Saturday, June 28, 2008

Three Weeks and One Day Later....

Today was three weeks and one day after my accident where I hit black ice on the I-70 Super Slab and ended up injuring my shoulder and causing damage to Maria, my R1150RT.

I had left the house after 9AM thinking to go to the scene of the accident, kind of close out that karmic cycle and all. However, it was misting/raining lightly as I got on the road and I feared that if it was 60 degrees near home, what would it be near the Eisenhower Tunnel? I surely did not want a repeat of the accident! So I just motored over to the Home Depot and got some stuff I'd been needing and went back home.

The weather cleared and looked better after 11am and after an early lunch I headed out once again. I took the E470 Slab West towards C470 and Morrison, from Morrison I headed West on Bear Creek Canyon road for a twisty but slow ride towards CO74. It was slow due to medium traffic on the road.

Soon, I got on CO74 and passed through Bergen Park to where it junctions with the I-70 Super Slab on which I headed westbound towards the Eisenhower Tunnel which was about 40 mins from there.

I rode very conservatively, keeping it within 10 mph or less above the speed limit. Brigitta handled the wind and speed just fine, was not even working hard it seemed. As I neared the Eisenhower tunnel I slowed a bit to see if I could spot any traces of my previous accident. I did not see a thing and it was with some relief that I entered the tunnel and closed out that particular karmic event in my life.

However, the motorcycling gods decided I should still experience some fear. Turns out that the pavement on the west side of the tunnel had been "prepped" for new asphalt so it was very rough, grooved and dotted with small indentations! It was like riding on mud! I felt like the front wheel had a mind of its own and I slowed way down. Scary.

Imagine doing down a steep grade and the front wheel keeps going every which way or seems to want to do so. Not good. I slowed and still it felt scary, soon though I was behind a semi tractor trailer truck who was going really slow and he acted as my "excuse" for going less than 20mph on the slab. This went on for a few miles and I hated it the whole time. I was very glad when construction ended and smooth pavement was once again under my wheels!

I went to the hospital in Frisco where I was taken by the good samaritans who gave me a ride the day of the accident. On the way, I stopped by the Best Western where we had spotted the gathering motorcyclists on that fateful day as they prepared for the Two Bits Rally:

Took me three weeks and 1 day but I made it to the rally site!

Here's some shots of Brigitta at the hospital parking lot, quite the scenery the staff and patients enjoy eh?

I headed South on CO9 from the hospital thinking that it linked with US6 further on and I could take it back across Loveland Pass and avoid going on that roughed up surface on I-70. A few miles later I realized I was mistaken and turned around near an overlook of Quandary Peak:

Quandary Peak

As I headed back North on CO9, I spied a sign that read: "Boreas Pass Road". Hey, I thought to myself, I can bag a pass I've not ridden yet for the Passbagger 50 effort. So I turned onto this road and headed into the mountains away from Breckenridge.

There must have been at least ten miles, probably more, of hard packed dirt road to get to the other end of Boreas Pass....Brigitta did well in that bad terrain but I was good and sick of it after just a short while. I lost a lot of travel time since I was going along at less than 15mph at best for most of the time. Still, there were spots where the scenery was quite beautiful:

yeah, had to work in one panorama shot!

The only issue besides the loose rocks and ruts and such were the regular appearances of cagers in their SUVs, speeding by and raising clouds of dust upon myself and the folks that were out for hikes along the road.

Apparently this Boreas Pass Road was a railway at one time. I came upon a restored water tank that serviced this railroad:

Beautiful scenery aside, I was quite happy to descend finally from the pass and into the small town of Como. Soon after that I was at US285 and heading back towards Denver. The skies had darkened considerably while I made my way through the dirt road that is Boreas Pass.

On the way to Conifer I spied this hotdog shaped snack stand called Coney Island. I'd passed it before and not taken pictures, this time I stopped briefly:

I made it to Bailey where I tanked up since the trip meter had gone over 200 miles and I did not want to run out of gas. A few miles further it began to sprinkle and I looked for a spot to stop and get my rain gear on.

It's quite the pain to put on the rain gear, let me tell you! It was drizzling on me as I did this so I felt it was worth the effort. I got back on the road and wouldn't you know it, less than five minutes later the rain stopped and the skies cleared up a bit! Damn.

I kept riding as I was running late and did not want my wife to worry too much. Traffic was not bad on US285 and I made good time back towards the Denver Metro area. I thought several times of stopping to peel off the bright yellow rain gear but did not want to lose time doing so. So I kept riding, I must have been quite the sight to the cagers and the few riders I saw on the way home. : )

The ironic part? I still got cut off by this pickup truck while in the above getup! Just goes to show, ride like you're invisible. I saw the idiot edging out onto my lane and was prepared in plenty of time.

Got home after 1840hrs, over six hours of saddle time and 261 miles covered. I was feeling tired/sore and warm. I was glad to be home but glad I'd been able to get a long ride into the mountains at last. Brigitta needs work to become a long distance tourer methinks, either that or I am way out of shape due to the accident. We'll see, there's other rides in the future since I don't know when I'll get Maria back.

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