Northern Colorado IMRG Upcoming Events
Saturday November 18th Chapter Meeting @9:30 a.m. at the Indian Motorcycle of Fort Collins dealership.
Chapter meetings are a great way to mingle, socialize, and catch up with one another. The meetings offer a sense of community, and everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and it’s easy to make new friends. Hope you will make it to the meeting and hang out with other motorcycle enthusiasts, have some fun, and maybe learn new things.
Saturday December 16th Wreaths Across America
We will meet at the Grandview Cemetery @8:45 a.m. located at 1900 W Mountain Ave, Fort Collins. The ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. (note: this is earlier than past years). Wreath placement will immediately follow the ceremony.
This event is in lieu of our normal Chapter meeting. We, will be gathering later in the day (12:00 p.m.) at the Dealership for the Northern Colorado IMRG Holiday Social.
Attending Wreaths Across America is a NoCo IMRG tradition. Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization that places wreaths on the graves of veterans at cemeteries across the United States. Its mission is to “Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom.”
It is a very humbling experience to be able to pay tribute to veterans who are no longer with us by laying wreaths upon their grave sites. You can learn more about this national event at WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. Please attend if you are able.
Saturday December 16th Holiday Social @12:00 p.m. at the Indian Motorcycle of Fort Collins dealership.
Embracing the holiday season, we will have a festive gathering for Northern Colorado IMRG members following our heartfelt participation in Wreaths Across America. This NoCo IMRG member’s only social will provide an opportunity to reminisce about the past year’s thrilling rides and anticipate what next year has in store. In the spirit of our camaraderie, a delectable catered lunch will be served, allowing members to savor delicious food and engage in social conversation. Whether you’re a veteran member, or a recent addition to the NoCo IMRG family, we welcome you join us in our shared passion of motorcycles, the thrill of the open road, and the enduring bonds of friendship.
A Survival Mindset
Safety tip from Paul Carroll
Over the years of working in my profession, I have always been taught to play the “What If?” game while on-duty. This strategy forces one to actively think about their current strategy to react or respond if something bad should happen right at that moment. Hence, what if this happened, what would I do?
I try to apply this same strategy when on the bike. What would I do if the vehicle trying to turn left in front of me doesn’t stop as I’m approaching the intersection? Do I have an escape route? Where are other vehicles around me? What are the surface conditions like? What if the vehicle in the adjacent lane wanders over towards me? What if, what if, what if? That’s the question. More importantly, what are you going to do? Without a strategy you are left with subconscious reaction. This may work if you are very skilled and practiced, but if you’re not, then what.
The point of this mental game is to keep your conscious mind engaged. The more alert you are and actively thinking about survival strategies the less likely you are to be caught on your heels. As we say in my profession: complacency kills. I would say the same applies to motorcyclists.
Give this technique a try. You will be amazed at what you’ve been missing along the way. The point of the survival mindset is not allowing yourself to become a victim. Take charge of your own destiny.
Until next time, Ride Safe!
Visiting the Wyoming Territorial Prison
After our Chapter meeting in September, some members took a group ride to Laramie to visit the Wyoming Territorial Prison. The Wyoming Territorial Prison is a must-see for anyone interested in history, crime, or the American West. The prison was built in 1872 and operated until 1903. It was home to some of the most notorious criminals in the Wild West, including Butch Cassidy.
Ironically, Cassidy was not committing crimes leading to his only prolonged stint in prison. He purchased horses, which unbeknownst to him were stolen. Because it was illegal to own a stolen horse, whether you stole it or not, Cassidy was arrested and sent to jail in Fremont County where he stayed for two months until he finally made bail. He was later found guilty for having a stolen horse and sentenced to serve two years hard labor in Laramie.
Today, the prison is a museum, and visitors can take a self-guided tour of the cell blocks and learn about the history of the prison and the lives of those who were incarcerated there. It is a fascinating and somber place, and it is a reminder of a time when the West was a wild and dangerous frontier. As you walk through the prison, you can feel what it must have been like to have been incarcerated here. You can imagine the prisoners sitting in their cells, plotting their escape or simply trying to survive.
The prison was built to house inmates from the Wyoming Territory, which was very large at the time and included parts of present-day Idaho, Montana, and Utah. The prison was designed to be a self-sufficient community, with its own farm, blacksmith shop, and other facilities. Inmates at the prison were forced to work long hours and were subjected to strict discipline and punishments. A visit to the Wyoming Territorial Prison is highly recommended to anyone interested in history and the Wild West. It is a very interesting and educational experience.
Colorado Department of Transportation – Rider Safety Campaign
A couple of months ago, CDOT launched a campaign to raise awareness, promote safety and reduce motorcycle crashes on our roadways. Colorado motorcyclist fatalities have reached an all-time high. While motorcyclists represent just 3% of the state’s roadway users, they account for a staggering 20% of all deaths. This is, frankly, bad news. But the good news? We’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to reversing this trend. The following is provided from CDOT.
Colorado Motorcycle Facts
- In 2022, 149 motorcyclists were killed. An estimated 1,200 were injured.
- Motorcyclists represent only 3% of roadway users but account for 20% of all deaths.
- Most motorcyclists killed in 2022 were not wearing a helmet.
- In 2022, almost half (42%) of motorcycle fatalities occurred during just three months (June, July and August).
- In 2021, nearly 75% of motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were determined to be at fault.
- Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to be killed in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants.
- In 2022, the counties with the most motorcycle deaths were El Paso (25), Jefferson (19), Adams (12), Denver (12) and Arapahoe (11).
- Alcohol and speed are major contributing factors in motorcycle crashes and fatalities.
- In 2021, 30% of motorcycle operators that were killed in a fatal crash in Colorado had alcohol in their system.
- According to NHTSA, 34% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding.
- Motorcycle riders 25 to 29 years old involved in fatal crashes had the highest speeding involvement at 45%.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
- ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
- NHTSA estimates that helmets reduce the likelihood of fatality by 37%.
- Observe all traffic laws and obey the speed limit.
- Do not ride if you’ve been drinking or taking any drugs.
- Be predictable – signal your intentions and be aware of your surroundings.
- Ride defensively – be prepared for other drivers to make mistakes.
- Take a motorcycle safety course. Visit comost.com to find courses offered through the Colorado State Patrol.
- No lane splitting – it is illegal in Colorado.
- Wear high-visibility personal protective gear such as boots and gloves.
Motorcycle Trip Essentials: Packing for the Open Road
Motorcycle trips offer a unique and exhilarating way to explore the country and experience the freedom of the open road. However, it’s important to be prepared before you set off, and one of the most important things to do is to pack the right gear. Here is a summary of essential items to carry on a motorcycle trip, based on forum feedback from experienced riders:
- Helmet: A DOT-approved helmet that fits snugly is the most important piece of safety gear you can wear.
- Riding jacket and pants: Choose a jacket and pants that are made from durable materials and have CE-approved armor. This will help protect you from the wind, rain, road debris, and in the event of a crash.
- Riding gloves and boots: Gloves and boots will protect your hands and feet from the elements and in the event of a crash. Choose gloves and boots that are made from durable materials and fit snugly.
- Eye protection: Goggles, sunglasses, or a face shield will protect your eyes from the wind, dust, and bugs.
- First-aid kit: A first-aid kit is essential in case of any injuries on the road. Make sure your kit includes basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
- Tool kit: A tool kit is also essential in case of any mechanical problems with your motorcycle. Make sure your tool kit includes basic tools such as a wrench, screwdriver, and pliers.
- Zip ties and duct tape: Zip ties and duct tape can be used for a variety of repairs.
- Water and snacks: It’s important to stay hydrated and fueled on a motorcycle trip. Bring along a water bottle and some snacks to keep your energy up.
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, and lip balm: These items will protect you from the sun, bugs, and wind.
- Cell phone and charger: This is important to stay in touch with friends and family, and to call for help if needed.
- Money and credit cards: This is essential for paying for gas, food, and other expenses.
Other Items to Consider
- Rain gear: Rain gear is essential if you’re riding in wet weather.
- Extra clothes: It’s always a good idea to have extra clothes on hand, especially if you’re planning on riding in different climates.
- Camera: A camera is a great way to capture all your memories from your trip.
- Tire repair kit / portable tire pump: A tire repair kit and air pump can be essential if you get a flat tire.
- Octane booster: Octane booster can be helpful if you can’t find 90 octane gas.
When packing for your motorcycle trip, it’s important to pack light so that you don’t overload your motorcycle. You should also consider the climate and terrain you’ll be riding in, and pack accordingly.
Most importantly, remember to ride safely and have fun!
Glenwood Springs Loop Ride
This past July, we embarked on a thrilling three-day, two-night motorcycle journey, tracing a scenic 600-mile loop from Loveland, Colorado, to Glenwood Springs and back. It was an exhilarating road trip, showcasing the region’s breathtaking scenery and diverse terrain. We navigated winding roads, savoring the awe-inspiring mountain views, and traversed charming small towns. Along the way, we experienced the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains, feasting on stunning mountain peaks and lush forests. Our stimulating journey was a testament to the allure of the American West, where the open road beckons and adventure awaits at every turn.
On day one, we met early at Jax West in Loveland, eager to enter Rocky Mountain National Park before 9 a.m. to avoid requiring a park entrance reservation. We rode up Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park, encountering meandering traffic as we approached the town. In Estes, we headed to the park entrance on Fall River Road. We chose this entrance despite construction and a single open station, gambling that most people would follow the park service’s recommendation to use the Beaver Meadows Entrance. Our gamble paid off—the line at Fall River was short, and we entered the park in minutes.
Riding a motorcycle from Estes Park to Granby over Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park is an exciting experience. The road winds its way through some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery, with stunning views of snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and lush forests. As we left Estes Park, the road began a steady climb, taking us through a forest of aspen and ponderosa pine trees. As we gained elevation, the trees thinned, and the views became more and more spectacular. At tree line, the road emerged onto the alpine tundra, a vast, windswept landscape of meadows and rock formations. The air was thin and cool, but the views were breathtaking. The road continued to climb, reaching a summit of 12,183 feet above sea level. From here, we could see for miles in every direction, with the Rocky Mountains stretching out before us. As we descended from the summit, the road wound its way through more meadows and forests. We eventually arrived in Granby, and continued our journey to Kremmling.
We stopped in Kremmling to fuel up our motorcycles, and then went down the street to have lunch at the Grand Old West, a popular restaurant housed in a historic building that was once a saloon. We hung up our helmets and stepped inside and were greeted by the friendly staff. The interior is decorated in a Western theme, and has a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends. After a satisfying lunch, we continued on our way to Red Cliff.
Leaving Kremmling, we traveled south, passing the Green Mountain Reservoir, a sparkling oasis formed by damming the Blue River. We continued to Silverthorne, a town nestled on the shores of the Dillon Reservoir. From there, we headed further south toward Leadville, a historic mining town known for its high altitude and rich history. Just before reaching Leadville, we turned north onto a small, unassuming highway to our destination, Red Cliff where we would spend the night.
Red Cliff is a hidden gem of a town located about 25 miles north of Leadville. It is a small town with a population of just over 250 people, but it is rich in history and natural beauty. We learned of this remote town from Jim and Michelle who discovered it on one of their adventures. Red Cliff was founded in 1879 during the Colorado Silver Boom. The town quickly became a thriving mining community, but the boom ended in the early 1900s. Today, Red Cliff is a quiet mountain town that is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs.
On day 2, we woke up to a deserted Red Cliff. With the only restaurant closed until late afternoon, we headed to Leadville for a hearty breakfast. Afterward, we eagerly set out for Glenwood Springs. As we rode past Twin Lakes, a pair of glacier-carved alpine lakes nestled among towering peaks, we marveled at the beauty of the Colorado Rockies. Soon, the road began to climb, and we were surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. The switchbacks up Independence Pass were a thrilling challenge, with narrow and sharp turns that required precise handling. But the effort was well worth it as we reached the summit and were rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. From the top of the pass, the road descended into a lush forest of aspens. We passed through several towns, including Aspen and Basalt, before finally arriving in Glenwood Springs.
Glenwood Springs, the westernmost pivotal point of our ride loop, was a vibrant city with a variety of things to offer visitors. In addition to its world-famous hot springs, the city also had a thriving downtown area with a variety of unique shops and restaurants. On that particularly hot 108-degree day, we made the best of our time in Glenwood Springs. Upon arriving, we went our separate ways for several hours to explore at our own pace. Some of us soaked in the soothing hot springs, while others sought respite in the nearby park. Still others visited friends in the area or took a scenic gondola ride to the top of Iron Mountain, where stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains awaited. Later in the afternoon, we met up at our designated spot and continued our ride to Yampa, where we would spend the night.
Arriving in Yampa felt like stepping back in time. This quaint old Western town, with its dirt roads and weathered buildings, has a rich and storied history. Yampa was founded in the 1880s as a hunting camp and shipping center, and quickly became a vital hub for the development of the region. It served as a stopping point for freight wagons and stagecoaches traveling between the railroad in Wolcott and the homesteaders settling in the Steamboat Springs area. Later, the lumber industry boomed in the forests surrounding Yampa, and the town became a major center for logging and sawmill operations. One of the most iconic landmarks in Yampa is the Antlers Cafe and Bar where we ate dinner. It was built around 1903 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally a saloon and stagecoach stop, the Antlers quickly became a popular destination for lumberjacks and miners working in the nearby mountains. Today, the Antlers remains a beloved gathering place for locals and visitors alike, offering a taste of Yampa’s rich heritage.
We left Yampa early in the morning, eager to begin our journey home. We decided to stop in Steamboat Springs for breakfast at Freshies, a restaurant we had visited exactly one year ago during our Steamboat-Craig overnighter. We reminisced about the delicious breakfast we had then, and our anticipation for this meal grew. After savoring a hearty breakfast, we headed over Rabbit Ears Pass, winding our way through the scenic mountain landscape. The views were incredible, and we admired the beauty around us as we rode. We continued our journey to Walden, a familiar town where we often visit. After a brief break, we set off again, crossing Cameron Peak and heading into Poudre Canyon. The canyon was lush and green, and the river flowed alongside the road. As we approached the end of our road trip, the sky darkened and ominous clouds gathered overhead. We knew a rainstorm was imminent, so we made a quick stop at the gas station at Ted’s Place near Highway 287 to bid each other farewell. With a wave and a smile, we sped off towards our homes, feeling grateful for the amazing memories we had created on our road trip.
Staten Island House Full of History: Rare Classic Motorcycles
Tom Cotter, the host of the TV show “The Barn Find Hunter,” visited an unassuming suburban home in Staten Island, New York that was filled with classic motorcycles. The motorcycles belonged to Walter Curro who had recently passed away and was a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast and collected motorcycles for over 50 years. His cremated ashes are kept in an Indian Motorcycle gas tank urn. His collection included over 40 bikes, many of which were rare and valuable.
The bikes were housed in the garage, basement, living room, and dining room of their home. Some of the notable bikes in the collection include a 1911 LAPD Harley-Davidson, a 1941 Indian four cylinder, a 1926 Harley-Davidson board track racer, a 1936 Indian Chief, a 1950 Whizzer, a 1910 Harley-Davidson, and a Vincent Black Shadow. Walter’s passion for motorcycles was evident in the care he took of them.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor: An Affordable and Versatile Cruiser for the American Market
Royal Enfield, a legendary motorcycle brand with a century-old history, is attempting to make waves in the US with its new Super Meteor cruiser. This is a bold move by the India manufacturer to captivate motorcycle enthusiasts and bring a new perspective to the American cruiser scene. An evolution of the classic Meteor 350, the Super Meteor is designed to excel on the highway while delivering comfort and style. Its modern features, powerful performance, and unique blend of heritage and contemporary innovation is hoped to hook American riders.
One of the Super Meteor’s most striking features is its retro-inspired design. It seamlessly incorporates classic aesthetics into a modern cruiser, evoking a sense of nostalgia while ensuring a bold presence on the road. Every detail, from the teardrop-shaped fuel tank to the elegant chrome accents, speaks to Royal Enfield’s rich heritage. Powered by an all-new 648cc parallel-twin engine, the Super Meteor combines power, efficiency, and refinement. Whether cruising smoothly on the open road or taking a spirited ride through winding roads, the 47 horsepower Super Meteor caters to every riding style. What sets the Super Meteor apart is its focus on the rider. A comfortable riding position enhanced by forward-set footpegs and a well-padded seat provides ergonomics on long journeys. The cruiser also incorporates innovative technology, including a semi-digital display, LED lighting, and ABS, ensuring a modern riding experience without compromising on the timeless appeal.
Royal Enfield’s decision to introduce the Super Meteor to the American market is a testament to the ever-growing popularity of cruisers. With a rich motorcycling heritage and a reputation for building long-distance cruisers, Royal Enfield aims to cater to American riders’ desire for a versatile and comfortable motorcycle. The Super Meteor’s arrival in the US symbolizes a new era for Royal Enfield and promises to encourage a resurgence of interest in classic-styled motorcycles. With its affordable pricing, the Super Meteor is expected to be a strong contender in the American market. In a space dominated by heavyweight models from established brands, Royal Enfield’s offering provides an appealing alternative for riders seeking a unique blend of style, performance, and value.
Will the unique style, powerful engine, and rider-focused features of the Super Meteor win the hearts of riders across the nation, solidifying Royal Enfield’s position as a formidable force in the American motorcycle market? Time will tell if this India legacy brand can carve out a significant share in a segment long-dominated by American and Japanese manufacturers. Royal Enfield’s history, combined with the Super Meteor’s impressive specifications and design, signals a promising future in the American market.
Pick a Parking Lot and Practice Your U-Turns
Making a U-turn on a motorcycle can be a challenging maneuver, as unlike cars, motorcycles only have two wheels and can easily tip over if not done properly. It is essential to practice U-turns in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot, before attempting them on public roads.
Learning and practicing how to do a U-turn on a motorcycle is important for several reasons:
- Safety: U-turns can be necessary in a variety of situations, such as if you miss a turn, encounter an unexpected obstacle, or need to exit a busy road. Being able to perform a U-turn safely and confidently can help you avoid accidents and injuries.
- Maneuverability: U-turns are an essential skill for navigating tight spaces and making quick turns. This can be useful in urban areas, parking lots, and other situations where space is limited.
- Control: Learning how to do a U-turn properly can help you improve your overall motorcycle handling skills. This includes things like throttle and clutch control, and braking.
- Confidence: Knowing how to do a U-turn can boost your confidence as a rider. It can also make you more comfortable in different riding situations.
Here are some specific examples of situations where learning how to do a U-turn on a motorcycle can be helpful:
- You miss a turn and need to get back on track.
- You encounter an unexpected obstacle, such as a road closure or accident.
- You need to exit a busy road and there is no median crossover.
- You are riding in a crowded urban area and need to make a quick turn to avoid traffic.
- You are riding in a parking lot and need to turn around to find a spot.
By practicing U-turns in a safe environment, you can develop the skills and confidence you need to perform this maneuver safely and effectively in real-world situations. It is a good skill to have, and It’s also a fun skill to learn, and will help you become a more proficient rider.
To practice U-turns, just find an empty parking lot. You don’t need to setup cones, and can simply use the painted parking spaces as a guide. The average two lane road is approximately 24 feet. Parking spaces are roughly 8-9 feet wide, so ultimately the goal is to be able to complete a U-turn within the width of two parking spaces.
To start out you can do wider U-turns and use as many parking spaces as you’re comfortable with (go 3 or even 4 spaces wide). As you practice and build up your skill and confidence, continually reduce the amount of parking lot space you are taking. The objective is to be able to follow the path shown in the diagram.
Watch this MCrider video that discusses the techniques and shows how to perform a U-turn on a motorcycle.