Sunday, January 28, 2007

First long ride of 2007

Temps from the low 30s to high 40s and Sunny.

A glorious day to go riding here in Colorado after having been trapped in my neighborhood by the recent series of snow storms. I checked out my exit path prior to departing and only had to do some minor ice chipping/clearing and spreading of sand on the portions of sidewalk that had ice covering. The sand made it all that much better.

I left at 1000hrs, exited my neighborhood without incident though there was more ice at the neighborhood entrance than yesterday. Still, a clear path existed and off I went.

The intent of the ride was to "stretch" Maria's legs and check out the conditions of the road to work and surrounding areas. The roads were dry and clear, traffic was light and I was feeling pretty good about life in general.

So, having found the way to work clear, I headed south through Parker Road and from there further south to Castlerock where I picked up Wolfenberger Rd to CO 105. Although this road was mostly dry, there was a lot of spots near the centerline where you tell it had been covered with ice/snow. I only saw it as melted water by this time since the sun had been warming the countryside. Still, the preponderance of water in several areas; specially sideroad entrances and curves made for a need to intensely concentrate on road conditions.

The couple of patches of snow I did see on the road I could spot from pretty far away and dodged them with no issues. Still, when I got to Palmer Lake (elev. 7253 ft), I'd had enough of semi-wet roads and turned onto Douglas County 53 and headed back North and to lower altitudes. The county roads were also sandy in spots which made for careful turns.

Once through Larkspur I picked up I-25 Northbound and the road was bone dry and clear, traffic was still light for the Interstate so I cruised at 70mph all the way to Castlerock where I exited onto Founder's Parkway and back through the backroads back to Parker.

You can see the Rockies, way in the distance
Looking North on Crowfoot Parkway
That's Pike's Peak way in the distance

Traffic started building up in Parker when I got there around 1230hrs, so I was glad to turn off and head East on Lincoln Rd and from there the usual route back home. About 115 miles of ridings, three hrs or so in the saddle. I had started the ride a bit sore and stiff from all the digging I had been doing lately so I decided that 3 hrs was enough.

The temps were broaching 50 degrees by the time I got home around 1330hrs, tired and very happy from the ride. Traffic was really heavy on my approach home, everyone must have had shack rot and had gone to the nearby mall I guess. Lots of splashback from the where the roads were wet so it was a good time to stop riding.

Maria did beautifully of course though she did cut out on me once while at a traffic light. I am hoping it was just because I was getting low on gas or perhaps a bit of water had condenses in her tank during her recent period of inactivity. Or perhaps I was not holding the clutch lever in enough, anyways, she fired right up and did not repeat that again.

So a great first ride for 2007, I look forward to more riding assuming the weather lets me.

No comments: