Whod a thought
that day in February of 2004 when we traded in our 2002
Honda Shadow ACE for our 2004 VTX1800 R that great
adventures were to unfold for us?
When we put the
Ultimate Big Boy seat on our bike we found we were ready
do to some long trips. We spent many a weekend doing 400
miles a day rides now that we had this aftermarket seat.
We had gone over
300 miles on a trip to the Talimena Drive in SE Oklahoma
first on the stock seat that left me barely able to
walk. Then we did it again with the Ultimate seat and the
ride was pure pleasure the whole time!
We started talking
about making a bike trip to Colorado during the 4th
of July Event. Seeing the CD from 04 convinced us it was
something we should do. I had been in Colorado back in
my late teens and wanted to see if my memories were
different from an adults eye view. Plus it was going to
be a second honeymoon
Ranger - Perry and Wildabouthorses - Jan)
celebrating 29 years together and
a celebration of my 50th birthday on July 1st.
We bought a pull
behind the bike trailer kit and put it together
ourselves during the early part of 05 along with
putting the Hitch Doc hitch on the VTX to get ready for
the trip to Colorado. After we got our hitch we heard it
wasnt available for a while for other VTX owners
We have a local car
body shop that did an excellent job of painting our 98
Chevy truck twice after two accidents so they were the
ones we had paint our trailer to match the bike. This
was their very first motorcycle trailer to paint and
they did an excellent job matching it to our bikes
Candy Black Cherry by using the side cover off our VTX.
maker of the trailer, helped pay for some of it since
the trailer had scratches on it from improper packing
when it was shipped. Styrofoam was missing around the
nose of the trailer body in the box they sent it in.
They shipped it with the nose at the top of the box.
Also the locking mechanism was messed up so we had to
break into the trailer to get the body opened before we
could even put it together. A tiny pin was missing
causing it not to unlatch.
We did a lot of
practice runs with it including some rides over into
Arkansas after we got it back from the painter. We found
we had to turn off our bikes spotlights with the
trailer hitched up or it would blow a fuse and we would
lose all the lights. We solved that problem by replacing
all the trailer lights with LED bulbs.
It was kind of nice
to be able to throw our leathers into it on a day that
started out 40 degrees and then crept up to 70s or 80s
later in the day. We soon got so used to pulling it with
the VTX that we didnt even notice it was behind us
I went to the local
Army/Navy surplus store and bought us two very large
black side zippered duffle bags. We packed one with all
our leathers and denim jackets for the cold part of the
ride and the other had our daily clothes and such in it.
We also threw into the trailer a Kuryakyn Grand Tour bag (pictured left) to use on the bikes luggage rack up in the mountains to
hold our cold weather stuff and the rain suits were in
the saddlebags. Later this same bag came in handy on the
way home as we used it on our bikes luggage rack to
carry the must haves like prescriptions and a change
of clothes in fear of our trailer latch locking up on us
Our trailer has two
lower compartments in it that carry the just in case of
emergency items at all times like a spare tire for the
trailer, a jack, first aid kit and such.
We planned on doing
about 400 miles a day so it was going to take 2 days to
get to Englewood, CO. VTXBob and his wife Connie
decided to go with us hauling their VTX on the trailer
that was big enough to haul our bike and trailer if we
broke down. It was comforting to have someone with us
just in case
We met up with them
at a McDonalds on 412 on the 29th of June,
grabbed some breakfast and got on the road. Once we got
past Enid, OK it seemed like the pavement was full of
tar snakes that can melt in the heat or be slippery to
ride over. Before we got to Woodward, OK we saw some
unusual landscape that looked to be pieces of land
pushed straight up into little mountains which were
called Gloss Mountains. This particular State Park isnt
on a lot of maps. On our way back home we stopped and
Later in the day I
was glad I could get off the bike and into the truck and
out of the 105 temps for the last 100 miles or so of the
day. It was shortly after leaving Guymon, OK that we
encountered the worse roads ever. Every 6-10 feet the
road in the panhandle was heaved up a few inches causing
it to be a very uncomfortable ride even in the truck.
VTXBob had the
truck riding on the smooth shoulder to ease up the bumps
and we watched Perry endure the torture with the bike
and trailer as he couldnt completely avoid the bumps.
The wide open
plains with electric poles scenery was the same for
miles, it looked like we werent getting anywhere. When
we arrived in Boisie City, OK we were ready to find a
motel for the night and get some pizza for supper. We
were very lucky to find rooms available in this very
The next morning on
June 30th we got up early, packed and left the motel to
find breakfast. As we were leaving to get on the road, a
VTX and a couple of Goldwings pulled in. It was there we
met Pat Forster and her husband with friends who were
going to Colorado too!
It was a bit cooler
riding this morning so we grabbed our jean jackets and I
didnt put my digital camera in my pocket as I figured
wed be seeing more boring panhandle scenery. We pulled
into Clayton, NM and got turned around going the wrong
way. It was here Xshadow (Mike) and his wife Karla came
up behind us on their Goldwing and asked if we were on
our way to Denver, CO.
They were looking
for a parts store and said they would catch up with us.
By the time we started seeing the elk herds they had
caught up with us. Now I was wishing I had the camera in
hand for the many miles we saw herd after herd of wild
When we all got on
I-25 in Colorado I was so surprised at the beautiful
mountainous scenery we were riding through already. The
three of us in this group got separated and somehow we
ended up taking the same exit for gas and food not
knowing that the others were taking the same exit, so we
ended up together again.
While going through
Colorado Springs I saw the Air Force Academy Chapel
which jarred the memory as a teen we had camped
someplace nearby it and I got to ride two different
was so cool to see the snow capped mountains were
We made it to
Englewood that afternoon and as we started to unpack we
found our trailer wouldnt unlatch! It was here we were
so tired and upset that I can only remember that David
from Illinois came up and helped us. I think Cliff
walked up to us then too. A locksmith was called and he
came within minutes to break into our trailer so we
could finally get our stuff into our hotel room and get
a shower. We grabbed our heavy chain and padlocked the
trailer to a light post, where it stayed until we left
for home. We had no more problems with the latch the
rest of the trip. We were staying at the Sheraton,
walked over to the La Quinta and registered and grabbed
maps and got acquainted.
After getting back
to the hotel, getting supper at the Trail Dust Steak
House for the Meet and Greet where I was surprised with
a 50th birthday cake, we hit the hay.
We got up bright
and early for the 5 Pass Ride
(pictured above left) on Friday. We werent even
sure we were going to be up to it after two days of 400
mile riding but it turned out to be one of the best
rides we did even though it was over 300 miles. We were
able to see a lot of diverse scenery in the mountains
doing this particular ride.
It was here I also
found out I was a bit shaken when there were no guard
rails in some areas as we flew down one of the passes.
To think that as a teen I laughed when my Dad got
nervous driving on roads with no guard rails! Here I was
as an adult freaking now.
In Vail the both of
us were feeling a bit sick from the height but managed
to chow down lunch. I requested the guitar player
entertaining us to play Rocky Mountain High and
everyone stopped talking when he sang it even though
they had kept on talking through his other songs!
After we left Vail
we were heading into some rain so we stopped and
everyone but one couple got their raingear on. The
guides for this ride decided we would skip the last pass
that looked to be covered in rain clouds and take some
twisties home that led us through Evergreen, CO. Those
twisties were a lot like we ride on in Oklahoma.
We were up Saturday
morning for the Southern Pictures ride but I found I had
a horrible headache so went back to sleep. Spent the day
relaxing around the hotel and getting some laundry done
and meeting people. I believe this was the day that Pat
went down on her bike during the ladies ride.
Got up early Sunday
to get ready for the Canyons and Curves Ride. I didnt
take pictures as I was hanging on to the bike during the
whole ride. This was a wild twisty ride! I couldnt
believe the VTX could lean over so far in those curves
without hitting the pavement. I had so much fun I wanted
to do it again!
Afterwards we went to the bike games
set up in the hotel parking lot and I hopped on Xrateds
bike to do one of the games.
Monday morning the
4th of July we went on the Southern Route
ride where we saw buffalo, log cabins, horse ranches and
ate lunch at the foot of Pikes Peak. This was a ride
that the flatlanders could really enjoy. I missed
seeing the moose the other riders in the group pointed
My memory gets a
little dim here
I think this was the day we had the
catered BBQ and prizes given in the evening or maybe
that was after the bike games.
On the 4th
of July I do remember we stayed in our hotel room
instead of going to the major league baseball game and
watched all the fireworks going off all around us. What
a sight that was to see from high up.
Alas the time had
come for us to leave for home on July 5th. We packed up
and as we left the hotel we found XShadow and Karla
pulling out the exact same time from the La Quinta
parking lot so rode with them down to Colorado Springs.
Said our goodbyes as they went on and we stopped to see
the Garden of the Gods
(pictured left) since we missed that ride and
then went to the Cliff Dwellings. (pictured below)
We headed east out
of Pueblo, Co and while gassing up we saw Pat with her
husband and friends ride by. Caught up with them and
rode together for a little while before they turned
south to go to Texas. We went on into Kansas which
wasnt as boring as the Oklahoma Panhandle. Passed
several huge stinky stock yards.
One place we
stopped for gas the local folks came up to talk to us
asking where were were going. Was trying to get to Dodge
City but we were so tired we stopped and spent the night
at Garden City instead. Shortly after we got into our
motel room a thunderstorm blew in that had been tailing
us all the way from Colorado for awhile.
The next morning we
found out we were near a stockyard that was stinking up
the place horribly! And that we had forgotten to put the
covers on our Ultimate seats so rode into Dodge City
with wet butts and toured Boot Hill that way!
Stopped to eat at
McDonalds near Boothill and there was a fake stagecoach
inside for kids to play in. Went over to Boothill and
did the tourist thing there. (pictures left) I seem to remember my
parents stopped there too on our vacation as a teen.
Got back on the
bike and headed south into Oklahoma to Woodward. . By
going this way we avoided the horrible roads in the
panhandle. It was such a nice route through Kansas that
Stopped to take
pictures of the Gloss Mountains in Oklahoma and then
managed to get home by about supper time.
We had such a great
time on this trip we decided to go to Marysville, Ohio
for the Honda Homecoming just a few weeks later! This
time we didnt take the trailer as it was warm enough
not to need our leathers, using the Grandtour bag along
with our saddlebags did the trick.
XShadow drove up
from Quanah, Tx and parked his truck and trailer at our
house, unloaded his VTX and we were off on yet another
adventure that let us see how the VTXs and Goldwings
were built and participated in the World Record VTX