I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Great Motorcycle Road in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado



Great roads in Colorado
Mountains and Rivers make for curvy roads

Mountains make for curvy roads, elevation changes and scenic views.  Rivers never run in a straight line also making for fun roads.  When you combine mountains and rivers you get great roads to ride. Some of the most scenic roads I have ridden are in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Highway 92 falls into the categories of scenic, fun, curvy and exciting.

The Gunnison River running through the Black Canyon

While leading the Beat The Heat Tour 2020 I took the guys on a ride which included 53 miles of CO 92 on the north side of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and WOW the fun we had.  Prior to our ride on June 29, 2020, I had only ridden 1/4 of the road a few years back and it was from the Blue Mesa Reservoir Dam on the south end and this day we were riding from the north end.  On that first solo ride on CO 92 I had ridden to the Lake City Bakery  (awesome bakery that I highly recommend) from Montrose and on the return ride I experience a small portion of the road.

We were lodging in Ouray so we rode up US 550 to Montrose hitting US 50 to Delta and turned East on CO 92 to Hotchkiss (almost 80 miles).  I knew once we turned south on CO 92 it would be 90+ miles to our next stop in Montrose and with all the curves and overlooks it would take us over 2 hours so we stopped at the Stop N Save for fuel, hydration and a snack.  The attendant was very friendly and they had a pretty good selection of drinks and snacks and we were only 0.2 mile from where CO 92 turned south.  

53 miles of Colorado Highway 92 running along the north rim of the Black Canyon

The first 23 miles of CO 92 is pretty straight and runs through Crawford, CO and besides Crawford Reservoir and Gould Reservoir.  There were great views of the Elk Mountains to the east and the San Juan Mountains southwest as we road.  South Baldy Mountain was to our left and rises to 12,385 feet.

The last 30 miles was very interesting and fun.  Of course I did not count the curves, but there are a lot of them.  The Black Canyon of the Gunnison was on the right with its steep cliffs descending below us at times several hundreds of feet.  At times to the left were the steep sides of the mountains.  

CO Hwy 92 gets fun and challenging on the north rim of The Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We enjoyed the road with very little traffic and good road conditions.  There were three paved overlooks allowing for extensive views of the canyon and the Gunnison River: Hermits Rest Overlook, Pioneer Point and the Blue Mesa Dam Overlook.  There has been sightings of Bald Eagles, deer, Big Horn Sheep and more, although we did not see any wildlife on this midday ride. 

The road twists and turns while it gains and losses elevation.  Elevation in Hotchkiss was 5,331 feet and the road reached heights of over 8,000 feet with the Blue Mesa Reservoir Dam at 7,519 feet.  At first the curves are sweeping and smooth, but soon there are some switchbacks and tight corners with elevation changes.  For the most part the camber in the corners was correct which allowed good lean angles and fun corner speed.

I will not mention top speeds, but it was a spirited ride which all nine rides enjoyed greatly. We had sport bikes, touring bikes  and cruisers.  We pulled over at the southern most overlook, the Blue Mesa Dam Overlook. The views of the canyon and dam are impressive. 

Blue Mesa Reservoir Dam
View of the earthen dam

VFR at the Blue Mesa Reservoir Dam overlook

We continued on CO 92 and rode over the dam then climbed up to the intersection of CO 92 and US
 US 50 which lies almost half way between Gunnison and Montrose.  We turned west and enjoyed the view of a portion of the canyon from the south rim.  
Beat The Heat 2020
Playing around at the overlook

With typical riding in Colorado we encountered some road construction which can provide opportunities for photographs and conversations.  Once the one lane traffic was allowed to continue west we rode to Montrose for fuel and a late lunch at Jimmer's Steaks-BBQ Bar and Grill.

Beat The Heat 2020 at road construction stop
Road construction stop on US 50 heading to Montrose

#BeatTheHeat2020
Jimmer's had great Texas Style  BBQ

#BeatTheHeatTour
Beat The Heat 2020 guys ready for lunch

We enjoyed some good Texas style BBQ and superb service from the waitstaff.  It was a great day of riding.  We loved CO 92 and I would highly recommend you enjoy the road whenever you are in the area. 

The Moto Oz Beat The Heat Tour 2020 had a great time throughout the entire week riding mountain and river roads.
Monarch Pass on the Beat The Heat Tour
The group earlier in the week at Monarch Pass

Beat The Heat 2020 t-shirt
Beat The Heat t-shirt with some of towns and passes

Duke Cannon
Duke Cannon for men - Check it out.


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* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Best Waterproof Motorcycle Boots for Miles and Miles

 It isn't always sunny
If you ever had to ride for very many miles with soggy socks and wet feet you know the importance of waterproof riding boots.  The experience of riding with wet feet is so uncomfortable. It can destroy the enjoyment of the entire ride.
Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash
Learning the Hard Way
I learned the importance of quality waterproof boots when I attended my first benefit ride in 2004.  It was a VFW Poker Run on a drizzly Saturday.  I was so excited as I geared up and put on my boots, which were water resistant at best.  After 30 minutes of riding in drizzle and light rain my boots, socks and feet were thoroughly soaked. I finished the poker run and ended with the second place hand, but I hated every squishy step I had to take.  After getting home and drying out, I decided to make sure I would never go through that unpleasant experience again.

Not Everyone has Learned the Same Lesson
Amazingly I have known many new and experienced motorcycle riders who spent good money for a nice helmet, a protective jacket, gloves and reinforced riding jeans or riding pants, but overlooked waterproof protection for his or her feet.  Choosing a great waterproof motorcycle boot is very important, especially if one plans to ride a lot and/or on longer trips.  Weather can change quickly and a rider needs to be prepared.  Good boots also provide protection in case of an accident or mishap.
On a recent ride with a local group I noticed this person is not ready for rain or a accident
My First Two Pairs
My first pair of waterproof boots were the Harley Davidson FXRG-2 (now discontinued) boots. They worked great and were comfortable, but a little pricey.  When it came time to replace them I started researching waterproof riding footwear. There were a lot of options with a wide price range.

After reading reviews and shopping around for over four months I decided my next pair of boots would be a pair of Rocky boots.  Rocky claimed the boots were waterproof, so I took a chance and ordered a pair of 8 inch boots with side zippers.
After years of use and miles of riding it was time to retire the Rocky boots
At the time I purchased them I did not think of photographing them, but wished I had.  I found the boots comfortable from the very beginning.  I wore the boots while riding in multiple states and in Europe through all types of weather conditions.  In June 2017 I rode in the Alps in Switzerland and Italy.  I had plenty of opportunities to ride in the rain and the boots lived up to the waterproof claim.
Comparison of the older soles with the new boot's sole.
For over 6 years and literally 100,000+ miles of riding the boots were found to be comfortable, durable, breathable and they kept my feet dry during the most heavy rain storms and warm in cold weather.  They were comfortable even for a day of walking when I wasn't on the bike. The non-slip soles claim proved to be true and were very durable.
The full grain leather looks great and can take a lot of usage. 
The Rocky boots (I am not 100% sure what the model was, but if it was not the Alpha Force it was the almost just like them) performed so well for me I decided I wanted another pair of Rocky's.

The seams never loosened or broke
My lovely wife surprised me at Christmas with the latest Rocky Alpha Force zippered boot!  I was so pumped.  Coming right out of the box they looked great and the leather felt strong.  The workmanship and materials are high quality.  The zipper is sturdy with big teeth and a large pull and slider makes it easy to secure.  I love the zippered boot.  The zipper makes it quick and easy to put on or take off the boot and the tightness of the laces stay consistent.

Santa a.k.a Jennifer gave me a great pair of waterproof boots
Made with full grain leather and 1000 denier nylon fabric the boot was a little stiff, but with use has softened up.  Rocky states "...boots have been built with Rocky waterproof construction, this creates a barrier that is guaranteed to keep water out".
The fit and finish is top notch
My feet are cradled by the soft insole which is very supportive and comfortable while riding or walking.  The out-sole has effective grip and is advertised as non-marking and resistant to oil and slipping. When I place my feet down during a stop I have a firm base and feel very secure.
Non-marking, non-slip absorbent soles

Full-grain leather will hold up to the demands of riding
 Riding with Confidence
Indication from my first pair of Rocky boots is that the leather and soles will hold up under a great deal of wear including the toe shifter.  The 8 inch boot provides support for the ankle and coverage for the lower calf, which is important in case of an accident.

I am looking forward to many miles and hopefully dry miles, but if it rains I know my feet will stay dry and comfortable in my Alpha Force Boots by Rocky.  When it comes time for your next pair of boots consider Rocky Boots.


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Some Recommended Sites:

J and P Cycles - over 100,000 parts!  *
Spend $150 and get $25 off  - Use Promo Code -  HOOKUP20  Good through Feb. 29, 2020
https://www.jpcycles.com/on-sale?utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&ranMID=45044&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-sBsBVyYp_W_LFI6.PFQMOA

Batteries for your bike, autos and more!  *
https://www.batteriesplus.com/?ranMID=45126&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-9qxfkt.g9A5bF2Td2I_b3A

https://dukecannon.com/?rfsn=3578014.7da392


Shop SPY Optic Today!



Quality Detailing and Cleaning Products for your motorcycle and more **
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Ordinary Biker Oz YouTube Channel has video reviews and more
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* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.


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Friday, January 31, 2020

The Best Motorcycle Book I Have Read


Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash
 Motorcycle Books
I have enjoyed reading some of the best motorcycle books available, although I do not seem to have as much time as I wish for reading.  I have read books about the motorcycle club life, about the therapeutic qualities of riding, about trips taken on motorcycles and how to properly ride a motorcycle.  I have read books written by motorcycle club members, law enforcement personnel, daily riders, long distance riders and a musician who rode.

However, when I find a book about motorcycling, written by a motorcyclist and includes great photos I have found a book worth the time and expense.  Bikers seem to have the ability to relate the information in terms another biker understands. 

When I consider all the motorcycle related books I have read, one stands out as the best.  This book was written by motorcyclist, Gary France about his 21,000 mile trip through the United States of America and includes life details leading up to his adventure and including his adventure.  His trip "over the pond" from England and the ride through the USA is titled "France in America."  I find it funny we have France from England writing about America.

It All Started With a Blog
Gary started blogging about his upcoming motorcycle trip in September 2009, although he had began his initial planning around Christmas 2007.  He soon began posting updates on his plan and his research and acquisition of items he wanted for his trip of the USA.  Many bloggers were able to give him opinions, reviews and insights into gear, accessories, attractions, roads and more which helped Gary with his planning.
Gary's route for his amazing trip  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
In January 2008 Gary commented on my blog's post concerning Spearfish Canyon, SD.  Through some comments back and forth I was able to help him post hyperlinks in his blog posts.  From there I started following his preparations and his trip.  I was able to suggest some roads, restaurants and sights.  We have not met face to face, but hopefully  we will in the future.

Gary continued to post periodically as the trip neared.  By the time he arrived to the United States several bloggers had arranged to meet him at various times and locations on route.  I was unable to work it out, especially since I was in Texas.  I visited Yellowstone Natinal Park for my summer motorcycle trip, but I was there in June/July and Gary arrived in Yellowstone National  Park in August.  We just could not meet up.
Gary experiences a "Bison Jam" in Yellowstone National Park.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Yellowstone Canyon.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Sharing The Trip
Gary's photographic talents were evident.  The photos he posted were beautiful and he wrote just as well.  It was not long until he had a large following.  If you go to his blog (although he stopped posting on his "Flies in your Teeth" in October 2016) you can see his original photos on the blog.
Gary visited Bishops Castle in Colorado.  Photo of Gary's book
Gary visited so many great places that most Americans haven't seen.  He rode along the northern states and down through the Rocky Mountains.  Gary would stop every time his motorcycle's odometer rolled over another 1,000 miles and capture the moment.
Big Horn Canyon   Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
One of Gary's 1,000 miles photos.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
 Miles and Miles to Pages and Pages
As his trip was nearing an end readers started encouraging him to publish a book.  After he recovered back in England he mulled over the idea of a book.  After some time he decided to publish a book of his trip.

He includes his personal story that brought him to the point of retirement, trip planning, the sights and people on his trip and later the book itself.
Pikes Peak Highway  - Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
The book is a great resource for anyone wanting to plan a trip.  He includes details and information that is not always covered in traditional travel books.  His personal story and his approach to the photographs make the book come alive.  The book is full of high quality photographs that will pull at your adventurous heart.
Million Dollar Highway in Colorado.    Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Virginia City, California - Old West feel.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Not Just for Bikers
I highly recommend France in America for anyone interested in traveling American.  It is more than just a "motorcycle" book.  It is a book about the desire for adventure, the enjoyment of new horizons and the appeal and uniqueness of these United States.  All of this from the view point of an Englishman from England.

Gary's Generous Offer
Gary offered to send his book to everyone who made a comment on his blog during the actual trip.  I took him up on that offer.  When I received the book in 2013 I was so impressed the quality and quantity of the book.  This is a high quality book with vivid photographs and impelling writing.  I have referred to it often and spent time just looking at the photos.  I have shared the book with close friends and I have recommended it frequently.  Do yourself a favor and get the best motorcycle book out there.
Helpful with my trip plans
When I was I planning my week of riding in the Alps in 2017 Gary provided me with great information and suggestions of roads, laws, etiquette in Europe and other helpful tips.  His knowledge of riding in Europe is extensive. 

Gary Keeps Rollin'
Gary now owns and runs TOUR1 a motorcycle tour company in England.  TOUR1 provides many tour options, including a WWII D-Day Landing Tour.  I have it on my list to go on one or more of the tours in the years to come.  If you have desire to tour Europe on a motorcycle you should visit Gary's TOUR1.


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Some Recommended Sites:

J and P Cycles - over 100,000 parts!  *
Spend $150 and get $25 off  - Use Promo Code -  HOOKUP20  Good through Feb. 29, 2020
https://www.jpcycles.com/on-sale?utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&ranMID=45044&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-sBsBVyYp_W_LFI6.PFQMOA

Batteries for your bike, autos and more!  *
https://www.batteriesplus.com/?ranMID=45126&ranEAID=3675942&ranSiteID=LY936rwBDnY-9qxfkt.g9A5bF2Td2I_b3A

https://dukecannon.com/?rfsn=3578014.7da392

Shop SPY Optic Today!



Quality Detailing and Cleaning Products for your motorcycle and more **
http://www.motoozcycles.com/index2.html


Ordinary Biker Oz YouTube Channel has video reviews and more
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXRxEDV5qQLsRsag488Rg4Q?view_as=subscriber


* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.


HOME