Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Good Ride after a Long Week in Chicago

Temperatures in the mid to high 20s. Partly cloudy with occasional bursts of sun.

The weather wasn't optimal but it was good enough for me to go out for a long ride after being in Chicago most of this past week on business. No, I didn't ride there, had to fly there. I guess it would look bad for UAL to pay people to ride to their headquarters from Denver instead of flying?

So, that was four days where I could not ride a motorcycle. It wasn't too bad since it was a busy time for me. Still, I was glad to be back yesterday after a 90 minute delay on the flight back due to broken toilet system. We were told: "OK, four of the eight toilets work, if you have to go...do it now before we leave the gate(this was after they tried for over an hour to fix things) and we'll drain the tanks before we take off. Let's just say not many people were happy with UAL on that flight.

I headed out mid-morning with no destination in mind really. I headed towards Parker via Inspiration Drive and from Parker headed down Crowfoot Parkway towards Castlerock. I then had the thought to go through Sedalia and perhaps Deckers via Douglas County 67.

As I neared Castlerock, I saw a big stream of water shooting up into the air off to the right near the fire station. Turns out the firemen were "exercising" their water pumps apparently. I rode through a fine mist of water and noticed the water was creating a rainbow. I turned Maria around, parked her for this shot.

fireman-made rainbow

I proceeded onto and tanked up in Sedalia, taking the opportunity to take a picture of Maria in the "Biker Trash Only" parking area of the Sedalia Bar and Grill. Often I've seen many bikers hanging out at this eatery on warmer days. No bikers were in evidence today, in fact, I did not see a fellow motorcyclist the whole time I was out. Go figure. I say "Biker Trash" because that's what the signs posted along the wall of the bar said, I am not expressing any personal opinions here! :)

Sedalia Bar and Grill

I then spent some time wandering the streets of Sedalia, hoping to see buildings which might have been there during the late 1800s when Sedalia's claim to fame was as a railroad stop. I did not spot anything obvious, will have to do some research and come back another day with old photos to use as reference. Here's some buildings thought that caught my eye:

The rusting hulk of an old motorcycle caught my eye

Sedalia Station est. 1887

The local menagerie in Sedalia

I rode out of town on CO67 which becomes Douglas County 67 shortly after the junction with CO105. The intent was to try and get to Deckers, this was not to be. I ran into wet-looking pavement, bordered by ice and snow, in the shaded areas of the road at the beginning of Jarrer Canyon. Not good with the temperatures still below freezing.

I turned myself around on Madge Gulch Road and slowly made my way back to Sedalia. A bit more interesting than I really like my surface traction conditions to be like.

So I headed South instead on CO105, heading towards the towns of Palmer Lake and Monument. I arrived there with no incident even though there remained much gravel on the roads along with some wet-looking spots in the shade of trees.

I passed by O'Malley's Bar and Grill, another popular biker hangout in warmer weather. No bikers. I had spotted some interesting clouds in the valley leading to Monument, south of Palmer Lake so I rode on. I found a good parking spot just south of Palmer Lake and got these shots:

Santa Fe Ridge, just south of Palmer Lake

Looking south towards Monument, I think that's Mt. Herman on the right

The skies were becoming more overcast and the cold felt "stronger" each time the sun was blocked or partially occluded by the clouds. I cruised through Monument, crossed over the I-25 Super Slab and took the eastbound roadway to CO83. This particular road had evidence of ice still remaining in the areas that were shaded by the tall pines on the south side of the road. No issues encountered but I slow down to ensure I was always in the driest portion of the lane. Again, I was glad to clear the forested portion of the road and back out in sunlit pavement!

I turned north on CO83, aka Parker Road. It was a bit windy at this point, I was riding into a pretty strong headwind which caused Maria to wiggle a bit. No big deal but I did feel a bit colder as the sun kept getting blocked by the clouds.

I made it to Parker just fine, enjoyed the temperatures around town being in the low 30s. Much warmer feeling than in Palmer Lake with it's almost 7000 feet of elevation! I stopped by the grocery store near home and got my loving wife a dozen red roses since it was Valentine's Day and she'd hinted to me she'd like flowers.

A pretty good ride, though I was quite chilled by the end of it.

4 comments:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6:

I wondered why your blog hadn't changed in a while. Mechanical things are always subject to breakdown, and the toilets on an airplane are no exception. Yet with congestion-related delays on the rise and economic gloom seeting the tone for the travel industry, I do not regret my vow never to fly again.

Something odd is happening to me this winter. I have developed a strange reaction to this season. I can't stand it another week. Dom, please Photoshop all your pictures, replacing the brown areas with green ones. Replace the white areas with rum.

Despite some good news I have to report, I will not be riding until Mach 20th, at the earliest. On ce again, you take intiguing pictures.

Fondest regards,
Jack
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Jack

sorry to hear you won't be able to ride till March 20th. I guess its better than never....

not much green around here even in the Spring, it's the High Desert you know...the only green areas are the watered suburbs.

DM said...

of course there were no biker "high 20s " all sane people are in cars at that temp.

Charlie6 said...

DM

you used the right term: "biker"...a term I don't apply to myself.