Southwest Colorado Extravaganza
4,403 Miles

Every year we try to improve our road trip in someway.  Sometimes it is as simple as how to better pack for the trip.  This year we decided to improve on how we made our nightly accommodations.  Normally we would only have a rough idea of where we wanted to stay, once we got close or as the day began to fade we would start looking for a place to stay.  The difficulty was always trying to guess whether there would be a better, less expensive place to stay just around the bend.  Often times we would cut a day's riding short to guarantee a place to stay.  This year we decided to have all of our accommodations setup prior to our trip.  There was some risk in this but with our knowledge of the area we felt it was one worth taking.  Now we could ride all day and not have to worry about finding a place to stay.  Since we were concentrating on the southwest portion of Colorado we also decided to stay more than one night in a couple of locations.  This way we would not have to fully pack every morning to begin our ride

Post Script - Looking back after 10 years [written in 2011]
I consider this trip our first in the modern era. I believe it was the first we took where every mile was routed, albeit using DeLorme atlases, the first where we employed a digital camera, and the first where all of our hotel accommodations were scheduled in advance. It was also the first where we had bike to bike communication. There was not that much difference between this trip and the ones we take today. In 2001 the routing was slightly more difficult as there were far fewer websites to research, and of course, no Google Earth yet. Although I had ridden my BMW in 2000 (and consider it a sport-tourer despite its LT designation) this was the first one when one of us wasn’t riding a full-blown luxury touring machine. I think most riders trend away from sporty and move towards luxury touring, but we are certainly unconventional in this area. The spoke and wheel strategy where we ride on several days from one location and return each day is a strategy we still employ even today; utilizing it most recently in 2007. Another strategy we employed this year was the routing on dirt roads that we wouldn’t have thought of doing on the Ventures. In 2001 we rode down Phantom Canyon Road and over Cottonwood Pass. Both roads I would highly recommend but only on sport-touring bikes. In the end, we look back on this trip, and think this is when we began to hit on all cylinders. The improvements we have made in the last ten years pales in comparison to the ten years before this trip.