Saturday, February 07, 2009

A ride on Pleasant Park Road to Conifer

Pretty good riding conditions today, highs in the mid-50s and sunny for most of the morning.

I had ridden out around 0850 with the intent of heading towards Sedalia to try and capture a picture of Cherokee Ranch and the "castle" on the hillside that was supposed to be there.

I headed west on County Line Rd, roughly paralleling the C-470 Super Slab which forms the southern/western loop around the Denver Metro area. Once I got to US85, I turned South and got on the slab for a few minutes and exited on Wadsworth Blvd. From there it was a short hop to Deer Creek Canyon Road which I turned onto around 0930.

The sun was hitting the rock formations around Deer Creek Mountain Park just right so I stopped to pose Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer, amongst them:

Afterwards I enjoyed a twisty run up Deer Creek Canyon Road, not a car in sight and very little to no gravel down the lane's center line. Plenty of bicyclists though, moving in gaggles even though the sign said to move in a single file. Oh well. They don't tend to obey traffic regulations at intersections either so I was not surprised.

I got to Deer Creek Road and turned onto it. After a bit I turned onto Pleasant Park road. I wanted to see if I could get a shot of the nice twists I had found the last time I'd been on that road.

It was another thoroughly enjoyable run through those twists as I gradually gained altitude the closer I got to Conifer which is located at the beginning of the mountains. The road was a bit more gravelly than Deer Creek Canyon so it kept my speeds to not more than 10 over the posted limit, which was plenty to enjoy the curves.

I turned around once I got to Conifer and worked my way back to the twisty curves section of Pleasant Park/High Grade Roads. There's not many places where it's close to safe for one to stop but I managed to find a couple:

High Grade Road

I made my way down to and back to Deer Creek Canyon road, enjoyed its twists once again this time heading downhill which makes them a bit more "interesting".

As I neared the junction with CO121, I looked down at the instruments and my eye caught something "wrong" with the fairing. The upper right mounting point had come apart! It had come to me "jb-welded" together so I guess it should not come as a surprise but it still bummed me out.

Now the fairing would not center on the headlight and it looked "off" to me. Dammit.

I continued riding since it wasn't moving around or creating a safety hazard. I went South on CO121 to the turnoff for Waterton Canyon as usual. Eventually, I ended up on Titan Road which lead me to US85. Remember, I was still shooting for a shot of the Castle in Sedalia.

I went past Sedalia, the fairing seemed fine, no movement that I could see. I took the turnoff for Daniels Park Road. I headed up the road, past the sign warning that the road was closed ahead, and reached where it had been blocked off. No sign of a castle or anything remotely like a castle. Hmmmm.

I turned around and there it was, on top of a ridge towards the Southwest. Trouble is, I couldn't find a way to get to it! The only thing I saw was a sign that I believed said Cherokee Ranch as I rode past it. However, the sign and entrance were on the west side of the road, how it would have gotten me back across the road and towards the buildings I wanted to get close to?

Much meandering later, no route to the castle. Perhaps once they open up the rest of the road I'll find some way to get there. Some other day. Here's a photo of the castle from google:

source: google

I ended up on Happy Canyon Road which eventually got me to the I-25 Super Slab. I meandered some more on Mesa Drive which is to the east of the slab. A geodesic home perched on the edge of the mesa had caught my eye before when on Maria; so I decided to find it again and pose Brigitta by it:

You really can't see it in the photos but every time I dismounted Brigitta I'd look at the centering of the fairing on the headlight and saw that it was skewed. It was really bugging me.

I got home after stopping for some maintenance supplies. I drained out her engine oil, transmission and final drive oils and then went to pick up my sons from a play date at a friend's house.

Once I got back, I spent the rest of the afternoon replacing all of Brigitta's fluids with the exception of the fork oils, that's next weekend I hope. I found a very small irregular chip of metal stuck to the transmission's drain plug magnet. Bummer, that means there's damage somewhere inside the transmission.

Luckily, I'd bought a 1981 airhead transmission at a good price and had already planned on replacing the existing one this spring. The transmission gearbox I have is missing the circlip. There will be a posting about this circlip and why I was planning to replace the gearbox anyways. Matt Parkhouse down in Colorado Springs will be doing the work and I get to take pictures.

All fluids replaced and a new oil filter in place, I buttoned her up and carefully torqued everything down right. A short test ride produced satisfying ride behaviour and no leaks that I could see. Tomorrow I adjust the valves clearances and clean out the air filter. If I get ambitious, I might drain out the gas tank and check for water along the bottom. You're supposed to do it once a year to prevent water collecting at the bottom of the tank from rusting out the steel tank. We'll see.

I ended up removing the fairing in the hopes of repairing the mounting mount. It looked pretty bad once I had it off. Not sure if more jb-weld will do the trick. Now Brigitta is back to looking like this:


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Having something go cosmetically askew with the motorcycle is like chipping a front tooth. The average person may not see it at first, or at all, but it's like a neon sign to the owner.

And you are so fastidious about maintenance. I had all the stuff you mentioned done last month, including all the filters and spark plugs changed too.

My first Beemer had a Sprint fairing on it. It looked great, but was a real pain to work on. Changing a headlight bulb became a four-hour ordeal.

The castle looked fascinating. My next house.

Fondest regards,

Charlie6 said...

Spark plugs! I knew I forgot something. My mind was on the fairing vice the services. Thanks for the reminder.

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Your posts, descriptions, and pictures tell me I need to spend more time exploring Colorado. I've been through that beautiful state 3 times, but twice were on the Interstate and one of those was during the night.