnison River - The Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I saw my buddy turn off behind me so I went to stop on an outside corner overlook that would just barely fit my bike and my back tire caught some gravel (I wish I had ABS) and left a six foot line in the road - I let go of the brakes and took the corner rather than fly off the cliff into the river a mile below. I was not going that fast and probably could have stopped - well maybe - well I did not want to find out if I could have stopped or not. The extreme twisty part of this road is only 10 miles long, but I guarantee it will get your heart going! The rain started along this road and continued until we got to Colorado Springs, well it did stop when we rode up Monarch Pass, it turned to the first snow of this ski season! Cars and trucks were coming our way plastered with wet snow. The storm was blowing up behind us and did not stick to us or other Eastbound traffic. Coming up to the Colorado Front range we caught up to severe thunderstorms. CB radio is AM and my radio was crackling every minute from the lightening strikes around us.
US 24 In Colorado Springs we stopped at a Korean restaurant (sign on road said Chinese) and I found I could not read the Korean menu. The waitress was nice and helped me select a delicious dish. Just after dinner Colorado's finest stopped us to say "Howdy". I had put away the radar detector because of the rain and it had cleared a little and I passed a line of cars and apparently was way past the speed limit when coming over the hill the other way a brilliant display of blue and red lights appeared. I'm not sure how we got out of that one, but we did not have to go to jail, court or pay a fine.

To those really reading this your probably wondering why we are heading to I 70, when the return trip was to take I 40, well this was due to rain in the weather forecast for the lower part of the country. Unfortunately the forecasted rain had changed to include I 70 along with I 40.

We stopped at Limon Colorado to sleep and dry off.

Thursday 760 miles
SR 71 North to avoid the rain - played Dodge Bird on this road - Many field birds seemed intent on hitting my helmet.
I 76 to I 80 to Williamsburg IA

Friday 564 miles
I 80, 74
SR 63 Indiana
I 64 to Louisville to visit my BMW riding sister and her family

Saturday 351 miles
I 64, 75
US 129 yes the well known Dragon - I rode up and down this with all the gear on my bike late in the day and worked up an incredible sweat and got sore arms and legs. This kind of road is way too much work for an old man like me on a fat bike like mine (well not so much fat as long wheelbase). I would like this road on a bike half the size of mine.

Sunday 170 miles
Foothills Parkway
Dragon
Cherahola Skyway
I left predawn to ride the hills solo and had the roads to myself. Breakfast at dawn in Robbinsville saw the fog start to lift and it was totally clear by the time I found the Skyway. Near the end of the Skyway my GPS indicated a very twisty looking road that would shorten up my return loop so I took it. Well it turned to dirt, but the GPS showed a highway 15 miles down so I kept with it and learned how to slide around an FJR on the dirt. Well that highway was gravel too and loose gravel at that going up a steep hill. I used all my weight on the back seat and kept my momentum up the mountain (much more exciting than any Dragon!). I ending up looping around the mountains on dirt roads for a couple of hours. That hot tub sure felt good when I got back to my room at the Tally Ho in Townsend TN.

Monday 941 miles
I 81 to I 84 I left at 2am because I wanted to avoid Hartford rush hour (I did arrive home at 5pm and missed the traffic) and had a spill at my first stop around 4 am. It was dark in the rest area and I thought the kickstand went down but my bike went down instead. Now we all know how to pick up a big bike right? Back to the bike, butt pushed into seat, grab handlebar and grab rear bar and then straighten out your legs. The darn bike kept rolling away! I did this three times before my brain engaged and I put the bike into first gear so it wouldn't roll. I have new scratches in my plastic.

So you've read to the end eh? 6,179 miles and the new Avons still have tread left!
 

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Very good write-up Bill. I didn't get to meet ya at EOM this year (had a buddy go down and we didn't get to the events), but maybe next year.
 

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Bill sold his FJR, I think. At least he had it for sale. If I remember his post I believe he was getting away from bikes for awhile. Busy life. Hope to see him again someday.

Sorry to hear about your buddy. Was he the same fellow I met in Key West last year? Forget his name.

I think Craig and Ann are planning another Key west trip this year, sometime in Feb. (??) You in, if it comes together? Have not heard from them in awhile.

rad
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Memphis area

REAPER said:
Very good write-up Bill. I didn't get to meet ya at EOM this year (had a buddy go down and we didn't get to the events), but maybe next year.
Who went down? I know John and Bob from your area from past EOM's.

Hope to see you on a ride :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
rad said:
Bill sold his FJR, I think. At least he had it for sale. If I remember his post I believe he was getting away from bikes for awhile. Busy life. Hope to see him again someday.

rad
Rad,

I couldn't sell the darn thing so I'm stuck with it. I've got one good ride in since the EOM and now that I have a little time I need studded tires! Roads are sand and ice around here. Maybe next week...

What are you riding now?

Bill
 

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Hi Bill,

Good to hear from you.

Sold my FJR. It went quicker then I expected so right now I am bikeless.
Surprised to hear you could not sell yours, what's up with that, but from a selfish standpoint maybe that means I'll see you at a meet in the future.

I have a deposit on a 06 FZ1 but it's not due in till sometime in Feb. I'm missing some of the best riding season FL has to offer.

Good to see your still on the forum(s)
 

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It came down to the Speed Triple or FZI although I did entertain a Busa for a few minutes. :roll: The number 1 on the theft list scared me away from the Busa, among other things.

Not touring much, wanted a lighter, more nimble bike without sacrificing HP. Unfortunately, (fortunately? :wink: ) I still like to twist the throttle a little too much. Got to grow up one of these day's. :lol: I think the FZ with 150 HP, at the crank, will keep me stimulated.

If you ever find your way to straight roads and curvy gals, give me a shout.

rad
 

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@ rad, Yeah it was Scott. He got a Bandit and we went to ride the Dragon. Poor guy, down twice in 9 months. I think his motorcycle days are over (out of kitchen passes).
I don't know about Feb., haven't heard anything about it yet!

@ Mr Bill, I'm John (Memphis area), but maybe another John with Bob last EOM. Didn't get to hang around with the group much this year.
 

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Sorry to hear about Scott, he's a nice guy. Hope he's O.K. Did he get in over his head with the Bandit, or the Dragon? twice down in 9 months is not good.
 
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