Sunday, April 22, 2018
Testing out the new BMW on a favorite dirt road
One of the reasons we love our BMW R1200 GSA bike is that we can get off the highways and enjoy riding on dirt roads. Yesterday Mike wanted to see how the new BMW handles on Arizona 71, a bumpy dirt road that travels between paved AZ 89 and AZ 73, taking us to the old Route 66 tourist town of Williams.
Mike loved the way the electronic suspension adjustment worked, but even with that addition all the pictures I took of people riding mountain bikes and cattle browsing in the field just off the road were blurry. Since you can't see the photos, imagine a solitary cyclist peddling their way up the dirt road, and then around the bend 2 more cyclists working hard to peddle up a steep incline. It's mesmerizing to gaze over the dusty road and dry fields to the mountains in the distance, knowing that our route today would take us up into those mountains.
Since this is open range country we rode over several cattle guards, and a few times saw small groups of black cattle, some with young calves, resting under a shady tree or browsing in the fields. Unlike previous rides, this time there were no cattle IN the road.
It was a sunny day with my favorite Arizona-blue skies for our 3-hour ride, where the temperature ranged from 77 degrees at lower elevations to 64 degrees as we climbed through pine forests over Williams Mountain into the town of Williams.
We rode slowly through Williams looking for an ice cream shop, since there's no better way to enjoy a summer ride on the motorcycle than stopping for ice cream. We weren't disappointed when we found the local Dairy Queen with a line of people snaking out the door into the parking lot.
The route back home isn't as much fun, since we ride west on Interstate 40 for about 15 miles until we reach paved AZ 89 to take us the 50 miles south back home to Prescott. I-40 is always filled with semi-trucks, and the seemingly never-ending road construction makes it even more congested. The positive is that Mike was able to test out the new BMW's power and speed merging onto the interstate and passing slower-moving trucks.
At one point Mike remarked (using our new Sena helmet communication system) that in just a couple of months we will be riding the motorcycle 8 hours each day, every day for approximately 4 weeks as we travel cross-country. Keep your fingers crossed for sunny days, smooth roads, and plenty of ice cream stands along the way.