Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
Havasu - Oatman - Route 66 Day Ride
Well, it is almost the end of May and we still haven't had that big blast of heat yet. After living here for 26 years I have seen many times that there have been 110 + degrees by this time. I guess the Southwest hasn't heard about Al Gore's global warming yet. It really hasn't been that bad, but I'm sure it will be coming, so let's enjoy the opportunity to ride while we have it.
With that advice in mind, I pulled out the Arizona map and tried to find someplace that I hadn't been for a Day Ride and there it was! The middle West part of the State including Parker, Lake Havasu, Oatman and old Route 66 North of Oatman. Believe it or not, I have lived here 26 years and had never been through Parker and Lake Havasu. I guess if you don't have a boat, there is really not much need to go to these places. But if you have a motorcycle, it can be a pretty ride, and it was. I also had never been on the old Route 66 North of Oatman, a road that has intrigued me for several years.
Now that I was armed with my destinations it was time to open up my Mapsource program that came with my Garmin GPS and plot my route. I inserted all of my waypoints, connected the dots and came up with a 500 mile day ride. What??? 500 miles on a day ride? Hmmmm. . . I guess I could take out my little detour through Bagdad around to Kirkland junction and back to 93, but that happens to be one of my favorite routes. Naaaahhhh! Let's just go for it and get 'er done.
So I loaded up the Garmin with my route, filled the MP3 player with some new tunes to play on my molded headphones, grabbed Jim Moore from Biker's Bay on his day off and we were on the road by 6:50am. Our first destination was Parker, 150 miles from our starting point on the West side. Our route took us through Wickenburg on Hwy. 60, to Aguila and Hope, to Hwy. 72 that we took to Parker, rolling in at 9am just in time for breakfast at the Roadrunner Floating Dock Restaurant and Bar at 7000 Riverside Dr. You will turn left off of Hwy. 95 onto Riverside Dr. which is aka the business district that takes you right along the river. This is a fun place to eat, literally on the Colorado River and the food was fantastic. Definitely a must stop going through Parker. (Info.)
After a 45 minute stop at the Roadrunner enjoying the view, we were back on the road with the destination Lake Havasu and the London Bridge. I've heard all about the London Bridge moving brick by brick to Arizona for the last 36 years, but never took the time to go see it. Now I know why. The story about moving the bridge from London 10,000 miles by boat and reconstructing it brick by numbered brick over a channel at Lake Havasu is actually more interesting than seeing it. But the fact that it does have so much history, it is definitely worth stopping by if you are in the area. But Hey, we were looking for an excuse to ride, not on a bridge expedition, and the ride from Parker to Havasu was very good. After about a 35 minute visit, taking some pictures and regressing to second grade by humming "London Bridge is falling down" a few times, we were back on the road to my ultimate goal of riding some of the Old Route 66 from Topock through Oatman to Kingman.
I don't know what it is about Old Route 66 that intrigues me, and a lot of other people so much. It is pretty much a bad road by today's standards, doesn't go through particularly great scenery in Arizona, but for some reason, when I see that brown and white sign that says "Historic US 66", it really gets me excited. It must be the books that have been written and the nostalgia passed down through the years of this being the "Mother Road" back in the 30's, 40's and 50's, the longest paved road in America reaching from the Midwest to the coast of California. It has been the subject of national ad campaigns, songs, TV Shows and movies throughout the 20th Century and was dubbed as "America's Highway", "The Main Street of America" and "The Road of Flight". It allowed travelers from the Midwest to vacation, escape and journey to the untraveled golden hills of California and Hollywood. Route 66 was in effect an industry all of its own as it spawned services for travelers in all of the small towns for the 2448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The 20 miles from Golden Shores to Oatman on Route 66 meanders through the desert full of twisties and blind hills. As I tried to fully take in the moment, take pictures AND keep my mind on this wandering road through the middle of the Mohave desert, I couldn't help but think what it must have been like back in the 1930's in the middle of Summer with no air conditioning and automobiles that probably weren't suited for traveling in this type of climate. It also gave me time to reflect back to July, 1963 of our family vacation from Kansas City to Las Vegas in a 1957 Ford Fairlane with no AC. That wasn't fun either, but rolling through the twists and turns of Route 66 on a Road Glide in May of 2007, with those road signs every 5 miles reminding you the history of where you are, was an absolute blast.
Next stop was Oatman, AZ at 2700 feet in elevation where we were greeted by a couple of wild burros at the entrance to town, a momma and her very cute 3 week old baby. Oatman began over 100 years ago as a mining tent camp until 1915 when 2 miners struck a $10 million gold find, and within a year, the town population grew to more than 3500 people. The story goes that Oatman was named in honor of Olive Oatman, who was kidnapped as a young girl by Mojave Indians and later rescued in 1857 near the current site of the town. Both the mining booms and population were short lived. A fire in 1921 burned many of the buildings in town and three years later the main mining company shut down for good. By the mid 1930's the boom was over and in 1942 the last remaining mines were closed. Oatman then survived by catering to travelers on old U.S. Route 66 until the late 60's when Interstate 40 was opened to a new form of travel. Oatman almost died.
The burros first came to Oatman to work with the early day prospectors hauling water, supplies, rock and ore. As the mines closed and people moved away, the burros were released into the surrounding hills. The wild burros that greet you as you ride into town today are descendants of the domestic work animals from years ago. Now life is a little easier as the wander the streets and beg for burro pellets and carrots. Shortly before sunset they will head back to the hills for the night. Be aware that these are protected animals and it is a federal offense to harass them. That includes hopping up on one for a photo op. I found that out a few years ago at the River Run. The burros themselves might even have something to say about that.
One of the more famous spots in town is the Oatman Hotel built in 1902. Not only did it house many miners, politicians and movie stars, it was also the honeymoon location for Clark Gable and Carol Lombard on March 18th, 1939. Their suite is still the major attraction at the hotel. When you walk into the hotel you will see dollar bills stuck to just about every available place on the walls signed by people from all over the world.
When we were finished with our Sarsaparilla at the Oatman Hotel, a visit to the old post office and our walk up and down the street to visit the burros, it was on to the crown jewel of the trip for me commonly known back in the day as the Gold Road. We continued N. on Route 66 the next 20 miles through narrow roads, steep grades and hairpin turns snaking our way up and around the twisty mountain road, passing old mines and burial grounds before cresting at Sitgreaves Pass at 3550 feet in elevation. This section of Route 66 was commonly known as the most treacherous of the entire route. Many supporters of the route wanted to bypass Oatman with the road, but the clout of the mining town won out and it wasn't until 1952 that the Yucca bypass was built to go around Oatman. Along this section of road you will also see the remnants of Ed's Camp and the newly restored Cool Springs Cabins building. It is fully restored to the original look of 1926 and is now a gift shop and sells collectibles. This is a must stop and a great photo op for your bike.
There is so much history in this area that I could not possibly cover in this newsletter, so I will have some links at the end for you to read at your leisure before you take the ride. It was then on down the mountain from Cool Springs to Kingman remaining on Route 66 all the way. We then took I-40 to Hwy 93 South towards Wickenburg. By the time we hit the turnoff to Bagdad, it was only 4:15pm. So we extended our day by taking Hwy. 97 to 96 to Kirkland Junction and then back through Peeples Valley and down Yarnell Hill back to Hwy. 93, on to Wickenburg and back to the Valley. As I rolled into the drive almost 12 hours from the time we had started the GPS clicked one more tenth of a mile to show exactly 500 miles for this great day of riding.
I know this is a lot of miles for a day ride, but you can get it down to 460 miles by not taking the ride through the Bagdad area and Kirkland Junction. Here is how it breaks down. The first 150 miles to Parker from the West Valley goes very fast. It is the straightest flattest road you will ever see. Not the most exciting but not the most boring either. The 130 miles from Parker, Havasu and Oatman to Kingman is the most scenic and will take the most time. The 185 miles from Kingman to the West Valley will go fast as well. So you can mix and match the route to your riding styles to get the most out of it. Maybe even make an overnight out of it by going North to Kingman and Oatman, come back to spend the night in Willams, go to the Grand Canyon and back home the next day. That would be a total of about 620 miles depending on where you were coming from and a fantastic ride.
The bottom line on this ride is that it is a nice mix of long stretches of open road, some nice twisties along the river and some intense excitement by going back in time on Old Route 66. We had a great time and I would do it again tomorrow. It was a bit of a haul, but worth every mile. I give this ride 4 spokes out of 5 for the diversity, history and nostalgia of the route. Be advised to watch what the weather is going to be on all parts of the route. Elevations range from 350 feet in Havasu to 4000 feet in Kingman. So some areas will be warm this time of year. It was 98 for a high in Phoenix the day we went and it was perfect all the way around. Be sure and look at the 200 photos below.
Click Here For The Map
Click Here For Photos
Click Here for Photos by Jim
Here are some useful links to read before you go:
Town of Parker. http://www.parkerareachamberofcommerce.com/
Lake Havasu: http://www.golakehavasu.com/
London Bridge: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/havasu.htm
Great History of Route 66. Click each icon at the top of the page. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG02/carney/route66home.html
Oatman, Arizona: http://www.desertusa.com/oatman/du_oatman.html
Here is a great video of Oatman: http://www.desertusa.com/video_pages/oatman_movie.html
Sitgreaves Pass: http://www.theroadwanderer.net/RT66goldroad.htm
Cool Springs Cabins: http://www.coolspringsroute66.com/
History of Cool Springs: http://www.coolspringsroute66.com/history.htm
The Path from Kingman to California: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/AZ-KingmanToCalifornia.html
Highlights This Week
Saturday, May 26th
Buddy Stubbs Bikes & BBQ. Ride by the popular Buddy Stubbs Bikes, BBQ and Demo Rides
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chester’s Harley Davidson Biker Night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe! If you are looking for some fun on a Tuesday night, With 2 outdoor patios and plenty of excitement, This place is a good time! The Tilted Kilt is home to the best Scotch-Irish experience in Arizona, with an award-winning menu, classic pub fare, and signature Kilt items sure to please any palate, not to mention twenty four globe-spanning beers on tap! Biker Night Tuesdays also mean $3 Jack Daniels and half-price appetizers. And, with a Tilted Kilt Biker Night Card, you receive 15% OFF your total bill. So what are you waiting for? Come on down and have a craic with Chester’s Harley-Davidson! The Tilted Kilt is located at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe, AZ. Just 1.5 miles East of I-10 on Warner Rd. 480-592-0102. Click Here for Map.
Bike Night at Buffalo Wild Wings Mesa-Falcon Field. This is a great new stop for riders on the East Side. Enjoy GREAT FOOD and Live Music every Wednesday night with Soul Catcher, featuring acoustic blues and classic rock from 7pm - 10pm every Wednesday Night at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 4425 E. McKellips Rd. in Mesa, AZ, just across from Falcon Field. Special motorcycle parking in front of the patio. Choose from the extensive new menu including Wings, Chicken Tenders, Huge selection of salads, Wraps, Sandwiches, Ribs & Combos, Burgers, Desserts and Beverages. Click Here for complete menu. Bike Night specials are 50 Cent Legs all day, $2.50 Coronas & Pacificos, $2.00 Well Rum and Coke, $2.00 Well Vodka Tonics, $1.75 Bud Light Pints, $1.75 Miller Light Pints. Sit inside and watch your favorite sporting events on over 50 TV's and 5 Giant Screen TV's or sit outside on the huge patio where there are more TV's and enjoy the evening air. Wherever you find to relax, you will be sure to have a good time, good food and good entertainment at the Buffalo Wings Wednesday Bike Night. 480-218-9464. Click Here to take a look at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Thursday Bike Night at Gordon Biersch Brewery at Westgate. Live Music on the patio this week 6:30 - 9:30pm!! You can also sign up for the Gordon Biersch Passport card. What a great deal! Pay only $10 for the card, and you will get a $20 gift certificate to redeem for food and drink. On Bike Nights you will receive double rewards to build points for free food and drink. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Glendale features the best Beer Garden you will find in this State, an impressive bar area equipped with TVs and speaker system, great food, and a large outdoor patio seating. Bike night specials include 1/2 off of my favorite Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza. 1/2 off appetizers plus $3.00 Micro Brew Beer specials. Try my favorite, the Gordon Biersch "Golden Export" or a sampler of all 5 of their beers brewed on site. Plenty of motorcycle only parking. Gordon Biersch is located at 6915 N. 95th Ave. at Westgate City Center, Loop 101 and Glendale next to the Cardinals Stadium. An easy ride from anywhere in the Valley. 623-877-4300
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Every Saturday and Sunday
Harold's Cave Creek Corral Bike Weekends. This is the patio that we have all been waiting for in Cave Creek. The new 4000 Sq. Ft. patio at Harold's is finally finished complete with misters, TV's and an outdoor bar. There is plenty of room to put some tables together and hang out with your riding group for breakfast, lunch or the cold beverage of your choice. Live Music from Noon to 4pm every Saturday with Bob Bouchard, the man who plays at Greasewood every weekend. Enjoy TV's all around the patio with a walk up bar. Ride out on Sunday's and enjoy the All You Can Eat breakfast buffet for $8.99 on Sundays from 8am - Noon. Or grab one of Harold's fantastic hamburgers and watch the bikes roll by on Cave Creek Rd. from the patio. 50% Off Appetizers and $2.00 Bud/Bud Light bottles. You can also choose from their full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu every day of the week. Plenty of new motorcycle parking right in front of the patio. A great destination patio for your weekend rides. Harold's is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. 480-488-1906. There are still no tickets being given for DB violations. Just continue to keep the noise down as much as possible when riding through Carefree.
Western Trails Ranch Bike Weekend. Things have changed at the Ranch!
It will still be open on weekend days for you to drop by
on your rides out of town, but due to the weather heating up, live entertainment will be moved to Saturday nights. Take a nice ride
out of town and Enjoy a relaxed country atmosphere with good food great Music every Friday and Saturday Nights. Live Music every Saturday Night from
8pm - Midnight. Loud pipes? No problem! You can ride out to
Western Trails without worrying about DB metering equipment to greet you. Hang out under the covered patio at the
Buzzard's Saloon or in front of the stage for some impromptu dancing. Buzzard’s Saloon now has Appetizer’s available
at the Bar. Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Chicken Tenders, Fries, Jalapeno Poppers, Breaded Mushrooms, Onion Rings,
Beer Battered Mushrooms & Zucchini and Spicy Chicken Wings. Fast food service from the Bartender. Buddy
Boom’s Real BBQ is also open for those who don’t mind walking 300 Feet for the best Burgers, award winning Ribs
& BBQ on the Westside of town.
So take a ride out to Western Trails for some Lunch, Music and Fun every Saturday and Sunday. For more information on Western Trails Ranch go to www.westerntrailsranch.com . Located on Hwy. 60 in Morristown, just 12 N. of Sun City West on Grand or just 3 miles South of Carefree Hwy. Click Here for Map. 623-388-0450.
MMA State Rally. MMA State Rally. Memorial Day Weekend at The Cabin Bar & Grill, on Hwy 260, West Of Hwy 277, (Next to Pizza Time Pizza) in Heber/Overgaard, AZ. Admission: $15 Per Person For The Entire Weekend, $5 Per Person, Per Day, $25 Per Couple With Children Free Dry Camping in the Mountains and Ponderosa Pines, No Open Fires. (Arrive Thursday & Set Up Camp). Weekend Activities to include: •Bike Games •Bike Show •Saturday Poker Run •Vendors •Food •Bar •Honor Guard •Bike Blessing •And More. Live Music by the “Brother Hood Of Blues” Band. Biker/Family Fun. No Guns - No Attitudes - All Animals Leashed. ALL WELCOME. Presented by the MMA of AZ. More information at: 623-695-5659.
Saturday, May 26th
Buddy Stubbs Bikes & BBQ. Ride by the popular Buddy Stubbs Bikes, BBQ and Demo Rides while enjoying lunch provided by Kid Chilleen's and rocking to some Live Music. Festivities take place from 11am - 3pm. After lunch take advantage of a Free Demo Ride on your favorite 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle. There will also be a Free Bikini Bike Wash , Pool Tournaments for Top Prizes, Free Motorcycle Museum Tour at 12:30pm. Buddy Stubbs HD is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
Saturday, May 26th
Run For The Bluff. Join in at one of several stops for a ride to Clifton, AZ and the Mare's Bluff Veteran's Memorial. The event is open to the public and will feature a memorial service in tribute to all veterans. 11am - Veteran's ceremony to include honors, hang dog tags. 12:30pm - Short ceremony to honor Veterans. Free lunch and refreshments immediately following ceremonies. For more information call Oscar at 602-677-6835. See flyer for stops.
Monday, May 28th
The Civil Air Patrol `Flying Minutemen' Motorcycle Ride. Join those who defend our homeland. The Arizona Wing of The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and Hacienda Harley-Davidson are proud to announce our upcoming 1st Annual “Flying Minutemen Ride” on Memorial Day, May 28, 2007. This inaugural ride will raise funds for The Civil Air Patrols’ “Missions for America”. Each year Civil Air Patrol members volunteer countless hours performing homeland security, search and rescue, disaster relief and counter drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP members also provide aerospace education and mentor almost 25,000 young people through cadet programs. The registration fee is $35.00 per person and will include a T-shirt.
Registration will be held at Hacienda Harley-Davidson in Scottsdale in the morning of the ride from 10-11:00 am. At 11:00 am a brief ceremony dedicated to CAP members and all those who serve our country will mark the start of the event. The ride will stage and depart from Hacienda Harley – Scottsdale (15600 N. Hayden Rd.) at 12:00 noon sharp. The ride consists of a 100-mile scenic motorcycle tour led by members of the Hacienda Harley HOG group and return to Phoenix later that day. Proceeds for this year’s event will go to the Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. This is the premier fund raising event of the year for the Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
Saturday, June 2nd
Chester's Harley-Davidson INDOOR TENT SALE. HUGE never before seen discounts on select Parts! BIG SAVINGS in MotorClothes Merchandise like 30-50% OFF Select Apparel, Leather & Collectibles from 9am-5pm! The East Valley H.O.G. Chapter is serving free hot dogs and refreshments to all that join them at Chester’s for H.O.G. DOG Day from 11am to 1pm! Don't miss this opportunity for savings like you have never seen before. Chester's HD is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Sunday, June 3rd
Pigging Out For Charity at the Hard Rock Cafe. Presented by Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson, Phoenix HOG Chapter 93 & Hard Rock Cafe from 1:00pm - 5:00pm, located at 3 S. 2nd Street, Phoenix, AZ. Join us for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and raise money for our HOG 93 Charities. Eat, drink and participate in the raffles. That's all you need to do. A special Hard Rock collector pin will be designed for this event along with raffle items. All the money raised from the raffles and pins will go directly to the HOG 93 Charities. Free entrance - no cover charge. Free motorcycle parking right in front of the Hard Rock Cafe. Meet us there at the Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday, June 3rd from 1pm - 5pm. Call 602-971-3400 for more information.
Here are some funny fishing related bloopers. Click Here to View.
You know how I like flying videos. This is a video of a 737 landing in Honduras on a 5800 foot runway with cross winds and a cliff at the end. These pilots earn their money on this one. No room for error. Click Here to View.
Here is a video of a very funny ventriloquist comedian with a crotchity old man as a sidekick. Click Here to View.