Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last Day of Summer Ride

I heard on the news that today was the last day of summer, naturally this motivated me to go for a ride to enjoy the slighty cloudy warm weather we were enjoying.

I left the house shortly before 10am and swung by a couple of co-workers' homes to see if they wanted to join in the ride. No go. One was cleaning out his garage to make room for his new to him Harley Davidson and the other was working on his camper somewhere.

So I headed towards Castle Rock using the Crowfoot Parkway to get me to Founders Parkway. I crossed over the I-25 slab and headed North on US85 towards Sedalia. I spent some time racing a train also heading north alongside US85. I got ahead of it and watched as train crossing signs lowered as the train approached from behind me.

I then took Titan Parkway over to Waterton Canyon and CO121 which I took North towards Deer Creek Canyon Rd. The traffic was very light surprisingly and I managed to maintain good speed as I made my way through the twisty turns of this road until I got the Fenders. From the fire station there, I took Turkey Creek Road North, past where it intersects with US285, continuing on this road till I reached its junction with CO73. BTW, nice set of curves on North Turkey Creek Road!

At CO73 I headed South till it entered the town of Conifer. I briefly got on US285 here only to exit at the first exit past Conifer onto the road leading to Foxton Road. Foxton Road is another set of nicely twisting curves which eventually dump you at South Platte River Road. I took the SE direction and started riding on packed dirt shortly after that. The South Platte River road follows the Platte River (go figure!), making its way past rocky canyon walls. I saw several fishermen out enjoying the warm weather and passed several cagers enjoying the view of the rocks as well.

Just north of the only bridge on S. Platte River Road is the remnants of the South Platte Hotel. I always stop and pose my motorcycle next to this piece of history:

There's some homesteads shortly after you cross the bridge and I spied an old rusted out bulldozer nearly overgrown with vegetation. I've been down this road many times and never spotted it before. I wonder really how long its been there:

I continued riding at a pretty sedate pace, never more than say 25mph since the packed dirt road had a lot of loose gravel all over it. It had apparently recently rained as well as there were spots where the dirt was "moist" but not muddy.

I spotted a motorcycle heading towards me and it turned out to be a BMW GS zipping along the gravelly road with seemingly no care or worries. I maintained a sedate pace since I know my own limitations and the limitations of Maria, my 1150RT when not on good pavement!

Soon I hit pavement again, only to enter dirt one more time for about three miles as I took Douglas County 67 back northwards. The road was not any worse than what I'd already experienced but some of the steep grades as I climbed were "interesting" since the washboard terrain at times caused the rear wheel to slip a bit. Not a big deal, just something to keep one's attention level high.

I soon got the small hamlet of Sprucewood and picked up nice pavement once again. I stayed on what was now CO67 heading towards Sedalia. Nicely twisting road but got hung up behind a couple of slow-going cagers. Still, they managed to go fast enough to make the curves interesting for me and the couple of motorcycles that stacked up behind me.

Once we got to Sedalia, the motorcycles turned off in the town and I headed South back on US285 towards Castle Rock. I basically retraced my path from the morning and ended back at Parker near 230pm or so. I decided to head on home instead of dropping in on a friend of mine and was home before 3pm.

A nice little ride to finish off this year's summer riding season. It had climbed into the low 80s temperature-wise and felt quite warm. I was just wearing shorts and a tshirt under my kevlar mesh gear and felt more than warm.

I noticed some rust under the centerstand portions which touch ground so I removed them when I got home, repainted the areas and tightened a couple of screws I found working their way loose. Maria performed beautifully as usual, she needed the exercise since I've been using Brigitta mostly for the daily work commutes. That will change as the weather turns colder I am sure.


Rob Jones said...

Hi Redlegs, just wanted to pass on some
information to you. You MUST read RUSH drummer Neil Pearts books, you would love them. He travels just like yourself and talks about some fantastic journeys. Just thought you might like it. Great Site of yours hours of fun..

redlegsrides said...

thanks for the link Rob, he was featured in the JUN2008 edition of the BMWMOA's Owner I know he's got a website as well.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dom:

What a great read and a pleasant diversion for me! I loved the pictures. I could even imagine staying at the South Platte Hotel. Having a gentlemanly K75 with street tires on it, I am not a fan of dirt roads. I avoid them like the plague. But I guess they down on the traffic.

I am going to try and get out for an early fall ride in the next few weeks.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Anonymous said...

once again - DIRT!!
Get a GS, c'mon, you know you should.