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.
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.