Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dancing with the Winds

Temps in the low 50s to mid 60s, sunny and very very windy.

We had pretty strong winds from the South as I started my ride after lunch today. I'd spent the morning playing with my sons and riding bicycles with them. What a strange concept, having to work at building up speed on two wheels!

So I headed out around 1300 hrs, with no real destination in mind, I had to be back by 1700 so my wife could go out with her friends for dinner so I really could not get very far.

The title of this posting is what ran through my mind as I dealt with the strong gusty winds that would hit you if you were heading either East or West. Going North on the other hand, it would get real quiet and smooth with the wind at your back. I felt like I was auditioning for a role in the new movie "Dances with the Winds".

And no, I was not feeling flatulent. : )

So I went through Parker via Inspiration Drive as usual, then Crowfoot Parkway off Stroh Road to Castlerock. The sunny, warm weather had brought out a lot of bikers and I passed a whole herd of Harley Davidson motorcycles where Founder's Parkway intersects I-25; quite noisy this group was and the herd was moving slowly in order to stay together. I passed them up soon enough and I got on Wolfenberger Road where I made good time, staying pretty much within the speed limit as usual. I had a guy in a crotch rocket pass me and we waved at each other since neither of us was competing, just out riding.

At the end of Wolfenberg Road I turned South onto CO105 once a several groups of cruiser bikers passed by. I was in no rush and so trailed behind a group of three harleys, maintaining enough distance to not "intrude" in their group ride. Its a good thing that I did too because the "bears" were out today. I think they knew that CO105 would be a target-rich environment in terms of bikers out for a fast ride.

It could not have been more than ten minutes and I saw flashing lights at the top of a hill, there sat the county sheriff's squadcar and the poor guy on the crotch rocket who'd passed me up before, handing the officer his paperwork. Too bad but he probably was caught speeding past the slowly moving groups of Harleys that were on the road this warm afternoon.

I reached Palmer Lake, slowly trailing the group of three HD riders, and they stopped at O'Malleys and finally got out of the way. I continued on past O'Malleys which had a full quota of motorcycles outside. Got all the way to Monument and continued on CO105 as it shifted Eastward and crossed over I-25.

I kept heading East on 105 wondering where it ended up. Well, it ends up becoming Walker Road, and then a hard packed dirt county road! I had to stop at this point to put on my jacket liner since the wind had turned chilly. I was able to make good speed on this dirt road, almost 30mph on average. I turned North on Black Forest Road, still a packed dirt road. Several miles later it finally became pavement again at Steele Road. It was remarkable how smooth Maria's ride became not only because I was back on pavement but the fact I was headed in a northerly direction, with the wind at my back! She felt like she was gliding above the road.

The pavement led me back onto CO83 which I took heading North once again towards Franktown. Again, it was quite amazing how smooth the ride felt with the wind at one's back. It was very quiet and almost felt like maria and I were hovering inches above the road. Nice.

There's a historical marker at the souther edge of Parker which I'd seen during many motorcycle trips back and forth along CO83. This time I finally stopped and took Maria's picture alongside it and read the marker. Pretty interesting actually:

I got home by 1630 or so, maybe 60 miles of riding today. Not feeling 100% since I was up till 0100 this morning on a network change which did not go as planned. We had to fall it back and we'll try again some other day.

Last time I changed the oil on Maria was on 10MAR07 when she had 25,500 miles on the odometer. Well, she's nearing her 3000 mile oil change already. I noticed my odometer read 28,251 at the end of the ride today.

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