Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Coldest Ride in a While

Ah, First Day of Winter and currently there's an Arctic Blast of cold air traversing the state. Good timing.

I left the house shortly after lunch with temperatures in the 17-18°F range and sunny. I was trying to get to Fort Morgan to take a picture of the bridge there. I'd ridden by it before on the way to other places and had meant to get back before now. Here's a picture of the arches on the bridge which make it so photogenic to more than just me.

From Google

So I used Quincy Road to get to Watkins Road which I took North towards Watkins. Once at Watkins I headed East on CO36 towards Bennett. By this time I had the grips on Maria turned on and on high, also my heated vest was turned on as well for the first time since last Winter.

I was glad I had the gear on too, it was cold! I think the lowest reading on the on board thermometer was 15.8°F! Take away about 5 for the heat emanating from the motorcycle, add in the windchill of going around 60mph and you get: -19°F. A bit more than brisk!

Less than five miles north of Bennett on Highway 79 I saw this in the distance and slowed rapidly to a stop the first chance I got:

It sure looked iffy to me, though the cars did not seem to mind

I saw the above after a short stretch of ice remnants in the center of my lane which I had to make sure to avoid. So when I saw what lay ahead, I naturally assumed that blowing snow was possible ice forming after melting with contact with the road surface.

The speed limit here was 65mph and the cagers were blowing past me and through this stuff like nothing. Not having the luxury of going slow without getting hit, I elected to turn around. Fort Morgan will have be a stop for some other day.

Old structures such as this dot the plains east of Denver

The above Quonset hut, abandoned by the looks of it, was near the same intersection where I turned around.

I retraced my steps but instead of returning home via Watkins Road, I stayed heading West until after a short stretch on I-70 I got on Gun Club Road heading South. I was home shortly after 1400. Perhaps 90 minutes on the road and beginning to feel quite chilled in spite of the electrics. First day of Winter indeed!


BAM said...

Redleg's - BURRRRRR!!!

Sounds like you made the right choice in turning back. I travel to CO a lot and love it there. That said, I know why you would want to ride there all year round..

Nice blog you have here. I'll keep following so I can check out some of the places you go. Some day I plan to go on vacation and ride instead of business travel...

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sir:

This the fourth weekend in a row that I have not ridden my bike. I do not tempt fate. Ice, snow or freezing rain trumps me every time. The temperatures have been a lot colder this month than in previous years, and I am wondering if March will be the next time I get out on the road.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Jeffry said...

Glad someone has clear roads. The roads in my neighborhood have a solid layer (an inch)of ice. I wouldn't mine the cold, but I need safe passage.