Thursday, March 22, 2007

An afternoon ride to Deckers

Temps starting in low 40s and climbing to mid 60s by noon. Partly Cloudy.

Spent the morning at work, around 1300 my last meeting was done with, the rest of the day was paperwork that I could just as well do at home so I did the only reasonable thing. I got my gear on and went riding!

Formulating the route as I headed South on the I-25 superslab, I settled on doing Deer Creek Canyon Road to US285 to Pine Junction and taking Jefferson County 126 South to Deckers. The roads were very light in terms of traffic and I made good time. I used this ride to practice some more the concept of keeping one's rev's high. Hence I don't think I upshifted to fifth gear anytime all the way to Deckers, some spots actually required 4th gear but mostly I stayed in 3rd gear and had an enjoyable time dealing with the sweeper turns all the way there. The weather had turned a bit cool at this point so I am glad I decided to put on the jacket's liner at Pine Junction where I gassed up Maria.

Having forgotten to bring the camera with me, no pics for this posting, sorry. The scenery was beautiful as always though, even the areas ravaged by the big fires near Deckers were eye-catching in their own way. The hillsides remain bare with burnt tree trunks almost all laying fallen on them. The roads were mostly clear but there were the occasional big accumulations of sand/gravel in the curves which caused me a bit of concern. I arrived at Deckers at 1500 and had a snack and a break. A couple on two 650GS shortly after I did and we exchanged some pleasantries. They left soon afterwards, heading back the way I had come.

I crossed CO67 and took a few minutes to see and hear the rushing waters in the creek. It was quite peaceful and I luckily managed to notice that the edge of the road was eroded quite a ways and getting nearer would result in me being IN the creek!

I left around 1520 once there were rain drops starting falling on Deckers. I headed East on CO67 towards Woodland Park. I outran whatever rain was beginning to fall back at Deckers so that was all good. The road to Woodland Park is mostly sweepers as well with a couple of twistys thrown in just before you start heading downhill towards the city. I caught up with two other riders, one on a crotch rocket, the other on a honda cruiser I think. We all transited Woodland Park together for the most part but I ended up leaving them behind once we cleared the outskirts of town.

Kept heading East on CO67 till I reached Manitou Springs and shortly after that took the entrance ramp to I-25 North in order to get home as it was past 1600 at this point. Got on the superslab and almost immediately was caught in what must be the daily traffic jam heading out of town. A few miles later, with my engine temps climbing ever closer to the red mark, we finally got unjammed south of exit 151 and were able to achieve superslab speeds. Of course, while we had been slowly poking along, the sun had come out and made me quite warm as well.

A few miles up the slab, I had an unpleasant close call with a cager who I'll name "apu" after the indian shopkeeper character in "The Simpsons". This idiot in his dark blue Land Rover with temp tags kept tailgating me and at a couple of points cut me off while we both were heading North on I-25. What a jerk, then he'd slow way down and I'd pass him up again only for him to start the whole process over again.

The resemblance to the idiot cager is remarkable!

Shortly after the last cutoff, I was able to take advantage of traffic and not only passed him again but ensured I kept at least one other cager between him and my motorcycle. I took special delight in maintaining the speed limit +10 once I had him boxed in, which kept him boxed in. Idiot. Saw him try and get past the cagers between myself and him but no luck.

So anyways, I proceeded in this manner all the way to Castlerock's Founders Parkway exit where "apu" exited, hopefully in quite the snit. By the way, I never even gave him the bird when he would cut me off, choosing instead to bide my time. Not as satisfying I must admit but then again, discretion is the better part of valor when dealing with assholes in their cages.

This unpleasantness behind me, I continued cruising up the superslab to the E-470 slab and from there took the Gartrell exit to home which avoided the traffic mess related to the shopping mall in Southlands. That's another collection of clueless cagers, let me tell ya!

About 185 miles of riding according to Microsoft Streets and Trips, so not too bad. About 3.5 hrs of saddletime. I also found it helps to point one's toes downward when the knees start getting sore, did not have to resort to sitting back on the pillion seat to let my legs stretch out at times. A nice ride in spite of the traffic jam and apu the cager.

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