August 28, 2008

Taos Buell Rally 2008

Ok, so I'm a little late with my report from the motorcycle rally this past weekend in Taos, New Mexico. I literally had a blast: my Buell "Blast" motorcycle, and the fun I had riding it. My sister traveled late Friday night with me in my pickup with the Blast in the back. Since we got a late start nightfall came and obscured most of the scenery, but the next day I got to see quite a bit of the last 50 miles. I met for the first time the people I would be riding with at 0900 Saturday morning in front of the Sagebrush Inn where most of us stayed. Speaking of, the Sagebrush is a really cool old hotel built by local indian women in the early part of the twentieth century. Each room is very unique and built in the pueblo style. I highly recommend it for your lodging needs while in Taos.

Back to the riding. We left from the hotel that morning heading north to Questa where we would begin climbing into the mountains. The route is known as the Enchanted Loop and encompassed many different types of mountain and valley landscapes. The weather was perfect, too. I soon learned how underpowered my motorcycle is compared to the larger Buell bikes everyone else was on. Keeping up with everyone going up hill was difficult and I had to continuously shift down and up again. On long straight stretches I had to also lower my profile to reduce aero-drag. Going downhill I had to avoid breaking to conserve my momentum as much as possible. I quickly learned how to ride very fast through moutain curves and the experience was a lot like riding a roller coaster. I wore a grin from ear to ear all day long!

After a stop for lunch most of us continued on to Santa Fe to visit the local Harley/Buell dealer. While there a storm began to brew between Santa Fe and Taos. We had to decide a route that would take us around the storm if possible so we went back what is know as the "High Road" to Taos. The scenery along this road is beautiful, especially with the views to the west of the black and menacing storm that flashed streaks of lightning. We did encounter a small amount of rain for a few minutes but escaped the deluge that flooded out parts of the Santa Fe area where we had just left from. By the time we got back to the hotel it was 6:00 PM and I was exhausted. We all gathered later that evening for dinner at Doc Martin's, another old hotel in Taos.

We left Taos the next day and traveled back roads back home. Our first leg of the trip took us west across the Taos valley and the little ditch formed by the upper Rio Grande river(see picture). US Highway 285 heads north from here and takes one into Colorado and beyond. We stopped for dinner just across the border in Antonito, Colorado. Later, we passed through Monte Vista where Schall Chemical and Schall Iron Works can be found. As we continued north we were treated to spectacular views of the San Luis Valley and watched as storms brewed on both sides. The cross winds were gusting up to 40 mile per hour and made driving a little tricky. It wasn't long before we crossed Poncha Pass and entered into Salida where highway 50 intersects highway 285. From that point we were home in about an hour.

The people that I met and rode with were very nice and considerate - patient even - considering my lack of experience and underpowered motorcycle. I suppose most people would think of leather clad biker beasts when they imagine who attends a motorcycle rally, except for the Honda Goldwing crowd. Not so with the folks I rode with. Here is a link to some pictures that one of them took: New Mexico Storm Front

1 comment:

Leanne said...

Looks like you're having a BLAST! A Buelle Blast! :) har har har

Keep the posts coming - it looks beautiful there!