Sunday, June 17, 2007

Riding CO9 to Frisco via Fairplay

Temps ranging from mid-70s in the mountains to low 90s in the front range. Sunny for the most part, with gathering clouds in the late afternoon.

As a Father's Day present, my loving wife said I should do a long ride today. So I left the house around 0945 or so, with a full tank of gas and a vague idea of doing a loop ride that would involve US 285, CO9 and CO6. I was also testing out the idea which I'd gleaned from the motorcycling forums of putting on a t-shirt that was water-soaked under one's mesh jacket in order to stay cool. I gotta tell, it works! I was nice and cool in the bright sun and high 80s temps that I rode in as I made my way to the mountains.

I took the 470 slab over to Wadsworth Blvd exit onto the Chatfield Reservoir area, from there I accessed Deer Creek Canyon Road, which was swarming with bicyclists and cages. I slowly made my way down this familiar and winding road till I got to Fenders, whereupon I headed South towards US285 a few miles down the road.

I took US285 South towards Fairplay, the roads were good and not too crowded. The only police presence that comes to mind was back on Deer Creek Canyon Road where a speed trap was setup just past the Lockheed-Martin complex.

As always, the views one gets of the valley that Fairplay sits in as one crosses Kenosha Pass were breathtaking. I kept moving though, since I had pics of this pass from when I last rode it on my 2006 Honda Aero Shadow along with Sanoke.

I turned onto CO9 from Fairplay's main drag and hit the town of Alma at 1157hrs. A rustic town with not much effort to spruce itself up is the impression I got. Or perhaps that's the look they were going for? No matter, I was soon past it and seeing signs for Hoosier Pass. To the West I passed views showing a couple of fourteener mountains: Mount Bross and Mount Lincoln. Most of the snow was gone from them this late in the year but some was still in evidence.

I stopped briefly at Hoosier Pass to take the below picture and to swap to a different audio book on my internet tablet.

Hoosier Pass

After Hoosier pass and once you make your way down some hairpin turns there's the beautiful view of two more mountains: Quandary Peak and McNamee Peak. I stopped by a creek and snapped the following pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Took both pics while standing on a delapidated wooden bridge that used to span the creek

Quandary Peak to the Left and McNamee Peak to the right

The road then lead up to the Town of Breckenridge and its ski resorts. Traffic was a bit heavy so I made my way through it quickly and arrived at the Town of Frisco where I checked in with my wife. I still had about half a tank of gas so I decided to press on after the call instead of stopping for lunch.

I got on the I-70 Slab heading East and with the exception of a couple of spots where traffic slowed way down, had no incidents to report. I got off on US6 heading towards Golden thinking to enjoy the twisty roads and tunnels. However, this was not to be. Lots of cars and campers choked the road and I was lucky to make 40mph at times. I realized after a couple of passing moves that no matter how many I passed, there were more slow vehicles ahead and so I resigned myself to the slow pace until I reach Golden.

I continued on US6 South now and got on the C-470 Slab once past Golden. There was some kind of accident at the onramp which slowed things down to a crawl but we all made it past it pretty well. I picked up speed and the heat which had been building once I started my descent from the mountains really picked up and made itself felt.

So, I decided to try the wet tshirt trick again. I exited at the Morrison exit, got a full tank of gas and then went inside the convenience store's restroom where I got my tshirt all wet again. Ah, the relief from the heat was quite welcome!

I saddled back up under the watchful eyes of a little boy in the car next to where I had parked my motorcycle. I continued on C-470, and in medium to heavy traffic wound my way around the southern end of the Denver Metro area and got home safe and sound at 1500hrs.

Storm clouds were in evidence to the South and I even got sprinkled on a couple of times, no matter though, the heat was present and I was glad I'd stopped to soak the tshirt I was wearing.
Covered 236 miles roughly, in about 5hrs of saddle time. Not too bad considering a lot of the roads I covered were in the mountains and given the amount of traffic I encountered.

Maria did beautifully as usual, I think I was averaging like 50mph on this ride. I must now go and clean off all the bugs that splattered themselves on Maria. Quite a few this time, the warmer weather you know! This ride confirmed for me the hot-weather-riding trick of the soaked tshirt, I am not very worried about the heat now in July when I go to the BMWMOA Rally. Now if only I can figure out a way to soak the tshirt while on the move.

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