Saturday, March 08, 2008

Discovering new ways to get somewhere you've been to before.

Temperatures from low 40s to low 50s F°, sunny to partly cloudy.

Pretty good riding weather today, started off a bit cold in the morning but was quite nice by the time I made it out of the house at 0930.

The plan had been to just run errands and perhaps checkout's brick and mortar store in Arvada. I first rode over to the HarborFreight store near the intersection of Alameda Avenue and I-225 and picked up a reflective vest for $10 and some air tool adapters. Cheap tools but the requirements are not that stringent for what I have in mind for them.

I got a call from work while shopping and ended up having to go in for a bit to help troubleshoot an issue that they thought related to the work I did in San Francisco's Maintenance Center belonging to United Airlines. Turned out to not be my issue.

I next headed for Microcenter near the Denver Tech Center and failed to find a female-to-female USB adapter. Dang things are apparently pretty rare around here, will have to go online.

I next tried to find's store but since I'd forgotten my GPS receiver at home, did not have much luck. I gave up when I saw the sign for CO8 or Morrison Road. The way to the mountains! I turned around and took CO8 which is a pretty nice road actually all the way to E-470.

At this point I thought of a road seemingly carved into the side of one of the foothills to the west of E-470 that I'd seen many times before but could not find a way to get to. I tried winging it and ended up in a hillside subdivision called Mesa Vista Estates where I took this picture of their view:

I broke out the map at this point and found the road I wanted. It was called Rooney Road and it was off of US40 aka Colfax Avenue.

I found Colfax and it took me to Rooney Road. Amazing the stuff you can find when you read a map eh?

It wound its way over I-70 as the slab heads into the mountains. Here's the road as one approaches it. Turns out you'll eventually be able to reach it from Alameda Avenue once they finish construction.

Eastern side of Rooney Road

Western side of Rooney Road

Once you traverse the small pass through the rocky foothill that this road cuts through, you end up at Gate #1 for the Red Rocks Amphitheater Park! All this time searching for a way to get to this road and it turns out it's western end was easily accessible the whole time. I went into Red Rocks and got these shots of the rocks near the southern parking lot:

Near Red Rocks Gate 1

Red Rocks Southern Parking Lot

I retraced my way through the pass on Rooney Road back to US40 and saw a sign saying it led to Idaho Springs. I decided to see what kind of road it was. Turns out to be a nice two lane highway, bordering the I-70 Westbound Slab. Nice winding turns, a few spots with some gravel but not too bad. US40 intersects with I-70 in several spots so I ended riding on the slab a bit as well. I much preferred the pace on US40, took you into the mountains but you avoid the hectic traffic on the slab. Now I have a better way to get to Idaho Springs if I am in no rush. : )

Finally, I turned back where US40 junctioned with CO6 and I-70. I took the CO6 canyon road back to Golden, once again enjoying it's twisty curves and looking up at the rocky canyon walls gliding by. This road is one of my favorite roads to ride near Denver.

As you near Golden, which is where CO6 turns South towards E-470. You're presented with a view of the Mesa near the Colorado School of Mines:

I had promised my son that I'd take him to the movies to see "Spyderwick" so it was time to head home at this point. I took the E-470/C-470 slabs all the way home. Almost 160 miles of riding today, perhaps 5.5hrs in the saddle altogether. Great ride! I finally found my way to that hillside road I'd seen so many times from the highway!

1 comment:

Conchscooter said...

A choice of roads. One can hardly imagine.Bit too frosty still.