Sunday, September 24, 2006

A cruise down to Monument, CO

Today was a beautifully sunny day here in Colorado, though a bit cool, which is kind of fitting since it is the first Fall weekend! I had lunch with my wife and set out on a motorcycle ride shortly after 1300.

The weather was deceptively sunny and beautiful so I chose not to wear my jacket's liner or overpants as I cruised on down to CO Highway 105 picking it up East of Castlerock off of Wolfenberger road 39.370N/104.955W. The road was pretty empty heading South on 105 and I was able to keep some good speed on the turns which were not too twisty for the most part. A very enjoyable stretch of road down to Monument. The breeze had a bite to it as I cruised along but it was not bad at all.

By the time I reached Monument though, the comfort level with the temperatures, in spite of the continued sunny coverage lead me to stop and don my jacket liner and study the map.

I headed back North on 105 from Monument and caught up with a convoy of four corvettes out for a drive. Not sure what was going on with these four cars but there were strictly following the speed limit of 40mph on 105. It did not bother me much since I was content to cruise along behind their convoy and admire the sights at a more sedate pace.

I must have not been paying enough attention to stuff behind me because all of a sudden I was surprised by the roaring pipes of a dualsport motorcycle speeding past me! This squid and his partner on a crotch rocket apparently weren't happy with the cars and I doing only 45pmh at best so they decided to pass the lot of us with a double yellow line in plain sight. Idiots, besides ignoring the double yellow, they cut in and out amongst the four corvettes causing them to lock up brakes at times.

Luckily, nothing bad happened to the squids or worse to us and they roared off out of sight. Soon after this I stopped and took these pictures:

Looking North on CO 105, the rock formation reminded of the skeletal spine of a snake, or perhaps a dragon!.

Looking South on CO 105 towards Monument.

This allowed the speed-limit-abiding corvette convoy to get ahead and out of the way. Once I got back on the road it was smooth riding, I spotted Dakan Rd which was paved till it went out of sight so I took a detour to see where it led. Unfortunately, after a promising twisty start it petered out into a hard-packed dirt road that just lead to some ranches in the hills. Still is was a nicely packed road as opposed to the dirt roads I was on yesterday!

Coming back onto 105 I started feeling stiff/sore and clumsy. I wonder if it was a mild hypothermia reaction for when I had been riding without my liner? Regardless, my riding skills were off, and I experienced a very sloppy turn coming off the hill on Dakan Rd and then once more on Wolfenberger road as I turned N to get on Prairie Hawk Drive (39.381N/104.868W). I had been feeling pretty good about my turning skills as of late but today was a wake up call to ensure the weather does not get taken lightly by me.

Got home fine but felt sore and stiff for quite a bit afterwards....perhaps it was the cold, perhaps it was the long ride yesterday, or a combination thereof. I must learn to also take more frequent breaks while riding. After all, I think I only stopped twice for less than 5 minutes each time in the space of four hours of riding!

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