Lamonster’s Journey to Durango
Arrival in Durango
Last year the Owners Event was held in Maggie Valley, and that was great, but seeing that it was pretty much in my backyard, it wasn’t much of a road trip. The event in Durango was perfect for me, since I've ridden the area before, but never on a Spyder. That made it all the better. Riding there with friends helped solidify already great friendships, and it always makes the miles go down easy when you share the road with your buddies. I ride solo a lot, and it has its advantages, but truthfully I would rather share the wind with my friends.
A group of us made it to Durango on Sunday and did a little sightseeing on Monday. The place was just as I remembered it. I couldn't wait to hit the mountains, even though we just traveled 2600 miles. We rode the Million Dollar Highway, Silverton, and Ouray. Despite the heat, it was still enjoyable. We had some good BBQ and hung out kicking the tires the rest of the night.
Tasty BBQ stop
On Tuesday, Baja Ron and I drove down to Albuquerque to hook up with a group of folks meeting there to ride to Durango. I know it sounds crazy to ride to Albuquerque twice in two days. The plan was to be in Durango on Wednesday, but getting an early start changed our plans. To be honest, I really didn't want to drive back there again as the heat had taken a lot out of me. I always try and keep my word – I said I was going to be there, so I wasn’t going to back out.
On a side note, we got some great fuel mileage going down to Albuquerque. I went 132 miles on 4 gallons of fuel, and Ron did the same miles on 3 gallons. That was 33 mpg with an RT and a loaded trailer, and Ron got 44 mpg on his stock RS. We ran about 65mph the whole way down. The best mileage I got was 39.2 mpg, while towing a trailer in the mountains. I was surprised at how well the Spyder did. I think the thin air requires less fuel. You could tell the thin air drained some power, but it was pretty cool to see those mileage numbers.
Two of my favorite gals
We had a good group of SpyderLovers from all over the country meet us in Albuquerque, and that's when the party really started. I’ve known some of these folks for years, others for a short time, and some I had never met before. Once we all got together, it was like a family reunion. We had a great dinner at the Owl restaurant, and there was plenty of cutting up at the dinner table. It was one of those gatherings where everyone was in their element, and lifelong memories and new friendships were formed.
The next day, Andy led, taking us out of town on some great roads. I'm not even sure where we went, but it was even better than the way Ron and I went. The group stayed together for the most part, and it was a great ride out.
On the road to Durango
BRP Tech looking at a Spyder
I know of a few folks that had problems that were either fixed in Durango or were not able to be fixed at the time. BRP gave out some loaners so people could ride while they were there. I know it would be nice if they didn't have the need to do that, but I was glad to see they cared enough about folks having a good time while they were there that they pulled some strings to make that happen. The techs worked their butts off, too, trying to take care of everyone. There's only so much you can do with the resources they had at the time. I feel bad for the folks that had issues, but I'm thankful for the work that BRP did to try and help out. They really do care.
Thursday, I pretty much hung out at the fairgrounds talking with folks and later split off to do a photo shoots with the ad guys. They took some of the best pictures I've seen to date. I’m looking forward to seeing what they wind up doing with them.On the road for a photo shoot
Friday was another great day, I got to lead a ride with some BRP executives and my Spyder Five buddies. We did the same ride I took Monday, but I never got tired of it. The town of Silverton and Ouray are great to visit, and the road there and back does not disappoint.
We got back in time to make the event downtown. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many Spyder roadsters parked in the middle of downtown Durango. It reminded me of Sturgis, but with roadsters instead of bikes.
The band was pretty good, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. Chaz Rice and his crew should be congratulated for pulling this off the way they did. I'm not sure what they are going to do next year, but this one will be hard to top. I didn't think it would be possible to compare to this year’s Spyderfest, but the Owners Event was on par for sure. They both had a different flavor, but once again it was the people that made the event great. I can't wait till next year.