Going for a Ride

The other day M and I went for a cruise.  The route was unfortunately lacking in twisty roads, but this is The West, and Utah at that.  The Square States don’t have as many really good motorcycle roads.  We were going to head up into the mountains, but the weather was flat out nasty up there.  Blue skies to the East, storm clouds and visible rain to the north and west… so we went East.
Vernal Utah is close to the Colorado boarder so we made a run for it, with the destination being Rangely, Colorado.   Some stretches there are long straights where we made high speed runs during which I took a most interesting sampling for my new found hobby of Helmet Visor Entomology.  Or as it’s also called, “WTF is that on my Visor?”
After we hung a Right in Dinosaur Colorado, the road to Rangely got a bit more interesting as it wound through some working Oil Fields.  Lots of trucks were about, and I didn’t want some trucker thinking “WTF is that in my Grill?”  The road wasn’t as twisty as I remembered it.  I used to travel this road daily from Vernal to Rangely and back again as that is were I graduated my Police Academy.  But absence makes the heart grow fonder I guess but the revisit was a disappointment.  Also, the road was infested with snakes… Tar Snakes.    Tar Snakes are strips of tar used to fill in cracks.  For a Motorist, they are an ugly eyesore.  For a Motorcyclist, they are strips of anguish, agony, and death.  Okay, perhaps that is a bit overly dramatic, but they can be highly dangerous as they are slick on a normal day, and on a hot day they are completely frictionless strips of State Sponsored Murder.  I was taking a line between some Tar Snakes and suddenly that line filled with them.  My bike slid to the left, to the outside of the turn very suddenly and I had to open my line up… M was probably laughing at this as he was following me thinking “WTF is he doing?”  I’ve laid a couple bikes down going fast… doing it again because of a Tar Snake just wasn’t an appealing idea to me.

In Rangely I found that the place didn’t change much.  I topped off my tank and we got some Refreshment.  You knew you were not in Utah anymore… I counted – and I am not kidding – 7 different Tattoo Magazines in one small rack.  Not just different issues of the same Rag… I found this to be an impressive ratio of ink related periodicals to the the population of one small western Colorado town.  Driving through Rangely, M showed me something that I didn’t believe to exist in the Uintah Basin.  An Italian place.  Cheese sticks and Marinara Sauce.  The Sauce told me everything I needed to know about the place.  It was good.  I will be back, and I’ll return hungry.

M's Hybrid Sport Touring Bike
My VTR1000, cooling down.

We headed back out of Rangely and took an old Oil Patch road that went to back into Utah and came out right in front of the American Gilsonite Mine.  This road was barren… but it got rough.  I was wishing I was on a KLR650… because there was some places where it got kinda rough.  We followed that past DG&T Power Plant as some Plant Workers were leaving at the end of their shift.  This gave us a number of cars to blow past like they were parked.   Our speeds were… Brisk… Not too outrageously fast, but at one point I looked down and saw my bikes shadow and I swear I saw daylight under the tires.  The road was free of Tar Snakes, but had some abrupt changes in elevation that the Superhawk just flew over.  Forgive me for being disconcerted, as I had not run this road this fast before.  I had ridden this road on a bike though – some 18 years ago?  I was newly married and the Power Plant needed a temporary addition to their security during a Generator Rebuild.  Last time I rode this stretch was on my RD400 Daytona Special, which just didn’t have the top end speed.  Anyways, M, having ridden this road more recently and more frequently, knew the road and just flew like the wind.  Hypersonic, NASA Study Wind.  His 1970′s Vision of the Future of Sport Touring Motorcycles is indeed a fast bike.   I think we ran Highway 45 back into Naples, Utah in about 3.4 Minutes.

It was a great day of Riding… I enjoyed it a lot.  Thanks, M.

 

13 thoughts on “Going for a Ride”

  1. I will never punish myself by taking the road from Rangely to Hwy45 again. Ditto on the KLR for that. It certainly would be better durring Pdog season with an AR rack on the KLR (if I had one). Long story on the Vetter. I hate the looks (especially in gray), but is sure is warm in the morning. Something will have to be done for ventalation for summer. It was nice getting out for a ride. I usually trek alone, but it is nice to see someone can keep up to my little 4 banger. It really isn’t that fast; I just flog it pretty hard.
    Tar snakes make a boring ride more interesting for sure. I was wondering what you were doing a bit. The Uintah Basin isn’t the best place for biking. There are only one or two roads suitable for “a ride”. The others are at least an hour to get there. I do not like the “super slab”. I do not ride to “cruize”.

          1. let me know, the wifey might need some Costco steaks. I could bungee a milk crate to my passenger seat for a Igloo cooler. ;-)

  2. Sounds like a great time. George, that is an excellent description of tar snakes. Until you have experienced that gut drop of an adrenaline surge that comes with sliding out on a bike you do not know hate. I HATE tar snakes.

    By the way is a 3x jacket too big for you?

    1. It is… 3X is too big. Normally I’m XL, but my new jacket is 2X. If I want my sleeves to fit, I have to go larger. I have gorilla arms. Suit coats have to be tailored. Motorcycle jackets have to go larger. But 3X is too large for even me.

      Tar Snakes is something we don’t see very often out here. So suddenly coming on them at 70 in a bend was a bit of a surprise.

  3. Ah I see. Too bad I have a perfect condition “convertible jacket”, but its 3x. Tar snakes are every where here. Stay safe.

    1. I have a friend that could probably really use it, but he is too proud to say anything. I think 3X would fit him perfectly.

    1. That is what it felt like though. I stood up for twenty or so miles. I don’t know where the Ogre found the picture of me at the 1970′s link either, lol.

  4. George, look up “White Spar” and “89A Jerome” on Youtube, than come on down here for some riding.

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