Thursday, May 13th, 2010 - Irish Rich and I were up burning the midnight oil working my chop over, front to back, getting it ready for the weekend trip out to Des Moines. Dice Magazine was throwing a release party at Kung Fu Tap and Taco and we needed a good reason to get out on the road for a 1,400 mile weekend bike trip after the long winter.
We rolled out of Denver Friday morning with temps in the 40's and the sight of your breath in the air. We made it as far as Lincoln, Nebraska when we decided to call it a day before we ran ourselves off of the road due to exhaustion. Three hours of sleep before a long haul cross-country on a motorcycle is something that can get you killed - we didn't feel like pushing our luck.
As we got closer to the Nebraska/Iowa border, I could smell moisture in the air - something I don't experience out in Colorado too often, which reminded me of back home in Wisconsin. There are scents given off by the lakes, streams, and vegetation in the midwest that you can't find in the mountains, coast, or deserts. It's the little things that are engrained in my memory of home that make it special when I get back. You cherish nice days back there much more than Colorado or California, where the sun shines all of the time. I sort of feel spoiled living where I do, but never regret having to learn to ride in the uncertain weather patterns of the Midwest.
We tore, must've been close to 100 mph, into Des Moines early Saturday afternoon and got settled in. Shortly after arriving, Rich was having a smoke outside and noticed a crack in my exhaust pipe. With Jeff Wright and the guys at the COC open house leaving the shop for the party at Kung Fu, I decided to wait to fix my problem.
We hit the party, meeting a lot of new friends from the great midwest, drank beer, ate tacos, talked bikes, watched an epic taco eating contest, and rocked out with Red Desert - a Minneapolis based Rock band who killed it onstage. Guys and girls from all over rode in to celebrate for the night. Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois folks came to get down for the all-day party. With all of this going on, we also got the chance to meet and talk with Tom Fugle, an experience I won't forget.
We headed back to Denver almost as fast as we had come, leaving the following morning, Denver-bound. With no time on our hands, I opted to rip my exhaust pipe off at the crack and work it over once I got back home. On our way out of Iowa, we stopped near a little town off of I-80 called Anita and ate at a place called the Happy Chef. The menu was great, the food was great. It was so good, we didn't know what to order on the menu. If you ever get near this town, stop, it doesn't look like a winner, but hell if it isn't some of the best road-food I've ever eaten.
We hit a big storm just West of Lincoln and rode through rain until we got to Karney, Nebraska for the night. At one stop, I was stripped down to my underwear in a convenience store bathroom drying out my boots and jeans(electric hand dryers - something I've become very familiar with). While we were warming up and drying our clothes, these fools with three baggers on a trailer pulled up - I felt like puking. They were amazed at what we were putting ourselves through, like motorcycles weren't meant to be ridden on long trips or in uncomfortable weather conditions. Upon hearing how far we were traveling, their minds were put at ease knowing we were only headed as far as Denver. According to them, they were headed a lot further than we were... Cheyenne. I don't know if these guys had ever looked at a map or are familiar with the Mountain West, but they only strengthened the appearance of their dumb, panzy asses.
We made it to our destination for the night and rolled into Denver the following day with no problem. Making new friends, partying down, and riding motorcycles - this trip was short and sweet.
If you're looking to relive this experience, pack up your bike, say goodbye to the ol' lady and/or boss and get to Des Moines June 11th, 2011. Once more, Dice is throwing another one of these shindigs at Kung Fu Tap and Taco and it should be as good, if not better, than the last.
Hope to be there myself....
3 months ago