Support, what does that mean to you? Paying for someone’s coffee at Starbucks, opening the door for someone, taking chicken noodle soup to your friend when they are sick, being a shoulder to cry on? Or maybe traveling 1,500 miles on your motorcycle to support a cause, a cause that is very stigmatized, a cause that affects people every 15 minutes, a cause that your friend had a dream a vision a year prior?
Suicide is a cause that is not talked about enough. Ride for Hope is making sure you hear their voice, we traveled to Utah to support another ride, Utah Vision Day, a ride to support suicide prevention and awareness, we supported a family who’s heart is breaking, but yet they have turned the tragedy of their son Taylor who died by suicide January 6, 2017, into a legacy to help others. The ride there was emotional, the sound of the pipes, the feel of the bike, and the wind touching my face. At times, the thoughts came through my mind, “Is this really my life? Am I really riding a motorcycle? Am I really riding hundreds of miles to support another mother, the same way I needed support?
Our children brought us together, not because they knew each other, but because of the way they died. It’s through tragedy that so many things get started, a non-profit, a new legislative bill, just like MADD the Irving, Texas–based organization was founded on September 5, 1980, in California by Candace Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. MADD has claimed that drunk driving has been reduced by half since its founding.
Motorcycles and charities go hand-in-hand. It seems every weekend during the summer months, there are rides for relief foundations or to raise money for those in need. It seems the only thing better than going for a ride, is doing it for a cause.
The Colorado’s peaks are getting dusted by snow, and the cool mornings and evenings mean it’s time for fall colors in Colorado. It also means that the roads will be lined with cars and people gazing at the aspen trees that turn bright yellow and orange.
You will sometimes hear people refer to the trees as “quaking aspens” because the leaves rustle and shimmer in the wind.
September and October are the best time for aspens, so head out and see this spectacular scene. Below I have some great routes to take to see the colors, so don’t miss your chance to see slopes painted in gold.
Ride the Cache la Poudre River Canyon
This canyon is about 20 minutes northwest of Fort Collins, is a great place to enjoy the fall colors in Colorado. My favorite way to Poudre Canyon (pronounced pooh-der) is from Highway 34, west of 287 and head north on County Road 27 to Buckhorn Road to Stove Prairie Road to Colorado Highway 14 and then turn right to U.S. Route 287. Within the first quarter mile, you’ll begin to see the Poudre River, Colorado’s only nationally designated Wild & Scenic river. The highway also is designated as a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway. You will see many colorful aspens on Highway 14 as well as beautiful ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees, sagebrush, and mountain mahogany.
If you turn left on Highway 14 from Stove Prairie Road, you will ride the two-hour drive, climbing above 10,000 feet, to Cameron Pass and enjoy the colors along the river. Take it about 40 minutes farther for even more colors and arrive in Walden, Colorado.
Ride Rabbit Ears Pass
You’ll see colorful aspens along Rabbit Ears, especially near Dumont Lake, 22 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs along U.S. Highway 40.
Ride the Peak to Peak Highway
If you are in the Denver area and don’t want to ride too far, take Colorado Highway 6 to 119 to 72 to 7 to either Estes or down to Lyons. Both ways showcase beautiful aspen trees.
Ride Guanella Pass
I recommend taking U.S. Route 285 south to Grant and turn right on County Road 62 all the way to the Victorian town of Georgetown. There are some cool hairpin turns that takes you down to Georgetown to Interstate 70.
Ride Gold Belt Tour
If you are a history buff, then this ride is for you. You will get a double dose of gold: beautiful aspens and a glimpse of historic mining towns that sprang up during Colorado gold rush days back in the 1890s.
This 131-mile, 5-hour drive is another one of Colorado’s Historic and Scenic Byways. You start in Florissant and head south on Highway 1 into the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. From there, you’ll head to the old mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. Look for beautiful views of aspens on the flanks of Pikes Peak near Victor.
Drive: Cripple Creek
For a shorter drive, head west on U.S. Highway 24 from Colorado Springs, then take Colorado Highway 67 through Divide to Cripple Creek. You’ll find spectacular views at the Pikes Peak Heritage Center in Cripple Creek.
Seeing the fall colors is one of the reasons why I love living and riding in Colorado. There is no place better than here.
If you are looking for an alternative to the crowds in Sturgis next year, consider attending the 2020 26th annual Beartooth Rally in Red Lodge, MT. The rally is always on the 3rd weekend in July each year and this is one my favorite rallies. It’s the perfect size, not too crowded, and the landscape scenes on Beartooth Pass are breathtaking! If someone were to imagine what Heaven would look like, this would be it because it is on top of the world.
We travelled with the Cool Biker Lunch & Rides group, some of us on bikes and a few trailered. Beartooth is about 10 hours almost straight up I-25 so there are good roads and ample places to stop and gas up so you can make it there in a day.
Red Lodge is a town 2,073 people and it was fun walking down the main street, checking out the shops and even with the biker crowd in town for the rally, parking and getting into restaurants was a breeze. It is normally very hard at rallies to run into your friends, but within minutes we saw several friends from Colorado at the Carbon County Steakhouse. Therefore, it’s one of my favorite rallies because it’s small and quaint, but still busy and fun. You can tell that the townspeople get a kick out of all the loud bikes and people roaming around their town, they were extremely friendly and welcoming of our biker dollar. This is a community that does not roll up its main street but rolls it out embracing your friendship, support and welcomes you back year after year, not just for rally, but also to come and enjoy hiking, fishing and year-round activities.
Beartooth Rally has a full event schedule for the weekend, so you won’t be wondering what to do. We did both the poker runs, on Friday and Saturday, one of the poker runs led us through graceful curves on the Beartooth Pass Highway that ascended to 10,947 feet and wrapped back around to the Chief Joseph/Sunlight Basin Highway. The stops were at little hole-in-the-wall bars in sleepy, charming towns that were so welcoming and friendly.
On Sunday, Bone Daddy’s Custom Cycle hosts the Iron Horse Rodeo and everyone including bikers come for all around for this day of rider’s skills and games. This isn’t your average rodeo, and the organizers have some great categories that are for both men and women and different than your average iron horse rodeo.
If you aren’t into poker runs or rodeos you can venture out on your own take a ride over to Yellowstone for the day. Yellowstone and the national park are approximately 125 miles away from Red Lodge and the views are breathtaking. Some of the highlights are Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, West Thumb Geyser Basin. There are also some great places to stop and see the buffalos and bears up-close and personal.
Our friend, Stacey Elswich led the group down scenic Highway 212 and described her experience, “We were about 30 minutes into the park when traffic started to slow down. When that happens, you ask yourself ‘what is everyone looking at?’. Well, it was a bear, but not just a bear…it was a baby bear. The little fella was frolicking in the meadow about 30 feet off the road. It was amazing, but I thought where there is a baby bear, there is a mommy bear!
Red Lodge is an adorable little town with residence that thanked us for being in town for the rally. The rally had good vendors and lovely people. Overall, it was a blast and I would highly recommend it. We all gave Beartooth Rally a thumbs up, and plan to make this an annual road trip!
Sturgis Cycle is connected to Dirty Dogs Roadhouse and is your ONE-STOP-SHOP for any repairs or maintenance you need done on your bike while in Sturgis.
Come to drop off your bike and then enjoy some Colorado hospitality while your bike is being worked on.
- Bike Repairs
- Tire Changes
- Oil changes
Connected to your favorite Sturgis Bar: Dirty Dogs Roadhouse!
Located at Junction & Main – Directly across from Sturgis Harley-Davidson
Being named Colorado’s largest motorcycle rally is quite an accomplishment. With the huge number of riders in this state, and the vast number of great rides, runs and rallies to choose from, it says a lot more about an event that boasts the largest attendance among its peers.
The annual Salute to American Veterans held each August in Cripple Creek is much more than just a bike rally. Over the past three decades, this event has become a pilgrimage for Veterans from all over the United States, and Cripple Creek has been called “sacred ground” for US Vets to gather, remember, respect and heal.
What began in the late 1980s as a small, grassroots effort to call attention to the plight of American POWs and MIAs has grown into a three-day festival complete with ceremonies, dedications, vendors, music and the display of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling WALL.
“We did not have any goal in mind, or any vision of the future of this event when we began” said Jim Wear, founder and organizer of the rally. “This is not contrived. The rally evolved organically. There was no master plan. The event has made its own path.”
The 2019 Veterans Rally will continue on it’s natural path, providing the opportunity for honored Veterans and loyal Patriots to gather together in the old-west mining town, rallying around the Stars and Stripes and igniting patriotism in all who attend.
The annual POW MIA Recognition Ride, the ride which spawned the Salute to American Veterans Rally, takes place Saturday morning, with thousands joining Colorado’s largest escorted procession of motorcycles. The Brotherhood of Veterans motorcycle club, the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders and the Colorado and Kansas American Legion Riders step up to help organize the effort annually.
Beneficiaries from this year’s event include the Vets4Vets organization (helping local homeless Veterans), The Pueblo POW/MIA Memorial effort and the scholarship fund for the child of fallen 10th SF Green Beret and Teller County resident Elliott Robbins.
The Veterans Rally will also play host to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling WALL as it has for the past 12 years, making the Veterans Rally the longest standing annual host for the traveling wall in Colorado.
For the third year in a row, the Combat Hero Bike Build organization returns to Cripple Creek and will present Sgt. J.J. Guerrero, a battle wounded double amputee Army / USMC Veteran with a new customized machine during the ceremony in Cripple Creek’s City Park.
“The Combat Hero Bike Build is an awesome project, and we support their efforts 100%.” Said Wear, “To take a wounded Veteran who can no longer ride and get them back in the wind accomplishes more than most people will ever understand. These Vets have many issues to contend with, and getting them on a bike not only brings back the feelings of freedom and independence, but it makes them feel “more normal” if you will… and that is something that goes beyond dollars and cents.”
The American Legion will be recognized for 100 years of service during the rally with a plaque dedication, guest speakers and a great history of the Legion being read during the ceremony.
Other features include FREE “Red Friday” T-shirts for the first 800 patriots, military static displays, Veterans parade, benefit silent auction, pancake breakfast, live music, aircraft flyovers, beer garden, vendor show, Friday poker run and much more.
“I’m sad to say that Patriotism is under attack by radical factions in this country,” said Wear. “America needs Patriotism now more than ever, and this event provides the opportunity for everyone who attends to express their love for our Flag, our Veterans and our Country. The camaraderie, honor and respect that the attendees of this rally have for each other is what makes it all happen. All we do is set the table… and our guests ignite the fires of patriotism that they then, hopefully, carry home with them when the weekend concludes.”
For more information, go to www.theveteransrally.org.
By: Susan Dane
On August 25, the 9th Annual CAF Poker Run will be held as a fundraiser for The Denver Hospice.
Christopher’s Angels Fund (CAF) was founded by Bob and Donna Johnson in memory of their son. Christopher died in the care of The Denver Hospice when he was two years old. The Johnsons struggled financially during Christopher’s illness and struggled to find resources to help. They hoped that by creating this fund, they could ease the financial stress on other families coping with terminal illness.
Family assistance grants from Christopher’s Angels Fund can be requested for non-medical needs like food, mortgage/rent payments, home and auto repairs, special occasions, outings and celebrations, travel expenses, summer camps and other activity fees for children. It can also cover funeral/memorial service costs and direct care expenses not covered by insurance.
Christopher’s Angels Fund truly makes a difference in the lives of families serviced by The Denver Hospice. As families reach the end of a long battle with a terminal illness, their financial resources are often depleted. Many hospice families find themselves not only dealing with the stress of illness, but coping with being stretched beyond their limits, trying to fit work and other responsibilities into a physically and emotionally demanding experience.
Because everyone who helps with the CAF Poker Run does so in a volunteer capacity, 100% of the funds raised go into the Fund to help the families in need. Check out the Facebook Event Page (9th Annual CAF Poker Run) for more info. The Poker Run starts/ends @ In the Zone with registration beginning @ 9:00 am.
By: Michael Hornbuckle
This will be the 5th consecutive year the Hornbuckle Foundation holds the “SoulRepo” poker run. September 7, the organization will team up with friends from the Sober Souls MC to host the roughly 80 mile ride that ends at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse, where the event will provide world class blues from Texas slinger, Chris Duarte, and Colorado native, A.J. Fullerton, along with raffles, best bike competition and prizes, and a few words from founder, Michael Hornbuckle. Kai Turner of 103.5 the Fox will be handling MC duties. It’s sure to be a don’t-miss event.
The Hornbuckle Foundation continues to play a part in the recovery community through the generous donations of people wanting to help those that suffer from substance use disorder. The organization has helped to establish sober living homes and provide scholarships. Michael Hornbuckle (Founder/Executive Director) and wife, Sarah Hornbuckle (Director of Operations) have found a particular interest from (but not limited to) musicians/artists seeking a path to recovery. The pair are both in the music industry, in recovery, and certified sober coaches. They have developed a unique skill set while working with recoverees and want to be able to reach more people.
The goal of this year’s fundraiser is to raise the necessary funds to train and employ a diverse roster of coaches that can be offered to the community. Sober coaching is a proven tool that can complement, and at times supplement the more conventional methods of treating substance use disorder. “Remix Recovery Coaching” will launch in 2020.
Join us at Motorcycle Depot for our 11th Annual Ride and Rally, Saturday July 20th at Motorcycle Depot, 600 Telluride St, Aurora CO. There will be 2 POLICE ESCORTED RIDES; the event can hold 300 people for the ride. Pre-register at Motorcycle Depot before June 29th to be entered into a drawing to win $50 and to reserve your preferred spot in wave 1 or wave 2 but registration is available the day of the event. You can call 720-277-3583 or stop the shop to pre-register. There will be a car show, motorcycle show, food trucks, a jumping castle, vendors, and prizes!
The owner, Adam spent some time in law enforcement and started the annual Ride and Rally charity event at Motorcycle Depot to support the local Police. The event has evolved to help specific individuals going through a difficult time, rather than a large agency. Past events have gone to support funeral services for Officer’s families, Officer’s paralyzed in the line of duty, and Officers and Officer’s families fighting cancer.
This year Motorcycle Depot is supporting Aurora Police Detective Randy Carroll and his fight against an aggressive form of cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). With the support of his family and friends, Detective Carroll has begun an intensive course of chemotherapy that will require hospitalizations and time of work for recovery.
Have a product or service to sell? Additional vendors welcome and wanted! Everything you need to have an amazing ride for an amazing cause. Visit Motorcycle Depot’s Facebook page for more information. Let’s show Detective Carroll, and his family the how much the motorcycling community is here to support him!
Motorcycle Depot is a family owned dealership in Aurora, CO that has been in business for over 11 years. Adam Levy (owner) started working in a motorcycle shop at 16 and has been working on motorcycles ever since. He says his mission is ‘for everyone to have a good experience’ and his favorite part about owning the business is the people. Motorcycle Depot has a large selection of motorcycles for sale as well as apparel, accessories, helmets, tires, parts, and motorcycle repair and servicing.
More information is available on their website at www.motorcycledepot.com.
Colorado and mother nature being the way they are… you just never know what you are going to get every year for the BikerDown’s Look Twice Save a Life ride, but still the riders always say they wouldn’t miss this ride! The road captains were on messenger daily trying to alter their ride in the event of rain, hail or snow. Registrations were up this year and BikerDown had over 100 riders pre-register and we had an additional 50 riders register at Avalanche Harley-Davidson in Golden.[Read more…] about 6th Annual Look Twice Save a Life