Weekend Ride

Charles Scappaticci scapco at ecentral.com
Wed Jul 27 15:41:04 PDT 2011


I got back from a four day ride last night on the GPZ and had an
enjoyable ride.  We rode just under 1,300 total miles and had great
weather for most of the ride.

My friend Tim and I left Denver early Saturday morning and headed west
on Hwy 285 to Buena Vista and then over Independence Pass to Paonia
where we thought the BMW rally was, only to find they had moved it to
this coming weekend.  Normally it is always the weekend after the
national rally.  No big deal, as we weren't there just for the rally
anyway, so we rode north to the Grand Mesa near Grand Junction and set
up our tents beside Ward Lake.  They should call it Mosquito Lake as
we were lucky they didn't pick us up and carry us off there were so
damn many of them.

The next morning, we fought the mosquitoes off long enough to pack up
and head over the rough roads on the mesa.  There was so much damage
to the roads I popped the right fork seal hitting ridges in the road
created by subsidence and slides.  We rode into Grand Junction for
some breakfast and fuel and then headed south down Hwy 141 towards
Gateway.  We had to get through about 10 miles of road construction,
but it wasn't bad and had a spirited ride to Gateway where we took a
couple of pictures and headed back south through Ouray and over Red
Mountain Pass, arriving in Silverton around 2:00.  This gave us time
to get a camp spot and then head to the Handlebars restaurant and
saloon in time to watch the MotoGP races from Laguna Seca while having
an excellent meal.

Next morning, we headed back north over Red Mountain Pass, one of my
favorite rides in Colorado and one of the most dangerous.  Near the
top, we came upon a spot where the road took a 90 degree left turn and
there were several skid marks.  One particularly stood out as it was a
single mark about three inches wide that went straight off the edge,
over a hundred foot drop off.  I could only hope the poor bastard
bailed off and it was only his bike that went over.  Rode to Ouray and
Ridgeway and then into Telluride for a quick look around then south to
Rico for lunch at that little coffee stand/sandwich that some of you
will remember from the 2007 rally.  After an excellent sandwich, we
headed on south towards Durango running into a few rain showers near
Hesperus and on into Pagosa Springs for the night. Right as we got
into town the skies opened up so we quickly decided to split a motel
room as it was clearly going to last for several hours.

Tuesday morning, we headed east over Wolf Creek Pass to South Fork and
them north on Hwy 149 through Creed and Lake City and over Spring
Creek pass and Slumgullion Pass.  The road here was on the rough side
and it was cool and cloudy for the first hour, but cleared up after
Lake City and it was a great ride into Gunnison where we had lunch
before fueling up and heading over Monarch Pass and on into Buena
Vista.  Tim's BMW puked a small one way valve in the fuel line so we
spent the next hour and a half finding and installing a brass pipe to
get by until he got home.  As we got ready to leave, a highway sigh
started flashing a warning that Kenosha Pass was closed due to a bad
accident.  We decided to push into Fairplay to see if the road
cleared, but were informed that it was a van full of people that had
crashed killing multiple people and it was going to be closed for
several hours.  We decided to head north through Breckenridge and over
Hoosier Pass to Dillon and then slabbed it towards Denver on I-70.
Right as I got to Genesee near my office in the foothills, it started
raining extremely hard and we became separated.  I got stuck in the
traffic and it took approximately an hour to go the last 20 miles to
home.  By the time I arrived there were only a couple of square inches
of dry clothing on my body and I was leaving puddles on the floor.

The old GPZ performed flawlessly the entire trip and even the fork
seal won't a big deal as I'm past due changing out the fork oil
anyway.  I had only one issue with the bike and would like the group's
opinion on how to fix it.  The GPZ was down a little on oil, and since
the Durango Yamaha/Honda and Kawasaki/Suzuki/Polaris dealers were
closed (Monday) I ended up stopping at Durango Harley Davidson and
picked up a quart of Screaming Eagle 20-50 oil.  I added about 12
ounces to the crankcase, but ever since I did it will no longer idle
smoothly, leaks oil, and kept trying to turn into every bar that I
rode by.  Will a complete oil change fix this or is it going to take
more than that??  ;-)


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