Real bikers weren't bothered by a little rain, he tried to tell himself, but the car radio spoke of a storm system moving up from the south, bringing with it high winds and torrential rain.
In spite of his love of music, no pocket recorder filled Dean's head with voices, strings or horns through tiny toy earphones— he'd leave that to the bikers who pedaled unaware of the sounds of birds and springtime around them.
Early Saturday morning, the two had boarded a charter bus with scores of bikers for the 372-mile, eight-hour trip to Cortez, Colorado, where they found a pleasant little town abuzz with the activity of 2,000 riders and hundreds of support personnel.
Some of the bikers were Dean's age or older and a few were in physical shape that made you wonder if they realized what they were undertaking.
Many of the bikers knew one another and there were groups traveling together, but there was equal representation of couples and solo bikers.
The bikers wore helmets and most were in a low tuck position, making it difficult to get an identifying look at them.
As all of the bikers were assigned numbers, Dean made a verbal note of each on a small handheld tape-recorder borrowed from his more official duties.
The two bikers had started down a slight but long downhill, less than a bike length apart, picking up speed as they rolled along.
But the bikers wouldn't have time for such excursions.
After I checked out the list I spent the afternoon at a rest stop squinting at a couple of a thousand bikers' numbers trying to spot him, but no luck.
I'm scheduled to man the first rest area and I'll get there before any of the bikers get started.
Dean was one of the earliest bikers on the road.
No, but it's so cold up here lots of the bikers are wearing jackets and sweats that cover up their numbers.
Although there was a scattering of other bikers, he was sure the bright yellow windbreaker would be easy to spot, unless the biker became lost in a large pack.
Dean lost his convoy of younger bikers on the short uphill and he paused momentarily at the crest to wipe his eyes and scan the roadway below him for his prey.
There was another concern—once the bikers hit the lower elevation and the heat of the afternoon, they would be shedding outer gear and perhaps identifying numbers with them.
They rolled past South Fork, and 20 miles later, Del Norte, where the lead cadre of bikers hummed their way toward Monte Vista, 14 miles further, and then the final 17 miles to Alamosa.
Surprisingly, many of the speedier bikers were already there, looking as if they'd spent the day loafing in the late spring sun.
The majority of the bikers remained on the course and with college recessed, the streets held only a few locals, waiting for the later rush of the 2,000 riders who'd roll into town.
Mountain bikers, rock climbers and hikers can take advantage of the mountain peaks.
The hiking trail is marked with red disks and is also open to bikers and dogs.
Trekkers, campers and bikers will enjoy the forest, swimmers will love dipping in the lakes, and skiers will adore the pristine slopes in the winter.
The natural untouched scenery makes the area a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and those who enjoy going on trails.
Featuring a number of exceptional restaurants nearby, hikers, kayakers and mountain bikers can take in a delicious meal after spending the day exploring.