We had a narrow window of sunny weather this week, with Thursday being the last day of the sunny stuff before the next series of snow showers hits us.
Pikes Peak was not clear all the way to the top so Fiona, my '99 Bural and I headed through the miasma that is Metro Denver commuter traffic to Loveland Pass. Note to self, next time, wait till 9AM, the lighting is better on the mountain peaks at the pass; and you don't have to fight commuter rush hour.
Fiona powered on up into the mountains along I-70. It was an enjoyable change, not having to downshift to third and even then only maintaining 45 mph as when I am riding Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol. Fiona can not only hold speed while in fourth gear going up a hill but can actually slowly accelerate all the way to 55 mph! Probably could have gone faster but this was enough for me today.
The new speedometer matches the GPS pretty closely up till 50 MPH, then it reads 2-3 miles slower than actual speed per the GPS! Good to know.
Got to Loveland Pass about two hours after leaving the house or shortly after 9:00 AM. Traffic was light as it was a weekday, the sun was out, the skies were mostly clear....temperatures were in the low 30s so perfect riding conditions!
Seven Peaks off in the distance
There was so much snow piled up that I was able to get a
higher view than normal
This was around 10AM, the majority of the nearby peaks are
still a bit shadowed since the sun was still climbing up in the sky.
As I waited for the sun to get higher in the sky, I retraced the eastern half of Loveland Pass Road to get the below pictures. Everything had been in the shadow of nearby peaks when I first drove through in the morning.
It's hard to tell, but with all the snow, it was hard to see where the road's edge was, and Fiona's sidecar wheel dropped off a couple of times....a little power and she was fine but still a bit unsettling.
Retraced my way to the vicinity of the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort, as you can see the peaks that form the basin had a bit more lighting. Very tough to shoot though as the sun ruined a lot of the shots I took. Oh well.
Which one of these two similar shots do you like best?
The view from the summit parking lot
As I descended back towards I-70, I spotted a car which had gotten stuck off the side of the paved road. He'd definitely gone too far in and gotten stuck all the way to the car's belly pan area. I stopped, offered up the use of my tow straps and the driver flagged down a passing pick up truck who agreed to help.
Took two attempts, the first time we tried with the truck pulling uphill, didn't get very far. Next we tried pulling out of the snow bank by pointing the truck downhill. That did the trick! Sorry, no pics, busy putting the strap into position, watching for careening cagers coming off the mountain and just trying not to get hit.
The Buffalo Overlook area....nice shot of the continental divide eh?
Fiona powered her way back to the metro Denver area with no issues, holding 55-57 mph easily. If only she had cruise control, my right wrist cramped up a little bit as the heated grips add bulk to the grips.
From 28°F (-2°C) at 7AM, it would soar to 56°F (13°C) by the time we got home shortly after 3PM!
A great day of riding. Fiona is doing great as my backup rig. Scarlett's engine has been pulled and Ural is deciding whether to ship parts to Randy or have Randy ship the engine to them. More to follow as I find out.