A Travellerspoint blog

The Little Bike that Could

The next morning we get up and get ready to drive to the car rental place and Joe tells me that its just too cold here for him to stay the next few days. I would love to meet him somewhere further south, but this car rental place makes you bring the car back to them (so ridiculously inconvenient I have no words for them). Then he tells me that he thinks the bike can make it, or at least it can make it within 100 miles of Denver, so when it kaputs, we could call in one of our 3 remaining tows. This seems like our only option at the time worthwhile, so we head into the mountains.


V wanted to leave me at dinosaur national park and get a rental car and then come all the way back. It would have doubled all our expenses. We would both have to pay food and lodging separately plus the $150 or more for the car. When it comes down to it I was considering staying the previous night, but it got really cold at night. I thought Do I really want to stay in this lonely empty cold place waiting for V.

Perp was the clincher. I woke up and we rode him out to the crossroad. It was like in a movie. We're in the middle of nowhere and we can either go right to the car rental or we go left up the rockies. I can feel everything about this bike. He talks to me as much as a person. I listen to his idle. I feel the vibrations. I feel how quick he warms up and touch different parts of the engine to see how the heat is spreading. I feel a hundred subconscious little hints and they all tell me that Perp is jumpy and rearing to go. He's telling me that he wants to ride hard until his engine swells from the heat and the holes in the radiator and seals swell shut.

We're just on for the ride so I let Perp do what he wants to do. We ride upward. Climbing into the sky. The mountains are too high and gradual to have switch-backs, so we have to fly at 60 to get over hills. Perp has the spirit of a racing bike in a touring body. He doesn't have the low torque to get up them at low speeds. Even in his delecate state we had to push him hard. We take some breaks, but we're in a hurry.


I'm astonished at what he's doing. He's hauling ass and he doesn't want to stop. The faster we go the better he gets. I can literally see the difference. The engine heads look swollen. When the bike idles on a down hill it sounds like liquid moving in those cylinders rather than metal. Instead of "chunka chunka chunka" it sounds like, balop balop balop" It feels really smooth and there are no vibrations.

We're getting close to the top and it's getting late. I'm not sure if we're going to make it. It would be so cold riding after dark. I was praying.

We get to the top!

We're cruising on a plateau and we see signs that "you're on the range." I went, "Oh. That's what home home on the range is talking about. The rockies." The lands are rolling cow pastures and only occasionally scenic. We fly down the mountains on the other side and we know we're gonna make it.

And then we started looking for a town with motels for us to spend the night at (b/c it was going to be in the upper 20's at night), and we see a Starbucks.


We stopped in and searched for local motels. I ran inside to use the restroom, and was distracted by a shoe sale. My Van's already have a rip in the top from the 2nd time I dumped the motercycle, but now I've warn the sole's thin on the bottom to the point where one of them already has a hole. I started looking at some hiking shoes for sale ($85 to $40) but the dancing was getting to me, so I decided to come right back. But after I got out of the bathroom the gates between the store and Starbucks were closed (like gates at a mall). I was saddened by this, but Joe said that he was planning on finding a motel near here b/c he figured it would be cheaper than in Denver, so we could come back and buy me real waterproof hiking shoes.

Joe called around this time, and I went to buy a brownie cookie, and she gave it to me for free since they were closing in an hour (so frigging cool!). We also go a really good tea, and for one of the few times on this trip, we got our daily serving of free skim milk. Joe ended up booking a place in Idaho Springs (yes, we are in Colorado, 25 min. outside of Denver, but the town is Idaho Springs) which was usually $90 a night, but somehow Joe got him down to $64 (I bet you didn't know you could haggle hotel room prices did you?). When we got there I almost cried, it was so beautiful! Outside there was a patio with streetlamps and a patio furniture, inside the bed was amazing, the sheets were fluffy and perfect, there was a slanted roof that went up 2 stories, a mantel with lights that display the art, a seperate beauty sink thingy next to the full bathroom, and our own little kitchen nook with a stove, fridge and fake window that lights up like it were real (which was actually really cool).


Posted by - Rain 21:47

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What a story! I'm so glad you didn't split up. Interesting, too, that you stayed at the Columbine Inn--were you near the high school that name will always evoke? I see from the additional photos that the cast came off. We're eager to hear the rest of the saga and curious to see where you head when you turn south.

by Sheryl S

love the monet on the wall (girls in a boat); think we saw that at the Musee D'Orsay; love the hotel! wow!

by georgi r

Hey, I tried to add a comment earlier today, but it doesn't seem to have gotten posted. Anyway, this is quite a story. I remember how challenging it is to cross the Rockies in a car--doing it so quickly on a relatively small motorcycle must have been quite an adventure. I'm also very glad you two didn't split up. And, by the way, Joe, your dad and I only hitchhiked the last day's journey of our honeymoon, because the car we drove all over the country broke down that day. You're probably remembering the fact that we did do some hitchhiking for other trips, but it's fair to say that when we had a car, we drove. That meant we could sleep in the car when we didn't feel like pitching a tent, but still the motorcycle sounds like more fun.

by Sheryl S

wow, i love the hotel. this is the third time i'm trying to post this, so if it posts three times, sorry. i love the monet, the three girls in a boat.

by georgi r

Oh my that room is beautiful--AND YES I finally caught up. The fall colors in the other pice were beautiful and I keep forgetting how much you are getting to see. York is good, but kind of crazy. Much love!

by BritterBee

definitely looks like the best hotel so far, at least in convenience turns (which rates it high in this trip). Glad Perp chugged through the Rockies.

by buddy-JC

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