100,000 Foot Ride

 by Daniel Neal

I just read the news letter and couldn't agree more with your Blatherings. Your article came just a little late. I have been having the 'itch all summer and in reading the list of rides and rallies I couldn't take it any more!
I had been looking at a number of events and it seems that the harder I tried to get outta here the more life conspired to keep me local.

Well, last month I hit the website for the Colorado Beemers and their 100,000 foot ride........out came the Vise and I put my name on the ride list. I loaded up Eleanor to the gills with everything I could strap on and headed out on the 1st of Aug.

I rode to Springerville then on to NM 60 and into Albq the first day. I visited with relatives there and on Thursday headed to Denver via the slab. I wasn't really feeling too swift so I figured the most direct route was most prudent. Spent Friday as a kick around day and doing some minor things to the bike. I was able to visit with a number of friends that day and checked in at Foothills BMW. Nice shop and great people.

Saturday the ride registration was supposed to open at 6:45am, but there were so many people there that they opened at 6am. I had heard the number of + 400 bikes!! There was a constant stream of bikes going out until about 8:30 am.

The ride went west to the Leadville exit and then went off of the beaten path over some of the most beautiful areas I have ridden in the US. I saw plates from at least 15 states. The route took us to Monarch Pass for a catered lunch and a well needed break. Then it was on to near Gunnison where we turned onto Colorado 114. About 20 miles up 114, I was riding alone and as I came around a corner, there were 2 Harleys on the side with people waving me down. As I pulled up these folks were in a panic. There was a 3rd bike that I had not seen. He had been whistling down the mountain and hit a blue sky corner and shot off of a 30ft cliff. We spent the next 2 hrs trying to keep him together while the UH OH squad was dispatched from Gunnison. That kind of put a damper on the rest of the days ride. As he was being loaded into the rescue squad, the skies
just opened up and dumped cats and dogs all of the way back into Denver on 285 north.

Sunday was a rest and wrench day.

Monday was looking rather dark and overcast and I headed off to the Leadville exit again on 70 West. Leadville, Gunnison and on to Montrose for a bite to eat and more Red Bull. Then I decided to go for Durango in the afternoon . What a ride...I felt like I was in the Alps again!! In the early 70's I spent 2 years in the Eifel Mountains in Germany and toured all over that area , Switzerland, Austria and the Northern Italian Alps. This was Deja Vu all over again.

Tuesday was still rather damp, but as I headed into New Mexico, the sun came out and life was getting better. South to Farmington, then on to the reservation to I 40 to Holbrook, Show Low, down the Salt river Canyon home!!! It sure was good to see the backside of the Lemon!!

As I rolled Eleanor into my shop, the clock said 2,450.3 miles.......not bad for 5 days actual ride. I was still buzzing from the Red Bull the next day but falling asleep on a bike is indeed a no no. I didn't think you COULD doze of on a bike but I soon put that in the 'false' column.

You all don't know what these rides with you have meant to me. In March of last year, I had to undergo open heart surgery. Two weeks after I was allowed to go home, I developed a clot that blocked the new bypass......another week in TMC. Back home again I guess I was feeling like a lump on the couch, and the couch was going to be my ride from here on out. I was offered the bike in late August and jumped on it. I was just
tweaking ,polishing and trying to get the feel for it when in the beginning of September, Tucson and Scarry Vista experienced a major Salmonella outbreak..you guessed it... another week in TMC. So I really didn't get to ride until almost Christmas. Christmas day I told Pam I was going for a short putt that ended up at 265
miles!!! Since then I have clocked almost 9,000 and I'm on my 2nd set of tires.

The Beemer 'family' here and those that I have met on the road have all been part of my recovery. I am ever thankful for each and everyone. As the saying goes" I choose to burn out rather than rust out". Thanks to you guys for all that you do to keep this 'family' running smooth.

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