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Joel

Road To Fruition: Feeling the Love at Torrey X (Warning: long)

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Joel

Here I go again. If you’re in a hurry, hit your “back” button. If you’d rather just look at some pictures, skip this and look here.

 

A few months ago I posted about my gratitude for the this corner of cyberspace and the people who populate it. Those feelings only run deeper now.

 

At our local Tech Daze a couple of weekends ago, the main event was changing the front tire on my SV eek.gif in preparation for my first-ever trip to Torrey on two wheels. I’d been to Torrey in April 2003, after conquering UT 12 on 6 wheels in the Team Schnauzer Tour Bus, while my bike sat lonely at home. Finally, the right time had come, and I was almost literally aching to go. Greg Poole and I were planning to ride together, with a friend of his, Junichi.

 

Greg wasn’t able to make it to the Tech Daze, but when I got home, I had an email message from him that blew me away: he was asking if I’d like to ride his ’04 R1150GS to Torrey. He said he had “another bike” that he’d be riding, and I’d be welcome to take the GS. “Wow,” I thought then, and “Wow,” I think now. Once I confirmed that I had insurance coverage for a non-owned bike, the decision was a no-brainer. HELL YES!

 

After packing a full week of work into only 3 days, I left Thursday morning at 5:45 to head to Greg’s house in the People’s Republik of Boulder. I was anticipating this like a kid at Christmas. When I pulled up his driveway, Santa Greg had the GS primed for me to take a quick test ride. I mounted up, rolled down the drive and then down the street. I almost dumped it at the first intersection, when I discovered that 1st gear is pretty tall. Later that day at dinner, Greg told me that shortly after I left his driveway, one of his neighbors slammed their car’s trunk, and Greg feared that I’d just planted his GS into someone’s cage. Not to be. After the quick test ride, Greg adjusted the windshield while I loaded my stuff into the side cases. Then, we set off to meet Junichi on US 285 in Bailey, CO.

 

It was a foggy morning, but as we rolled south, the fog thinned enough for us to see the rising sun light up the Flatirons. An omen.

 

It seemed to take no time to get to Bailey. Junichi rides a Gixxer that he had rigged with a great tail pack, although the bag is almost as big as he is. After a quick greeting, we continued south on 285, over Kenosha and Red Hill passes and into Fairplay, where the mountains west of town had a slight dusting of snow. From there we continued south to CO 24, gassed up in Poncha Springs, and took US 50 over Monarch Pass into Gunnison. The weather was cool, and the scenery was beautiful, but we were all so glad to be riding that we didn’t stop to take any pictures.

 

On the way down Monarch Pass, the same thoughts that moved me to post a few months ago about my gratitude were front and center in my mind. Here I was, riding a great bike at a sprightly pace, on great roads, with great companionship, headed to a gathering of people seeking to have the same experience. I don’t even want to think about what my riding life would be like without all this.

 

After lunch in Gunnison, it seemed like we just couldn’t stay out of the rain for long, but I was so glad to be on the road it didn’t matter. We hummed past Blue Mesa, into Montrose, then south to Ridgeway, and then into Telluride and over Lizard Head Pass on 141. The west side of Lizard Head Pass has an awesome stretch of sweepers for about 30 miles into Dolores, our destination for the night. Greg picked up the pace there, and I tried to keep up, but he just kept getting smaller and smaller. That’s some new bike he’s got.

 

In Dolores, the innkeeper greeted Greg by name, and extended to Junichi and me the same discount he gives Greg as a regular visitor. That night we enjoyed calzones and local micro brews at a nice little pub down the street. I slept soundly, and hardly took note of the fact that the 420 miles we covered were the most I’d ridden in a day. I didn’t expect that they would click off so easily on a bike I’d never ridden before.

 

The next day, I led us into Blanding, where we gassed up and agreed to meet later in Hanksville, after riding at whatever pace we pleased up UT 95. Since the GS and I were getting along quite well, I picked up my pace. That road just begs for it. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to Hite, but I’m pretty sure that if you divided the mileage by the time you’d get something well north of 65. blush.gif

 

I learned that Fry Valley is aptly named, as the temperature spiked quite a bit there. I had to stop to remove a couple of layers anyway, so I snapped a few pictures:

 

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Here’s one from the overlook, a little farther up the road:

 

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What a road! To cap off all those twisties, there’s a long straight stretch into Hanksville that I pretended was the Bonneville Salt Flats. WFO in 6th is a sublime experience. thumbsup.gif

 

We stopped for gas and snacks in Hanksville and met a pair of riders from SoCal on sweet K75S’s. They were headed to Torrey, too, on their way home from a fall colors ride in Colorado, but had no idea about bmwst.com or the gathering there.

 

After a gentle cruise through Capitol Reef, we pulled into Torrey at mid-afternoon and made an obligatory visit to Brink’s Burgers before checking into the hotel. After a quick shower, I headed to the Chuckwagon.

 

At first, I had trouble finding my nametag. Then I saw that Laney took a little joke I made and ran with it:

 

37592784-M.jpg

 

This drew a few puzzled stares at first, but they were eventually followed by laughter. However, I made sure to stay away from the edge of the swimming pool, just in case.grin.gif

 

I’m not really one for large social gatherings, but I soon discovered that I didn’t need a gimmicky nametag for an ice breaker. I was warmly greeted by so many people I couldn’t keep track. At the risk of forgetting someone, I won’t try to rattle them all off. I’ll just say that it was quite an experience to find that so many of the people I was eager to meet in person seemed eager to meet me too.

 

I do want to single out one particular greeting, however. I had barely looked up from the nametag table when I saw the outstretched hand of RonB. We had a nice chat. Keep on keepin’ on, Ron! You’re an inspiration!

 

Trying to decide what route to ride on Saturday was almost like work. Fortunately, there aren’t any bad choices. We decided to take UT 12 down to Escalante for lunch, and then decide what to do from there. Steve Kornet (long time member, infrequent poster) led us. Here’s a shot as we began climbing Boulder Mountain:

 

37589907-M.jpg

 

At Boulder, Steve led us down the Burr Trail to Long Canyon. Off the beaten path, but definitely well worth it.

 

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The highlight of this leg of the ride was this incredible alcove in the canyon wall. You can barely spot Jan Barglowski in this picture.

 

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A few more

 

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From there, we rolled into Escalante. We had a nice lunch, and met Greg M. (Gregori) and his wife Chris, who were able to break away for a ride because Leslie a/k/a “Grandmama Hoon,” offered to look after their 7-month old son. How nice is that?

 

At lunch I persuaded most of our group to follow me to Bryce Canyon NP. I’d been before, but I needed a hoodoo fix. I must have been eager to get there, because there was a first-ever reference to me and the word “hoon” in the same sentence when we arrived. eek.gif I was just relieved that they weren’t charging for entrance to the park that day, as the fees were recently doubled. I have a pass, but I was imagining 4 riders behind me cursing in their helmets when they saw “$20” on the entry sign.

 

Here’s why I wanted to go. This view takes my breath away:

 

37589902-M.jpg

 

It was getting to be late afternoon, and we wanted to minimize deer encounters on the way back to Torrey, so Clyde led us back up UT 12. Just outside the park, a gust of wind ripped my magnetic tankbag off. eek.gif Luckily, I caught it with my left hand, crammed it into my lap, and limped to the side of the road. Steve was riding sweep and stopped to make sure I was OK. Various members in the group got to return that favor along the way back to Torrey, as Steve had a pinched nerve that was getting increasingly worse and really affecting his left arm. He had to stop a few times to stretch and rest. Greg and I followed him the last several miles down Boulder Mountain. Even with one arm, he rides better than I do.

 

Except for my tardiness that had everyone at our table waiting too long (sorry, folks!), dinner at the Café Diablo was an excellent way to finish a great day. Spectacular presentation, delectable food, a cozy environment, and great companionship. Somehow our discussions got on the topic of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons, which was good for some laughs.

 

After 3 solid days of riding, which I’d never done before, I was ready for some rest. Besides, Sweeper Madness was on the agenda for Sunday morning, and I wanted to have my wits about me. Greg and I stopped in to check on Steve, who skipped dinner to rest and ice his aching arm.

 

Sunday morning came early, with a serious nip of Fall in the air. Around Loa, the fields that were being irrigated were caked with ice, as were some spots in the road where the sprinklers overshot their targets. Soon, the farms gave way to curves. I swept somewhat madly, up to the overlook, where I snapped these shots:

 

37592800-M.jpg

 

37592794-M.jpg

 

Man, I wanna do that again.

 

The rest of the day was uneventful slabbing back to Golden on I-70, where Greg and I turned north to Boulder and Junichi continued east toward home. Greg’s wife Cathy greeted us in his garage. Although I was pretty tired, it was plain for her to see how much I enjoyed the trip. Greg was the same, and quite clearly in love with his new bike.

 

My SV never felt like a little sport bike to me until I threw my leg over it in Greg’s garage to ride home. It is a nice bike, but now that I’ve sampled something more, I really want something more. Hmmm…

 

When I pulled into my garage at home, Heidi greeted me by holding up a little card she’d spent the weekend working on: her card for having successfully completed the MSF BRC. She signed up for the course on a standby basis, unbeknownst to me, and aced the written test and the riding evaluation, overcoming some significant personal obstacles to do so. thumbsup.gifclap.gif I’m so proud of her. But now, we’ve got 2 riders and only one bike. What to do? Hmmm…

 

Before we left, Greg wrote in an email that I’d have the time of my life on this trip. It was the time of my riding life, indeed. I can’t thank Greg enough, not just for the use of his GS, but for everything he did throughout the trip. Greg keeps a low profile around this DB, but that profile belies a great passion for riding, a good sense of humor, and a tremendous spirit of good nature and generosity. Thanks again, Greg!

 

Thanks also to Junichi, Steve, Clyde, Jan and Jenn, Chuck from Philadelphia, and everyone else whose path crossed mine on this wonderful trip.

 

If you haven’t guessed it by now, yeah, I was feelin’ the love.

 

Oh, and about that bike thing ... Notice anything different in my signature?

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Dennis Andress

WOW! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

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Francois_Dumas

Hi Joel,

 

outstanding report and marvellous pictures. Great stuff for all of us who could not be there !! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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EffBee

What a wonderful story, Joel. I only got a moment to shake your hand around the pool buffet, but I did notice that you're too tall, too nice, and too good looking to be a lawyer (good cover wink.gif).

 

As for the rest of the weekend, no wonder we couldn't find you. You were riding your tail off. Way to go!

 

I guess the missus is likely headed for that SV now that you've got a new GS. You've got a little good weather now and some more in the spring before the end of May and Torrey 11 comes around. Perhaps the two of you can ride together. And if not there, the to the Un in Gunnison.

 

Don't know yet if I can make both of them, but I'll make at least one. Hope you're there.

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Dinkee

Seeing as how there are now two bikes, and two riders... vbg... in the family, I decided that "Team Schnauzer" needed another rep on the board.

So, now you have to watch what you say about Mrs. Bee.

 

Joel,

I enjoyed reading your ride tale almost as much as hearing about it. I just wish I could have been along for the ride.

--

I want to personally thank everyone who had a part in making those four days so special for my overworked hubby. "Lawyer-boy" hasn't been nearly as insufferable this past week. haha. Maybe my experience taking the MSF course last weekend has something to do with that. Maybe I'm more relaxed and happy. Oh my, is that it? Do ya think? Is that possible? 19.5 miles on a Honda Nighthawk 250?? Could that do it? Wow! If that is possible, I can't imagine how happy I'd be on a nice F650 GS.. hint hint..

 

note to Joel: see Classifieds.

 

Take care and be well.

Heidi

aka Mrs Bee

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Mike O

Joel,

 

I knew I missed a great ride, but you just confirmed it with these pictures and story. I spot several familiar places in those pictures (and even some with that same GS in the picture).

 

Now we have to wait until Spring Torrey!

 

Regards,

 

Mike O

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Les is more

What a great tale!! Congratulations on the new acquisition and it tickles me that Torrey, you and the rest of the folks on this board just keep working their magic.

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Greg Poole

Joel,

 

Man, I didn't realize that you were such a good rider/writer, you should give up law and concentrate on writing stories. Of course, to do so, you would have to take a lot more trips so you could write about them clap.gif

 

Your story was a pretty accurate account of what transpired over the Torrey weekend, all except the part where you mentioned that Steve Kornet was a much better rider than you. Dood, you rode that GS the way it was meant to be ridden all weekend, you're an ace rider in my book. I wouldn't have entrusted my beloved GS in the hands of just anyone, especially in the Torrey area. thumbsup.gif

 

When I initially decided to accompany you and Junichi to Torrey this year, I was hoping you both would have as good an experience as I had on many previous visits. Looks like that happened. It felt like being a parent on Christmas morning when I saw you guys tear off from that Blanding C-store into Escalante NP. Pretty cool.

 

Looks like we got 2 more converts to the whole Torrey thing for next year too...

 

Congratulations on the new 1200GS and on Heidi completing her BRC!!!

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Les is more

I know that Joel won't mind this tiny hijack while I say welcome aboard Heidi and congratulations!!

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ghaverkamp

Man, I didn't realize that you were such a good rider/writer, you should give up law and concentrate on writing stories.

 

Isn't that what law's all about? Writing better stories than the other guy?

 

A great tale, Joel. And a great shot of the hoodoos. I love Bryce Canyon. And I'm a big John Fogerty fan, and he loves singing about hoodoos (albeit, different ones.) Doesn't keep me from breaking into a song when I see great shots of hoodoos.

 

Greg

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russell_bynum

Seeing as how there are now two bikes, and two riders... vbg... in the family, I decided that "Team Schnauzer" needed another rep on the board.

 

clap.gifclap.gifclap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

 

This is so totally cool!! Joel finally makes it to Torrey...on a GS...and has a great time...and buys a new GS...and you take the MSF class...what a great thread! cool.gif

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jim c

so did we spend all that time on your front tire for nothing??

 

which btw the trick jeff showed with the clamps, i've now m&b 6 tires in the past 2 weeks! got my money's worth out of the hf tire machine.

 

PS

congrats to the missus on the start of her new adventure

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KMG_365

This whole thing is so frickin' cool I just don't know where to start! grin.gif

 

clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif WooHooDoo!! grin.gif

 

Greg, you're terrible! You're like a pusher in a "B" movie "Here ya go, Joel! Try this! The first one's free!" dopeslap.gif

 

Congrats, Joel and Dinkee!!!! smile.gif

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Dinkee

now i'm feelin' the love, too!

thanks everyone.

heidi

 

ps

don't blame greg..... he just provided the shove over the edge... joel was already getting ready to jump. if greg hadn't shoved him, i would have. ;)

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KMG_365
. . . if greg hadn't shoved him, i would have. wink.gif

 

SWEEEET!! grin.gif

 

Joel, you're one lucky bastage!! clap.gif

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Joel
. . . if greg hadn't shoved him, i would have. wink.gif

 

SWEEEET!! grin.gif

 

Joel, you're one lucky bastage!! clap.gif

 

Yes, I am. smile.gif

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David

Thanks for the story, Joel. I'm looking forward to meeting you some day. You're going to love the 12GS, too. You ought to do a write-up comparing the two.

 

Your story illustrates the sort of board we want to have:

 

a) Someone on a Suzuki feels welcome.

 

b) A generous board member loans you a bike.

 

c) You have a blast with good people as you see spectacular sights.

 

d) The environment is civil enough that your spouse is comfortable participating.

 

I don't mean to be sappy, but I think it's cool. smirk.gif

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Tasker
Thanks for the story, Joel. I'm looking forward to meeting you some day. You're going to love the 12GS, too. You ought to do a write-up comparing the two.

 

Your story illustrates the sort of board we want to have:

 

a) Someone on a Suzuki feels welcome.

 

b) A generous board member loans you a bike.

 

c) You have a blast with good people as you see spectacular sights.

 

d) The environment is civil enough that your spouse is comfortable participating.

 

I don't mean to be sappy, but I think it's cool. smirk.gif

 

Looks like a good start to a mission statement.

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Kenny Haynes

Awesome tale Joel. Gotta get out there next time, you guys are killing me.

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Ron_B
Your story illustrates the sort of board we want to have:

 

a) Someone on a Suzuki feels welcome.

 

 

 

Ahh geez, you mean I didn't have to buy that damn BMW to hang with yooz guyz? Now you tell me!

 

 

dopeslap.gif

 

 

Joel, you captured the Torrey experience with a magnificent write-up. It was a pleasure to finally meet you.

 

Congratulation on your GS, and to Heidi for making the transition to rider from pillion.

 

Hope to see you both next year! cool.gif

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rdfrantz

Joel waxes lyrical, page after page. In the warmest sense, that's Sweet, so welcome to see yet another fine human being get Touched By Torrey. Leads me to add him to the list along with Kathy of, "Whatever you do don't mention Torrey to Paper Butt, or we'll never hear the end of it." But, we really don't ever tire of the tale, especially told with such eloquence.

 

Yet, Veteran Torreyites don't expect anything different. That's how "Torrey" is.

 

If you haven't attended, I do so much hope you will. And Joel so aptly explainers why.

 

That's how Life should be, huh?

 

 

Best wishes. And, welcome Joel.

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Nichi

Joel....what an awesome story...

 

I have been trying to write my whole Torrey experience for the past week.....it is taking some time....there is so much to write about....

 

I have only been riding a little over a year and the Torrey trip put a lot of things in perspective about motorcycling and my life. So stay tuned....if I ever finish it I will post it.

 

 

Many thanks to Greg for convincing me to go on the trip and leading the way to paradise.

 

Many thanks to Joel, Steve, Clyde, Jan and Jenn, and Chuck for the great ride on Saturday.....and making me feel welcomed I defintely enjoyed all of your company.

 

Steve take care of that arm, so we can go riding again on the Spring Torrey trip. grin.gif

 

and thanks to everyone else that didnt care what kind of motorcycle that was parked between all of the BMW's ..... thumbsup.gif I stood out like a sore thumb....

 

It was a pleasure meeting all of you.

572744-gsxr1000.jpg.5b50defb05284c133607994e42411f1e.jpg

Edited by Nichi

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David

Dick, I want to clarify my comments. I don't think Torrey as a place has all that much to do with it. It's just that the riders happen to meet there. It could just as easily be many other places where people gather, and regularly do.

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Bob Palin
Dick, I want to clarify my comments. I don't think Torrey as a place has all that much to do with it. It's just that the riders happen to meet there. It could just as easily be many other places where people gather, and regularly do.
The Buddhist monks who came here to visit "one of the spiritual centres of the world" would probably disagree, of course I'm biased...

 

(First snow on Boulder Mountain this morning)

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David

Oh, I agree it's a special place! thumbsup.gif But what makes Joel's experience unique is the people that he rubbed shoulders with, who happened to be a great place.

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rdfrantz

OK, David, Bob, and all of us. I don't see an argument, or even a debate. I do see an examination, so I'd like to offer my perspective.

 

In posts, I quote the town's name, as in "Torrey", to specifically denote The Torrey Experience.

 

The summary of that experience is only glimpsed, not defined, by the many wonderful posts of attendees, like Joel's, and word of mouth tales told around the world.

 

I agree that part of "Torrey", an inherent part, certainly is The Spirit experienced in the interchange with the folks who attend. Absent those folks, as many of us have seen during non-event visits, it is true that "Torrey" is "not the same". But, even given "those folks" and awesome interchange with them, say at one of our national scope Un-rallies, that is still not going to produce the same effect, the same experience, as "Torrey".

 

Part of the reason for that is specifically The Place. It is weather, altitude, location away from all else, location toward all else, the ambiance of The Town, its specific set of facilities, the geography and geology, the Parks set around it to note its physicality, and then... The Roads. And, "Torrey" absolutely, positively, at its heart, is riding those roads, and what they will per force evoke in us, - most assuredly, with "those people".

 

Something special results. There is it's own, unique, very discrete Experience, and how that affects us who attend.

 

El Paseo is also a blend of place, organization, people, and activities, and yes it's own roads through those places. It's wonderful.

 

"Torrey" is not that. "Torrey" is a unique result of it's components -- available nowhere else on Earth.

 

How rich we are in having as a group, found such awesome forums around the US, and the world, at which to create and hold Events modeled on what we found happened when we combined the kind of elements found at Torrey, and then blended as at "Torrey".

 

Best wishes.

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Marty Hill

Dick,

 

Very well said. Thanks. thumbsup.gif

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Joel

Whoa, for a minute there I thought we were headed for an episode of "Tastes Great" vs. "Less Filling." grin.gif

 

I appreciate the people, the places, the intangibles and the other ingredients. "The love" could happen any number of places. I've felt it at jim c's Tech Daze and at Fenno's in June, where a few of us gathered as Jamie and Leslie passed thru on their way to the Un. Each has been special, and each has been different. Its all good. I look forward to more, whether it is at Gunnison, the Hill Country, Death Valley, El Paseo, etc.

 

Thanks everyone for the kind words above. I used to think that none of my friends ride. That's not true anymore.

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Barglowski

Excellent, Joel! thumbsup.gif

 

Yep, it was a great trip, and as my second Torrey I knew what to expect, and wasn't let down. Great friends, great riding, great location.

 

And for you the reason to get some new hardware!

 

Let us know when you start to break in the GS...

 

Later,

jan

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Greg Poole

Joel,

 

You should be picking up your new GS this weekend, if I'm not mistaken. Did you? and how is it? Inquiring minds, OK nosy people, want to know...

grin.gif

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KMG_365
Joel,

Did you? and how is it? Inquiring minds, OK nosy people, want to know...

grin.gif

 

Yeah!! What Greg said!!

 

 

(Oh, wait. He's probably out RIDING the dang thing!! dopeslap.gif )

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Joel
Joel,

Did you? and how is it? Inquiring minds, OK nosy people, want to know...

grin.gif

 

Yeah!! What Greg said!!

 

(Oh, wait. He's probably out RIDING the dang thing!! dopeslap.gif )

 

Not yet. The dealer was expecting 2 weeks for delivery, maybe sooner. So, it could be any time this week.

 

It would have been nice to have had it yesterday to enjoy the perfect Colorado autumn weather and start getting those first 600 miles behind me.

 

The forecast for next weekend is good ...

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Greg Poole

If the weather is good for next weekend, e.g. Oct 15 & 16, no snow, Cathy & I are planning on taking a moto trip to SW Colorado. If so, you (and even Mike O, if he doesn't give me any crap about my hippo bike bncry.gif) are welcome to join us for part of the trip out... that is if you can keep up grin.gif

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Mike O
...(and even Mike O, if he doesn't give me any crap about my hippo bike bncry.gif)...

 

Are you referring to the Honda Barco-Lounger? Are you renting that again?

 

I gotta do an oil change, but weather permitting, I might be up for it.

 

Regards,

 

Mike O

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jim c

mike

don't knock his honda-pottamus it's probably the only mc he can touch the ground on thumbsup.gif

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