Motorcycle nirvana has a name: Rocky Mountains.
We are currently cruising around the many great motorcycling roads in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado on our way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally aboard a 2015 Victory Cross Country Tour.
If you like flawless and grippy road surfaces, spectacular views and endless corners, then the Rockies are your nirvana, too. In fact, I’m wondering why there aren’t more riders out there on these roads.
Today we have been amazed at how little traffic there is on some of these roads. It is like your own personal playground. Maybe it’s because riders are scared off by the over-zealous road warning signs about bumps and damaged surfaces which fail to materialise or the signs saying “Motorcyclists use extreme caution” before a set of challenging and fun twisties.
Whatever the reason, it was almost lonely out there today on some of the best motorcycle roads in the world.
Today started with a short blast east on route 50 from Montrose, the gateway to many national parks, canyons, mountain lakes and towering peaks. At the Blue Mesa Reservoir, we turn on to route 133 which is simply sublime as it carves its way for almost 50km along the precipice of the Black Canyon, with seemingly endless switchbacks and all manner of varying radius corners.
We don’t see any cruisers here, only a few sportsbikes and some adventure riders who are taking some of the offshoots. It’s a shame, because these roads are a joy on a good-handling cruiser or tourer like the Cross Country Tour.
We stop for lunch at a Crawford diner with three Ferraris parked outside, their engines still ticking from their joyful sprint across the same road. All around this area are signs on shops welcoming bikers.
Our route swaps to 133 which takes us up and over Chair Mountain and along the river past charming settlements such as Redstone, so named for the dramatic red cliffs in its backdrop.
The heat in the valleys is building toward 90F (32.2C) so we stop for a cold drink in historic Basalt where Kawasaki Vulcan rider Tom Romero and his wife Kate give us some good tips on roads to ride, places to go and where to buy the best burgers (Grind in Glenwood Springs).
Refreshed, we strike out toward Aspen only to double back as a huge thunderstorm blows in over the mountains.
Instead, we settle for the beautiful resort town of Glenwood Springs, also famed for its hot springs which have enticed such figures as gambler and gunslinger Doc Holliday and President Roosevelt.
Here Harley Street Glide rider Glenn Kapner gives us ever more tips on where to ride in the Rockies. Funny thing is there are no dud roads around these parts!