We had a long day ahead of us, as this would be one of our longest days at over 330 miles, as well as a day with the most dramatic landscape changes, and variety. Our plan was to get up early, have breakfast and get going. The city of Ouray looks like a little town you would find in the Swiss Alps. I was bummed we were only there for a short time. We departed, surrounded by the Colorado Rockies, and it was cool and, are you ready…it started to rain. We donned our rain gear and hit the steep[…]Read More
Today’s journey took us away from Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak, and led us over another high peak, Monarch Pass, at 11312 ft. The sidecar rig chugged up that big hill pulling the weight, but we made it. The ski lift there was running to take summer visitors up for hiking and biking, but we kept moving on. We made sure to stop at the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, National Park. Very dramatic cliff views similar to the Grand Canyon. The type of lookouts that give you a hint of vertigo when you are at the[…]Read More
I’m taking a break from a long write-up since I am falling behind. I rode Frank’s bike around and he piloted the sidecar rig while we hit more beautiful scenery near Colorado Springs. Here is what we did today: 1. Garden of the Gods: Fantastic modern Visitors Center with many interactive displays in large touch screen form. The kids loved this place. The views and the short drive were stunning. I would love to come back here to go camping and hiking. 2. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument: Another great visitors center with lots of fun kids stuff, lots of[…]Read More
Frank planned some vacation days to join us on the last part of the ride, and he met us in Colorado Springs last night. Today was a get up early kind of day. Today was an epic adventure kind of day. Today was the group ride up to the top of Pikes Peak. The night before it had rained as we were driving up to Colorado Springs CO. We were all cozy in our hotel not realizing what was going on up in the mountains above us. We dragged the kids out of bed, had an early breakfast and got[…]Read More
OK. I am just going to come out and say it. Driving through Kansas is really boring. It makes Nebraska and Texas look exciting. The other thing I noticed is that every now and then they have these road closed signs that are similar to a railroad crossing bar. You know, the ones that are in the up position until a train is coming, then it swings down to block the road. Well, there are a bunch of these in Kansas…and no train tracks. At first I had no idea why they would need to close the road like that.[…]Read More
We spent the night visiting family in Nebraska and awoke to rain. Not again! It was not in the forecast, so I of course have to run outside AGAIN, to get stuff out of the sidecar and cover things up. I had even left our swimsuits out on their back patio to dry off, and those were now in the rain…oh the irony. This whole “weather” thing is kicking my butt. Since there is a bit of thunder and lightning I decide to wait out the rain, and we will boycott our mission to the family farm and head to[…]Read More
Today was an interesting day, and we were kinda all over the place, literally and figuratively. We were traveling along the tollway I-88 out of the greater Chicago/Naperville area, and our directions had us stay on that for quite a while. I was tired of being on the interstate, so I thought I would just get off and take a smaller highway for a while. I saw a sign for the Ronald Reagan Home. OK, I was curious, plus it was about time for a break. We stopped to take a look at the boyhood home of the president who[…]Read More
Once again I did not think to check the forecast and I woke up to rain on the window and quickly ran outside to check on the bike. My seat and the kids seat pad were wet, so I went about fixing the situation. It was also very windy. Not a good thing if I want to ever get good gas mileage. The morning was cool, so that was a nice relief from the oven blast feeling from yesterday. So today is the day that I completely break off from the group to go visit family in Nebraska. I will catch[…]Read More
Today was going to be a slightly longer day, about 305 miles. But we had planned on visiting another friend along the way. Spencer’s 1st grade teacher Mrs. Laniosz and her husband Tim, have a small farm outside of the Chicago area and she splits her time teaching school in CA during the year, and summers in Illinois. So we had checked with her and if it worked out we would stop by to visit. Again, the planets aligned and her place was only 30 minutes from our hotel. The morning was (I hate to say this…) more of the[…]Read More
On our way to the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Race Track we had the chance to go through a little bit of Amish country (we did see one horse and buggy in Pennsylvania). Today we saw families outside of their farm, kids driving the horse and buggy to town, and even saw a beautiful Clydesdale next to his red barn. Another beautiful drive through perfectly green farmland. My one surprise was seeing an Amish couple (I assumed) get into a car at the gas station while I was filling up. Later someone told me they might be Mennonite.
The plan for the group was to arrive together and get staged for a lap around the race track in between the regularly scheduled races. I did not know that. I assumed that we would be in a parking lot, and I would unhook the trailer before going on the track. When we got there, they led us directly to the gate and they lined us all up at the front of the “false grid”, I think they called it. Then a whole bunch of other bikes and riders start swarming around us and we get packed in. So, I guess this was happening now! When it was time, they then lined us up on the grid area, and with a pace car in front of us we all got to do 2 laps around the track. Makayla took video and Spencer took photos, and they said that was a lot of fun.
Some other highlights of the day: the kids got to watch part of a live race (we watch Motot GP on TV all the time, but they have never been to a race before). The most exciting thing was to see the Wall of Death, where motorcyclist ride a bike around a small wooden “bowl”. Both kids thought that was awesome. We walked around and got a lot of great photos of old bikes.
Today was considered a “easy rest day”, so by 1:30 we were done looking around and headed to our next stop for the night, Lima, OH.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that on the way to the hotel there was a super strong headwind, and I got horrible gas mileage. I hit reserve at only 58 mi on the odometer. I was in a section that did not have any gas stations for quite a bit…so I was crossing my fingers to make it to the next gas station. Well my luck ran out and it died about a mile before the exit. Not the best scenario but I was prepared! We had placed a small plastic gas can ( can I call it a can if it is plastic?) in the trailer, so I poured the emergency gas into the tank and got to the station. Not fun, but we survived.
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