Summer’s here, and away we go!
Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, Hal and I planned to ride FR300, a forest road that follows the edge of the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. Not only is it breathtaking as a scenic ride, I find it geologically fascinating. This ride is also somewhat of a tradition with us. For some reason, we started riding the Rim Road, as it’s called, almost every Memorial Day weekend, and we have for several years now. It’s never the same twice, and this time we changed the route a bit.
We decided to trailer the bikes to the west end of the road, mostly because we knew it was going to be super hot coming home later, and it just kills us to ride in cool temperatures all day, then come back into 100° F. temperatures at the end of the day. So, we opted for sitting in the air-conditioned car on the way there and home.
It was hot when we left town, of course, and we ate our breakfast in the car after stopping at Einstein’s to get the essentials: a bagel and nice cup of coffee! I drank every drop of that coffee, BTW, and it was so-o-o-o-o-o good. That got me all fired up to ride, as if I needed extra motivation. On the way out, we saw five cops before we left town. They always step up enforcement efforts on the holiday weekends, but if they really wanted to keep traffic safe, they would station themselves on the Beeline every Sunday afternoon. There are so many people going 80 or 90 mph pulling trailers, and it is so unsafe because they think they are driving sports cars through the turns.
Another cool thing about today’s ride was that Hal had a new (to him) bike to debut! He just got it last weekend, and this was to be the first ride with it.
Needs some dirt on it:
When we got there, we unloaded the bikes, and geared up. I sat on Hal’s new DR650, and was amazed to find that I could get my feet on the ground. This almost never happens for me without all kinds of modifications, and I was really happy. I was even thinking that maybe I would sell one of my other bikes and get a DR650, too. I am always thinking about bikes, and I am still seeking the “perfect stable.”
Fits me like a glass slipper:
Once we were all geared up, we looked at the map. We were going to travel on 300 for about 10 miles, then take FR95 on a big loop up toward Clint’s Well, then decide from there what we wanted to do. There is a huge network of forest roads on the Rim, and most of them are heavily traveled on the weekends, especially on Memorial Day weekend. People come up from the Phoenix area, as we were doing, to enjoy the cool air. And it was nice and cool! I’d put on another layer under my jacket before we got started.
Out on 300, I discovered how much I was enjoying the road compared with when I’d ridden it in the past. A new thing for me was the bigger fuel tank on the KLX. It was the first ride with it, and it would mean that I wouldn’t have to worry all the time if I was going to make it to the next fuel pump! I didn’t feel any difference with the bigger (full) tank; in fact, I didn’t even think about it until I was about five miles into the ride when I finally remembered (too busy thinking about that DR, I guess!). Well, that is a good thing, I thought, it must be fine. And it was!
The road was dusty, of course, since there has been almost no precipitation during the last winter, but it was so much fun to be out and riding. There were a fair amount of people on the road, but we had expected that since it is a three-day weekend. Most people were very considerate and mindful of others on the road.
We reached the place where you first come out on the edge of the Rim and see the breathtaking view. Wow, we’re here already? I thought. In the past it’s taken me a painfully long time to get to that point because of my tentative riding on other bikes, and I thought again how great it is to ride the KLX.
I stopped briefly to wait for Hal to ride ahead and get set up so he could take a photo of me riding down a hill. I know I have this photo of me while riding the F650GS, but he wanted to take it of me riding the KLX. I didn’t mind! I don’t mind anything while I am on the KLX!
Riding a favorite curve:
Our plan was to go about 10 miles in, then turn on FR95, which we did. We found it easily enough, and it was an easy road, too. We traveled quickly, which I love, and before we knew it we had traveled another 10 miles or so. However, suddenly there was a “road closed” sign in the middle of 95. What was up with that??
What does the map say?
(To be continued …)