Heading to Montana

701 Miles

Day one: Denver CO to Glendive MT

I got up at 4ish and headed down to witness for Pilot and Ric (from CoSportBikeClub). As I rolled on to the freeway, the other side of the visor popped off. I was wearing goggles this time as a experiment so it was only a little inconvenient. I pushed it back into place and headed south to Denver. It took a couple of loops around the capitol before I spotted Pilot running down to the corner. We were supposed to meet at the steps but he didn’t say which ones :). I pulled in to the southern steps next to his bike and got off the bike.

We chatted as we waited on Ric. Ric arrived a few minutes later. I signed the paperwork after verifying the miles, we got pics and then we were off to the gas station for their startup receipts. The beasts gassed up, we started out. In my helmet, War was playing Low Rider (Remix).

Pilot led the way on the first leg. We’re heading north to Wyoming Rt 20 east where we’ll get gas. It’s a beautiful morning, a little chilly but my sweatshirt under the ‘stich is perfect. While Pilot was leading, he was hauling but he’d slow a bit and look right up the off ramps looking for police cars 🙂

The hot air balloons were up as we approached Ft Collins, the sun hitting them and the mountains before lighting us up. It’s a beautiful day for the start of the trip.

As we passed through Cheyenne, Pilot pointed out the air base as someplace he was stationed (assuming as he was a “pilot” hence the nic 🙂 ).

We passed 85, just north of Cheyenne which was the way I was going to head but with the guys doing an IronButt run, the highways are the best for speed. So we continued on to Wheatland and Rt 20 and the first gas stop.

Once gassed up, Pilot had me in front for the leg to Mule Junction. I tried to keep speeds reasonable, a little fast but not warp speed. Ironbutt is about time in saddle and not speed. You don’t have to ride fast, but you do need to make quick pit stops.

At one point, we got behind a bunch of semi’s and RV’s. After a few minutes of patience, I wicked it up to pass. A SUV was parked on the southbound side. As I passed it, I saw a cop behind him writing a ticket. His head was down so we zipped by without trouble.

20 or so minutes later, we pulled in to Mule Junction rest area. Pilot and Ric are heading east from here and I’m heading north. There is a Goldwing trike towing a trailer. We discover there is a Goldwing get together on my route north.

We grab a quick bite, shake hands, and I’m on my way north.

Headed north on 85. The ride into the black hills on 85 is great, even on a somewhat loaded ‘busa. I could have done without the bleeding tar snakes though! What a pain.

I got to Spearfish canyon and turned in. There was a slight wait as the road was under construction. A short ride through hard packed dirt and we were on our way again.

Again, a great road. Light traffic and a gorgeous day to be riding.

In Spearfish, I stopped in at the local HJC helmet and bike dealership. I had let Rita know that the helmet has broken on the other side. She checked the shops in the area and found it. Turns out the guy only had the one which was a warranty replacement. Excellent!

I also bought a bungee net. The new tri-bag tank bag is a real pain. It doesn’t stay centered and tends to migrate to the left. Really annoying. So I hooked the net into the rear set and the hook on the bag and it stayed pretty well in place. I also found you cannot have it expanded as it catches the wind and tends to lift. Not a bag for a low windshield bike like the ‘busa.

Leaving Spearfish had me heading north to 94. The winds were pretty bad but making the turn west seemed to be better. I’d called David a couple of times with progress reports and am going to be arriving in town at around 5:30pm as expected.

I arrived at the right place but a slow moving train was blocking the road. As I always fill up before stopping for the night, I pulled in to the gas station. The pumps had regular at $4.05 per gallon but midrange was at $4.01. Puzzled I asked the young lady but she didn’t know. Something about ethanol. I went ahead and filled up with the $4.01 fuel and then hunted for David.

As I crossed over the tracks, the sign across the way said something about it being private property so I hooked left. I was looking for the street but didn’t see it. A u-turn back and still no street. Hmm, the sign could be for the fenced in grassy area, so I made the left. Yep, there’s the street and there’s David.

David introduced me to Marty and I got settled in. We had a nice dinner (steak and potatoes; don’t tell Rita).

After, we headed up to the local dirt area. David had me ride his bike and we went with Marty and (gary?).

The dirt road was great. I haven’t been on a dirt bike like this and roads either. David told me about the bike before I got on. Turn off the fuel if it dies was the main thing.

I’m still not good on dirt. It was fun going up, but not so much so going down. At the viewpoint, we stopped and relaxed for a few minutes.

I killed it on the way back, turn off fuel, kick start, turn on fuel.

The second time, it was on the downhill side. I’d stopped to get a picture and killed it. As you can imagine, kicking a bike isn’t easy especially on the side of a hill. But I got it going.

We did a longer way riding around back to David’s house. The bike is geared for low end so it was revving high on the freeway.

I can see why they hit the trails though with lots of straight highways 🙂

We hit the sack at 9:30 expecting to be up at 5am and ready to head north.

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