Tech Day!! Most of my friends in the moto world relish those two words. They get to talk about oil, final drive fluids and perhaps even pull out the mythical TwinMax. To me it means I am going to go see some friends eat some food. This morning I will be headed up to Strawberry Arizona on the Rim to the event being held at Chet’s House. It shall be a worthy ride since I am going up with Howard, Craig, and Tim. Well we will see Craig at the starting point and at the end since he rides much more sedate. Highway 87 out of Phoenix is the road that I and the gang really know best. I can pretty much tell you every turns entry point and at what speed I can take it at. And there are some beauty curves on this road. I mean almost Uber Worthy.
Howard and Craig ready to roll.
As we pull out onto the road I am checking the GT to make sure all is secure and that it is ready for the ride up the hill. Having something flap around the tank bag at speed could be in a word fatal. My Helmet is on good and the visor is secured. We are ready to moto.
Traffic is light but bunched up as we pass through the desert where they are making road improvements. Once past this the fun starts. Tim is on his GS today and sets a good pace. I turn on Beethoven’s 9th Symphony “Ode to Joy” and give my full focus to riding. No pictures the next ¾ hours as we ride from Fountain Hills to Payson. “Radar Radar!” coming in over the music as Howard calls out near Sunflower is the only thing that breaks me from the zone of giving 110% to keeping pace with Tim ahead. Miles mean nothing on this run. All I think about is the next corner, stuff in the road 100 yards out, and where is Mr. Leo and his dreaded radar gun. Cars are for the most part in the right lane as we pass but the occasional person really feels a kindred spirit to the English and won’t go right to let us pass. That means a quick a flick and whoosh! No time for a blinker but they see me shaking my head as I am blurring past them. With the Spring temps in the 60’s everything is just perfect and I am sad as we pull into Payson. Today is a day I must ride more. A lot more
Tim takes us to Pine for breakfast and says he has been here before. We are joined by a two new fellas I have not ridden with before. Jim and Mark. Two guys I hope to meet again in the future.
What to have??? Kidding!! I did think this sign was worthy though. The food was pretty good and we got out of there for less then 10 bucks. Not too bad for road food.
We arrive at the tech day to find a pretty big crowd! This will be fun.
Before getting off the bike I head down the street and look for something interesting to take pictures of. The Totem Pole is really a treat here in the Southwest as you normally see them mostly in the Pacific Northwest. The wood of the old 1 room school house also caught my eye.
Yeah, there is nothing like a bunch of guys getting together and talk about important things like the latest Final Drive Service Bulletin, will Rossi make a comeback in Moto GP or what the latest Oprah Book Club offering is. I may have made one of those up.
He may only have 10 jokes, but the man is a technical genius.
Three of my favorite people in the whole wide world. Watch out cause KC is almost ready to get back on a moto!!
There is beauty in Metal I tell ya!
I am convinced that when Al meets St. Peter someday at the pearly gates, he will convince him to buy a set of earplugs.
Chets UBER worthy Toolbox.
A pair of worthy steeds.
There really is a lot going on here and while I am totally into seeing friends I keep looking at the sky and saying I need to be on the road….out there……
Then I take a look down and find her….She is so amazing…but don’t be fooled….in a word…DIVA. While I thought she was into me…it was in fact the piece of muffin in my hand she desires. As soon as we get past the small talk and share the muffin, she dashes off, but I can‘t be mad at her…she is a glorious find with those eyes that could melt a iceberg.
Minutes later after our first flirtatious meeting she comes back being carried by her beautiful devotee Kim, Chet’s Daughter. Ah the life of a Diva
I think she is giving me that look that somehow life is just grand!
Soon I get into a conversation with Kim. She and I talk of motorcycles and she tells me that she has ridden up on her moto but alas it is a Harley and her father makes here hide it around the corner. Ok I doubt for a millisecond that Chet would say that but it is my blog and I can embellish if I want to.
As we walk for what seems miles to the back end of the Chet Estate she talks of getting her motorcycle license and the joy she has riding her beloved “Otis”. Her smile is very infectious and I think, it is so worthy to meet other people with a zest for life.
Otis the man. I am not a Harley aficionado for a lot of reasons but this bike just seems right for her doesn’t it?
I really dig the blinged out Helmet!
Hopefully I get a chance to take some more pictures of Kim and Otis out and about sometime soon. It was for me the highlight of a great morning.
But the road is really tugging at me today. Howard is not sure what he wants to do but I tell him I am riding North. When he asks me where, I have no clue but within seconds I say…Meteor Crater is not that far…and he is in!
We say our good byes and moto on up North onto the Rim. We still see snow at elevation and there are almost zero cars on the road. We are so into riding again that we make great time. Only one radar hit as we pass a gas station so most of the time I am left riding within a speed that is sporting rather then mundane. This section has me listening to the Band “Train” which allows me to eat miles easily and in no time we have another hundred miles gone.
As we get out onto the flats of the Colorado plateau I see a long straight stretch of road going down a gentle slope for about 2 miles. I open up the GT. I mean not a little, I mean full “Resume Speed”. Within moments I am going faster then I have ever gone other then in a jet plane. The bike is so smooth and had more in her but I only had 2 miles and the whole trip took under a minute. Worthy
We ride into Winslow Arizona and I am thinking we will find a gas station and moto on real fast. We soon discover a magical oasis on I-40 that you should stop and see if you get a chance. Chet tells us about a Hotel called the La Posada that has great food. He forgets to talk about the great art there. Howard gets me in front with the GT and a new friend
Howard of Arabia!
The sculpture of the camel is really cool. The detail of the copper work is great and I imagine it will look even more stunning as it gets it’s patina.
This vase is stunning. The craftsmanship and color always makes me wish I had the ability and time to do things like this.
Almost every room has some great art. They don’t want you to photograph the paintings so you have to ride up and see them for yourself!
Not unlike some of the great matches of the ages, Howard and I enjoy a stirring game of chess in the ballroom. This is a place I will come back to.
Back to the bikes and we ride to the West end of town. There we find a cool 9/11 monument. Very cool
I find it funny that to go North on 87, you have to break the law. Guess which way I turned?
We stop on a corner in Winslow Arizona…such a fine sight to see. I look more like Elton John in this picture then Don Henley…..
Howard at the city Park dedicated to a song. Crazy cool. Winslow is one of those gems you come across when you aren’t looking. Glad we moto’d on through.
But now it is time to see where the earth was almost destroyed by the space monster of a meteor. As we approach I am thinking “Am I really going to pay to see a hole in the ground?”
The answer is Yes.
As we wait in line to pay the $15 dollar fee, I try to convince the woman ahead of me that she shouldn’t feel guilty if she really wants to pay for me. I am ok with it. She doesn’t go for it, but Howard steps up and gets me in. Score!
Karen, the lady in front of me, is a Fed we find out working at the Grand Canyon and we spend our time visiting the place we a real live Park Ranger. Worthy
Some signs just state the obvious
Karen taking in the big hole made by a space rock. She buys a t-shirt later to commemorate the historic event of meeting Howard and I. She is someone I will try and find when I get to the bigger hole made by the Colorado later this season. Wonderful lady.
Howard tells me they were discussing the House Size Rock when I snapped this.
Found this little guy hanging around catching some rays.
For the record I hate the National Geographic channel. Shows like “Locked Up Abroad” don’t really seem like something that should be on a channel that bears the name of a great American Institution. They were filming a show with this Italian Scientist while we were there. Odds are they will work in Aliens and the Nazi’s before they air it.
We did manage to see Crater Cop bust a Dutch Man Purse Carrying Rim Jumper before he lept! The Cameras should have captured that!
It is getting late and we make tracks back for Phoenix after Howard takes Karen’s Picture. We make amazing time going down Interstate 17 as I think gas prices are impacting leisure travel. While I love the fact that we make it down without having to dodge a hundred tourists, it makes wonder how the tourist business will fare this summer.
Next week it is off to NM to see Clean water and fast ducks!