Top Three Things I Loved About the Owners Event in Durango
Sometimes when a circumstance or occasion has just been overwhelmingly good, I have a hard time putting it into words. The Spyder Owners Event was one of those for me, partly because of timing. My work in software analysis is ramping up for a very big national customer, and Bikers 4 Foster Kids, the non-profit that I co-chair, has had a lot of activities lately. Like everyone else these days, I’ve just been busy.
So the trip to Durango was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate. But when I sat down to try to blog about it, my words kept coming up short. I really wanted to come up with a Top Ten List. But I just kept coming back to a top three that summed it all up for me: the people, scenery, and the riding.
The People: I’ve said it in previous blogs, but it bears saying again: Spyder owners and riders are some of the most generous, engaging people I’ve ever been around.
I had already gotten acquainted with Charlyene ‘Flamingobabe’ and Mark ‘Hotglue’ while at Spyderfest. At the hotel the night before and on the ride from Albuquerque to Durango, I got to experience why so many people call them friends. Need something fixed? Ask Mark. Want to break something and fix it better? Ask Mark. Want a good story? Ask Mark. Charlyene is the perfect match for her husband and best friend with a laugh that is contagious. She loves people and is the only one I know who took a picture of every table of people at the dinner at Sleeping Beauty Ranch. I think it
was about 80 tables!
Patsy and Charlyne “Flamingobabe”
There are many, many more examples I could give. Allan with his 3-legged dog, BeGirl; Anita and her enthusiasm for her Spyder after many years on two wheels; Patrick with his “enabled Spyder” mods and zest for story-telling; Patsy and her famous Spyder-bling shirts she has generously made for many of us girls on Spyders. I was also delighted to finally spend some time with Fred Rau’s better half, Cherrie. That woman loves being on the road and her brown eyes just shine when she describes their adventures over the last 40 years.
Patrick and his enabled Spyder
The Scenery: I’m not sure my words will matter on this one as much as the photos below. The vistas were constantly changing as we drove from Albuquerque through Madrid (where part of the movie,Wild Hogs was filmed) to Pagosa Springs and then to Durango. Barren, scrubbrush-covered flatlands were all you could see for miles, until enormous red rocks and mesas popped up on the horizon. You’d round a corner and to have to catch your breath at the expanse of the land.
On the road from Albuquerque to Durango
But the riding in the area around Durango tops it for me. Every day I found myself saying a little prayer of gratitude that I was able to experience such lush and rugged beauty. Over and over again I felt the urge to throw both hands in the air like on the downhill rush of a rollercoaster. The skies were ridiculously blue. The drop-offs were a little dizzying (with no guardrails). Snow still covered some of the peaks. Little lakes appeared out of nowhere. Even now, I can’t get the images out of my mind.
Scenic stop on Hwy 550 (Million Dollar Highway)
The Riding: Maybe it goes without saying that when the scenery is that amazing, the riding is good too. But it wasn’t just the views; it was the road itself. Long sweeping turns, 10 mph switchbacks on the Million Dollar Highway, rock-hewn tunnels, steep climbs. Obviously Spyder Roadsters weren’t the only vehicles on the road, so all too often we were slowed down by semis or campers. But when they moved over, wheeee!
On Thursday, the Spyder Five took a ride to Silverton and Ouray with the BRP executives in attendance. I expected most of them to get on RT models. But no, they apparently prefer the RS and they ride hard. It was such fun to see these men riding tight and fast, taking each curve with gusto and opening the throttle wide when they had a chance.
One of the many switchbacks we rode
I’m not sure what location BRP will come up with for next year’s event, but I sure hope we make it back to Durango soon.