Saturday, October 14, 2006

Another Ride, Another dropping of the motorcycle.

I definitely have some more training/thinking to do apparently now that I ride a much bigger motorcycle, which is more top-heavy and taller than Gretl used to be. I went riding with a co-worker today and ended up slipping on a sloping portion of parking lot with gravel on it barely 30 minutes into the ride!

A much more serious drop this time, I fell onto my back but was unhurt due to the riding gear, but the left side mirror incurred some paint dings and I dug another divot out of the left-side engine cover. Those engine guards can't get here soon enough! Bummer. This time I did not try as hard to keep the motorcycle up, thinking the engine covers would stop the motorcycle, and she went over more during this fall.

I picked up the motorcycle with Jim's help, surveyed the damage, brushed myself off and we proceeded onwards. I was a bit shaken by this second fall in as many days. I really have to be careful when choosing a spot to stop the motorcycle in parking lots and such where I am going at real slow speed and thereby have very little maneuverability with such a motorcycle with such a high center of gravity. Gone are the days of easily flatfooting a motorcycle with a low center of gravity which was Gretl. Maria takes a bit more muscle and care. Maria's front brakes are also much more stronger than Gretl's front brakes, can't brake the same way with the beemer and the brakes grab quite easily. This can cause you to ride forward under inertia and put you in a bad position to control the motorcycle.

We had started at the Chatfield reservoir and ridden down Deer Creek Canyon, till we got to Fenders and headed south till we got to US285 where we headed South. I believed we had missed a turn and had turned into this gas station to talk things over with Jim. That's where I dropped the motorcycle dammit. oh well.

We proceeded onwards and took the CR126 highway down to Deckers from US285. A winding road with some twisty portions. Jim took the lead and he definitely could take those twisting turns faster than I cared to at the time. I figure I still had the motorcycle drop fresh in my mind, and my confidence in my riding abilities was a bit shaken so I hung back and was content to keep Jim in sight as we traversed CR126 all the way to Deckers.

We stopped before the scenic overlook on CR126 and I found out the hard way that since I can't flatfoot the motorcycle easily, that parking the motorcycle pointing DOWN a slight incline, facing a fence is not the smartest thing in the world. I could not, despite all efforts, back up the motorcycle while sitting on it! I could not overcome her weight, given my leverage or lack thereof. I had to dismount, back her off away from the fence just enough for me to remount and then do a sharp u-turn using a duck waddle till I got her clear enough to use the engine to get me going away. What a pain. I must really give careful thought as to where I park her in the future.

We then continued on and took a short break at Deckers where we were told the road south to Woodland Springs was open again to motorcyclists and that the pilot truck was going to be guiding southbound traffic at 1330. We left at 1330 from Deckers and just missed the dang pilot truck so we turned back towards Deckers. Once there we headed North on CR67 or South Platte River Road which bordered the river of course and wound its way north. The pavement ended shortly North of CR40 (Pine Creek Road) and we debated for a bit whether to continue on or backtract.

We decided to keep going on the dirt road, with Jim in the lead and me following cautiously behind him, wary of dropping the motorcycle again. After about 4-5 miles the dirt road ended and became rough pavement/gravel road. It is here, after we crossed the "history south platte bridge" than we came across a historic site, the South Platte Hotel.

Here's the hotel in the present.

Here's a pic of the hotel in her heyday.

None of the buildings surrounding the hotel in the old picture are there now, she stands alone behind some wire fencing. Interesting how time changes things.

Note, finally found out the name of the rock formation that I'd seen on my previous trip out here, its called the Long Scraggy Peak! The road that lead us to the South Platte Hotel borders it to the east along with the Platte River.

Here's a map we found at the end of CR 96 where it mets up with Foxton Road, a map which I'd seen on my first ride with Sanoke, which helped me get my bearings back to US285.

This depicts our route North from Deckers for the most part.

So, a great ride overall, despite dropping the dang motorcycle again. Lots of twisting roads though the weather proved cooler than predicted. We both had to don our cold weather gear for most of the ride. Jim, on his Vulcan 1500 Cruiser started feeling the cold since he had no windshield or fairing like I did and we called it quits around 1430 or so. We got on US285 and headed back towards Denver and we parted ways where I70 and C-470 exits are located on US285. I kept heading inwards towards the city and went to the beemer dealer where I put an order in for touch-up paint!

I wonder if they make rubber bumper-type protectors for BMW motorcycle mirrors? : )

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