Sunday, February 04, 2007

Meandering through South Metro Denver

Temps in the 40s-high 50s during the ride, sunny and cloudier as one approached the foothills of the Rockies.

After some minor clearing of the exit route sidewalk, I got out of the neighborhood on wet side roads until I got the main roads which were dry. The day was gorgeous and I started riding shortly after 11am. I rode my commuting route to check out road conditions and they were fine. In fact, I'd gotten so warm under the sun while doing my pre-ride checks that I only wore a t-shirt and long sleeve henley shirt under my bike jacket along with jeans with long underwear which were all I needed. I could feel it a bit cool on the arms but it was not uncomfortable for the ride to the Denver Tech Center.

Plenty of evidence of melting snow everywhere, hopefully these wet spots on the roads will not turn to sheets of ice for the early commuters. I plan to not leave the house tomorrow for my commute to work till at least 0900; that's one of the advantages of being able to work from home.

Lots of spray from the cars ahead of me but I did not care, not only did Maria's fairing and windshield absorb most of it, it also meant that it was water and not ice ahead of me! Not only that but the spray encourages one to keep a good following distance from the cager in front of one's bike!

After I got to work, I rode the usual route home as well to ensure conditions were the same as the way in. I even practiced entering/exiting the subdivision I live in to ensure no issues with traction. Water tends to collect at the entrance and if its below freezing, trouble!

After that I took Arapahoe Rd West until it ends at Broadway Blvd which I took South till I got to C470. I mistakenly headed East on 470 thinking I'd hit Santa Fe and the way to Waterton Canyon Rd which I wanted to check out. I soon realised I should have headed West on 470.

No problem, I took I-25 South for a bit and got off on Happy Canyon Rd which lead me to CO 85 which I took heading North past Sedalia and eventually to Titan Parkway and the Waterton Canyon area. Roads at this point were much more covered with gravel/sand which I did not like but it was navigable and of course you really had to pay close attention! : )

The temps must have dropped a good 7 to 9 degrees as I neared the foothills so I stopped to put the liner back into my riding jacket and don the overpants as well. I did not feel the cold after that except for a bit at the back of the neck but I did not bother to stop again to put on the balaclava.

I left the Chatfield Reservoir area and went North and took a left onto Deer Creek Canyon road to have a look see. More gravel! I cut out as soon as I could and headed back to C470. I took this pic of Maria near a Marriott Suites hotel:

Looking South towards Deer Creek Canyon Road
Once I got back on C470 I went back to I-25, this time heading North till I got to Arapahoe which I took East and back home for some gas. I then cruised to Eaglecrest High School's faculty parking lot where I got the following shots of construction equipment and housing situated in the snowy plains next to the school.

From the parking lot of Eaglecrest High School

A total of 105 miles worth of meandering, got home at 3PM so about 4 hrs of saddle time with a short break on Happy Canyon Rd for a snack. It was a great ride, the temps ensured the puddles and wet spots I saw were just water and not black ice, the more worrisome stuff at times was the sand/gravel on the roads.

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