Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So... What do you do when....
You have a beautiful day and a 200-something ft high mountain ...
(Note: If you click on the picture and look hard you can see people, left middle, just above the tree line. This give you an idea of the size of this rock.)
Climbing gear and three friends?...

A friend ...
My husband and...
and me!!!
Why... you go climbing, of course. I realize this isn't a motorcycle story. There will not be a motorcycle mentioned, except for right now. The only motorcycling I accomplished this weekend was the errands around town. A friend called, who had just got back into town, and asked my husband and me if we wanted to climb Grey Rock in Garden of the Gods, Colorado. Unbelievably, this park is in town!!! We decided we just couldn't pass up this opportunity. We hadn't been climbing in a couple of years due to a rock climbing accident I had. I am finally better, after surgery on the ankle and much healing. Luckily this ankle problem, while preventing me from climbing at the time, didn't prevent me from motorcycling.
So anyway, here is my husband and friend climbing the first pitch of the climb.
For the first hour, we just did some warm ups at the bottom of Grey Rock. Here I am warming up. Note: after posting this I realized something. This route I am doing is top roped. You can't see it ver well, but I am on a rope. Just wanted to let you know, as this isn't safe without one. There have actually been visitors to the Garden who see climbers and try it without the equipment and then rescuers have to help them out.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Here we are, about 1/3 of the way up and setting up the equipment for the rest of the climb. Your's truely does the lead till we get to the last pitch at the top. Our friend takes that. We are placing the most used pieces where we can get to them quicker on our belts or harnesses. All the way up Grey Rock we are in awe of the great views it has to offer. In many places it just drops off. You don't think about that part and just keep going. This is one of the many mind games you overcome when rock climbing. This rock is one of my favorite places to climb.
Rearranging the slings and ropes.
Here we are on the last leg of the climb. This is Lance doing the lead. You can see where he has placed some slings, draws & cams.
Here is my husband climbing.
Here I am climbing. We are just about to the top at this point.

Success!!! Here is Lance at the very top of Grey Rock (can you tell by the smile?). It is just beautiful up here.
Here is my husband and me at the top, and yes, we are ecstatic!!!
At the bottom we are tired and very happy. It was a great day for three friends to bond and the climb left us feeling complete. While we didn't do any motorcycling, we did have a blast with another high adventure.

Be sure to read the article before this post about MotoFemina. It's about 3 ladies on a new adventure themselves, with motorcycles (lol).

Safe Journeys in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)

MotoFemina Cast
Hi everyone. I just found a fairly new website that I think you find very interesting. It's about three novice women motorcyclist and a project called "MotoFemina. These three women will not only learn riding skills, but also technical skills. They each put together what is called a "posse," that is a team that will help them learn. They are being videoed and the first showing by pod or web cast is scheduled for sometime in July. The one person deemed to have learned the most technical skill and has the most enthusiasm will win a new F650GS in September. It sounds like a hoot and I'm following their progress. They each post their thoughts to MotoFemina. So go check them out.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

Wishing everyone a safe and fun Memorial weekend. I hope everyone gets a chance to get out on your motorcycles. My husband and I have plans ourselves for at least one day on our motorcycles. We have so much to be grateful for in our country. Many will knock it, but have they been overseas in another country? They just might keep their mouths shut if they see the horrible poverty and injustices of other nations. Here's just a little prayer:

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

(Psalm 18:1-3)

May the Lord keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday weekend and throughout the coming year.


Please remember all those who are/or who have served in all our Armed Forces. Keep all those who are overseas in your prayers. There are military people and their families and civilians working for our freedom and we need to pray for their good health, safety, and a safe return to the USA.

Safe Journeys in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)

PS: Photo taken by Biker Betty

Where Has the Week Gone?

WOW!!! This last week went by in such a blurrrr.... I managed to get out on my motorcycle, for errands only, a few times these last weekdays.

I have two sons and both graduated this last week. One from elementary school and the other one from high school. It was so hard and yet exciting to watch my eldest graduate. He, of course, enjoyed every moment and couldn't wait to get his diploma (lol). He goes to college in the fall and his bags are almost packed already!!! (sigh). It's hard to see your first one leave the nest (*sniff*). So both my boys have stepped into the next phase of their lives and it's great to watch them grow into young men.

My husband and I did manage to get on our motorcycles last weekend and I got some great mountain shots. We managed to rack up a fair amount of mileage. In a few days I will post them.

Safe Journeys in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Great Motorcycle Scavanger Hunt Cont...
As many of you know, my motorcycle group (Mountain Shadow Riders, a chapter of Women on Wheels) is doing a scavanger hunt. It started the first of April and ends Oct 31st. There are just over 350 items to find and take a picture of with your personal motorcycle. So on May 8th, we got our two sons off to school and then my husband and I set out to find a few items on the list. What a great day. Kids in school and we get to go out and play (lol). The day started off a gorgeously, clear blue sky and with just a nip in the air. I was glad to wear all my layers and was quite happy.

We go north on Powers Ave, in Colorado Springs, and then get off and head east on Platte Ave. We go just a little ways down and then head south on Marksheffel Rd. Our first destination is the Pikes Peak International Raceway. Unfortunately, the raceway has been bought out and will no longer be used for races. As I understand it, the new owners bought it to let it rot. What a waste. Anyway the PPIR is on the list for the scavanger hunt.

My husband, who is in the lead, and "this is a good thing" (as Martha Stewart has been known to say, lol), decides we are going to take the back roads. We could have easily zipped down I-25 and been there in half the time. Not long after getting onto Marksheffel Rd you come to open prairies. The song "Home on the Range" comes to mind when driving this stretch of road. It's wide open and beautiful. Lots of prairie grass and some trees. Of course, you have the view of mountains to your west. We follow Marksheffel for a while till we come into the town of Fountain.

Then we turn south, left, onto Link Rd. By now we are coming into farming country. You get a very laid back feeling out this way. In fact, the cops were out and in force that day to ensure that feeling (lol). A little ways down Link Rd we come into a small tree grotto. This bird comes at me and I'm getting ready to duck, but it takes a sudden 45 degree turn and starts to fly right next to me. I was flabbergasted, to say the least. It follows along side me for a few seconds and then flys off on it's merry way. I was so thrilled and absolutely spellbound. That was a few moments in time that I hope to never forget.

We follow Link Rd for a ways, until it runs into Old Pueblo Rd. We turn left onto Old Pueblo Rd. This road pretty much takes you straight out to PPIR. While on this road you cross the railroad tracks many times. We slow way down and look both ways, as this is an active track.
Scavanger Pic - Motorcycle at PPIR
It's really pretty out here. We saw a white rabbit scurring around while parked at PPIR. I couldn't get my camera up quick enough to get a picture of it.

I had thought a barn was on the scavanger list and stopped to take a picture. I just love the look of this old barn. Unfortunately, I was so excited about the old barn that I never noticed the roadkill I accidently parked right next to. If you click on the picture, you will see it just by my front tire. I didn't notice it till after taking the pictures and was walking back to my motorcycle. It was to my dismay when I discovered the poor thing.

Scavanger Pic - Motorcycle with a horse

Okay, I was just looking on the list and I can't find horse or livestock, auugg... there are just too many things on this list. It's got to be a horse trailer and bonus if the horse is inside. Oh well (sigh), it was worth the stop. This horse came right up to me and wanted to be petted. She was very nice. Before my husband was ready with the camera, she nudged me on my shoulder with her nose. As you can see, I was standing next to the fence and didn't expect that.

Scavanger Pic - Motorcycle with an Adobe House

Okay, I do know for sure that an adobe house ISSS on the list (lol). Whew, at times I get so confused with all the items on "the list." During our drive we got to experience lots of wonderful (??) farm smells. There were a few farms putting out the "Ode' to Horse Manure" smell. Then there was the "Ode' to Skunk" smell, ahhh... nothing... like it?

Here we are on the way home. We are on Marksheffel Rd. The clouds are coming in. They do this often by noonish. This is the view towards the mountains.

Here we are still on Marksheffel Rd, with my husband waiting ever-so patiently. This is looking back from where we had just been. You can see the open space to our left. It just goes on for what appears forever.

Scavanger Pic - Motorcycle at a Fast Food Restaurant

10 bonus points for "rider with fast food item"

After all that driving, we were starved. Once in town we headed for one of our favorite fast food joints, Taco Johns. It's pretty new to town. When we first got here, and for 5 years thereafter, Colorado Springs didn't have this fine establishment. Was I bummed!! I absolutely love their Super Potato Oles. You know how there's just some foods you JUST can't live without. We would take trips to Denver and Fort Collins just to feed the fix!!!

We had lots of fun exploring roads we had never been on. It was gorgeous countryside and we were very happy to take the long way to PPIR. There was the bonus of finding other things on "the list" along the way. It was worth it. We took off about 10am and got home about 1:30pm. We drove just over 100 miles.

Wishing You Safe Journeys,

Betty :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Motorcycle Chrome for Mother's Day
I had a real nice Mother's Day this last Sunday. I was so excited when I opened my first present and saw the clock for my motorcycle. I had been wanting one for a while. I did the "happy dance," my husband totally understood and my two sons thought it might be time to admit mom into hospital wacky ward (lol). Okay, so it's just a little piece of chrome, but little is better than none at all I say (lol). You start with the little stuff and work your way up... Oh Honeyyy.....

Here it is. I took a pic of it on my motorcycle. Isn't it great?!!! Going down the road and trying to look at my watch to see what time it is doesn't work so well. My motorcycle jacket has stiff arms and I can't get the sleeve up enough to see it, not to mention that I'm using my throttle hand to do this and slowing down on the road. When you have traffic behind you that ain't cool.
Now you're probably thinking "who needs to know what time it is when you're cruising down the road on your motorcycle?" In my defense, I do errands on my bike and there are times when I need to know that I'm running out of time and need to be somewhere else.
Also, this last Mother's Day I took my son for a ride for the first time. I took him to church. My husband and I installed the sissy bar about two weeks ago. At first the saddle bags hid my passenger footpegs. My husband got the idea to take off the passenger seat and turn the saddle bags around. It did uncover the footpegs, but not quite far enough. Eventually I still need to get the kit that moves my back lights back so the saddle bags can go further back. For short trips, it works for now.

Scavanger Pic - Motorcycle in front of a Church

My son & I had a Boy Scout troop meeting to attend and were able to get this pic for the scavanger hunt. We were wearing protective gear when traveling, but took it off for the photo. My son actually rode on his dad's bike for this trip. Dad's bike has a nice big passenger seat and he doesn't have to fight the saddle bags for foot room (*chuckle*). Family will love this photo with us in our Boy Scout uniforms. I have to chuckle. When I was young and in Girl Scouts I never dreamed I'd grow up and be in the Boy Scouts (lol). They are a great group and I can't say enough great things about them. If you ever get a chance to support or participate in Boy Scout activities, please do. You won't regret it.

Safe Travels in Your Part of the World,
Betty :)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Part 1 - MSR Motorcycle Ride.
Note: I have overcome the gigabyte gnomes and now have uploaded the pics I need for this post (yeaaa!!!). Some of you know that I couldn't get these photo's loaded a couple of days ago. So here we go....
My husband & I got up early Sunday, May 7th, to attend the Mountain Shadow Riders group motorcycle ride. It was a beautiful morning, but a little on the chilly side. I have on many layers. Thermal shirt, REI windless jacket, the winter liner in my motorcycle jacket, a neck gaiter and a hankerchief on my head under my helmet. It really helps keep my head warm and helps to hold in my earphones on my small MP3 player. I have to say small, as it only holds 2 1/2 albums (lol).
Everyone was to rondevous at a 7-11 Store in Colorado Springs at 9am. It was on the far end of town from us, but the roads really weren't busy that morning. Karla introduced everyone to everyone. Bill & I met quite a few very nice people we didn't know and it's great seeing the people we did know again. We are still pretty new in the group.

Here's the whole group. It was a group of about 14 motorcycles and 16 people. We left at about 9:15am, with Karla in the lead. It was a wonderful ride. We got on Highway 24 heading west towards Lake George, CO. After leaving Colorado Springs, we go up a twisty, mountainous pass. The high mountains on both sides makes a person feel dwarfed in comparison. There are mostly pine trees surrounding us.
Karla has us stop at a gas station in Divide. Some top of their tanks and she checks to make sure everyone is doing well. She's checking that everyone is comfortable with the pace she has been doing. We have a few riders who are really new to group riding. I've done a few group rides, but I'm pretty new at it myself. Everyone assures her she's doing a great job.
We then get back on Hwy 24 heading west. Just past Lake George we turn onto County Road 77 heading north toward Jefferson. Not long after being on this road we entered the Lost Creek National Forest. This road starts out deceptively nice. About 10 miles in the road gets pretty interesting. There are lots of pot holes and loose gravel to dodge. Parts of the edge of the road would desintegrate due to erosion. One of the riders described the person in front of them as spazing out, as the person was so busy trying to point out the hazards they were going by. You'd shot out a right leg at this, left leg at that, right arm...left arm... (and do the hokey pokey, lol) the hazards were everywhere!!!
Everyone did a great dodging it all. Karla had warned us about this and that we would want to make the spacing between us wider to allow for maneuvering. We didn't get much traffic on this road. We did see lots of farms and horses.
After all that we took a break to warm up and relax. We were about half way through CR 77. We all had a great time discussing the condition of CR 77. It is a challenge, but everyone seemed to enjoy the variety it gave. When I say people were chilly, that's putting it lightly. We had climbed up in elevation and the sun at this point was flurting with us. At one point I thought we would hit rain. I did get a few drops of rain on my shield, but nothing to be concerned with.
Here is a view just to the left of where we had parked. The rustic beauty was all around us. I can't say enough about the views we were seeing. You could even hear the birds singing.

Here we are again at our stop. It's a nice pull-off from the road.

Here I am enjoying the views on my motorcycle. Just look at the views behind me. The mountains just keep on going....
Part II - MSR Motorcycle Ride

Here we are. A picture of all of us just before we hit the road. Just look at the view behind us. We were just drinking it in. Wow!! Awesome.

Once we had rested a bit and got a little warmer (some donned more layers or adjusted what they had on) we got back on the road. Just a short way down we made a stop for our MSR scavanger hunt.

Scavanger Pic - Motorcycle with a Water Fall. Karla was kind enough to share this hidden secret with us. You don't really see it as you're coming down the road. A person would definitely notice it once you're past.

We take just a few minutes just looking around and enjoying it.

Just before we leave CR 77 we notice it's getting considerably colder and what looks like rain or snow coming up. We stop to don our rain gear and prepare for possible bad weather. If you look close at the far mountains you will see the newly fallen snow. You can also see something falling just to our left. After some discussion, it is decided to continue on and just face what we get. At this point we are only miles from Kenosha Pass and an elevation of 10,001 ft. And, most importantly, we are very close to our lunch stop!!! After we get on our rain gear, we turn right onto Hwy 285 heading east toward Pine Junction.
While everyone is thoroughly enjoying all the scenery and driving the mild twisties, we are all very glad to take a lunch break. We stop at The Rio Mexican restaurant. It is nice and the food is very yummy. Everyone agreed that it was a great place to stop for lunch.

Here is a shot of the river we have been following on Hwy 285. This is just beside the restuarant. After lunch we get back on our bikes. Not far down the road and on our right we come across a herd of Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep. We see off in the distance rain or snow, but it never gets to us. We actually get sun on our backs.

A little down the road we stop and everyone gases up. Then we are off and about 1/2 hour down the road (and down is right, as we start to decend in elevation) we turn south/east onto CR 126 and we are now headed for Deckers. This is the most challenging part for some of us newer motorcyclists. The twisties get tighter and we start to spread out some. The road is a skinny, two lane highway. Travis, who is next behind me and to my left, gives me a lot more room as I'm not as good at driving this section of road. I take a little more room getting around the corners. Karla is keeping a good pace and we get through it. While on CR 126 you can smell the pine in the air. Hwy 285 and CR 126 are marked on the map as scenic routes. I'd say every road we have driven today is scenic.

At the end of CR 126 we get onto CR 67 heading south/east. By now my legs are starting to get real uncomfortable. They want off to stretch!!! No adjustments on my part relieve this uncomfortable feeling that is starting to drive me crazy. CR 67 takes us straight into Woodland Park. Just after we enter the town, we stop at a gas station and take a breather. I was never so relieved. My legs were screaming/aching to stretch. When I got off my bike I was jogging in place and doing deep knee bends.

We are very close to Colorado Springs now and at this point some are going to start to leave the group to go home. We all live in different areas and get off at different points. A couple of miles down we get onto Hwy 24 heading east. The majority of the group stays together down the mountain pass till we get close to Colorado Springs. Slowly, one by one, people turn off towards their homes. By the time we are halfway down Platte Ave, there's only 4 of us left, then 3, then just Bill & I.

It was a great ride. I logged 200 miles on this trip. We got a little cold, but it never rained or snowed on us. It was a great day of adventure with friends new and old. We got to know people more and enjoy a shared journey that was fun. After all, isn't that's what lifes about? Knowing your fellow man and sharing common bonds? I think so. After we got home our eldest son told us it had thundered and rained in town. We never saw any of it. I'd like to think that God was looking down on us and protecting us from the elements and anything else that could happen. It was a great Sunday drive in the mountains. We got home about 4:30pm and I felt weary, but content.

Thank you to all who rode and shared in the comaraderie. It was a life journey that I was previledged to share with each and everyone of you. I look forward to more shared rides. Karla, thank you very much for leading us on this ride. You did great!!!

Safe Journeys In Your Part of the World,

Betty :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

200 Mile Motorcycle Ride posting soon.

Hi Everyone, I am frustrated beyond belief and the fact that it is now almost 1am probably doesn't help matters at all (UGhhhhh..!). I have been trying for the last hour to get pictures loaded from my trip last Sunday. We took a 200 miles motorcycle ride up into the mountains, through Lost Creek Wilderness Area and over Kenosha Pass. It was spectacular and I have some really cool pictures. As I understand it, there were 14 motorcycles and 16 people. Sorry, I forgot to count, but that is what another rider told me. It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Firday is unbelievably busy and so is Saturday. As soon as I can squeeze an hour in, I will give this another try.

Sometimes technology isn't so great :(

Safe Journey's in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lights, Visibility and the Hovering Helicopter Husband

I've had my Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom just over a year now. Not long after buying it, I took it out in the pitch dark of night and was horrified at how little my light lights up the road in front of me. Even my husband's bike lights up a bit better than mine. I declared I wanted a light bar added to my bike. My husband did the research, gave me that look, and said "It ain't gonna happen soon," as it's pretty expensive.

So over the year I haven't taken it out much at night, except on the main roads that are well lit at night. My loving husband never gave up the idea and came up with a cheaper solution for now. He discovered in the Chaparral Motorsports catalog the Ion bulbs. They provide the equivalent to 90 watt low beam & 100 watt high beam power. They draw the same amperage as a stock 55/60w bulb. For the price, he figured it was worth a try. He bought one for him and one for me. When they arrived, much to his manly dismay, I declared I would change my own bulb!! I worked 4 years as a aircraft hydraulic specialist in the Air Force, I think I can change a V-Star light bulb.

He resigned to the ineviable, and I pulled out my owners manual to see how it's done. He was my technical assistant (a-hem!!). When I pulled out the screw driver to take out the two screws, you'd think I'd pulled out the scalpel and was doing brain surgery (lol). My husband was the typical hovering helicopter "mom" he's always accused me of as our two sons are growing up. The second I'd do something he was hovering all over the place with advice on "do it this way, watch out!, no not like that!!. I finally had to tell him to back off and give me a little room. I know how a screwdriver works!!

See... I managed to get the light housing off and working on unplugging it. Next step, cut the nerve... I mean remove the bulb and put in the new one.
Okay, just kidding honey, I really do remember which bulb I just pulled out (lol)!!!
So I get the new bulb in (without a hitch, thank you very much!) and get it all back together. So, a few beers later, my husband is back to normal and 25 years of marriage is still intack (lol).

It was a couple of nights before we were able to test the results. We are so happy with how those bulbs are working. It's like night and day. We highly recommend this as an alternative, if you are like us and can't presently afford the light bar. We may never get lights bars now.

Note: The Ion bulb puts out a blue light and really lights things up. Because of the blue hue, we feel we stand out a little better to the oncoming traffic. We feel the difference has added a safety element we didn't expect and are glad to have.

Safe Journey in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Monday was a Great Day for Motorcycle Riding.
My husband had Monday off and after I worked an hour in the morning, we were able to hit the road for a few hours on our motorcycles. We couldn't ask for nicer weather. We got on Powers Blvd, in Colorado Springs, and headed north. When Powers ends, we got on Hwy 83 north. This is a very popular route by the local bikers here in town. Many prefer it over I25. It will take you straight up to Denver. It's in great condition and a motorcyclist can feel pretty safe driving this route. When we first got on it, we were in forest area. As you drive down the road, you can smell the pine trees. It's very relaxing. You have some gentle twisties to play with for quite a few miles and then you come out onto the sprawling country side. Houses are set far apart and there are many ranches.

Here's Bill and a view of a section of the road. Going north this is mostly what you see. It's just wide open space.

Here I am with a south view of the road. You have the view of Pikes Peak and the foot hills of the Rockies. It is hard to put into words how I feel every time I look at the mountains and to be able to see them every day. It's a true blessing.

While we were out we were able to get some of the ever popular "MSR Scavanger Pictures." YaHooo!!! I needed to find a tree farm and here one was.

Here is another MSR Scavanger Hunt Pic - Me and a ranch sign

Here is the gorgeous view we had all the way back home. We went about 40 miles out of town and, of course, 40 miles back again (sigh). We had one annoying note. After taking this last picture my camera battery died! I was perturbed with myself for not watching the battery more closely. But oh darn, we have to go out that way again. There are still a few scavanger hunt pics to get out that way that we couldn't get due to the dead camera. Hmmmm...

We didn't meet much traffic on this day. It was like a stroll in a park. At one of the stops we made there were chickens by the side of the road. They were set back enough that we didn't need to worry about them, but they were free to go where their hearts desired. I wanted so much to get a pic of them with my motorcycle, but alas, the camera was dead by this time (uggg!!). No, chickens are not on the scavanger list. I just love chickens. I just know any MSR members reading this is getting a kick out of my misery (lol). I've driven this route twice before and never noticed as much as I did today. It was a lot of fun. If the weather goes as predicted, we have a 200 mile trip on Sunday that is planned by the Mountain Shadow Riders. It's suppose to be nice that day, please send up prayers that it will be and that we have safe travels.

Safe Journeys in Your Part of the World,

Betty :)