Thursday, November 22, 2007

A short, cold ride on Thanksgiving Day

Temps the 18-24 degree range, sunny, not much wind. In other words, a perfect "rounder" kind of day to get in a short ride before sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner with friends and giving thanks for the riches and blessings in our lives.

I left the house around 0830 and cruised southwards along the backroads to Parker. As I was heading West of Lincoln Avenue and perhaps heading south on Parker Road or CO83, it came to me I did not know what layed west if I stayed on Lincoln. So I kept heading west, over the I-25 Slab and the road became Highland Ranch Parkway! This is a road I'd been on before, but heading East from the foothills.

It was nice riding, very little traffic and the electric vest, ATV grip covers and heated grips were keeping me nice and warm on the motorcycle. The paved roads were bone dry and what remained of the little snow we had yesterday was mainly on the grass along the sides of the road and on the roofs of houses and buildings.

I spotted this church steeple from about a mile off and thought it'd make a good background scene for a picture of Maria on this ride. It's apparently going to be a religious high school, and you can see below it the Cherry Creek Community Church. The unusual cross built into the church's wall drew my eye.

I kept heading West on Highland Ranch Parkway till it dead-ended on US85 which I took North towards the E-470 slab. I got on the slab for a few minutes to get to the Wadsworth Blvd exit which lead me to my favority local twisty road: Deer Creek Canyon.

Here's some pictures of the rock formations I found interesting in the South Valley Park area which one rides by on the way to the twisty parts of Deer Creek Canyon.

After meandering through the South Valley Park area for the above pictures, I started back on Deer Creek Canyon Road to see how far I could get before ice would force me to turn back.

Turns out the road was pretty good and clear for a while but about two miles west of where Grizzly Road intersects with Deer Creek Canyon road the ice patches were more prevalent and the clear paths between them narrower and narrower so I stopped and turned around. No big surprise, the canyon walls here prevent much sun from hitting the road and melting off the snow/ice.

I made my way back to the dry portions of Deer Creek Canyon without incident. I turned South on CO121 towards Waterton Canyon Road and from there to US85 again which I took South this time towards Sedalia and Castle Rock.

By this time, it was around 1100hrs and my toes were feeling a bit cold. I wiggled them vigorously and things were fine after that, just had to remember to keep wiggling the toes! The thought of electric socks came to mind but I don't know if I'll get some. If I could figure out a way to keep the toes out of the airstream, I think they'd be fine. Oh well.

I took CO85 South to Castlerock and from there took the Crowfoot Parkway back towards Parker. I was back home before noon after tanking up at the usual gas station.

I'd worn my summer gloves within the ATV grip covers and my hands never got cold, in fact I had to turn down the heated grips a few times as the palms of my hand got almost too hot! I think next cold ride, medium gloves since the outer portion of my summer gloves are vented and were letting the cold in just a tiny bit.

Not a single other motorcycle spotted during the entire ride, I guess everyone's getting ready for Thanksgiving Dinner.

So how's this for cold? I could, at times, see my own breath inside my own helmet while riding along. Couple of times I had to crack open the visor because my eyeglass lenses were fogging up! The Fogcity Fogshield on my visor did it's job nicely, it scratches easy, but it's nice to have on cold rides.

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers, I hope you have many things to be thankful for, I surely do.


J. Curtis said...

Thanks for the story! Glad to see I'm not the only rider out there this time of year.

What type of heated vest and grip covers are you using?

Charlie6 said...

Heated vest: Widder, no sleeves (wish it had them)but still works great.

Grip covers: Quadboss ATV grip covers....<$20 I think.

J. Curtis said...

Thanks for the info. I had been looking for some grip covers for a while...just ordered a set for $15.