Finally! It appears that we are turning the corner for some good riding weather in the valley. Maybe it is just anything under triple digits seems cool for us now. But I was out early yesterday morning and almost felt what seemed like a bit of a chill in the air. Anyway, even a tease of cool weather is nice and it shouldn't be much longer till we can drop back into the valley without getting scorched.
Last week I covered days 1 and 2 of our 9 day 2800 mile ride through Northwest New Mexico and Colorado. If you missed that newsletter and 191 photos, you can Click Here to read. As always, if you don't receive your newsletter via email, you can always read it from a link on the front page of www.cyclerides.com . On this trip I decided to change my riding philosophy a little bit. In the past it was pretty much all about putting on miles and soaking up the scenery from the road. If I could have pulled up next to a tanker and fueled on the fly I would have done it. I'm sure some of you know what I am talking about. But this time, we decided to relax the plans a little by cutting down the projected miles for the day, giving us more time available to spend in these little towns if need be, and consume some of the local history of the area. This turned out to be a good plan as it was a lot less hectic than trying to pound out an extra hundred miles every day just to get to the next location. Due to this revised philosophy of travel, it was one of the most relaxing, educational and enjoyable rides that we have had.
On Day 3 we had mapped out a 247 mile route that would take us from Chama, NM to Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado. We took Hwy. 64 crossing the Colorado border to Pagosa Springs, CO for breakfast at a great place called Victoria's Parlor, right on the main street into town. I would highly recommend it if you ever ride through there. After a great meal, we were on our way East on Hwy. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass at the Continental Divide where the Rio Grande and San Juan Forests connect. This is a very wide and well maintained road that will take you to South Fork, The Gateway to the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway. The Silver Thread, also known as Hwy. 149, is a 117 mile ride that will take you from South Fork to Gunnison. At South Fork, you can stop at the visitors center and for $1.00 get a booklet that will give you a map with stories and mile markers of 27 points of interest along the way. I highly recommend this.
The Silver Thread is an absolutely beautiful, lightly traveled route that will take you through the old gold and silver mining towns of Creede and Lake City while meandering along the Rio Grande River as you make your way to Gunnison viewing the Eastern side of the San Juan Mountains. The first major stop at mile marker #21 is Creede, which is set in a box canyon at 8800 feet in elevation. Creede got its start in 1889 when Nicholas Creede, who was just passing through, stopped for lunch and discovered what became the Holy Moses Mine. Almost overnight his camp became a tent city. The town grew by 300 people a day in the summer of 1890. More than $1 million of silver was being transported monthly by rail. By 1892 there were more than 10,000 people living in Creede before the sudden demise of the town in 1893 due to plummeting silver prices. Among them were quick-draw artist Calamity Jane Canary, Bob Ford (reputed side-kick and killer of Jesse James), con man Soapy Smith, lawman Bat Masterson (formerly Town Marshal of Trinidad, CO), and cigar-smoking cardsharp Poker Alice. This is a really cool old town and is worth a stop to walk Main St., or to visit the underground mining museum.
The next point of interest about 20 miles up the road is the overlook of San Juan City, a major stagecoach hub for the area. Here you can get a view of the area and some education from the roadside signs about what these people had to go through over 120 years ago when this land was being settled. It is truly amazing what they endured and how strong they were. This might have been a first for me, I don't think I have seen the beginning of a river, but a few miles up the road you can pull over and see the headwaters of the third largest river in the United States. From here, the mighty Rio Grande River has its beginning in the snow-capped San Juan Mountains before meandering over 1800 miles to the Gulf of Mexico, forming a large portion of the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
This next stop you can easily miss because you can't see it from the road. At mile marker #49 you will find the road to North Clear Creek Falls. This is known as one of Colorado's most beautiful water falls. It was surprising to me how much volume of water goes over these falls from such a small stream, and was really surprised at how close you could get to it. This is definitely worth the stop to see. Here is a 30 sec. video I took standing right next to the falls.
Our next stop on the Silver Thread was Windy Point Overlook at mile marker #64. This is another one that you cannot see from the road, so you will have to look for the mile marker. Windy Point Overlook offers a superb view of the majestic mountain peaks surrounding Lake City. Colorado has 54 mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet, and 5 of them are near Lake City. Locals refer to these as the "Fourteeners". Ucompahgre Peak, 14,309 feet, is the sixth highest mountain in Colorado. The signs at this scenic overlook will point out all the names and locations of these peaks. This is really a pretty stop. A funny story happened at this location. When we pulled into the parking area there was about 5 older people in a mini van taking pictures, reading the boards, etc. Before I could get the kickstand down, they were all in the van and backing out of there. Hmmm. I guess the yellow pearl was offensive to them.
About 15 miles on up the road you will come to the old and charming town of Lake City. Founded in 1874 by Enos Hotchkiss, it became one of the richest lead and silver mines in the San Juans. Lake City proclaimed to be a step up from most of the rough and tough mining towns that were mostly saloons. Lake City boasted culture, class, churches and even the first newspaper published on the Western Slope of Colorado, "The Silver World", that is still published today. Lake City is one of the largest historic districts in the State. You will find many late 1800's homes, buildings and churches of victorian architecture still standing in Lake City today. As you ride into town from the South, you can have lunch at the Poker Alice restaurant. Poker Alice was famous for being a cigar smoking, poker playing woman that broke the bank in most places that she played throughout the Midwest.
After lunch at Poker Alice we put on the rain suits and spent the next 50 miles riding in a pretty good downpour until we reached the end of the Silver Thread at the Blue Mesa Reservoir and Hwy. 50. But I still had the camera and caught this great photo along the way. This last 40 miles, which they added to the byway in 2005, is good riding but not as entertaining as the first 75. We rode through Gunnison which is just 9 miles East on 50 before turning North 25 miles to spend the night in Mt. Crested Butte. Encountering rain most of the way, we were happy to find a room at the Grand Lodge for the night. Crested Butte is a very neat little ski town that I will start with next week on our way to Fairplay, Breckenridge, Evergreen, Mt. Evans and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Click Here for Photos
Click Here for the maps
Wolf Creek Pass
Silver Thread Scenic Byway
Silver Thread Byway overview
History of the Silver Thread Byway
The History of Creede
Highlights This Week
Saturday, September 22nd
Chester's Harley-Davidson Dealer Demo Event. Everybody loves the Demo Days.
This is your chance to ride the 2008 Harley-Davidson's in an organized Demo Day.
Saturday, September 22nd and 23rd
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 5th Anniversary and Full Metal Open House.
Demo Days are a favorite for all riders. Stop by Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 5pm for a
Demo Ride on the new Harley-Davidson's.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Two Wheeled Tuesdays.
The first Tuesday night was a huge success with over 350 motorcycles coming through the Tilted Kilt to take part in the 9-11 Tribute. Bike night is every Tuesday night with food and drink specials, but Chandler Harley will be doing a special with live music the first Tuesday of every month. For October, look forward to Biketober night at the Kilt. There will be Raffles, Vendors, Bike Competition, Portable Dyno Competition. Watch next week for weekly event specials. Bike night hosted at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe located at 660 W. Warner Rd.
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.
Western Trails Ranch is open again for the riding season Thursday thru Sunday!
Thursday Bike Night starts at 6PM every Thursday. Bike Rodeo each Thursday Night. Trophies and Prizes. Horseshoe Tournament, We are giving away Rally at the Ranch/ Foghat Tickets every Thursday & Friday Night and our Horse Shoe tournament is a $5 Buy in with the winner getting 50% of the Pot with the other 50% supporting the MMA. Winners will advance to a Play off at Rally at The Ranch where they can win a FREE ROOM for the Rocky Point Rally. This Thurday Motorcycle Game will be Slow Drags. Also cash 50/50 drawings for Charity by the MMA Westsiders. Food Discounts & Drink Specials Thursday Night.Happy Hour all night. Drink and Food specials. Foghat Ticket Giveaways, Meet and Greet the MMA Westsiders. 50/50 Drawings.
Friday and Saturday Night: Live Rock and Roll.
Band Friday will be Soul City, Saturday’s Band Dok and Gal.
Saturday and Sunday Biker Days Open 10am. Drink Specials, Patio Misters, 4 horseshoe pits, Pool Tables, Watch the bikes come and go from the Buzzard Saloon. Western Trails Ranch is located at 37823 Grand Ave. Morristown, AZ Mile Marker 124. From Surprise Just 15 Short Minutes from Bell Rd on left side of GRAND AVE. Look for the Teepees From Wickenburg just 15 short minutes. 3 miles past SR 74 "Carefree Hwy" on the right. More information at 623-922-0450.
Every Saturday and Sunday
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.
Saturday: Every Saturday Patio PartyFrom 12-5. 50% off appetizers (under $10). Drink Specials, $2.00 Bud / Bud light Bottles, $3.00 16oz Bud / Bud Light Aluminum Bottles & Widmer Hefeweizen Pints. $3.00 Margaritas, Sunrise, ect. (new cuervo flavors; lime, orange, & pineapple)
Sunday: Every Sunday. All you can eat Breakfast Buffet $8.99 (from 8am - Noon). Live Music from 2-6.
Sunday's are SERVICE INDUSTRY DAY (from 8am to close). Are you in the Service Industry. Golf, Hotel, Restaurant, etc. Show us your check stub & receive 20% off your entire bill because we appreciate all that you do.
(not valid on already discounted items)
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.
Events This Week
Saturday, September 22nd
Chester's Harley-Davidson Dealer Demo Event. Everybody loves the Demo Days. This is your chance to ride the 2008 Harley-Davidson's in an organized Demo Day. Stop by Saturday, September 22nd from 9am - 5pm to take a test ride on one of the new Harley's for 2008. You've heard about the new ABS Braking system, now see what all of the fuss is about. Demo route to be determined by the dealership. Coffee Bar 8am - 10am. Lunch from 11am - 2pm. Take a Demo Ride and receive 10% off of your total MotorClothes purchase. Be sure to click on the flyer to see all of the requirements to demo a bike including long sleeve shirt, boots over the ankles, gloves, eyewear, motorcycle license and helmet (helmet's will be provided if needed). Chester's is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, September 22nd and 23rd
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 5th Anniversary and Full Metal Open House. Demo Days are a favorite for all riders. Stop by Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 5pm for a Demo Ride on the new Harley-Davidson's. The HD Factory Demo Truck will be on site to let you take a ride on your favorite new Harley. There will be free food provided by the Tilted Kilt, Vendors, Games, the Famous Money Machine, Dynos and Demo Rides and of course, enter to win a new 2008 Fat Bob motorcycle with $10,000 in motorclothes merchandise. Plus, Great Savings all weekend long. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Ftn Ctr. Dr. in Peoria. 623-247-5542.
Saturday, September 22nd
2nd Annual Bikers for Best Friends Poker Run. Motorcycle enthusiasts from four states will team with local Harley-Davidson dealers for the Second Annual “Bikers for Best Friends” Pet Adoption and Poker Run Saturday, Sept. 22. Expanded this year from one to four locations, bikers will take part in a fund raising ride that begins at Harley-Davidson dealers in New Rochelle, N.Y., Scottsdale, Ariz., Frederick, Colo., and Washington City, Utah. During the day, dogs and cats from various local rescue groups and shelters will be available for adoption at the dealerships. Proceeds from the fund raising event will go to local participating rescue groups and shelters. Registration is $25 that includes poker hand, lunch and festivities. Register before Sept. 15th and receive a free t-shirt. Click Here to Pre-Register. Hacienda is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. 480-905-1903.
Events Next Week
Saturday, September 29th
Buddy Stubbs Full Metal Open House. With the exciting new 2008 Harley-Davidson’s on the showroom floor, and new models arriving daily, please mark your calendar for our Open House Party Saturday, September 29th. Enjoy Live Music, Plan your visit for one of the 3 Fashion Shows at 12pm, 1pm and 2:30pm , Enjoy a Free Lunch, Giveaways and Motorcycle Museum Tour at 12:30pm. We plan to host a party you won’t forget. And of course, get a good look at the new 2008 Harley-Davidsons and the new copper painted 105th Anniversary Models. Plus enter to win a new 2008 Fat Bob motorcycle or a V.I.P. trip for two to the 105th celebration in Milwaukee. All the fun takes place from 11am - 5pm. Buddy Stubbs is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix. 602-971-3400.
Saturday, September 29th
Vickie's Hope Ride 2007. Join Scott Baker and the Gypsy Riders on Saturday, September 29th for The 2nd Annual Vickie’s Hope Ride that will once again benefit Arizona women diagnosed with breast cancer. All proceeds from the ride and raffles will benefit Arizona Institute for Breast Health where women receive timely options for care, education, and support, including free second opinions. Vickie’s Hope Ride 2007 is a 100 plus mile ride to Bartlett Lake. The Ride begins and ends at Buddy Stubbs Harley Davidson located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix. Registration is from 9:00 A.M. until 10:00 A.M. A light breakfast will be provided. Registration is $20 for riders and an additional $10 for passengers. This is an unescorted ride with no stops along the route except for gas and/or refreshments. Buddy Stubbs is hosting an Open House Party on the 29th, so once you arrive back at Buddy's, stretch your legs, kick back and listen to the live music, and stay for lunch. Purchase your raffle tickets, then step inside and check out the bikes and the motorclothes department. And be sure to stay for the Blazin Bachelors Fire Fighters Auction at 3:30 P.M.
Saturday, September 29th
Victory of Mesa Open House. The long wait is finally over. Stop by the Victory of Mesa open to get a first look and take a test ride on the all new Victory Vision Motorcycle. Open House is from 11am - 2pm. Enjoy Live Music with "Chuck Ziegler", Free BBQ, Tilted Kilt Girls, 50/50 Raffles, Huge In-Store Discounts, Test Rides. Don't miss this opportunity to be the first to see the new Victory Vision Motorcycle. Mesa Victory is located at 833 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-668-7969.
Saturday, September 29th
3rd Annual Run With The Fools. Run to benefit ChildHelp Arizona. $15 per person includes Free Lunch at end party, Ride Pin and T-Shirt for the first 100. End party $10 per person includes free lunch. 10am sign in at the Roadrunner Saloon in New River. Format is a 3 Stop "31 Run". Run ends at the Roadrunner with DJ Music, Live Music, 3 bands, Door Prizes, Raffles, Auction, Wet T-Shirt, Vendors.
Saturday, September 29th
7th Annual Thunder Valley Rally. Sponsored by Cliff Castle Casino, benefiting the Save The Family Foundation of Arizona. This year features a FREE Poker Run. $500 to the highest hand, $250 to highest hand passenger, $500 to the lowest hand and $250 to lowest hand passenger. Entertainment, Vendors, Food, Prizes. Registration from 7am - 9am. Poker run 9am - 3pm. Entertainment Noon - 6pm. All participants will receive one free drawing entry. Bonus entries will be received with every $5 donation to Save The Family Foundation. Drawings will be every 1/2 hour from 1pm - 6pm. All participants must register. You may pre-register online or the day of the event from 7-9am. Click Here to register. Click Here for Ride Map. Cliff Castle Casino is located at 555 Middle Verde Rd. in Camp Verde, AZ. approximately 85 miles North of Loop 101, Exit 289 off of I-17. For more information call 928-567-7900.
Sunday, September 30th
1st Annual RideNow for Kids Golf Tournament. For those of you that want to take a morning off from riding, you can still help the cause by participating in the RideNow for Kids Golf Tournament to raise money for The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in conjunction with the Ride For Kids on October 14th. Tournament takes place at Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave. in Phoenix. Registration fee is $90 that includes 18 holes of golf, cart, range balls, lunch and a chance to will lots of prizes. Space is limited. Click Here for more information or call Sarah Heiden at 480-755-5398.
N-Debth Scuba Ride and Dive. Enjoy two of your favorite sports in one awesome weekend!
Keep the spirit alive with a motorcycle road rally and scuba trip down to the beaches of Rocky Point, Mexico.
If you've never been to Rocky Point in October, you need to go with N-Depth Scuba on this road rally. All you do is hop on your bike, and your gear is taken down for you in a chaser car. Enjoy two of your favorite sports in one awesome weekend! Ride your motorcycle from N Depth Scuba on October 12th (Friday) at high noon! Arrive in Rocky Point around 4 or 5pm and check into the Penasco Del Sol Hotel. (2 nights)
Friday Night – Manny’s Beach Club
Saturday – Shore dive from Manny’s Beach area. (We’ll bring the gear – 2 shore dives)
Saturday Night – You call it!
Sunday – Pack up and head out of town around 11am and get back home around 4 or 5pm.
Special N Depth Scuba Ride & Dive T-Shirt included! Whether you ride
or dive or ride and dive, this event is for you! Don’t miss out on the first ever N Depth Scuba Ride & Dive
to Rocky Point, this is one we will be talking about till next year! $100 deposit due by October 1st. 480-899-3483.
27th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows.
The Worlds Largest Powersports Tour is coming to the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale. Don't miss out on the action.
** Over 600 of the latest on and off-road vehicles.
** 18 of the Worlds top manufacturers.
** The latest aftermarket parts and accessories from top manufacturers with
reps on hand to answer your questions.
** Special features including Motocross America, The ATV/Outdoor Showcase, Sportbike Customs, Big Twin Customs and The History of Speed.
** Live stunt shows daily with THE BOSS Stunt Team.
** Discount tickets available at motorcycleshows.com.
The stadium is located at the Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. in Glendale, AZ.
I'm always up for trying something new and a couple of weeks ago I got my first taste
of doing the sport of off road trail riding. Bill Nash of Ridenow Powersports
invited Mrs. C. and I up to Greer and Springerville to ride the brand new Polaris Ranger RZR UTV. This thing is a blast!
It sets low to the ground, has an 800 cc engine in it and has a top speed of 60mph. We were on some impossible
roads in the forest, going full bore over rocks, boulders and ditches, that would have broken most machines,
but this one took everything I could throw at it and just kept on going. Having never done this before, I have
to admit it was a blast. We both liked it so much that we rented a Polaris in Rocky Point last weekend and had
it out for 3 1/2 hours riding through the trails, hills and beach out to and around Cholla Bay to JJ's for a break and then downtown. If you are even remotely interested in off roading,
I would recommend taking a look at the new Polaris Ranger RZR.
Click Here for some photos of the day.
Yikes! Here is a great video of some troops in a Humvee in Iraq that get video of a roadside bomb going off. Click Here to View.
This is hilarious. These are tapes of 911 calls. You can really see how crazy some people can be. Click Here to View.
Magic has always been one of those things that frustrates me because I don't understand how it works. Watch this video and you will probably be frustrated with me. Click Here to View.