Sunday, October 29, 2006

29OCT06 - A Ride down to Royal Gorge, Cripple Creek and a speeding ticket

I always knew in the back of my mind that with this new motorcycle and it's speed potential that it would be only a matter of time before I got a speeding ticket. I hate it when I am right about such things!!!

Well today was the day. I was on 115 heading West towards Canon City and the Royal Gorge Park. I was trying out a new way to use the Kaoko cruise control and finally had it where all I had to do was make minor adjustments while on the highway to maintain a certain speed. However the terrain was of course not level and the speed tended to go way up on downhills and slow down on uphills. It was on one of the downhills when I failed to back it off enough and hit 77mph in a 60mph zone. I failed to recognize the eastbound motorcyclist as a CO State Trooper and he must have radar'ed me at that point.

As I continued unaware, he turned around and closed on me, finally signaling for me to pull over (I never spotted him in the rear view mirrors, he had to give the siren a bleep to get me to notice him, dammit). I was given a ticket worth 2 points and $68! Damn, oh well, I was speeding after all. The ticket process took about ten minutes, we then spent another 20 talking about motorcycles and me having a look at their police version of the Harley Davidson motorcycle. The trooper told me they're getting some R1200RTs for mounted patrol soon but he'd be sticking with the Harley due to the BMWs being so tall. I told him I could empathize with that problem! I found out the Police Harleys weigh close to 1000 lbs with all the gear they have to carry. Amazing. The trooper talked about the training they go through before they're put on patrol, very interesting stuff. Too bad the way I was to learn such interesting things was by getting a ticket! Oh well.

Here's the route I took today:

The Royal Gorge Park turned out to cost $21 to get in and it did not seem worth the price. Ended up taking pics from the parking lot(below) and from an overlook nearby.

Here's Maria in the parking lot with bridge in background.

The Royal Gorge, from the overlook by the parking lot

After taking the pictures above, I tried to get to the southern rim end of the bridge but it was closed for the season. Still, it was a nice winding road all the way to where it was blocked.

Road to Royal Gorge's Southern Rim

So I started heading back towards CO Springs but spotted a blue sign advertising the Gold Belt Tour road pointing North on 9 towards Cripple Creek.

I gave in to the urge and headed North on 9, passing by increasingly snow-covered terrain(the roads were dry) and less than an hour later I was in Cripple Creek. I reached it after 1230 or so, took some pics, cruised up and down the main drag looking for some place to eat. It was all Casinos! I am sure there were places to eat within these casinos but did not feel like going into them. I even went over a patch of snow in a parking lot near their welcome center, very slippery but no incident.

See the 105mm Howitzer in the park, had to take its picture!

Cripple Creek

I then headed South on 67 by mistake, which took me down some interestingly sanded roads, which made me slow way down as I wove in and out of the curves away from Cripple Creek. Once I realized I was headed South instead of North towards US24 where I wanted to go I turned around and got to "enjoy" the sandy roads again on the way back to town.

I found the right road this time and kept on US67 North till I got to US24. Here's a couple of pics of the snow-covered landscape along the way:

Once on US24 I went through Woodland Park, the town I'd twice tried to get to before via Deckers and road construction stopped me both times. Cruised right on through and go to Colorado Springs where I missed my turn to get back on 115 to try and take a picture of Cheyenne Mountain. Ended up instead in Cheyenne Canyon road where it deadends near the Olympic Figure SKating Muserum. Got myself turned around, gave up on Cheyenne Mountain and headed up I-25 North.

A short stretch later, I took North Gate road East and after a detour, ended up going North on US83 towards Parker. I had divested myself of the jacket liner and overpants at a stop in the Springs and it got quite chilly as it was around 1530 in the afternoon on the way to Franktown. Once I got to Franktown, after riding with the shield all the way up and the heated grips on high, put the liner back on along with the overpants and was quite toasty all the remainder of the way home.

The GPS says I put in 310 miles on the motorcycle today but there had been a couple of times when the ac adapter hookup had come loose and it had powered off. My mapping software says I covered 330 miles.

A great day's ride, about seven hours of saddle time, the ticket was a bit of a downer but it was a matter of time as I said before. Perhaps now that it's over and done with, I'll be less inclined to let Maria have her way and keep her close to the speed limit! She really does love to fly along the highways. : )

Couple of notes: Master Yoda's Riding Position works pretty good! Had to keep reminding myself to get back into good riding position but the only pain that bothered me today was the small of my back, knees got a little sore but not as bad as previous rides. I am sure the lowered rider pegs helped as well.

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