Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Ride on the Eastern Plains near Denver

Temperatures ranging from mid-30s to low-40s F°, sunny.

I had to wait till 10AM before some small evidence of melting was occuring before I ventured out for my ride today. No sense going out while it was still icy since still snow/ice on the neighborhood streets in spite of the King Canute Path work I'd done yesterday.

I made it out of the neighborhood without incident, traversing snow/ice is ok so long as one is going slow and straight, with no need to stop. I had plenty of cleared/dry spots along the path to enable to me stop safely of course.

I headed out East towards Elizabeth and Kiowa, the main roads were dry and my heated gear kept me warm as I cruised a bit over the speed limit heading East on CO86 on the eastern plains towards the city of Limon. I pretty much had the road to myself, there were perhaps 5-6 other vehicles out there with me. Weather was pretty good, a bit cool but not bad since the sun was out.

As I neared the railroad tracks one crosses shortly before the junction of CO86 and I-70, I spotted this metal sculpture/silhouette of an indian warrior on a horse, thought it'd make a suitable backdrop for Maria:

CO 86

Once I got to where CO86 and I-70 junction, I stopped briefly to check the air pressure on my rear tire since my pre-ride check had found it at 7.5 PSI! Not sure how that happened since I tend to check the air on a weekly basis at least. I was worried about another small leak but it was holding pressure just fine.

I continued on, heading West on I-70, making my way past the little town of Agate, Deer Trail and finally exiting at Strasburg intending to look at the small stone monument that's there. The monument marks, according to the locals and, the REAL place where East met West in terms of the trans-continental railroads being built back in 1869-70.

I could not find the monument, I believe it was in the town's museum which was closed. So I settled for this picture at the town limits announcing their claim to fame:

After Strasburg, I headed West on CO36, through the small towns of Bennett and Watkins. I continued West on CO36 since I knew it became Colfax Avenue once it was part of the Denver Metro area.

CO36 kind of merges onto I-70 shortly after Watkins and I took the frontage road for a tiny bit until I came to Powhaton Road. I took this road South since it seemed to be heading in the general direction of home. The powerlines which lined this roughly paved road made for an interesting shot:

Powhaton dumps you onto East Jewell Avenue and from there I got onto Gun Club Road heading South once more. The rest of the ride was routine, since I use Gun Club Road to commute on for work.

Not too bad a ride, almost 150 miles of riding and about 4 hours of saddle time. Much melting had occurred in my neighborhood while I was out riding and I was able to use the neighborhood streets to get to my house with minimal traversing of ice/snow.

Too bad we've got another Artic front blasting its way through here tomorrow....all the wet roads should freeze up quite nicely.

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