I got a pm from Reddog congratulating me about the new bike, and then it turned into a question of just when the hell would be out riding again. Usually Bill and I go out for a day long fathers day ride to the Black Canyon, my favorite road of all time. We usually drag a couple of noobs with us - noobs to the road not to motorcycling so they can see how fantastic it is. At the end you find a new rider - tires freshly scrubbed edge to edge and hand shaking from the all out adrenaline of riding along a 1000 foot deep canyon, jaw dropping scenery, and turns so sweet you can only imagine - (southern boys its allot like the Cherehola, shorter, but the scenery is better). So I invited Sfarson who I knew had ridden it before. He wanted to bring along his regular riding buddy Chorner - I have ridden with him too a few years ago on a couple of rides. I was saying yea bring Chris along, so the conversation shifted from the Black Canyon to the Creede Run, another ride I do annually/semi-annually/hardly at all! So I was like yea sure lets do that instead. So a week goes by - I invite a few more guys, Chris his father gets sick all of a sudden and is not sure he can get away for a 10 hour ride so we switch it up again to a Squaw Pass ride. Final count 8 guys invited but only 3 of us go!
So I meet up with Reddog in Woodland Park and he is flabbergasted that the bike is not 12 foot tall and a football field long, its actually smaller looking than his VTEC! We eat breakfast and catch up on news a bit. Then off we go to meet Sfarson in Pine Junction at 10am.
Meet-up in Woodland Park Reddog waiting for me
Reddog says he hasn't been on a group ride since the Kansas meet, so hes rusty and has only been doing solo rides and 2-up with is lovely wife Analise. The day before in fact he was out riding and Gambling in Central City with her 2 up he said. So hes had more saddle time in the twisties than I on the Veefalo. So he taking it easy on me in the twisties near Deckers and going easy in the tighter ones just north of there, all the way to Horsepower Hill. Thats where I let loose, Bill he just lets me go cause it seems the Veefalo she like these fast sweepers. I am soon going 100+ up the 3 laner - deep sweeping fast turns - 2 lanes you can take up and then fast sweepers at the top, and on down the other side of the mountain. Into the bowl and all out on the long strait of the next mountain. I waited for Reddog on the strait. I was going as fast if not faster on HP hill then ever before and it seemed like I was holding back. Veef she was liking it allot, I mean allot!
Shes a sweeper hound, not so much the tight stuff - she holds her own but the sweepers are her playground. Then down into Buffalo Creek and Pine, I took off a bit on the tighter turns going up the climb from Pine to Pine junction, a couple thousand foot ascent up the mountain there. I had to pass allot of cars doing it cause they are building new houses in a new development, so much more traffic up it than before. I was thinking more tinder for the tinderbox that is Pine! That place goes up every other summer! Maybe they should have put that in the Brochure! Its a fire place guys get fire insurance!
I pull into the grocer at Pine Junction at hwy 285 and there is sitting a Mint absolutely mint red 5th gen with 16k on the Odo and sitting in a plastic chair in the shade is 6 foot 2 Steve Farson waiting for us. I mean I haven't seen a 5th gen that nice since I painted the old girl! It was nice, and he looked huge sitting on that thing. Steve says "yes I don't need to go out and buy an exotic 20k Italian bike to get thrills - for 4k I bought this thing and I reach for the keys of the vfr as much if not more than my more expensive bikes. It sounds great handles great and its just a great find" Then he says "When I am riding it I become ONE WITH THE BIKE" . I thought I should relay that story cause every time I met Sfarson for a ride he would be on a brand new exotic Duc, or BMW, or Supermoto, or some such other new fangled bike. Then he would say to me "still riding that vfr eh? how many miles now"? Now he knows first hand why!
The crossroads at Squaw Pass Road cross roads co 145 and squaw pass road
Steve Takes the lead and heads strait for North Turkey Creek - a tight little road that heads toward Denver, its gotten a but busy in the last few years so you end up picking your nose as the cages strangle up the twisty parts, so we are hoping the turn onto high drive will be better? We see the turn hit the signal and the cage in front of us goes strait but then a sedan and UPS truck pull right just as we start to make the turn - DAMN IT! 3 turns later we are past them and off onto some nice high mountain access roads, 180 degree switchbacks, tight uphill turns, undulating road and driveways everywhere so we take it easy on there, then down the mountain to Little Cub Creek road to Evergreen. It was an easy pace but fun - the turns are marked 10 and 15mph we were doubling and tripling that but still not insane at all. Fun it was fun.
Then the high traffic again into Evergreen and over to Squaw Pass, there are about 4 cars in front of us on Squaw pass - all locals who are turning off soon except one idiot in an SUV who took the most lazy pass around a slower cager I had ever seen. He took like what seemed 5 minutes to pass this guy - plenty of room and space to do it. But no he takes his lazy sweet time till another car was coming head on - still not moving over till he is about to get hit - he finally jerks the wheel over hard and back into the lane! Idiot, I am glad Steve decided not to follow him passing the cage. As soon as we could we got around that jerk! It would not be the first time on this ride we encountered idiots.
The Squaw pass was bumpy as usual, some of you might know it from the Summer Summit it was the Mount Evans loop. This winter did a number on it again and even buckled up the newly paved section from last summer. If ever a road was in need of a complete repave this one is it! Even chip seal would be an improvement!
Reddog Parry Peak and James Peak loom in the background 16 miles away
Three Generations Sfarsons 5th gen - the Veefalo - Reddogs Vtec
We stopped for a break at the cross roads of some dirt road and had a nice view of Parry Peak from there, then tried to set up our cameras later for some video, I messed it all up, the input cable fell out cause I did not use the Pelican box I had it in for so long, then I had the dash cam aiming at the dash and thats it, all you could see was the tops of trees as I rode so there is no video! I did get some good pictures, here are some from Juniper Pass.
Juniper Pass on Squaw Pass Road
Zoomed in a bit Parry Peak again Saint Marys Glacier in there somewhere
The way down from Squaw pass was fantastic, still bumpy but fun, the turns at the bottom are sweet! I am still not carrying the same corner speeds I did with the old girl but I will be soon enough I was glad to just be smoother on the throttle this time out. I have to get on the gas sooner it seems to make up for the shaft drive lash or whatever its not as instant as the chain on the old girl. But the power is more linear than the 5th gen. Then we headed up to Loveland pass. The guys started to push that pass harder then we had all day, going much faster we encountered 3 vehicles right before the first good turn. Sfarson and Reddog got around 2 than I did and we hit the turn and right way they got past the last car, who for some reason speeded up to hold me off for the next 3 turns. I could see them going up the pass faster and faster getting farther and farther away till finally she pulled over and let me go. By this time I could see Steve just flying up the pass a good half mile ahead. You can see the whole pass in places as it climbs up and he was way way up ahead of me, Bill not far behind but Steve was gone just gone. ONE WITH THE BIKE he says! Yea the back tire was edge to edge to say the least.
Me I was just glad to be there!
Loveland Pass Colors were fantastic
Me and the Veefalo Sfarson grabbed my camera and took a shot
I took the lead on the way down and was going slow, but smooth I was really proud of how smooth I was riding, it was so nice. I got behind a bicyclist woman who was anything but smooth heading from the top down to Keystone, she was using up the whole lane and I was running out of passing lane before the switchback but I got around her as did the others. She made me nervous I did not want to side swipe her - she was that erratic! shifting around on her seat jerking the handle bars around turns braking mid turn? bah! We had gassed up before Loveland pass in Georgetown since I am not so sure about the tank range on this thing just yet, 3 bars left I thought I better not risk it. If ever there was a Colorado tour guide motorcyclist (besides me) Sfarson is it, he has a story for everything. Love his stories, he even had a story about the gas station in Georgetown, about how some truck came down the pass on I-70 came down the offramp and crossed the road and hit the side of the gas station there - and nobody got hurt!~
So we intended to grab some Tacos in Breckenridge but the place was closed so instead we ate a some Yuppy steakhouse bar called the Kenosha, stole all the names of the local mountains and passes for the menu items - stupid touristy stuff and the food was outrageously priced just like everything in Breckenridge is. Pricey and not so good - but the company was great and the stories were great so it was a win! Then we hit Hoosier pass which has become a darned favorite of the in and out crowd, its busy with traffic all the time now, nice turns too ruined by way too much traffic. We did not even try to get around them there was so many, it would have been an exorcise in futility.
Steve Peeled off at Fairlplay and Bill and I continued on to Hartsel, I tried to signal to Bill to see if he wanted to switch bikes - he thought I meant I needed gas cause he turned around and started headed back to Fairplay. I guess my switch hand signal looked more like "I need gas"? So I rode the vtech for 10 miles and he rode the veefalo. I noticed that the riding position was almost exactly the same coming off the veef, but the throttle response was NOT! I guess you get used to power rather quickly. VTEC is always nice and I love the exhaust note, since veef has none with that stock slip-on. very little actually even wide open!
At Woodland Park I stopped at the gas station and got a drink and some candy and sat in the shade a bit counted the almost endless procession of cars from Woodland park down Ute pass on the way to Colorado Springs. Its crazy how busy that hwy 24 was, matter of fact all the roads all day long were like that. Hwy 285, hwy 24, Hoosier Pass, Evergreen. These near mountain communities are getting overpopulated! The traffic is ridiculous! Thats why I prefer to ride south and on the western slope now, not nearly the traffic!
So I got back on the bike and headed down Ute pass, I went around some really slow moving cars doing 10 under and look in the mirrors to find some POS Pontiac sunbird or some such small car ALL OVER MY ASS. He would pass as I passed but only instead of smoothly passing he would jerk the wheel and get like 5 feet behind me. So I showed it what 172 hp could do and took off at the first chance I found daylight and then he was 1/4 mile behind me the rest of the way back. Till I got to the twisty part where the traffic bunched up again, and then he was on my ASS again, so I weaved out of his way and tried to let him pass but the asshole would not pass me. So I slowed way down and then he took the bait and took off like a bat out of hell, jerking that car in and out of traffic threading haphazardly in and out and between cars in the turns. I was behind him a good hundred feet following in the wake of that jackass. Till I decided I was coming close to the normal check-spots the State Patrol stop at and slowed down - Sure enough I let him go and turned the next corner to see him get lit up and pulled over by the state patrol! HA HA dumb-ass! He was driving like a complete jerk too! He took the twisty part of the pass tailgating folks 5-3 feet behind till he could jerk his car around them, I was actually afraid for a couple of Harley guys cause it looked like he was going to try to jerk that car around them at inches too. They had on NO GEAR at all! Thats when I ducked in behind them and waited it out - Pontiac was gone in the 2 last turns and I followed the Harley Boys into Manitou Springs they were going rather fast for HD's! Thats when we passed that Pontiac pulled over by the State. The HD boys flipped him off as we went by too! Funny as hell! I would have too but Karma is a bitch!