In Steve's case, he was attending a conference of magazine editors here in the Denver downtown area this week and had blogged about it. A few postings/emails later, we'd arranged to meet on Friday afternoon after he was done with the conference. He took the light rail to the station closes to my home and I picked him up in Martha's BMW cage.
A cage you ask! Yes, for when I asked Steve what size helmet he wore, he said it was XXL! I had nothing like that and didn't want to risk picking him up via the Ural sidecar and not having my spare helmet fit him, ATGATT you know.
I made it up to him though as I had still some work to do after we got back to my house. I turned him loose on Vikki, the V-Strom after ascertaining my spare helmet did indeed fit him and my spare riding jacket would fit as well.
Scooter in the Sticks, pioneer moto-blogger and photographer par excellance!
Steve asked when I wanted him to return home, I told him 4PM, which would give him an hour with Vikki. It would actually be closer to 2hrs before I'd see Steve again, he managed to get himself "lost" in the cookie-cutter neighborhoods amidst which I live. : )
Still, it was time on a motorcycle, I am sure it was not time wasted. Hmmm, come to think of it, was he really lost? : )
My loving wife fed Steve and I dinner and then she headed off for a meeting with friends. Steve and I, after he'd found out he didn't have work in the morning, headed off on the Ural so I could show him that not all sidecar rigs were bad things to ride.
As we were taking pictures of a nearby photo-op spot, a rider on a 2003 Royal Enfield had spotted us with the Ural and he came over to get a closer look. He seemed quite excited about Natasha, and looked her over while Steve and I took a closer look at his ride:
Note Steve's stylish riding gear, he was only in a helmet as he was riding Monkey.
As night arrived, I had him get a feel for riding Natasha in a local school parking lot, and once he seemed comfortable with her quirks and noises, he rode her all the way home from the school while I rode Monkey. Steve did great and commented how much smoother the ride was on the Ural. Noisier and tractor-like of course and yet a better experience than on the Piaggio with sidecar rig he'd recently tried out.
Steve was now free to spend the night at my house but we needed to retrieve his stuff from the hotel. So of course, we set off on the Ural and cruised into the Denver Downtown area via side roads. Steve seemed to quite enjoy riding monkey and he did a great job of leaning outwards on right-hand turns as I would slide towards him to counter the centrifugal forces involved. Or perhaps he was trying to just move away from me? Hmmmm.
We rattled and rolled our way to Steve's hotel, the Grand Hyatt on 18th and Welton Street. The valet seemed quite interested in the Ural and we chatted as Steve went to get his stuff and settle the bill. My pictures of the area in front of the hotel entrance didn't turn out, go see Steve's blog tomorrow for a picture of Natasha in front of the hotel. He won't get home till late tonight so I doubt he'll be blogging when he gets there.
I got us lost on the way back out of the downtown area and elected to use the I-25 super slab, on a Friday night, to speed our way back towards the suburbs. It was a bit nerve-wracking as I was the slowest vehicle out there that night but thankfully we were on the southbound side, the northbound side was all clogged up with construction!
Oh and as Mr Jack Riepe had commented in Steve's blog that he figured we'd be out carousing "all the way to even 10PM), here's a picture for him:
It's past 10PM Jack, heck we were up till almost Midnight!
(the scantily clad girls were in the other room, Jack, really...)
All the above was Friday, on Saturday we woke to beautiful blue skies and somewhat brisk temperatures. After breakfast, Steve and I headed out towards Red Rocks Park as he had a whole morning to kill before his flight in the afternoon back to Pennsylvania and the snow.
Steve elected to ride on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer because she had heated grips. The temperatures were slightly below freezing so I understood completely. I rode Vikki, the V-Strom and we made our way across Denver using US285.
Less than an hour later, we cruised through Morrison just shy of 9:00AM, past the 20 or so BMW motorcycles parked in front of the Red Rocks Grill (meeting time/place for the ColoradoBeemers Club) and onto the entrance to Red Rocks Park just past the edge of town.
I signaled Steve to take the lead at this point and we would spend the next hour or so slowly wandering about the park, Steve stopping where he wished to take pictures. Here's some of the shots I took while he did his thing:
Vikki at the rock tunnel leading to the North Parking Lot at Red Rocks
A short video of Steve, riding in Red Rocks Park, his riding jacket is underneath the stylish plaid jacket in order to stay warm.
Once Steve was satisfied with the amount of photos he'd taken, we headed out to Lookout Mountain. A had myself a "senior moment" however and we ended up taking an hour long detour by way of Parmalee Gulch Road, which while enjoyable in terms of twisty canyon road riding, cut into the time we had left before we had to get back to the house and ready Steve to go to the airport.
Still, I finally found my way to the right roads and up we went to the top of Lookout Mountain. We took a short break and visited Buffalo Bill's Grave which is located at the top of the mountain. We then made our way down the "twisty" side of Lookout Mountain road. There was some bicycling event going on apparently as the place was swarming with bicyclists. There were also clueless cagers in the cars, passing said bicyclists on double yellow areas, muscling into our lane as we descended! Steve handled it all with aplomb.
Once down from the mountain, we found a gas station in Golden (after I had another senior moment and ended up riding the wrong way on a one-way street); Brigitta had hit reserve in the gas tank while up on the mountain you see.
The rest of the ride was a race home on C-470 and E-470. No issues, and the wind was noticeable but not making life "interesting" as it can do this time of year. Got Steve home with one minute to spare and we both piled into the cage for the ride to the airport.
After a late lunch, I said my goodbyes to Steve and he entered the secured area of the airport. He would be meeting with RichardM who was coincidentally transiting the airport on his way back to Alaska from a conference in Arizona!
Once Steve left to catch his flight, RichardM was gracious enough to come out to the main terminal and we met up and chatted for almost two hours. Turns out both of us have something more than Airhead motorcycling in common, we're both Network Engineers. Richard however has been doing it a lot longer than I have and holds a very senior architect-type position with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
I asked Richard on life in Alaska, we talked about our motorcycles, sidecar projects we're both working on and just network geek stuff in general. It was a good time and I was glad to have physically met Richard:
RichardM at DIA
So, a good ride with fellow blogger Steve and a nice conversation with fellow blogger Richard. Quite the last two days. I hope they both had smooth flights back home.