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2009 The Summer That Never Was!

By David Parden

It is mid September here in Colorado and the quality riding days are mostly behind us now but it isn’t too steep a price to pay for being able to ride daily in some of the world’s most pristine country. Still, it is hard to imagine facing another seven months without being out on my bike.

Before I start dreaming of warmer days and new adventures I think I will take a moment to reflect back on the summer that never really was.

In February I wrote an article for this blog that I never posted. The weather was in the 70s and I was sure we had seen the very worst of winter and we were in store for an early spring. I was cautiously optimistic about great rides to come despite the fact that financially my little electrical company was taking a beating in the recession.

March stormed in and so did the snow. During the week the weather would be bearable but every weekend the weather turned foul. April was a replay of March but the snow for the most part had turned to rain and the recession raged on.

May came in with great hope! My brother, who writes on this blog also and I planned a short trip over to Grand Lake Colorado taking a long route through the Poudre Canyon. My wife was also going to ride her 1200 Sportster on this trip.

The weather in May was a mixed bag. When Memorial Day weekend rolled around the weather held true to its form, really cool with rain and sun.

The ride through the Poudre was miserable and cold. A fourth bike that had planned to go with us had to back out because they were not properly prepared for the weather conditions. When we arrived in Grand Lake we had a great time despite not being able to ride much. If you ever make it to Grand Lake I highly recommend Grumpys bar and the Sage Brush restaurant! On the trip home we took the shortest route possible over the top of Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. It snowed on us up there. Despite having a really good time visiting I think everyone walked away from that weekend feeling let down as the recession raged on.

I had high hopes for June. No doubt the spring would finally give way to summer and I could finally make the most of my weekends. Late in May I received a summons to report to jury duty the first week of June.

There were over 130 potential jurors called. Somehow I managed to be one of the 14 selected to sit on a three week first degree murder trial. June was going to get by me now without a doubt. I spent three Saturdays in the office catching up on work. I did manage some very short afternoon rides but we’re talking less than an hour as the recession raged on.

In July my brother and I decided to take a long weekend and ride around the perimeter of the Rocky Mountains. The first day out was unbelievable. Finally I was on the road again and the weather was hot. I was sun burned by lunch and did not even care. We spent the night with my sister in Ouray Colorado. The next day we headed out over the Red Mountain pass to Durango Colorado. This stretch of highway is perhaps the most beautiful stretch in the whole country in my opinion. We had lunch in Durango with my nephew.

The next leg of this journey would take us over Wolf Creek pass and ultimately on to Cripple Creek Colorado. As we approached Wolf Creek there were rain clouds on the horizon. No sooner than we started up the pass the rain came, hard rain! It rained on us all the way to Cripple Creek. The weather turned cold and at one point we were looking at what we thought was snow but was most likely hail.

After a brief stay in Cripple Creek we were off again this time to take on Mount Evans. We awoke to storm clouds on the horizon. Early that day we were plagued with on again off again rain. When we got in the vicinity of Mount Evans the rain started really falling hard so we had to abandon our plans to drive up it and head on back to the house. Once again we were left with an unfulfilled feeling after the trip was over and still the recession raged on.

The last week of August arrived and with it came our most ambitious trip of the summer. We were on the road to Las Vegas Nevada and Riding with us was my brother’s friend Craig who also writes on this blog.

Our first day out we once again headed over Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. The weather wasn’t perfect but it doesn’t have to be in such a beautiful place. I believe Craig was really inspired by what he saw.

That afternoon my new riding companion (the rain) joined us again. Riding interstate 70 west out of Denver is bad enough in good weather much less rain. It was going to be a late night and we were going to reach our overnight destination (Green River Utah) after dark. We were about 10 miles out of Grand Junction Colorado when my brother came around me and told me that my bike was smoking. Sure enough I had oil collecting in my air filter. I wasn’t sure what I should do because the bike seemed to run ok but we were not even 25% into the trip.

Reluctantly I continued on checking my oil regularly. Outside of Las Vegas the situation got worse and I had to slow down to 65 miles per hour. While in Las Vegas I talked with my mechanic back home in Colorado who gave me some sound advice for getting the bike home which I followed and I did in-fact make it home riding the bike not towing it.

All in all the trip to Las Vegas was a fun experience. I could never fully enjoy it though because in the back of my mind there was the lingering issue of my motorcycle which brings me back to today.

Football season is in full swing, the leaves are turning, and for now the Alabama Crimson Tide is undefeated. My bike is sitting in the mechanics shop completely tore down having the top end rebuilt. I am sure by the time I get it back the first snow will have flown and the riding season will be over but the recession still rages on!

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