Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about being able to check the tour of the HD Factory in Kansas City off of my list of things to do. Well, this past weekend I was able to draw a line through another one on the list. Last year when Mrs. C. and I did the Four Canyons Ride, I became curious about Hwy. 12 that runs from Hwy. 89 (Bryce Canyon) to Hwy. 24 in central Utah. After doing some further investigation about this road, I found that it was in fact a National Scenic Byway, one of only 27 roads in the United States that had earned this lofty recognition. Highway 12 in Utah is also often listed as one of the top 10 scenic drives in the United States right alongside Highway 1 in California, the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado and the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Once you have traveled this road, you will not have to ask why. We have seen a lot of beautiful scenery over the last several years and this route is one of the best.
We decided to shave a couple of hours off our day by spending Thursday night in Munds Park with our friends Dan and Kathy at the McKinnon Inn. After a quick breakfast at the Lone Pine Friday morning, we were on the road by 8:30 am with our first destination being Zion National Park. Mrs. C. and I had already been through Zion, but it is one of those places that is a treat to ride through more than once. We took Hwy. 89 out of Flagstaff to 89A where we would ride past the Vermillion Cliffs with a detour down to Lee's Ferry. If you take this route, the 5 mile ride down to the Colorado River and Lee's Ferry is well worth the trip. This is where a lot of the rafting trips on the Colorado begin. We continued on 89A past the Vermillion cliffs and through the pines past Jacob Lake where we had reached 7900 feet before our descent into Fredonia and Kanab where we stopped for lunch.
We were now only 30 miles from the entrance of Zion and our first taste of the geologic marvel of this beautiful National Park. It now costs $12 per motorcycle to go through these parks. Knowing that we would be going through at least 2 more National Parks in the near future, we decided to buy the annual National Park pass for $80. Just an FYI, this allows 2 motorcycles and their designated riders that have signed the card to enter any and all National parks for a year. So if you just go through 3 you are pretty close to break even and you have a whole year to use it. The ride through Zion is only 20 miles but it takes you through beautiful white sandstone mountains, red rocks, elevation changes, a mile long tunnel through the mountain and switchbacks that leave you wanting more. The good news is that you do get more. After a break in the small town of Springdale which is the West entrance of Zion, you turn right around and go back through Zion to get to Hwy. 89 to continue your trip to Bryce and Hwy. 12. While in Zion, stop by and feed the Elk on the North side of the road.
Once back to 89 you will go North for about 40 miles until you reach Scenic Byway 12. A couple of miles into 12 you will enter Red Canyon to get your first taste of what Bryce Canyon will look like. This is a beautiful 5 mile ride that will have you in awe of the beauty of the pink and red sandstone outcroppings that are right next to the road. For the next 7 miles you will gradually climb to around 7500 feet in elevation as you reach the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. It was now 7pm for us and time to call it a day after 369 miles and 10 hours on the road. Due to all of the rooms in Bryce being full, we decided to stay at the Bryce Valley Inn in Tropic located 7 miles East of Bryce. Just as an FYI, you can look at the GPS to see our statistics for Friday. Click Here.
Saturday morning we were on the road by 8am to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. If you have never been here, you are missing one of the most unique and beautiful geological wonders of our entire country. Bryce is a 17 mile ride to the end with 10 overlooks along the way ending your 1500 foot climb at Rainbow Point. You will want to allow at least 2-3 hours to ride the 17 miles into Bryce, stop at the overlooks and then back out. Click Here for photos of Bryce Canyon National Park.
It was now 11:00am and we were on our way to the highlight of our ride, National Scenic Byway 12, Utah's first All-American Road. I will admit that the hype on this road was high and I only hoped that it would be half as good as what I was expecting. After dropping into the Bryce Canyon valley through Tropic, Cannonville and Henrieville, we started our winding ascent through the Dixie National Forest toward the small town of Escalante. This part of the trip will take you through some farmland surrounded by Plateaus rolling small sandstone mountains covered in small pine with the Escalante Staircase Monument on your right heading North.
The 27 mile ride Northeast from Escalante to Boulder contains absolutely fantastic scenery and is also known as the “Million Dollar Road to Boulder.” This section of Scenic Byway 12 was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and completed in 1935 (paved in 1971) providing the first year round access for automobiles to this isolated part of Southwestern Utah. About 10 miles from Escalante you will round a sharp corner that will open up the white Slickrock Canyons and the road far below that you will soon be riding on. Make sure and stop at the pullout to really take in the 35 mile view that surrounds you. The next 17 miles will take you up and down through the beautiful white and red rock sandstone canyons and across the Hogback, a short section of the road built on a ridge with sharp dropoffs on both sides, on your way to Boulder. Click Here for an aerial view. Shortly after the Hogback you will drop into the Boulder Valley. There is a great place to eat right at the 90 degree turn called the Burr Trail Grill.
If you are inclined and have the time, the locals say that the Burr Trail is a beautiful ride that takes you down to the Capital Reef and to Lake Powell. But the locals suggest to take the first 12 miles to Long Canyon and then turn around and come back. Everyone said it is spectacular and well worth the ride. We didn't have time, so I will have to catch it on the next trip through here. I know it will not be the last. Approximately 30 of the next 37 miles will take you on a winding road through the Dixie National forest to as high as 9600 feet with endless views of Capital Reef and Eastern Utah before coming back down the hill to the small town of Torrey signaling the end of National Scenic Byway 12 as it intersects Hwy. 24.
I was trying to come up with the words to describe this route and I ran across a description on MSN Travel. They described it with words I could not improve on. Here is what they say. Highway 12: "Windswept red-rock canyons, towering sandstone formations, pristine lakes, and pine-studded mountain ranges combine for an altogether over-the-top sensory experience in Southern Utah. The setting for several stunning national parks, this remarkable road connects those at Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef, and offers unique beauty and seemingly limitless recreational opportunities on a stretch of land between the two parks' boundaries. Utah Highway 12, also known as Highway 12 Scenic Byway, is one of only 27 nationally designated All-American Roads—the highest honor a road can get for attractive scenery. This spectacular route travels away from Bryce Canyon, through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and over the forested Boulder Mountain and the Dixie National Forest, before winding down near the entrance to Capitol Reef. The scenery is unforgettable along the entire length of the road—especially during the brilliant red-rock sunsets that provide a glorious grand finale to a day's driving adventure here." That pretty much sums it up.
I give Highway 12 a Cyclerides.com rating of 5 out of 5 Spokes. I would encourage anyone to make this trip. It takes 3 long days for the entire round trip to Phoenix, but if you start early in the mornings, it is easily done and very rewarding. Check the weather in the different areas of this route as much of it is in the high elevations and it does get snow. I would think you could easily go till mid October. It might be cool in the mornings but would warm up.
This is only 1/2 of the 1200 mile ride from Phoenix. We continued on Hwy. 24 through Capital Reef National Park, down Hwy. 95 through Glen Canyon Recreation area, down the Muki Dugway, Gooseneck State Park and through Monument Valley before heading back to Phoenix. I will be back in 3 weeks with the remainder of the ride and some more great photos. Click Here for the Maps of Route.
I have split these 270 photos up into 3 groups for easier viewing. I encourage you to look at these beautiful pictures.
Top 10 Scenic Drives in the U.S. Hwy. 12 is number 4.
Scenic Byway 12. This is a great interactive site.
Utah.com. Lot's of information on the area.
Byways.org. Good information on a lot of byways.
Highlights This Week
Saturday, August 11th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Blood Drive. Always wanted to be a hero? Now's your chance!
This Week's Bike Night Events
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, $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. Get your GB Passport. Pay $20 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: Extended Happy Hour for Riders to 8:00pm
Happy Hour includes:
$1.00 off Gordon Biersch Lagers
$2.00 off all Wines by the Glass
$4.95 Appetizer Specials: Southwest Egg rolls, Tapas, Chicken Wings, Bruschetta, Crispy Artichoke Hearts, Garlic Fries, Mini Pizza's Cheese or Pepperoni.
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.
Saturday, August 11th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Blood Drive. Always wanted to be a hero? Now's your chance! Chester's Harley-Davidson and United Blood Services are challenging area businesses and their employees to participate in our life-saving community blood drive on Saturday, August 11th, from 10am to 2pm, right here at Chester's Harley-Davidson. The company with the most participating employees will win a free catered lunch, and EVERY donor will receive a voucher for a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich, in addition to being entered into a drawing to win a new 2007 Saturn Aura, the "North American Car of the Year"! Remember: Every three seconds, someone needs blood. Be a hero--ask us to make your life-saving appointment! Chester's HD located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, August 18th.
Chopper's Memorial Ride. Staging will be at the 3TV station located at 5555 N. 7th Ave. in Phoenix from 7am - 9am. We will then take a short escorted ride to Westgate City Center located at 93rd Ave. and Glendale where there will be a stage and sound system set up so that the personalities at 3TV can address the crowd and give their thanks for all of the support you have given them through this difficult time. They are truly astounded and appreciative of all the love and support they have gotten and are eager to give their thanks to everyone who attends.
At this early stage there are commitments from Scott Pasmore, Dan Davis, Tara Hitchcock, Olivia, Patty Kirkpatrick, Brad Perry, Royal Norman and Bruce Hafner, who will be, you guessed it, riding a Chopper. The families of Jim Cox and Scott Bowerbank will also be there. I'm sure there will be many more of the on air and behind the scenes 3TV people in attendance. Tiffany Cortez, widow of George Cortez and her kids will also be in attendance. So you will be able to pass on your condolences to her as well. The beginning and end of the ride will be shown LIVE on Channel 3. So be prepared, you might be interviewed. Donation will be $20 per Bike that will include a sticker like the graphic that you see on the flyer. All brands of motorcycles are invited. If you don't ride, you can meet the ride at Westgate and give a donation there.
Click Here for the flyer and details.
I look forward to your help in making this a huge turnout for both 3TV and the George Cortez family. This is a great cause and should be a fun time. If there is a good reason to get the bike out of the garage at this time of year, this is it.
See you there. Click Here for the video of Scott announcing the ride on 3TV.
Sunday, August 19th
Benefit Auction for Kenny and Sarah Cupp's Son. Many of you know Kenny and Sarah Cupp who have been involved in the motorcycle community for many years in the valley. Their son has terminal cancer and they are being overwhelmed with medical bills. They are asking for you help. Auction starts at 1:00 PM and ends at 3:30 PM at Hardtails located on SW corner of 35th Ave. and Bell Rd. For more information, Donations, and auction items call 602-329-6697.
Some of you might have heard the rumor that Indian Motorcycle was once again going
to try and make a go of it. It is true. They say they have a plan this time. Click Here for the article. Click Here for their web site.
They went to a lot of work, but this is one of the better practical jokes that I have seen. Click Here to View.
These guys are nuts. This is like being on a rollercoaster with a helmet cam. Click Here to View.
For those of you that have had bad roommates, this is a guy that took matters into his own hands. Click Here to View.