I signed up the first spot on the trailer this past Sunday so I thought I should get some info out. Right now I have only rough dates as I am trying to make the trip manageable for the guys going to the 2014 Isle of Man trip. For very general planning purposes I'd say the 2nd or 3rd week in June would be the primary trip dates.
I think the most important things to discuss at this point is 1) What will the trip cost me? and 2) will it be worth it? I'll leave it to the Rockies veterans to tell you how much fun you will have. You can also view the thread from the 2011 trip ( http://njrats.com/index.php?topic=26.0
) certainly the worst one yet. It's mighty long but there are lots of references to earlier, pre-forum trips as well as links to my Facebook albums which can be accessed by anyone. These are pix from 2009, 2010 and 2011.
I think the cost of the trip is surprisingly low, but cheap is a very relative thing. Figure $500 for roundtrip airfare to Denver, who knows? The shuttle bus to Boulder used be around $20 and drops you off at "liquor land" which is destination in and of itself. Rooms at the Boulder Mountain Lodge are around $100/night and all have some sort of kitchen. Two compatible folks can share the room bringing your cost to $50/night/person. If you book a spot on the Miraclebill express for your bike you will split the fuel, tolls and possibly one nights lodging 7 or 8 ways. This number has been around $400, give or take. Jamhar has mentioned he has a truck and trailer and might go along. In any case we will take the total cost of the trip divided by number of bikes on board. You can also ride with me, saving plane fare, but you'll need to take off an extra week from work at the least. Anyone not getting on the trailers will have to rent. That's not cheap, but people coming in for only a portion of the maximum duration might find it acceptable. DINKs (Dual Income No Kids) might just do it to play with a different bike. I will try to negotiate a discount at one of the rental companies in Denver when we know how many want to go this route.
So let's say the trip will cost $900 plus $50/night. How many nights is the big question. I recommend Fly in Saturday and fly home the Following Sunday. However many days you do, I promise you that you will wish you had more time out there. Ask the veterans. But for arguments sake let's say you take my advice and do 8 nights. That represents 7 full days of the most beautiful riding you can imagine.
I have left out food and drink. Every room at BML has a kitchen. You can probably eat as cheaply in CO as you do at home. I for one wouldn't look down on you for going cheap. Splurge on what's important, the trip in the first place. I can do dinner at the Noodle Factory for $10. Free (cold) breakfast and coffee at BML. Lunch? Pack a sandwich. Now if you're a beer snob your budget will get stretched. There are many brew pubs (and the Avery Brewing Tap Room, an actual old fashioned tap room attached to a brewery!) in Boulder and the surrounding towns. I'll leave that to the beer fans to talk about. But on that note, we'll have at least one 5 seat pickup available and with my Boulder police contacts I'm sure I can stack drunks in the bed without getting a ticket. I don't drink much anymore and rarely will I have even one drink when riding. You set your own standards but I do NOT like riding with the impaired.
One other thing that got much discussion at the 7/7 pool party was spousal participation. Ducmom will certainly be going along. She has more fun if she has some female companionship. I was thinking that if we had an additional 3 spouses we could split a rental convertible. Can you put a price on a happy traveling companion? I'm ignoring the cost of a spouse shopping in Boulder because, well, "your results may vary". I know Diane's a trooper but she won't ride 14 days straight. Maybe someone like Harry would like to give Aggie the option of doing the "thigh master" on him from the back of his cruiser while he's grinding the pegs, or sitting comfortably in a car, watching the scenery. I've already had Shaun's widow, Cass inquire about going along to see the country he was so in love with. Just a thought for the guys trying to sweeten up this trip. Keep in mind, the spousal portion could be a part of the trip rather than all. In fact, Diane might fly in for half of it. We'll figure it out.
An option I have been contemplating is to append a 2-3 day trip either up into Wyoming or down to the four corners area. I see this as begging for free trailer space at BML and storing our gear in there while we take what we need for the trip. We'd come back and do another night at BML and bug out by land and air the next day. Just an idea.
The Sat-Sun riders' package will include a ride up to Mount Evans, A loop up and over Rocky Mountain National Park, through the high plains and back through Poudre River Canyon (the most beautiful ride I have ever taken, ask Tony Palmer) and hopefully a ride through independence pass. I never got to that one. It's a day trip like all the others. Punctuating these rides will be the canyons. I can draw you a map of the five canyons on a cocktail napkin that will keep you amused for days and days. BML's located on Four mile Canyon (which doesn't count against the 5 major canyons) which means you can knock off a canyonette before breakfast is served (7:30) at BML.
I have always secured some sort of discount at a dealer for every brand we tote out with us. I assume I can get that again from Lakewood Triumph BMW, and the Ducati/Aprilia/Guzzi dealer in Denver. There's a Kawi dealer bright by Lakewood for Jim, I just need to squeeze out a discount. I'll also try to get a discount at the Best Western in Nederland if someone wants to go "high class".
I covered the basics. I've never taken a better vacation based on a fun/cost ratio. Yeah it rained freakishly in May of 2011. Boulder had 3/4 of it's normal annual rainfall in the 2 weeks I was there. Mind you Boulder's annual rainfall is maybe 10 inches. We had that in NJ this past June. We'll be going a month later. That should help.
Oh yeah. My first volunteer is Tiger1. Add Diane and myself and we have 3 spots booked out of 7, maybe 8. More if Jim is coming.