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Tag: Colorado

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Neale Bayly Rides: Orbits

In my mirror, a fellow sojourner was also enjoying the alpine-fresh air and soul warming sunshine as we unhurriedly made our ascent. A chance coffee stop in the mining town of Leadville earlier in the morning had introduced us, and the result of our conversation was some company for my ride to Aspen. Showing the telltale sunglass lines and wind burned cheeks of the road, my new friend Dave had been heading in the opposite direction when we met. His journey was nearing its end but he had no desire to stop riding, so it was a natural decision for him to change direction and join me.

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Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs Michelin Road 6: Wet Handling Test

Yet if you ride in the Pacific Northwest then you know that into every ride a little rain must fall.  Just not this year.  We rode through most of the West anticipating that somewhere, somehow, we would find nature’s rain for the highly anticipated wet weather tire test of Dunlop’s Roadsmart IV vs Michelin’s Road 6, our participants in year two of our tire shootout series.  Instead we found heat, snow, even a biblical plague of grasshoppers but not a single drop of rain.  So to answer the question that both of my readers have been asking, we traversed thousands of miles to some of the best riding in the country, the place where it rains every afternoon: Colorado.

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Better Than The Tail

Legends grow as they roll along. Like snowballs they gather hyperbole packed deep in layers until the truth is buried somewhere way beneath. Telling and retelling of ancient stories swell the past until they take on a life of their own, only resembling the original in hazy memory. Good days far removed become epic, the older I get the faster I was and ancient asphalt snakes become the Nurburgring.
Highway 129, i.e. The Tail Of The Dragon, is such legend. Its 318 curves in 11 miles are fact, but there is also some legend around this stretch of twisty tarmac. The Tree of Shame, that tree at the beginning whose bark is a mangled plastic fairing testament to poor decisions adds to the lore, attracting swarming moths of sporty pretenders on everything from Honda Groms to McLaren hypercars. They make the pilgrimage to ride The Dragon, to get the sticker, buy the refrigerator magnet and say they were there.

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An Entertaining Misery

We never saw the storm coming, a Colorado squall that stalked us from behind, waiting to sucker punch us until we had our backs turned. A few hours before on this idyllic August day during the Colorado 500 we were enjoying perfect weather. Our fast group of five were Colorado 500 board member Hutch Collier, his wife Dawn, his son Currie, his riding companion Phil Weida and me, and we ripped through the narrow canyon lands leading to Gateway, smooth red rocks and polished boulders doing their best southern Utah impersonation. I couldn’t believe our luck to get these roads with such stunning scenery and perfect weather, one of those days on the motorcycle you wish you could bottle. We had no idea we were riding on borrowed time.

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