Riding northern Colorado means climbing through the Rockies and cruising past wide-open cattle country. The roaming up and down near the Wyoming border encompasses some of the most thrilling areas for motorcycling we've experienced.
It's a perfect day for motorcycling. Fresh pine-scented air blows by and temperatures are comfortable enough, in the eighties - not too warm, especially for mid-July. Our leathers won't get soaked from sweat and our tires can build up plenty of heat to grab the asphalt. We can throw the bikes into the corners, and swing through the turns almost as if on automatic. On one of my favorite roads, State Road 72 toward Rollinsville, we make a short stop at the Wondervu Café in Wondervu where many people break their rides for drinks or breakfast and lunch.
But Monika and I still have a long way to go. No time for dawdling here. We cross the Amtrak railway trail that goes up to the big ski resorts like Winter Park and a few miles later we turn north on SR 72 heading toward Nederland and Estes Park. Wildflower colors explode by the side of the road. Horseback riders and hikers course the hillsides here and there. As Longs Peak (14,256 ft.) glints majestically to the left, all is right with the world and the Triumph even seems to concur with the roaring of its air box and pipe.
Estes is busy with tourists enjoying their weekend mountain retreats. Downtown we take a left turn onto US 36 and hand over the $ 15 fee for entrance into the Rocky Mountain National Park - certainly steep for some, but the views from the pass road are worth every penny. Accentuating the fantastic peak scenery, deer and elk roam near the road. Wandering over the shoulder, a pokey coyote brings traffic to a standstill while crossing the pavement. His tongue lolling, he swivels nonchalantly as if to say, "What's the deal here? This is my pantry!" Cautiously, respecting his preserve, the air-conditioned interlopers roll on.