Sunday, March 18, 2007

A ride down familiar roads, mostly

Temps in the high 50s to low 60s, gloriously sunny.

I dispensed with the jacket liner and wore cargo shorts under my riding overpants. I headed South on Parker Road with no clear idea of where I was going, knowing only that I was riding after having had to go into work at 1230am and experiencing a "failed change". Which meant what we'd tried to do for a project did not go well and we had to "fall back" our change. I got home from that, rode the motorcycle of course, at 0330 or so and was fast asleep by 0400.

So, back to the ride, it was around 12 noon or so when I departed. Heading South I decided to press on through the town of Parker and took CO83 through Franktown. Nice motorcycle-friendly road, two laner and with a speed limit of 65mph once you traverse the Franktown city limits. Nice sweeping curves and open vistas. Now that the weather has turned fair and warm (mostly), more riders are taking their motorcycles out of hibernation and it feels good to see them on the road.

I cruised on down CO83 and saw off to my right a ridgeline I'd often thought would make a great location for a house, or in olden days, a castle! I saw that a dirt road led right up to it so I slowed and carefully went down Spring Valley Road. The road was not bad, just had to go slow. Rode right to the base of the ridgeline/bluff and kept going down the road to see what lay behind.

Turns out it's "Spring Valley", go figure. Just homes on big spreads of land, probably mostly ranchers. I took CO61 South, still dirt, and slowly made my way to Lorraine Road which I took East and back onto the paved CO83. Nice little detour. Should have taken pics of Pikes Peak from Spring Valley Road, next time.

Picked up speed and made the turn to Monument shortly afterwards. Crossed over Monument and I-25, got momentarily disoriented and finally got onto CO105 heading North towards Palmer Lake. More riders in evidence, a couple herds of Harley Riders as well, their rumbling pipes announcing their presence to me way before I saw them round the curve.

105 was nice and dry and I made good speed, practicing keeping my motorcycle's revs in the 4k range in order to take advantage of engine-braking and acceleration ratios when engaging the curves. Not sure yet how this keeping the revs high is going to do to my mpg ratings but it's fun.

I came to Wolfenberger road with its own set of curves and made good time on that little bit of pavement as well until I reached the outskirts of Castlerock. Once again crossed over the I-25 superslab and took Crowfoot Parkway as my regular backway to the town of Parker. At this point, I decided that I had meant to go just to the dealer to get some more 20w50 oil for Maria. So I stayed on Parker Road till I got to the BMW of Denver dealer. I briefly chatted with a fellow rider on a classic airhead who was also picking up oil. His was a pretty motorcycle. Bright red, clean and with over 70k miles on her!

I went in and got the oil, I started up Maria and after a few seconds she died on me. Had a hard time re-starting her and getting to stay on. Not sure what's going on with that, probably need to do some more adjustment of the throttle cabling since a few days ago when it somehow worked itself a bit loose and caused Maria to be hard to start. The embarrasing part was me doing all this while this guy in a Honda Goldwing stood idling on his motorcycle waiting for me to deal with things.

Finally got going and headed home. Maria behaved fine so I'll be seeing how she acts the next few days. A fine ride, on familiar roads with a brief detour down dirt roads.

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