Romping Through the Black Hills - Gearing Up and Day 1 - "The Next Adventure"

By: Kevin JohnsonJun 21, 2019

It’s 2019, and this season’s first bike trip couldn’t come fast enough.  My cousin (Bob), uncle (Al), and I have been planning out rides for some months now, and I know for me it was especially hard this year to keep from getting overly excited before the snow had melted.

Waiting for the seat to be done outside Bitchin Stitchin

Over the winter I had made a few key modifications to the BMW F800GSA I’ve be riding based on the comfort levels from a trip to Vegas in 2018.  The first, and likely most important modification, was to scrap the stock seat and replace it with one a bit wider and also more even front to back.  For anyone who has ridden this [mostly] fantastic machine, they know the stock seat has a tendency to jam your crotch up against the tank (really battery cover), making it nearly impossible to ride any notable distances.  Based on a few recommendations and also location convenience I called the guys over at Bitchin’ Stitchin’ to see if they could help me out.  As soon as I told them what bike I had they knew my woes right away and got me on the schedule for a rebuild…which was almost exactly a month out, so I’m glad I called early March!  After having me sit in the saddle, measure, draw, etc. they ended up leveling the seat out, making it a bit wider, adding a gel pack, and of course entirely rebuilt the cover since the original would no longer fit over the enhanced foam.  For right around $575 I was out the door with a new seat and my sore ass is now a thing of the past!

Next up on the necessary mods was to dial up some sort of highway peg situation.  My left knee especially likes to have a bad attitude when left stationary for too long, so it helps to stretch it out on long distances.  I have some 1″ Heed crash bars on the bike to replace the semi-useless stock ones and so I knew I was looking for something with that 1″ OD to clamp onto them and ended up going with some cheapy HK MOTO pegs that i figured would do the trick.  And they do pretty well…with some modifications.  With enough foot pressure they like to spin on the crash bars, so I drilled a small self tapper in there to keep them still and after that they worked just fine.  They also like to randomly flip down while riding but that doesn’t bother me any…just reminds me to stretch out.

Okay!  With all of that spewed out, let’s get onto the trip!


Day 1 (6/6/19)

Bob and I had to work for the majority of the day so after wrapping up we rendezvoused at Al’s house about 1pm and at 1:15 were on the road to Lusk, WY.  We cruised out to C470 > I70 > I76 > I25 as to avoid any downtown Denver traffic and luckily it was a breeze.  Stopped in Cheyenne for a quick leak, fuel up, and were back on the road.  Let me just quick say, a lot of folks in Wyoming are extremely friendly and it was quite refreshing!  A lady we very briefly chatted with in the convenient store went out of her way when leaving to bid us farewell and wish us a safe ride.

Outside the Broncho bar in Torrington

Back on the road a few minutes later we took 85 all the way up to Torrington.  I don’t know if it was all the recent rain or if (doubtfully) it always looks that green, but WOW was it a beautiful ride up.  If you remember back to Windows XP “Bliss” theme with the green grassy hill and slightly cloudy blue sky, that’s exactly what it looked like.  We stopped at the Broncho Bar in Torrington for a rest and a very welcome cold one.  It was a cool spot we would unknowingly return to on the way home, but if you ever find yourself in Torrington, WY you should stop in, the beers are cold and cheap and the food is pretty good too.

Finally began the last little leg up to Lusk which was a pretty nothing ride but was fun to haul-ass up.  We checked into the Rawhide Motel and got lucky – they had a room that had three individual beds!  After kicking our boots off and enjoying a cold glass of Tincup bourbon (never travel without a little spot of whiskey) we were all pretty hungry and ready for a dinner situation.  We rode down the main street a bit to where the bars and restaurants are and as we stood outside flipped a coin to decide where to eat between the “Pizza Place” or “The Pub.”  Fate put the Pub’s burgers in our bellies and those 3/4 lbers were amazing!  A few more cold ones and it was back to the Rawhide for a nice siesta.

I have to say, it feels so good to be on the road again on two wheels, especially with family.  I feel pretty fortunate to be able to do excursions like these and with such good company.  It was a lllooonnnggg winter but this first day made it entirely worth the wait.  Let’s go see if our adventurers have as good of a second day as the first turned out to be!

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!