Monday, December 27, 2010

Dec 26th Tucson ride with the Freewheelers

The day after Christmas I was able to talk Kiri into riding with the Freewheelers.  She was eager to don the anti-road rash protection gear and head out into the great beyond we call Tucson.  We met the other mean looking bikers at a local watering hole called Starbucks.  You may have heard of it.

Kiri and I, waiting for the other bikes to line up for the party.  Let's go!! This is one of my new favorite photos.  We look like extras from the Max Max movies. 

What would we do without red lights??  We were lucky to have a sweeper car following us to capture those special "outside the crowd" photos. 

We took Ina to Sunrise heading east across the north side of Tucson.  Near Craycroft we veered off and hit a view residential streets because they gave us some very cool views over the city. 

On the far east side of town we made our first pit stop at Agua Caliente Regional Park.  Nice place with plenty of shade and actual water!  Pretty rare in these parts. 

Doesn't get much cuter then that!  Oh and I guess Kiri looks all right too.

A mean looking bunch.  They're libel to help you across the street or worse!!

Ok, park time over.  Let's ride.

 We head out towards southeast Tucson.  Kiri and I are on the second bike.

The weather was top notch.  You can't beat sun and dry weather for late December.  Eat your hearts out northerners.

The sweeper car was able to grab a quick video of us.  Kiri and I are the third bike from the front.

South of town the group stopped for lunch at Chuy's.  Kiri and I ordered California burgers.  Tasty!

 The weather was so nice we decided to eat outside.

We headed home after lunch.  We had to meet some out of town friends for a movie later that evening.  Another 100 miles added onto the bike.  Had a blast.  Can't wait for the next ride.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Freewheelers - Douglas, Gadsden Hotel

 Another Tucson Freewheelers ride!  This time down to city of Douglas to take a quick tour of the supposedly Haunted! Gadsden hotel.  The group meets at one of our local breakfast establishments in Tucson.

Mmmmm! You can't ride on an empty stomach:) Veggie burrito.

The group prepares to depart.  I believe there are six bikes total on this trip.  With an additional bike meeting up with us in Douglas.  One of the members followed in a sweep car, hence the action photos.

Making our way out of Tucson, I'm the one on the far left.  I believe we're turning onto Alvernon, where we'll keep heading straight to the freeway and down to the Sonoita exit.

First stop Sonoita.  This is right outside "The Steak Out" restaurant for those of you who've been reading the earlier posts.

Ahh the open road.  We're heading east out of Sonoita, on our way to Tombstone.  This is really pretty stretch of road. 

From Tombstone we headed south through Bisbee.  I got to ride through my first tunnel on Bonnie, and saw my first deer near the road.  Scared me that it might jump out on the pavement, but it continued up the hill without incident.  Unfortunately we didn't stop and I don't have any photos of Bisbee.  We continued on to Douglas, and finally found the Gadsden Hotel.  At five stories it's not hard to miss since it's the largest building in town.  You can read up on the hotel here: Gadsden Hotel

As we pulled into the parking lot I spied two other Triumphs parked there.  This Thruxton. My bike in cafe racer form.

And this Street Triple.  Always glad to see fellow Triumph riders.

My bike on the far right.

This is the lobby of the Gadsden hotel.  Pretty snazzy right??  The hotel burned down in the twenties but was rebuild in 1929 and the lobby hasn't changed since then.  If those pillars could talk:)

Group photo!  Remind me not to stand in front anymore.

Hey they knew we were coming.  Just kidding, this dining room was made up for the Christmas party they were having that evening.

The owner of the hotel gave us a tour of the rooms.  This is one of them.  It's called the cowboy room due to the decorations.  We all take a peak out the window.

Phew! bikes are still there.

Looking out towards Mexico.  Douglas sits right on the US-Mexico boarder.

This is the hotel owners dog Luna.  She had the run of the place and had her bed by the window to watch the people stroll by.

After lunch we make a fast get away since people need to get back to Tucson.  I knew a quick route home so they let me lead the pack.  These people are a little too trusting don't you think???  Anyway, I'm the one in front.

I'm sure someone is yelling at me to pick up the pace.

Here's one of those Border Patrol checkpoints.  They just wave us through.

Last shot, heading out of Benson back to Tucson.  I had a great time.  It was about ~230 miles round trip from my house.  Can't wait for the next one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Gates Pass Ride

Kiri and I decided to take a ride through Gates Pass last Saturday afternoon.  The weather has been pretty mild, making it a perfect day for a ride. For those unfamiliar with Gates Pass road, here is the Wiki link: Gates Pass

Kiri snaps a picture at the entrance to the pass heading west.

This is a shot looking west over the Saguaro National Park west. At this point we've already gone over the pass and pulled over in the first parking lot.  Here's some more info on the Saguaro Park's.  Saguaro National Park

Looking back at the pass.

We've headed as far west  as the pavement allows.  The road turns to dirt just behind the bike.  Believe it or not this road is called Manville Rd.  I look like a space alien who's just landed to take over the planet.

Found this sign on Avra Valley Rd.  If you keep heading that way you'll eventually get to the Silverbell Mine.  I'm sure they block the road at some point, but I haven't gone any farther then this.

Looking back towards home.  The Tucson mountains are right behind Kiri's shoulder and the Catalina's are to the left.

Overall a nice relaxing ride.  We stopped at a Subway on the way home.  I chatted with a guy paying for his sandwich about the bike.  He owned an old Triumph a long time ago.  He remembered that it shook pretty badly going down the road and wanted to know if the new ones did the same thing.  I told him the new ones ran pretty smoothly.