NIN Vegas Adventure - Preface and Day 1 - "Miles and miles and miles"

By: Kevin JohnsonJun 25, 2019

A little late to the game (now 31 yrs old), but we finally got a multi-day ride under our belts! My cousin and I have been riding since we were pretty young but this was our first bigger trip since we finally have bikes that are better suited for it. I’m on the BMW F800GS Adventure and my cousin (Bob) is on the Harley Davidson Sport Glide. As the title says, we rode out to Las Vegas from Denver for a Nine Inch Nails concert and then came back a different route. Bob called me up one day at work and wanted to know if I wanted to go see Nine Inch Nails in Vegas in June, a third show was just announced and it was decision time. At first I was a little apprehensive…did I really feel like flying to to Vegas for a chaotic weekend…?  And then it was followed up with: “We can ride.”  Yup, count me in!

We spent five days riding (6/15-6/19) and I thought I would have gotten decently exhausted/apprehensive to get back on but a good night’s rest was always just the ticket to refresh the body where it wasn’t a problem at all. I definitely learned a good bit about riding longer distances, and overall the trip was amazing! Here’s the route we took…Denver, CO > Beaver, UT > Las Vegas, NV > Flagstaff, AZ > Durango, CO > Denver, CO

Day 1 (6/15/18)

Here we are filling up at our first stop in Rifle, CO. It got a little chilly going over Vail Pass (~42F) but once we dropped down it was really nice again. Vail Pass also claimed my GoPro so there are no photos from that despite me trying. I had the remote up on the handlebars while the camera was lower for some potentially cool shots…at one point I looked down at the remote and it was no longer connected to the camera.  I thought to myself well great, I guess I’ll deal with this when we stop next…it took me a minute to register there was no connection because there was no camera anymore! The GoPro branded mount snapped…and when I emailed them they basically told me to pound sand.  It put a bad taste in my mouth for a bit…but I also understand they can’t just be handing out cameras to every jackass that has a problem.  I’ll probably find some way to tether it with a cord of some type next time as a backup if I ever get another.

Once we got into Utah the wind was not friendly. It completely wrecked our fuel mileage and was generally a pain in the ass to ride through…basically riding sideways just to keep going straight. When cutting through the little hills, approaching you would be blown one way, then IMMEDIATELY be blown the other, it was a pain in the ass. I thought the winds in CO could be bad but they were nothing compared to UT. After about 525 miles we finally got to Beaver, UT and holy hell we were exhausted.  We kicked off our boots, put the bikes away, and relaxed in the hotel room with some Bulleit Burbon before heading out to dinner.  Not exactly thinking, we saw numerous signs about the restaurant we walked to not being a bar and therefore we couldn’t have a drink there.  Okay whatever, thanks Utah – it’s a good thing we packed our own and will always remember to anytime we ride through this state.

After dinner it was back to the hotel for an early night since we’d been completely beaten up pretty good just by the amount of miles under our belts as well as the wind for the majority of the day.  We knew that the next day would be a pretty short day on two wheels, by design, and thank god for past Bob and Kevin’s decision to make it that way after what today had in store!

Day 2 – Showtime!

Kevin Johnson
Kevin was destined to ride motorcycles from a young age since bikes are a family pastime.  Only recently did Kevin become an internet motorcycle influencer and change the lives of no one while blogging about his exploits, both on and off the road.  He is currently (and constantly) thinking about the next places two wheels might take him, much to the dismay of his wife, so stay tuned for what's to come!