Author Topic: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014  (Read 3582 times)

Miraclebill

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RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« on: July 10, 2013, 12:01:00 PM »
   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.

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2010 Bonneville T100 sidecar rig
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Capo

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 12:54:43 PM »
I'm in for a partial, and I will rent a bike out there, Details to follow based on the TT plans currently in development. Spousal / son participation for a weekend of shopping and/ or college visits possible, but I'll handle that. Greatly looking forward to it, and thanks for the coordination.
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Famer

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 08:41:09 AM »
My wife and I have always wanted to see the Rockies and having read some of the thread on the '11 trip, it sounds like a great time.  Unfortunately, my son graduates from high school next June and between the actual graduation and a family gathering it might be tough to squeeze into the schedule.  Bummer.  Maybe '15.

Looking forward to getting out for another ride with the RATs some time soon...

Miraclebill

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 06:31:57 PM »
   The full NJRATS Ride the Rockies experience requires a Saturday to following Sunday commitment. Every time I have gotten people out to Colorado I have told each and every one that however many days you go for you will leave wanting at least one more day. Keep that in mind when planning or thinking about your trip. Since the only extra cost for one day is about $50 for the room, the only reason not to grab another day is spousal pressure or a shortage of vacation time.
   With that in mind I'm opening the discussion regarding the core dates. Barring all other considerations, my choice would be June 14th-22nd, 2014. The second and only other viable week is June 21st-29th, 2014. The 7th-15th really screws the guys going on the Isle of Man trip next year. Late June-early July is right in the heart of tourist/RV season in the Rockies. That's really the drawback to the 21st-29th in that the mass invasion of tourists has begun. Tourists in their lumbering RVs, even the looky-loos in their rental cars have a negative effect on the fun we can have. I have been out twice in late august and the worst part is following the groups of cruisers down the roads I love so much. Give me a local in a 20 year old pick, heading home from work any time. In most cases I won't be able to keep up with him/her. I lost count at 100, the number of drivers who have pulled over on canyon roads to let me or my group of riders go by. Imagine that for a moment you Jersey people. Over the same time I have never been waved by any group of motorcyclists of three or more. Although the motorcycle cruisers are an occurrence on any nice weekend, hot weather sends the riders into the mountains just to cool off. Don't get me wrong. This isn't my usual HD tirade. I have been smoked by guys on full dressers or GoldWings in the Rockies. No, I'm talking people out cruising.
   So give me some feedback on the choice of weeks. Feel free to put your two cents in even if you are on the fence about going. All opinions aren't equal. It will matter more to me what my long time traveling buddies think (just being honest) and those who are willing to commit to an entire week (or more) will have more weight put to their opinions. Anyone with a pickup and or trailer willing to put in the time have the most sway with me.
   I know this is a long time off but for most people vacation time is easier to lock up at work the further ahead you plan. In my opinion, this is the motorcycling vacation bargain of your lifetime. If you are lucky, you will have better motorcycle vacations. Compared to an Edelweiss tour of the Alps or even our own reasonable Isle of Man trip, Riding the Rockies with the NJRATS is a steal. Please comment so I can pin down the week. Thanks.
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2010 Bonneville T100 sidecar rig
numerous oddities

John San

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 10:39:04 PM »
I'm going to IOM next year, so the week of the 21st would be the best for my schedule.  That being said, I don't want to miss the Rockies trip entirely, so even if it's the earlier week I will probably find a way to get out there for at least a partial. 
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Ranger John

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2013, 11:09:41 AM »
14th-22nd works best for me due to family obligations on the 27th.
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SSS

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 11:01:11 AM »
Oh no!  Another invasion from New Jersey.  I just talked to Governor Hickenlooper this morning about setting up more radar vans and allocating more gluten free beer to Boulder.

Let me know if there is any more that I can do to help out.

Steve

Tremainiac

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 08:49:14 PM »
I find it fascinating you have a govenor named Hickenlooper who hasnt traded the locations of the radar vans for beer trucks. Actually I just find the name Governor Hickenlooper fascinating...
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Miraclebill

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 05:05:48 AM »
I just assumed he made it up, Todd.  I mean .... Hickenlooper? Steve's a kidder.

But seriously, you're afraid of heights? No Rockies for you? I had you on my must go list.
2004 Thruxton                                 2004 Thunderbird Sport
1972 Yamaha XS 650                        2009 Moto Guzzi Griso
2010 Bonneville T100 sidecar rig
numerous oddities

fjrrider08

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 09:42:09 PM »
This just might get crossed off the bucket list for me  :)
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Miraclebill

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 11:52:14 AM »
   Cass Nelson (Shaun's widow) stopped by yesterday after I split off from the Sunday Morning Slow Ride. One good reason not to finish the ride was a delivery of her home cured bacon. And she partially restocked the beer fridge with some quality beer. Minus the 6 pack she finished on her own. LOL. She and Shaun were made for each other. But this isn't being posted in the beer or cuisine section.
   She told me she was in for the Rockies. She is a woman on a mission. She wants to see the area that Shaun loved so much and is bringing ashes and a list. The Avery Brewery Tap Room, Oskar Blues, and the turn on Left Hand Canyon where he and I did a big photo shoot are on the list. This isn't a downer. I look forward to the opportunity to honor our friend. She and I talked for hours about Shaun and life after his suicide. Beer was consumed. No tears shed. She's a pretty good drinking buddy. High tolerance for beer in such a small package. She has done some pretty interesting things with Shaun's ashes. Stories best told over beer. Of course.
   Obviously her attendance doesn't use up a spot in the trailer. She is quite willing to chip in for a rental convertible and might co-drive the truck/trailer out. It'll be nice to have a camera car. She'll also bring prepared pork products for a BBQ at Boulder Mountain Lodge. Mmmmm.
2004 Thruxton                                 2004 Thunderbird Sport
1972 Yamaha XS 650                        2009 Moto Guzzi Griso
2010 Bonneville T100 sidecar rig
numerous oddities

Miraclebill

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 12:49:48 PM »
I thought I'd throw in a little video teaser for next years Rockies Ride. If you get past the sped up, slow riding you'll see South St. Vrain Canyon. This is one of 5 main canyons easily accessible from our HQ at Boulder Mountain Lodge via other canyons and the aptly named Peak-to-Peak Highway. It is the one the fast riders like. While there are no straightaways in the "Jersey" sense, the sight lines are quite long and can be tackled at speeds that make my butt pucker in relative safety.

http://njrats.com/index.php?topic=63.0
2004 Thruxton                                 2004 Thunderbird Sport
1972 Yamaha XS 650                        2009 Moto Guzzi Griso
2010 Bonneville T100 sidecar rig
numerous oddities

Tremainiac

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2013, 07:32:38 PM »
I just assumed he made it up, Todd.  I mean .... Hickenlooper? Steve's a kidder.

But seriously, you're afraid of heights? No Rockies for you? I had you on my must go list.

I don't know how I missed this...
Don't dig the heights. Had a moment I needed to recalibrate... Touch of sensory overload after 5-600 miles. Maybe I just needed a smoke... or a stroke.
Couple turns in Gettysburg pissed me off too. Just what it is.
Interestingly, never had an issue racing a ralleye car on mountain road at a buck twenty in WVA. But I was young(er) and faster. ;'/
Hey Mister... My sister has a Harley just like yours!

Miraclebill

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2013, 03:44:29 PM »
I'm sure many of you have seen the flooding i Boulder. Four Mile Canyon was evacuated as were the towns of Jamestown and Lyons. Lyons, for those that have been out there was the fairly large highway town where Oskar Blues and Cilantro Mary's (home of the $18 lemonade) are located. Maybe not anymore. I put out some feelers to the locals. We heard back from Rhett, who has participated in most of the RATS Ride the Rockies trips on an old Yamaha sportbike and now has a Ducati 916. His report...


Hi Bill and Dianne,
Luckily, it's raining again today..we were worried about the drought....
So far, most everybody is weathering pretty well.  Pretty much all of the roads up all of the canyons are washed out, so there are many stranded people up there.  Boulder itself is pretty good, wet in spots, a lot of flooded homes and basements, but power is on and recovery is looking pretty good.  Other communities such as Lyons and Jamrstown are partially or largely gone.  I was up in Lyons helping yesterday, parts are unrecognizable.  Late last night in Lyons, we got a mandatory evacuation because of an impending dam failure at Button Rock Resevoir.  They even pulled national guard, cops and Fire Departments. 
So it's all a bit of a war zone, but things are going...well?
Thanks for the check-in!

Rhett Snyder

I'm still planning on riding the Rockies one way or another for my 60th in 2014. The actual logistics might vary as the situation develops.
2004 Thruxton                                 2004 Thunderbird Sport
1972 Yamaha XS 650                        2009 Moto Guzzi Griso
2010 Bonneville T100 sidecar rig
numerous oddities

John San

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Re: RATS Ride the Rockies - 2014
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2013, 11:05:01 PM »
I saw some footage on the news the other night, and I'm pretty sure they briefly put up a shot of the Boulder Mountain Lodge and the little creek that runs down in front of the cabins.   Except it wasn't that little.   And the spot where your trailer usually gets parked was completely underwater.  It didn't look good... 
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
-Valentino Rossi