I’ve been known to do a few wild and crazy things in my lifetime. This summer was no exception. Eight middle-aged guys – including me – swapped our suits and ties for leather duds and boots and then hit the road on Harleys. No agenda, just three days of the open road rolling out in front of us.
We followed the Arkansas River up into the Colorado Rockies on a two lane stretch of asphalt that snaked its way through the mountainside. After outrunning a thunderstorm, we spent the first night in Vail.
Joining this pack of posers for the first leg of the trip was baseball great, Dave Drevecky. As you may know, Dave has just one arm. Still, he did great on a three-wheeled Harley. After a manly meal of greasy cheeseburgers at a little shack in Salida, Colorado, Dave needed to head back to Colorado Springs to catch a flight to San Francisco where his World Series team was holding a reunion.
Figuring that he wouldn’t need them, Dave handed off his rain gear to someone in the group who didn’t have any. Big mistake. Dave was ambushed by two massive storms on the drive back. We shared a laugh when he called and told us he got drenched to the bone.
The next morning we ate breakfast at a place called Route 66 in Vail. When our waitress approached the table, she raised an eyebrow as if to say, “What in the world have we here?” She proceeded to give the seven of us adequate grief for donning leather and pretending to be bikers. Naturally, it was all in good fun.
I’m not sure what biker protocol is at breakfast, you know, what the official Breakfast of Champions is for tough guys on two wheels. So, we ordered fancy omelets . . . you can dress a guy up in black leather, but you can’t change his tastes, right?
After breakfast we fired up the bikes and headed to Estes Park. Talk about a breathtaking ride. We thundered up Route 34, better known as Trail Ridge Road, which happens to be the highest paved continuous highway elevation in the United States. From its perch we could see the Colorado River, that is when we weren’t navigating a series of switchbacks as we crossed the Continental Divide. At its apex, Trail Ridge Road threads itself between Gore Range (no relation to Al) and Lava Cliffs. The views were unmatched, like peaking at the private collection of God’s finest art.
The rain finally caught us on the downside of Trail Ridge Road as we drove into Estes Park. Nothing like getting soaked on a motorcycle to refresh a road hog. Seeing God’s creation out in the great wide open was an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to do it again.
Anyone want to go next summer? Let’s ride!
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