Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Ride to the Collegiate Peaks

Temperatures from the 50s to the 70s depending on what part of the state you happened to be riding in. Sunny and windy in the morning.

Since I spent most of the day yesterday doing the 54k Mile service on Maria, today was the "long ride" day for this weekend. I left shortly after 1030am once my loving wife returned from going to church and I left for my own brand of "church", riding!

I took the I-25 super slab down to Colorado Springs where I then got on CO115 towards US 50 and Caňon City, aka prison central. The road conditions were great and traffic was not too heavy. I rolled through Caňon City, pasts its prisons, past the Royal Gorge Bridge tourist trap and onwards on US50 and its very nicely winding curves as it follows the Arkansas River.

It kind of reminds you of the canyon road on CO119 near Golden but not as imposing I thought. Regardless, there's some steep winding curves, lots of rock formations and a few tight turns to keep one amused as you ride west towards Salida.

A Peek at somePeaks

As you near the end of the canyon lands for which Caňon City is named, you begin to see peeks of the peaks that await one near Salida where US50 and US285 meet.

West of Cotopaxi, near the little hamlet of Coaldale, you get a nice view of a range of mountains in the San Isabel National Forest. Can't tell you which one is which for sure, but I believe this view includes Bushnell Peak, Simmons Peak and Cottonwood Peak. Simply gorgeous.

Coaldale, CO

yep, still working on panoramic shots

Once I got to Salida, I went a little further on US50 and stopped for a late lunch, this was around 2PM.

I soon started heading North on US285, the following sets of pictures depict what is known as the Collegiate Peaks. They range for quite a few miles in a north-south orientation, west of US285. They looked quite spectacular today with the bright sun hitting the snow that remains near their peaks.

A historical marker dealing with Lieutenant Pike

One more Panoramic Shot

One last look at the Collegiate Peaks as I headed back on US285

On US285, looking back towards South Park City

Scenic Overlook near Kenosha Pass

View Larger Map
The names of the Collegiate Peaks appear on left half of above google map

The rest of the ride on US285 was uneventful except near Bailey. There I came upon a traffic accident. Traffic was blocked in both directions on US285 which the local police and ambulances dealt with what looked to have been a headon collision of two cages. It looked pretty bad, at least three ambulances were on scene.

I got past the accident with no issue except a small delay. Took the C470/E470 slabs back home and got there by 530 or so. About 7 hours of saddle time, and roughly 360 miles racked up. Not too bad. Maria had been a bit buzzier than usual so I did another TBS when I got home, a little tweak and all was well. Took me longer to take her fairings off and put them back on than it did to tweak the throttle screws! : )

Oh, and I managed to bag two more passes for my ColoradoBeemers Passbagger 50 project, Red Hill Pass and Kenosha Pass.


irondad said...

Good to get a great ride as a reward for the work, isn't it? I just wash my bikes and they run better!

Good to see the temperature is warming up. I may be winging into Denver for a couple of days next week. Corporate is waffling between Denver and Seattle. Hope they make up their mind, soon.

Charlie6 said...

In Denver eh? We should try and meet up!

Conchscooter said...

Just as matter of curiosity I went back over the history of posts and the last one that mentions high temperatures is early september. That was pages ago, and its still snowy! I'd ride a convertible i think.

Charlie6 said...

it'll get hot after june thru september, highs then will be near 100. temps in the mountains will be about 20 to 30 degrees cooler. so most riders head to the mountains in the summer.