Let’s Ride!

Motorcycle Touring Enthusiast – Let’s Ride!

In my experience I’ve heard 5 common thoughts people have regarding riding motorcycles:

1) I love riding on motorcycles and wish I could do it more often!

2) I think motorcycles are cool and look fun but they are too dangerous!

3) Motorcycle riders are reckless, irresponsible and are often the cause of motorcycle accidents.

4) I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle and I would need somebody with a ton of experience that is a safe, responsible rider and will help me feel comfortable on a motorcycle.

5) Why do motorcycle riders do certain things on the road, like ride in the center of the road, use hand signals when they have blinkers, and ride on opposite sides of the lane when in a group?

Independence Pass

Sure I could respond to these common thoughts and misconceptions but it would be better understood if you were take a ride with a responsible, safe and experienced motorcycle rider.

Front Range Canyons Ride

This is why I would like to give you a ride. I would like to share the experience of riding on a motorcycle in the safest way possible. The more people who experience riding on a motorcycle and understand motorcycles, riders and the motorcycle community, the better off everybody would be. We don’t ride because it makes us look cool. We don’t ride because we like to terrorize towns and neighborhoods. We ride for charities, we ride with friends who share the same passion for motorcycles, and we ride because it’s in our soul. We live to ride and ride to live! If more people understand who we are as bikers, experience the freedom and beauty of riding motorcycles, and feel what it’s like on a motorcycle, maybe we can all share the road and make it a safer place for all motorists.

Even if you’re an experienced rider and just need to get out for some wind therapy for a couple hours, I can make that happen! Instead of trying to find somebody who’s available when you want to ride, someone who’s responsible and experienced, or maybe you just don’t know anybody with a bike right now, whatever the reason, Let’s Ride! Let’s get out on the road and feel the wind, the excitement, and the passion of riding a motorcycle!

I have been riding motorcycles since I was about 10 years old. I got my motorcycle license when I was 16 and bought the bike I tested on. I can’t tell you how many bikes I’ve owned, but I’ve ridden Yamaha’s, Kawasaki’s, Suzuki’s, and Honda’s until I bought my first Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2009, now that’s all I ride. I just received a patch from Harley Owners Group (HOG) for 200,000 miles, and that’s just on Harley Davidson motorcycles! I’ve put 69,000 miles on my 2018 Street Glide in a little over 3 years, it gets fresh oil every 2500 miles and goes in for scheduled services when they are due. So if you want to experience riding on a motorcycle, I’m a safe and experienced rider with a motorcycle that is well maintained and safe to ride.

So here is my offer and what I would like to do. For a limited time I am offering free rides on my beautiful 2018 Street Glide and all I ask for in return is a Comment / Review on this web page and chip in a few bucks for gas. This is an opportunity for you to get a free ride and for me to get more reviews and traffic to my website.

The offer is good for a free 30 min. ride with me and April (my motorcycle). My regular rates will be $25 for a 30 min. ride, $50 for 1 hour. Special rates for an all day ride, weekend or party’s. So, If you book a 1 hour ride, that’s only $25 for an hour motorcycle ride! I recommend meeting at a starting point near where you would like to ride in order to get the most out of your ride time.

Remember to  check out some of the local rides on my other pages,  Colorado Motorcycle Tours and watch some of the great videos under Touring Videos.

If you like to plan your own ride, you can click on the Google Maps link and start planning or go to  Shopping, Resources, and Tools page to get even more information and resources for your ride!

Click on the “Ride-Request-Form (below), fill it out and send it me in an e-mail to motorcycletouringenthusiast@gmail.com. Put “Free Ride” in the Subject line to get your FREE 30 minutes! I will respond as soon as I receive it and we can start planning your ride!

Ride-Request-Form

Experiences and Stories

Motorcycle Touring Enthusiasts sharing their experiences and stories:

Before, During, or After 2020, We all have riding stories we like to share and I want to hear Yours!

Danny D. – Colorado, USA – 2020 Touring Season

I rode a little more that 11,500 miles on my Harley’s last year. 99% was done on my touring bike Annie. During a time when social distancing became the norm, I went all over the place, but day trips only.

I rode through 8 different states (some of them, multiple times), did a 1,000 mile butt burner, and did another ride of over 800 miles. I saw Mt Rushmore for the very first time, and made my way to Sturgis (but not during the rally). Bishops Castle, and Skyline Drive are absolutely MUST SEE places in Colorado that I finally got to visit. The last picture was on Cameron Peak, leading down into Wyoming. That picture was taken just about a week before the largest wildfire in Colorado’s history started in that forest.
I got to do several bucket list rides in 2020, including hitting all 10 Harley dealers
along the front range in a single ride.
Overall, even though 2020 wreaked havoc on the group riding, I still had a great riding season.
Photo’s by: Danny D.
Cameron Pass, CO
Skyline Drive, Cañon City, CO
Bishops Castle in Rye, CO

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note from Short Shot:

You can map and find any of these beautiful and fascinating places by checking out my Resources, Tools, and Shopping page.

2020 In Review

Motorcycle Touring Enthusiast: 2020 in Review-Riding Through a Pandemic

Hello Motorcycle Touring Enthusiasts!

I want to take a few minutes to reflect on this past year of Tours. The pandemic has made this a difficult year! It has been a stressful year! And it has been a frustrating year! I’m not the only one who has had challenges and issues this year, I know, we are all in this together. But even though it’s been difficult, there have also been some good things that came of this year as well. One thing good, I have received my 200,000 mile patch from HOG! And mind you, that’s just the miles that I’ve accumulated since I purchased a Harley Davidson and become a HOG Member. I’ve been riding motorcycles since pre-teens and none of those miles are included!

I started this page shortly after I lost my job (due to Covid-19 shutdowns) and had time on my hands. I picked up a GoPro and started recording and documenting my rides in the Spring. Throughout the year I shared routes, pictures, videos and experiences of my tours so that you would get excited about riding, touring and exploring new interesting places. My site provides resources and links for booking hotels and motorcycles, mapping routes, checking the weather, and even shopping links. This site is meant to share my experiences as a Motorcycle Touring Enthusiast and offer a One Stop Site for all your touring needs.

Due to Covid-19, I was not able to go to all the places I would have liked to go, like Mount Evans, Pikes Peak, or even Canada, which is a bucket list ride for me and was in the plan for 2020. But there were a lot of places I was able to go once hotels and restaurants opened back up, like a bunch of my favorite places here in Colorado, Texas, and the California Coast, which was also a bucket list ride. I’m hoping for an even better riding season in 2021!

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that I didn’t let this virus and restrictions stop me from “living” my life. Riding my motorcycle was the only thing that kept me sane! I was alone on the road, social distancing, wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart and following all the guidelines. I trusted that the hotels and restaurants were following them too, and it appeared they were. I survived because of wind therapy, the open road and my trusty bike, April. Riding my motorcycle is like breathing, for me, if I can’t do it, I may not survive.

Moving forward into 2021, I plan on continuing my touring adventures, writing about them, sharing them and hopefully inspiring you all to get out and ride. But, I have started working again, not in my professional field of study as a Systems Administrator, yet, but it takes up a lot of time in my day and I may not be able to ride and post as much as I have this past year. I will get back into my career path, but for the time being I’m looking for ways to supplement my income.

Somebody once asked me, “If you could do the one thing that inspires you the most, and make a living, what would it be?” This is what I would really love to do…RIDE My Harley! If you would like to go for a motorcycle ride with me to get some wind therapy, practice being a good passenger, experience how it is on the road with two wheels, or maybe you’ve ridden a lot and miss being out on a bike, just shoot me an e-mail. And come Spring and Summer next year, if you want to ride with a group, take a weekend trip, or even a week long motorcycle tour, let me know, because if you have the time, the passion and the finances for the motorcycle tour, I’ve got the bike.

For me, once I got that soul stirring feeling of being on the open road on my bike, I knew that this was the way I wanted to travel and tour this beautiful state of Colorado and this country. I’ve traveled by car, plane, and train so I can honestly say, for me, the experience is 100 percent better on a motorcycle. And YES, Even in the winter season we can get some beautiful days to ride. If I can spark a passion for motorcycles into somebody by giving them a ride, well then, Let’s Go For A Ride!

So, here’s to bidding farewell to 2020 and bringing in 2021 to make a fresh start for a better riding season!

Thank you for following me on my motorcycle tours and reading about my adventures! Leave me comments or send me an e-mail with any questions, comments or concerns.

And remember, Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

Short Shot

Motorcycle Touring Enthusiast

Day Trip Tour Video’s

This is a collection of video clips from Day Trips thru out the year in Colorado.

Cottonwood Pass and Gunnison – Fall 2020

Independence Pass – Fall 2020

 

Cripple Creek and Victor – Fall 2020

Peak to Peak Highway and Estes Park- Fall 2020

 

Day Trip Rides

Motorcycle Day Trips

These rides are a great getaway that can be done in a day, usually 4-8 hours with lunch and bio breaks, and site seeing that are a little further from Denver. These are great tours through canyons and mountain passes that will take you through beautiful valleys and mountain peaks. Take a day to unwind and enjoy the vast beauty of Colorado.

Cottonwood Pass Via Silverthorn and return Via Fairplay, CO

Another Spring time (or anytime) day trip ride is to head up I-70 W, over the Continental Divide through the famous Eisenhower Tunnel and down into Silverthorn, CO.  Continue from Silverthorn on I-70 W to CO-91 S, Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318 ft), which is also called “Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway”. CO-91 S will go down to US-24 W and into Buena Vista, CO. In Buena Vista, pick up Co Rd 209 up to the summit of Cottonwood Pass at 12,126 ft. Continue on Co Rd 209 and turn into Co Rd 742. I did this part of ride earlier this year as a three day tour to Gunnison, it was a great ride then and when the trees are in Fall colors, it is simply amazing! Stay on Co Rd 742 and it turns into CO-135 S which will run into Gunnison, CO. In Gunnison you pick up US-50 E and it goes over Monarch Pass (11,312 ft) into Poncha Springs. In Poncha Springs you pick up US-285 N, go over beautiful Kenosah Pass (10,000 ft)and back down to the Denver Metro, Lakewood area.

Cottonwood Pass Day Trip – Fall 2020
Buena Vista to Cottonwood Pass – Fall 2020

Be sure to check out the Cottonwood Pass to Gunnison videos on the Day Trip Video’s Page!

Cripple Creek, Victor Colorado, Woodland Park and Deckers

Spring and fall are my favorite times to ride here in Colorado! The temperatures are comfortable, plenty of sunshine, and this year, not much precipitation to worry about. This ride took us from the Denver Metro area to the beautiful fall mountains, through quiet little towns, and the weather was perfect, in the mid to upper 70’s.

You can click on the link below the displayed map to get the full details of the route. Basically we headed South on HWY 285 to Pine, CO and turned left onto Co Rd 126 (Pine Valley Rd) toward Deckers. At Deckers we stayed on CO-67-S to Woodland Park and made a right onto US-24 W. US-24 took us into Divide and we made a left onto CO-67-S, again, and we enjoyed a very beautiful ride to one of Colorado’s Gambling towns, Cripple Creek. Besides gambling, there are a couple great places to visit in the area, like Molly Kathleen Mine, the Museum/Visitor Center, and an Old Fashion train ride.From Cripple Creep we continued on to Victor, which is just a cool Old Western Town that has a lot of mining history. We completed the loop on Co-81 back to CO-67 to US-24 through Woodland Park and down to Manitou Springs, CO where we had lunch at Rudy’s. Manitou Springs is another great little town with a lot of things to do, check it out if you have the time.

Fall Ride to Cripple Creek and Victor Colorado
Deckers to Woodland Park

Be sure to check out the great video’s I posted in the Touring Video’s page!

Twin Lakes, Independence Pass and Aspen in the Fall

Riding mountain passes is one of my favorite things to do, the only thing that can make it better is riding mountain passes in the Fall Season! Here is a great day trip that takes about 7 hours in the saddle and has plenty of eye popping colors of the season.

Independence Pass_Fall Colors_2020

Lakewood to Independence Pass:

Lakewood to Independence Pass Summit

Aspen to Lakewood:

Aspen to Lakewood_via Glenwood Canyon

You can see the whole route in the first picture, with Rever, but Google Maps has already closed the pass for the season (actually closes early November). There is construction for rock mitigation going on and there are full closures scheduled between now and seasonal close, so be sure to check the website before you head up there. Check out these websites for status and information about the Independence pass: https://www.codot.gov/projects/archived-project-sites/SH82/independence-pass/independence-pass-travel-information.html OR https://www.independencepass.org/hwy-82-status.

Independence Pass-Fall-2020 (videos)

Basic Directions:

Hwy 285 S to Johnson Village

Turn right onto Hwy 24 W through Buena Vista

Continue on Hwy 24 W to Hwy 82 W, turn left

Hwy 82 W will take you through Twin Lakes, Over the Independence Pass, into Aspen and all the way to Glenwood Springs/Glenwood Canyon on I-70 E.

Be sure to click on the link above to check out the stunning videos from this ride and then leave me a comment and don’t forget to “follow me” so you get updates when I add a new post.

Poudre Canyon and Cameron Pass

From the Lakewood/Denver area up to Fort Collins is a short ride up I-25. In Fort Collins you will make a few jots through the city and make your way to HWY-14 which will take you up the Poudre Canyon. Mishawaka Inn is a great place to stop for food and entertainment in Poudre Canyon. Continue up HWY-14 and you will enjoy beautiful scenery, rivers and mountain views until you reach the top of Cameron Pass (10,276 feet)! Stop for a while and take in the fresh, crisp, clean air of the Rocky Mountains! Now continue down HWY-14 and you will end up in Walden, CO, another great place to stop for lunch and take a break. When you leave Walden, you’ll pick up HWY-125 all the way to Granby, CO. In Granby you’ll catch HWY-40 that will take you through Winter Park, CO and over Berthoud Pass (11,315 feet) where there are plenty of places to stop for photo ops. Continue down HWY-40 and you’ll hook up to I-70 East which will take you back down to the Lakewood/Denver area.

Poudre Canyon and Cameron Pass

 

Four Pass Fall Season Day Ride:

This is a ride I usually do with the HOG Chapter I ride with, The Denver Chapter HOG (DCH)! They are a great bunch of fun loving, Harley loving, Motorcycle Touring Enthusiasts, like me, and we always have a great time viewing the beautiful Colorado fall colors together.

From Golden, CO

I-70 W to Georgetown to Guanella Pass Rd (381)

Over Guanella Pass to 285 south (right)

Over Kenosha Pass to Fairplay, CO to Hwy 9 (right)

Over Hoosier Pass

Through Breckenridge, CO to Swan Mountain Road in Frisco, CO (around the East side of Dillon Reservoir) and to Hwy 6 (right)

Stay on Hwy 6 and go Over Loveland Pass to I-70 east back to Golden

 

4 Pass Fall Colors (Map may display different)

4 Pass Fall Colors Videos

We just did this ride and I will be posting some pictures and video on the Touring Videos page. The only variation to the ride we just went on was we went down Hwy 285 S to Kenosha Pass and the last part was over Guanella Pass to 285 N back up to Golden.

This is just a very small sample of the many tours I’ve taken in Colorado. I will show you routes that are close to Denver along the Rocky Mountain Front Range, I’ll show you places Up North, Down South, East and West that will just fill your senses!

Have you ever ridden your motorcycle over a 10, 11, 12,000 ft pass before? How about a 14,000 + ft pass? Let me tell you, there is nothing like reaching the summit of one and seeing the view to be had! Ears are popping, the air is thin, and the temperature will be chilled, but you will feel like you’re on top of the world!

I will be adding rides for

Horse Tooth Reservoir and Carter Lake

Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods

Canyon City and Bishops Castle

Mount Evans and Pikes Peak

Rocky Mountain National Park

I will take you on rides to the top of Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak that are over 14,000 ft above sea level, and I will take you to the beautiful valleys below so you can experience the vast beauty of Colorado like I do. Well, I’ll do the best I can to make you feel like you’ve been there, but in order to really experience and enjoy Colorado you’re going to just have to come out here and visit!

There is a lot more to come! Check back soon and check back often!

Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

Short Shot

Touring Texas

Texas Tour

Where is the best place to take a motorcycle road trip in the middle of summer? Texas! Texas? Why Texas? In the middle of summer?

Why Texas?

Okay, Texas is really hot and really humid and you might think your tires are melting to the asphalt while riding, but there are plenty of things to do and places to go where you can beat the heat and enjoy what Texas has to offer!

I have family in Texas, that’s why I go there, but I have found that the state has more to offer than I thought and my family is happy to point it out. I have been to Texas many, many times and I have a great time when I’m there, so I’m going to share a little bit of my experiences, places and things I’ve done to show that Texas is a great Summer Touring Destination!

The Plan

There are plenty of way’s to get to central Texas, I’ve taken a lot of them, but this time I’m planning on scoring more challenge coins, so I’m taking a new route.

Day 1 – Denver to Amarillo

Denver, CO to Amarillo, TX

If you’d like the turn by turn directions of this route just click on the above link to open the Google map route.

This route is a little out of the way so I am able to catch a couple challenge coins on the way down. I decided not to go to the first coin stop, Texhoma Harley Davidson in Sunray, TX, because when I stopped for a late snack and gas in Stratford, TX, I decided to double check the dealership location. I was concerned because I was not able to find the dealership on the GPS. I double checked and finally asked the cashier to verify, it did not have a phone number listed anymore. Well, it’s 20+ miles in the wrong direction and will add another 45 minutes to my day, I’m gonna take a pass on this one.

My next stop was at Tripp’s Harley Davidson in Amarillo, TX. This was a fairly short leg, just a couple hours, but it’s only a twist of the throttle and I’m at the hotel for the night. I did score a challenge coin and a poker chip, so it was worth the trip!

Tripp’s Harley Davidson, Amarillo, TX

 

Well, Now that I’ve got my prize for the day, I got checked into my stop for the night at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Amarillo West. The pool and hot tub are open, the room was clean, the bed was comfy, the breakfast hot and a very friendly and accommodating staff! I would recommend this hotel as a great value and comfort for just over $100. Worth every penny after a long hot day of riding!

 

 

 

Day 2 – Amarillo to Lampasas

Day 2 takes me to Wichita Falls, TX and Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (DFW) for Harley Davidson dealership challenge coins, then on to my destination stop, Historic Lampasas, TX.

Amarillo, TX to Lampasas, TX

To be totally honest, I did not realize that the Red River Harley Davidson was on my route to DFW until I saw the sign as I flew by it on the highway! I caught a glimpse of the sign just in time to make the exit ramp. I’m glad I hit this dealership because they have the coolest statue!

Red River Harley Davidson in Wichita, TX
Red River HD and Me

And if that’s not cool enough, they have the only challenge coin (that they know of) that has an inscription on the edge of the coin…in Latin!  This is the inscription, “si vis pacem sicut equitare”, which translates to “if you want the peace as he ride”, my interpretation, “If you want peace, then Ride”, the dealership gave me the translation as “If you want peace, prepare to ride”, which translates back to “Si vis pacem, para equitare”, either way, this is my new phrase.

So, after the well welcome surprise stop at Red River, I was off to DFW as my last stop before my final destination. Just so you know that I know, I know there are many Harley dealerships in the Dallas area, but I also knew it was gonna be git’n hot’r than armadilla road kill at high noon! So, Anyway, I decided that I did not want to get stuck in rush hour traffic in Dallas and made the choice to hit the dealership with the quickest and easiest escape.

Fort Worth Harley Davidson

Well, I narrowly escaped rush hour, traffic was git’n heavy and it was git’n hot! It was only about 2 1/2 hours to Lampasas, according to Google maps, but I think I shaved a little time because I heard my family was waiting to take me out to dinner, there was no time to waste!

Here is my take for the trip down to my destination:

Approximate time 15 hrs and distance 950 miles.

How to Stay Cool In Texas

I Spent a total of 12 days in Texas, it didn’t rain, NOT A DROP, the whole time I was there. It was upper 90’s to Low 100’s and HUMID! As soon as I stepped outside of air conditioning, I would start sweating profusely! It was obvious, I needed to find ways to stay outside AND stay cool!

Swimming Pool

Hancock Springs in Lampasas, TX

Hancock Springs in Lampasas, TX

Hancock Springs in Lampasas, TX

Swimming Beach

There are many beaches in TX to take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico and cool of.

Corpus Christi, TX

Fishing

There are plenty of options for fishing in Texas, from fresh water lakes to Deep Sea Fishing! I went out on the Gulf Coast with my brother for my first time! It was a great experience and I look forward to doing it again. It was an 8 hour fishing trip, the day after a hurricane went through, and the seas were a bit rough but what an experience!

Deep Sea Headquarters-Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas, TX

My brother is a great cook to begin with, but man, let me tell you, he served up a feast of fish from our day at sea that was to die for! The Trigger Fish and Shark were my favorite!

Mouth watering fish feast!

Caverns

I had no idea there were caverns in Texas until somebody suggested going to one while I was visiting. Caverns stay cool all year long and are a great way to beat the heat in Texas. Unfortunately I did not get the chance to check out a Texas cavern, but here is sight that show many to choose from. https://www.traveltexas.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure/caves-caverns/

Amusement/Water Parks

I have been to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio before, and it was a ton of fun, though I did not get to an amusement/water park this visit, there are several parks in Texas where you can cool off and have a great time in the summer heat! Here’s a link with several suggestions: https://www.traveltexas.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure/caves-caverns/

More for My Collection

I did take another day to travel around and pick up some more challenge coins for my collection. Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, not all dealerships carry dealership coins, so I had to make do, but it was a great day of riding just the same!

Texas Coin Run Route
Javelina Harley Davidson
Caliente Harley Davidson
Alamo City Harley Davidson
Cowboys Alamo City Harley Davidson
Gruene Harley Davidson

The Spoils

It was a hot day of riding once it high noon, tripple digits, but it was a great day of riding!

Headed Home

I stayed in the same hotel that I stayed at on the way down, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Amarillo. I’d recommend this hotel to anyone passing through Amarillo for a very clean, very comfortable, and very friendly night sleep! Oh, and not to mention, they have  a great breakfast, pool and hot tub to help re-energize for the road ahead.

Headed Home
Trip Milage
Final Odometer Miles!
My Collection

Texas Tour Recap

I go to Texas to visit to visit family living there, would I choose to go there in the middle of the summer for a ride otherwise? Probably not, but there are plenty of things to do, places to go, and ways to have fun and stay cool in the Texas summer sun. Not to mention, if you’re on tour and visiting Harley stores, there a whole bunch in Texas you can stop at! Try to find time to visit a cavern so you can tell me how cool that was. Take a day to go deep sea fishing! And if you go to an amusement / water park, don’t eat before you you ride the roller coaster!

As usual, I planned the trip, reserved hotels, and mapped the routes and stops using all the resources available on this website. And, if you need any gear or supplies for the trip, you can also use the Amazon link from this site to get everything you need.

It was a great trip but I’m happy to be back in Colorado!

Questions, Comments, and Feedback are more than welcome, they are requested!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me!

As Always,

Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

Short Shot

California Coastal Tour

Bucket List Check-off

Riding the California Coastline has been on my bucket list for decades and this tour did not disappoint.

The Plan

I considered several options for the ride out to California. My first thought was to ride out in one day so I would have more time for California. I live in Colorado so a one day ride, straightest path, would be about 19.5 hours and 1200 miles.

California or Bust

I’ve done the 1000 mile riding challenge before (a couple times), I know I could do this, but it wouldn’t be a relaxing trip, it would be a challenge.

So the next option was to take two day’s to get out there, taking the shortest route, would be about 600 mile day’s, but then I would be traveling US-50,  The Loneliest Road in America all by myself, and I might get lonely.

My last option was to take a Northern route via I-80 and travel parts of the country I’ve been in before. This is the route I was going to take, until I found out that another buddy of mine was going out to California on the same dates.

The final decision was to take the shortest route and arrive in California on day three. The over-night stops were Salina, UT and Carson City, NV which put me into my California destination after a short ride on day three.

Remember, the routes, time in route, and distances vary a little with stops for gas, breaks, and sight seeing pictures.

The Ride

Day 1

Golden, CO to Salina, UT – Depart at 6:30AM – 7h 10m / 436mi

Golden, CO to Salina, UT

This is a short ride, relatively speaking, but we wanted to get an early start so we would miss traffice and make it an easy day. The worst part of the day was going over the Continental Divide so early in the morning, about 7-7:30AM, it was COLD, even in July! Fortunately I learn from past mistakes and I was prepared for cold ride and wore insulated pants, insulated chaps, cold weather socks, heated gloves, long sleeve shirt, hoodie, coat and 3/4 helmet! Our first stop for gas was in Glenwood Springs, CO and the temps are comfortable enough to shed some layers finally. We made a second stop at the Black Dragon Canyon scenic overlook, near Green River, then we went on to get fuel and lunch in Green River, UT.

Black Dragon Canyon, UT Scenic Overlook

After fuel and lunch we headed to Salina, UT to finish off the first day ride. We stayed at the Quality Inn & Suites Salina National Forest Area
Address: 1400 South State Street, Salina, UT 84654, United States of America. They were very accommodating and friendly. They didn’t have breakfast, hot tub or pool open due to the COVID-19 but the Denny’s next door was open for dinner. I got a breakfast to go so I could warm it in the microwave before we took off the next morning. Day 1 in the books! Great Day!

Day 2

Salina, UT to Carson City, NV – 6:30AM Departure – 8h 50m / 545mi

Salina, UT to Carson City, NV

We fueled up the night before so we were ready to leave at 6:30AM headed for Carson City, NV.

WOW, what a beautiful morning for ride! The sun is beginning to crest the mountian tops, the sky is as clear as can be, and the temps are in the comfortable low 60’s!

We are riding US-50 today, The Loneliest Road in America, and if you haven’t done it yet, it’s worth the trip! This road take us all the way to Carson City, UT via several peaks and valleys. Mountain roads to summits as high as 7000ft with a bunch of fun twisties and valleys that were, well, kinda boring but the view of surrounding mountains was very scenic.

Welcome To Nevada

Well, we topped off our fuel before we left Salina, UT, so now we’ve stretched our fuel out enough and fortunately found fuel in Austin, NV. We left Austin in search of lunch, which during a pandemic is somewhat of a challenge. We finally got lunch in Silver Springs, NV then finished up the ride in Carson City, NV. I stayed at Super 8 by Wyndham Carson City
Address: 2829 South Carson Street , Carson City, NV 89701, United States of America. I had to pay a $200 deposit for a $85 / night room, which I didn’t understand and have never been asked for a deposit before. The only thing I don’t like about this is that it puts a hold on that amount until it clears the CC company which can take 3 to 7 business days. The motel did not have any breakfast, pool or hot tub and the bathtub in my room did not have a tub drain stopper so I couldn’t even soak my feet. I should have stayed at the Casino Hotel where my riding partners stayed, they had a restaraunt! Day 2 was a hot and tiring day on the lonely highway and in the desert, but still a great day on the road!

Day 3

Carson City, NV to Petaluma, CA – 8AM Departure – 3h 50m / 210mi

Carson City, NV to Petaluma, CA

We had breakfast at The Black Bear Diner, in the Casino/Hotel where my riding buddies stayed, then we got on the road by 8AM headed for Placerville, CA.

We topped off fuel in Placerville, CA and we said our good-bye’s. This is where my riding buddies start their California adventure and where I continue on to Petaluma, CA where I will stay a few nights so I can visit family and tour the Northern California area.

I continued on US-50 W to I-80 W to CA-37 then on to HWY-116 into Petaluma, CA.

Now time for some R&R with cold beverages and family. I will start my tour of Northern CA in the morning with some great advise from my family.

Day 4

This is the first day of touring around Northern CA and I have some good pointers from my cousin to go on.

Santa Rosa-Redwood Valley-Fort Bragg-Bodega Bay

The original plan was to head up the coast first, then after some sound advice, I decided to head to Santa Rosa first. I’m glad I changed plans because the Coastal Highway was still very chilly, even in the afternoon. By the time I got down to Bodega Bay I had made several stops to add multiple layers so I wouldn’t freeze my butt off!

So, headed the opposite direction I went through Napa, cruised by the Petrified Forest and up to Calistoga, CA, where I began my ride through beautiful Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and enjoyed some great twisties and tall Redwoods!

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

I stayed on CA-29 N through Lower Lake, around Clear Lake and up to Upper Lake where picked up CA-20 W to Redwood Valley. At Redwood Valley I jumped onto US-101 N to Willits, CA where I picked up CA-20 W again. By this time the temps have reached the mid to upper 90’s! I topped off fuel in Willits and then headed to Fort Bragg, CA.

Jackson State Forest_CA-20 N (Fort Bragg-Willits Rd)

This was a great ride through tall Redwoods and some real nice curves! CA-20 N goes all the way to CA-1 and you take a right to go into the town of Fort Bragg, CA. I took a side road to the coast and took some pictures and video, so be sure to look at the Touring Videos page related to this tour.

Fort Bragg, CA to Petaluma, CA via CA-1
Fort Bragg, CA – Coast

This part of the ride today was about 135 miles from Fort Bragg to Petaluma and if I rode straight through with no stops, would take around 3.5 hours. When I arrived in Fort Bragg it was only 58 degrees! This was a very welcome change from the inland temps of upper 90’s. The only problem with this was that it just kept getting colder as I headed South down the coast! I have to stop 4 times to warm up and put on additional layers for warmth. I am really glad I took my cousins’ advise about bringing warm gear and riding the coast in the afternoon as apposed to riding the other direction on the route and doing the coast first thing in the morning!

Fort Bragg-Coast-Pomo Bluffs Park

I took CA-1 all the way back to Petaluma and I was able to get a ton of beautiful video that you can check out on the Touring Video’s Page.

This was a spectacular day 1 of touring California and I would recommend this to anybody thinking about visiting!

Day 5

This was a shorter days’ ride but I’m looking forward to it because Sonoma County Harley Davidson is on the itinerary! Once again, if I didn’t make any stops for pictures, lunch, or the HD dealership, the ride would be less than 4 hours and 140 miles, but since I did make stops it took me over 6 hours to complete this route. It was a great day!

Day-5_Point Reyes, Tomales Bay, Russian River and Sonoma County HD

I ran into road construction on my way to the Point Reyes Lighthouse so I had to settle for Drakes Beach, which was a beautiful ride and a nice stop.

Drakes Beach

There is only one way in and one way out of the Point Reyes National Seashore area, so as much as I don’t like backtracking on the same roads, I have not choice.

Once I got back to CA-1, I headed North to take in the views of Tomales Bay on my way up to Hwy-116. I made a right on Hwy-116 and followed the Russian River all the way to Guerneville. This has been a great ride through beautiful Redwood Forests with a bunch of great peaks as the Russian River along the way. I left Hwy-116 to stay on River Road and follow the Russian River.

River Road took me to US-101 S to the Sonoma County Harley Davidson where I was able to score a new challenge coin, a couple T’s and chips! I got really lucky, I got The only and The LAST coin they had!

Redwood Empire Chapter HOG (RECHOG)

Once again, check out the Touring Video’s page on this site to see the great video I took on the ride!

Day 6

Today we head South to Santa Barbara via CA-1 with a stop in Monteray Bay! I was really looking forward to this ride, going over the Golden gate Bridge and seeing Monterey Bay, but the whole trip, I was socked in fog! I was only able to see brief views of the Pacific the whole ride down to Monterey Bay!

Petaluma to Santa Barbara

Finally, in Monterey Bay I was able to see some ocean view but there was still a lot of fog in the area. Municipal Beach was the first part of the beach I could actually see something.

Monterey CA_Municipal Beach

And here are some pictures from the road to Santa Barbara, CA

Take away the fog I had for half the day, it was a beautiful ride!

I checked into the Oasis Inn and Suites in Santa Barbara, CA.

It was very clean and comfortable and across the street from a shopping center with restaurants and a grocery store.

Day 7

Saturday, depart Santa Barbara, CA for Las Vegas, NV. I wanted to collect some poker chips and hopefully challenge coins from Los Angeles, CA Harley dealerships, but it was already getting very hot, so I only went to 4 places. I only got poker chips, nobody in LA is carrying challenge coins anymore is what they are telling me.

I left LA and headed to Vegas via I-15 N for VERY HOT ride reaching 118 degrees by the time I stopped in Vegas!

Santa Barbara to Las Vegas

I stayed at the Travelodge by Wyndham Las Vegas Center Strip, for the night. I was NOT happy with this place and I would NOT recommend to anybody. I managed to get some sleep but I left early in the morning for Delta, Colorado.

Day 8

I left Las Vegas, NV for Delta, Colorado via I-15 E to I-70 E. It was a very pleasant day of travel. I got out of Nevada before the heat of the day and it was very comfortable when I arrived at the hotel in Delta, CO.

Las Vegas, NV to Delta, CO

I stayed at the Value Lodge Inn, Delta, CO and I was very happy with this room. It was very clean, the staff was very nice, and the bed was very comfortable.

Day 9

This is the final day of the tour and I will be taking a route through Gunnison, over Monarch Pass, to Poncha Springs, Fairplay, and over Kenosha Pass to get home.

Delta, CO to Denver, CO

I stopped in Gunnison, CO for fuel then raced the thunderstorms and rain back to the Denver Area without a stop! I caught a little rain as I approached Buena Vista, CO but that was it! I got lucky for sure! That was a 3.5 hour / 190 mile stretch without a break!

Tour Recap

This Bucket List Tour totaled over 3400 miles, 9 days, and I rode through some AMAZING country! My bike is now ready for it’s 55,000 mile service and desperate for a wash! I was lucky to have the best weather, no mechanical issues, and met some great people along the way!

I’m also grateful for my riding buddies, Terry and Bobette for letting me ride with them out to California, thanks to them, the Loneliest Highway in America wasn’t so lonely! And I’m blessed to have wonderful family (Stacy and Dan) in California that allowed me to stay with them for 3 days which saved me a lot of money and gave me some great advice for riding and seeing the sights in CA.

Bucket List Tour – California Coast…CHECK!

It was a great trip and now I’m happy to be back in Colorado!

Questions, Comments, and Feedback are more than welcome, they are requested!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me!

As Always,

Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

Short Shot