Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Getting Elevated - Day One

Up until the day we left for Born Free 3, I was constantly working on getting my chop finished, breaking it in as well as I could, and tweaking the bugs out of it. 9 p.m. the night before we left(Tuesday Night), that was when I finally had everything said and done. Spent that day running around, getting new rubber put on my wheels(Thanks to Randall down at Deluxe Motorcycles in Denver - you da man), changed my fluids, and checked everything over one last time.

Dave Polgreen, Gator, Zac, and Pete got into town from the Twin Cities earlier that day - Dave and Gator were busy most of the day and night at Rich's trying to get their bikes up and running. I stopped by for a bit, then called it a night so I could get home and pack my gear for the long trip.

Wednesday, the 22nd, Rich and I got on the road after Dave and the guys got squared away with a rental to tow their trailer. We got out of town later in the morning, but Rich and I are never in a hurry, making our trips a little more relaxing in the scorching summer heat. Plus, after getting my top end worked over(Again, thanks to Randall at Deluxe for doing the work on my engine, top notch guy), my engine still had some breaking in. We stopped at our regular stops along the highway, making our way West.

We got to Grand Junction, Colorado, and I got ahold of Mike Lichter. Mike had been keeping in contact with me for the months and days leading up to Born Free, trying to talk me into riding with the Ride To Born Free crew out of Denver. He was documenting the whole ride for Cycle Source. The thought was great, I just didn't know about riding with a bunch of guys I didn't know. Trusting the people I'm riding with is a huge deal for me... They had left early that morning and had only made it to Fruita, about 15 minutes ahead of Grand Junction. Mike asked us to meet up with them and shoot while the light was right and the sun setting. So, Rich and I took a long break, then headed over to Fruita where the Ride To Born Free crew were fixing a flat.

We found them pretty easily, though we didn't know where they were exactly, Fruita only has one exit - wasn't hard. We hung out with them for a bit, then got the itch to get back on the road. Mike asked the two of us to stick around a little longer, so he could shoot us on the next stretch of the trip. We caved and waited for them, letting Mike know we were only gonna stick with them for a little bit of the next stretch before we blasted ahead.

Mike had Rich and I up in front, directing us up, back, left, right, side-by-side, staggered, on and on. Not feeling it, Rich blasted ahead after a short while. I stuck with the crew for a little longer while Mike snapped away, he must've shot about 1,000 pictures in that short distance. By this time, my engine was broken in and I still hadn't opened up on the throttle yet. Mike gave me the thumbs up to bail and I ripped ahead to catch Rich. I gripped the throttle, twisted, and my engine came to life. It was time to let it do it's thing, opening up the addition power I had worked into it. I could feel it, the time was right, almost perfect, and it felt great.

Rich and I took off ahead of the pack, headed for Richfield, Utah. We got to the next stop, met the crew again, then said goodbye, not seeing them until we got to Born Free. We pulled into Green River while the sun was setting and the mosquitos were out in full force. This is where the Ride To Born Free crew were camping, Rich and I thought they were gonna get eaten alive. Like always, we pushed ahead into the night to get through the long 110 mile stretch between Green River and Salina, Utah. This is one hell of a stretch, going through during the day is well worth it. But, Rich and I get it over with at the end of our first day almost every time we ride out to L.A. - less traffic and cooler temps at night, that stretch can get really hot during the day.

We pulled into Richfield, Utah on fumes. I was also fuming cuz I thought I was gonna run out of gas about a mile before the exit, but I made it, just barely. With no restaurants open at that time of night, we got some food at the local truck stop and called it a night.

The next day was set for the desert and a night at the Hard Rock in Vegas, it was gonna get hot... with some pleasant surprises along the way.

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