Saturday, May 05, 2007

A short ride under overcast skies

Temps from high40s to low 50s. Mostly overcast with occasional patches of warm sunlight.

Today's ride started with a trip to a motorcycles accessories store in Littleton. A bit of a pain to get to it since you have to use the I-25 slab, head West on Evan through city traffic until you hit Broadway Blvd which you take North for one block. Parking lot was full, and the little lot they devote to motorcycles is miniscule. I parked head in, wrong move, should have tried to pull a u-turn but a motorcycle was in the way.

Went in and after hunting for a bit, found the disc lock made by OnGuard with the 5.5mm locking pin for use on Maria's front brake disc. Comes with a reminder cord that you hook to your handlebar so that you don't drive off with the darn thing still locked onto your brake disc! This apparently happens a lot.

After paying for the lock and gearing up, I rolled my motorcycle backwards until I could turn it and point it out of the teeny parking lot devoted to motorcycles. Not too bad a struggle but I don't think I'll use that motorcycle lot again if I go back to this place.

I headed South on Broadway all the way to C-470 which I took Westbound thinking to go to Wadsworth Blvd and Deer Creek Canyon Road for some twistys action for the new tires. However, I saw the sign for Ken Caryl drive as I rode and realized I'd always wanted to see what lay beyond the cut in the rocks through which Ken Caryl Drive passed.

Turns out it's a small valley, with lots of housing developments. Looked like some pretty pricey houses as well. I wandered about a bit and saw an interesting set of rocks from a distance. I meandered through neighborhood roads, and ended up at some park set up next to said rocks. Here's a pic of Maria next to the big boulders.

After I got out of the Ken Caryl development south on a road just before the cut in the rocks that led back to C-470. This road wound around the valley a bit, nice scenery for the most part. It led me eventually to Lockheed Martin's Deer Creek facility which is next to another set of awesome looking boulders. I did not stop to take a picture though. Sorry.

Heading South a bit more and I found myself on Deer Creek Canyon Road! Hah! I went off onto Deer Creek Canyon and took the uphill ride in a sedate manner since I was stuck behind this pickup truck pulling a trailer. Many bicyclist were out even though the skies were turning overcast and a chill was felt in the air. The truck I was behind finally turned off near the top of the Deer Creek Canyon Road run and I zipped up and down towards Fenders where the local fire station is located.

Checked in with my wife and then headed back up and down Deer Creek Canyon. This time, nothing but bicyclists to watch out for so was able to build up some decent speed, in third gear, to twist my way down back to Chatfield Reservoir. Nice set of twistys, only one point where I had to do some extra leaning and only one other time where I had to gently apply some braking action. Keeping it in third gear enabled lots of engine braking potential and quick power outs of curves.

Once at Chatfield, I headed South on CO121 and took the Waterton Road turnoff since CO121 ends at yet another Lockheed Martin facility. Waterton Road led me to Rampant Range Rd which on a lark I decided to take instead of staying on Waterton and heading home. Rampant Range ended a few miles later at Roxborough State Park. I spotted this delapidated tower near its entrance and stopped for a picture:

I then went down this dirt/gravel road to the park entrance where $5 got me a day pass into the park. The dirt road continued for about a mile and then was suddenly a paved road! Not that I was complaining, just seemed unusual that the road was not paved all the way to the tollgate for the park.

Here's a couple of pictures of Maria at the trailhead parking area. I did not have the time or inclination to do any hiking today.

Heading out of the park I saw this pleasing to the eye alignment of the ridges common to the foothills of the Rockies. I think this is my favorite shot for today.

I headed back North on Rampant Range Rd and took Waterton Rd to US85 South intending to take the usual ride through Castlerock, and take the backway to Parker and home. However I got sprinkled on while on US85 and observed a big rainstorm to the West and more coming up from the South. Sooooo, I took Happy Canyon Road off of US85 after Sedalia. Got on the I-25 Northbound Superslab, from there to E-470 and took the toll road home, exiting at Gartrell Road as usual to avoid the Southlands Mall traffic on Smoky Hill Road.

113 miles of wandering under mostly overcast skies, got rained on briefly a couple of times, felt chilled even after I put the jacket liner back on. More of the same weather tomorrow.

No comments: