Tuesday Trip Planning Report

3-27-11_1I’m starting to get excited about the next motorcycle trip, a five-day ride from Tucson to the Four Corners region and back. Once again I’m riding with my friend Ed: we’ll leave Thursday, August 29th and return on Monday, September 2nd.

Our plan is to ride 500 miles Thursday, taking back roads to Farmington, New Mexico, where we’ll spend the night. From there I’ll ride to Ouray, Colorado, where I’ll stay over Friday with friends. Ed’s going to ride around southern Colorado, then overnight at a hotel in Durango. On Saturday I’ll ride back from Ouray to Durango, hook up with Ed for some local riding, and we’ll both overnight in Durango. On Sunday we’ll ride through the Navaho Nation to Flagstaff and spend the night at Fort Tuthill, a military recreation area just outside town. Monday it’ll be an easy (but hot) 300-mile ride home to Tucson.

Our trip will coincide with the annual Four Corners Rally, a biker event I’ve always wanted to check out. The corners in question belong to Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona: this year the rally is headquartered in Ignacio, Colorado, just east of Durango, but the entire area should be infested with bikers.

Seems like every time I embark on a motorcycle trip I have a new piece of equipment to break in. Last time it was a set of highway pegs. This time it’s a new helmet, one more tailored to the odd shape of my skull that my previous helmets. Here I am wearing it around the house the day UPS delivered it, making sure it fit:

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Checking the fit

Of course I’ve also been riding around town with it. So far, it seems to fit snugly and well. Five hundred miles on a hot August day will be the acid test.

Meanwhile my friend Rick just got back from the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota (another biker event I want to check out someday), and he’s selling his bike, a 2003 Honda VTX 1800C. I’ve worked on the machine and know it to be a good one … low mileage too … and am tempted to buy it for an around-town ride. Like I need an around-town bike! Anyway, here it is in Ed’s garage last month, when we helped Rick get it ready for the Sturgis trip:

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Rick & Ed working on the VTX

We’ll see. I plan to try it on for size this Sunday, if Rick hasn’t already found a buyer. And then there’s Donna, whose permission I will of course need. Oh, my.

To put a cap on my motorcycling news, Polly borrowed the battery charger again for her Ducati. She’s run the battery down three times now, and I expect she’ll soon have to buy a replacement. Her bike is ready for some routine maintenance as well, maybe even a valve adjustment. Hondas hardly ever need their valves adjusted, but Ducatis are old school. The good thing about adjusting valves is you don’t have to buy any parts, you just have to learn how to do it.

Motorcycle, motorcycle, vroom, vroom, vroom.

© 2013, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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