Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lookout Mountain's Hairpins and The Coors Brewery

The day turned out pretty good in spite of the mediocre forecast of temperatures in the 50s and overcast with a chance of rain. It was in fact, quite sunny though I will admit it was a bit "brisk" as I rode along the I-25 slab to US6 west to Golden and the 19th Street entrance to the beginning of the "Lariat Loop" and the Lookout Mountain Road.

My intention was to try and get a panoramic shot of each hairpin on the way up and down. It all depended on me finding a safe spot to park Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer while I framed the shots. I've shrunk the panoramic shots, if you want the full size versions, let me know.

The Gateway Towers to Lookout Mountain Road

The first hairpin

Golden Today

A nice double hairpin turn

Another look at Golden and both North and South Table Mountains

Brigitta's barely leaning over in the above picture, she almost fell over on her right as I was taking the camera out of the left side case, close one!

Cement Bill is the guy who built this wonderful road, I read somewhere that when he was finished, Denver still owed him money. So he opened the road to the public but blocked any cars with Denver license tags! The city soon paid up.

The switchbacks are nicely paved nowadays

Another view of Golden

Back to the beginning of the Lariat Loop

After going up and down Lookout Mountain, I headed down into Golden to get some shots of the Coors Brewery to hopefully compare against some historical pictures I'd found from the Denver Public Library's archives.

This shot was from the brewery's western parking lot, just north of the main brewery complex:

I believe this mesa is part of South Tabletop Mountain

>Looking south towards the bigger buildings that are part of the brewery's complex

Yeah, they're really big structures, the smell of hops was definitely in the air!

The Coors Brewery

As you can see, things have gotten quite built up for the Coors Brewery. I wandered about the area some more trying for better shots of the complex but the above turned out to be the best I could do based on construction and roads.

It was close to 3:00PM by this point so I pointed Brigitta southwards on US6, staying on this slab when it turned eastwards and then turning south again on the I-25 superslab. I was home shortly after 3:30PM.

I had to go into final reserve on Brigitta as I approached the Parker Road exit on I-225 with the odometer reading 194 miles. I decided to keep riding past the home neighborhoods and wandered about the Southshore Community until I finally ran out of gas. I managed to go just over 20 miles after I turned the left petcock to final reserve. This matches the first time I ran out of gas, unintentionally, I got 20 miles then as well. LINK

As you can see by the photos though, I had the Kolpin External Gas Can with me going through "field trials" to make sure my bungee cord/net arrangement proved secure. I am happy to report it did fine even on washboarded dirt roads. I put the whole gallon into Brigitta and motored on to my home gas station to fill her up. I replaced the gallon of gas I used back into the Kolpin tank for "the next time".

About 5 hours of saddletime, I spent some time framing the hairpin shots to include climbing up the hillsides to get the "angle". About 130 miles all told, including the wandering around to run out of gas.

Hope you got some riding in....

Update: 10may09: retouched all my photos to remove the "washed out" look and warm them up a bit, to truly reflect the greening of Colorado that was starting to happen.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Well you've done it again, doucumenting a great ride over an exceptional road. The pictures were a delight, capturing history, scenic beauty, and something of a technical ride.

I spotted the gas can straing of in the first picture where it was clearly evident. What is the issue with the bungee netting however? I though the mount for this arrangement was a bulletproof bolt nd washer through the can.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

thanks Jack for your comments, the kolpin's bracket is for my r1150rt, no way to mount it cleanly on my r80.

bobskoot said...

I just love the way you compare the places past with the current. You have such beautiful scenery in Colorado. I noticed that there is not much traffic along these routes. We are not so lucky. It is very hard for us to pull over to snap pictures with so much fast traffic zooming along.

I think that our Highways department has conspired to keep us flowing rather than stopping to enjoy. Our Fraser Canyon used to have many pull outs for you to stop and take a rest break. They have barracaded virtually all of these pullouts with those huge concrete barriers to keep vehicles out.

Thank you for taking us along for the ride.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Charlie6 said...

Bobskoot, thanks for your kind words again. Glad you liked the then and now shots, I find them quite interesting and I am glad I am not boring people out there with them.

Re lack of traffic in the shots, we have plenty of it, I just time my rides early in the day to avoid the rush and time my shots to hopefully not get any cars in them.

To bad about the DOT in your state blocking off the pulloffs, but then again some of the spots I've picked were pretty close to the road, I am sure sooner or later a LEO will shoo me away.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Owen said...

I have your blog bookmarked and read it almost everyday. Just wanted you to know that many other BMW riders like me enjoy the dedication you put into documenting what we all love. I very much enjoyed the hairpin shots and hope you took some time to actually ride and enjoy them. Keep posting... I only wish that I was as diligent at documenting my rides. Thanks for the read and pics.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Owen for reading my stuff so regularly....I did get to ride the road though slowly as I was looking for spots where I could pull off and take pictures.

Anonymous said...

Awesome looking roads and a great read. It's amazing how words can take us on trips we would otherwise probably never be able to go on.

Ride on,

(darn typos)

Jeffry said...

Yet another wonderfully described and documented ride. When I make it there either next year or the year after, I hope to plan some of my riding from your blogs.