DO MONUMENT VALLEY
THE "CHECKERBOARD" TOUR - PART B
(Part A is
Last Update: November 23 2008 The below as written by Dan:
Never driven a motorcycle? Like to? You may have thought about owning a
motorcycle yet feel apprehensive about the expense and your own ability as a novice to control the
weight and power of a "big bike" like the ST1300 or a Harley.
OK, here's an excellent alternative (pictured at left; click for a larger image): The Honda Silver Wing
- a 50hp, 100mph "scooter". The Silver Wing ain't your granddaddy's
motor scooter! Notice the larger wheels and the aircraft-style disk brakes
(front and rear) to ensure the machine and its precious cargo can stop as quickly as anything on the road.
Especially notice the luxuriant dual seat. Long-travel suspension front and
rear plus a fully automatic transmission and electric start make the creature comforts complete!
Getting a whole lot of fun while getting 50 miles per gallon is worth checking out!
Check the links below:
650cc Suzuki Scooter
600cc Honda Scooter
Notes: It was very sad, doing what had to be done to the original hi-res Monument Valley photos to make
them web-friendly. The originals were truly breathtaking and all snapped with a Canon A60
2-Megapixel (who needs more?) By 2008 the Canon A60 had been replaced by many newer models, some of
listed here. But, one way or
another, the 500 Mb of photo files had to be pared down to only 15 Mb to fit my web host (sorry). - But
here are two virgin pictures not among those above - right out of the camera:
920 K Full Resolution - Feel the wind; smell the pines...
1.2 Mb Full Resolution
- Light the fuse on your Acme Rocket Vest...
In case you wonder how much detail can be captured by "only" two megapixels,
Look for the highway sign in the third picture in Part A, row 3. At left is a
full-size crop lifted from the 431K original. Keep in mind this was a hand-held
shot taken in a brisk wind. It's not how many megapixels, it's the optics! That clear shots
could routinely be grabbed at 95 mph is a tribute to both the camera and to the
stability of the serenely powerful
ST1100. There's a new ST1300 available with even
more power, and some might say a fresh new beauty. Take a look, and
The Left Coast Tour
A WORLD RECORD [maybe]
The story below is offered as a Post Script to the Monument Valley Trip above.
If not a World Record, then at least it ought to count towards an
Iron Butt Award!
Sadly there are no pix since my wife was visiting relatives...with the trusty Canon!
On Saturday August 16th 2003, I did drive my 1994 Honda ST1100 motorcycle
on an 11-hour 420-mile
trip that included ascent to the summits of both
Colorado. Both mountains are well over 14,000 feet high and both
offer stunning scenery.
Not a bad round-trip tour from Longmont CO - surely one for somebody's Book of Records!
It sleeted hard on top of Mt Evans. Better than rain because sleet
does not get you wet - not at first anyway. Eventually it piles up in
the folds of jacket and clothing and begins to melt - THEN it gets you
wet. Yes, even sleet will eventually cause the dreaded Crotch Trickle...
- that point at which you KNOW you're getting wet... The rest of the day
was spent dodging rain - a lot of wet highways but realtively few
down-pours - but there were a few.
Naturally I had left my rainsuit behind...
Pike's Peak was disappointing in that the road to the summit has
deteriorated into something only a Hummer could love. Gravel,
potholes, washboards - all the things that make motorcycles go boom.
I first took a cycle up Pikes Peak in 1972, and maybe 6-8 times after
that. Maybe the sand and bumps didn't bother the younger me so much.
Also it's $10 a person to go up Pike's Peak. In contrast, Mt. Evans
is only $5 - free if you have a Golden Age Pass - and the roads
are smoothly paved all the way to the top.
If you're on a bike, definitely see Mt Evans and avoid Pike's Peak.
Here are some maps to help you find your way:
Respect This: On the way down from the summit of Mount Evans,
I met a brave guy on the way up - he was aboard a wheelchair,
arms flailing furiously. This makes one feel very, very fortunate!
Dead Man Riding: After Mt Evans I briefly followed a Mad Bicyclist who
was going - totally balls-out - downhill into Evergreen, CO. He was taking
the curves on his thin-wheeled racing bicycle (no suspension, rim
brakes, sodomistic seat) at speeds which I felt very uncomfortable
matching (truth be known, his lead on me was increasing) - even though
I was astride a 110% roadworthy machine with better-than-automotive
brakes and suspension. Further advantage ST1100 with its heavy-duty
alloy wheels (that won't buckle from a pothole) and steel radial tires
that probably have more rubber in the valvestems than was used in
making Hot Dog's whole front tire.
The roadway to Evergreen was multi-hazard replete with gravel, pot
holes, blind corners, and hidden intersections. This guy was going
35 mph around blind hairpins marked 15 mph - honest. The center
of the road was smoothest and that's the line he followed every time!
A pickup almost neutralized the fool dude on one such gonzo fly-around.
If that's "Extreme Sports", then I'll choose a way safer venue and
rock-solid platform - like 125 mph in Monument Valley on my ST1100.
Part A is
Ride the GHOST TOUR with Elena
Visit the Left Coast Tour
Visit The Ones I Rode Page
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