Parked at Extended Stay America in the Denver suburb of Aurora, I make sure the reinforced steel cable lock wraps around the front wheel and frame of my '04 Electra Glide. This baby's goin' nowhere. The next morning I'm packed, ready to roll, and slide the key into the barrel. It jams solid. I guess I was right. We're not going anywhere...
AAA responds to my panic call, but when the errant key shears off, it's locksmith time. An hour later, Jesus from Foothills Lock and Key slices through the cable with an angle grinder. Emergency over, and I'm finally on my way.
Four days, 12 passes
I turn off Interstate 70 west of Denver for Lookout Mountain. The Glide and I wind to the summit on gloriously curvy tarmac lined with fields and shade trees. William Cody was visiting his sister Louisa in Denver in December 1916 when his health failed. He died there shortly after. Louisa buried him on Lookout Mountain, a move disputed by Cody, Wyoming, the town Buffalo Bill founded. The dispute was formally resolved with a ceremonial burying of hatchets…in 1997!
Back on 70, I'm cruising past Idaho Springs when a sign advertising "Tommyknocker Pub and Brewery" catches my eye. In mining lore, Tommyknockers were mischievous elves who blew out lamps or hid shovels, but they also revealed the richest veins. The side streets of this former mining town hide rows of refurbished miner cottages, and the grand frontage lining Miner Street reflect an earlier affluence. I have to pass on the brewpub. There's riding to do.