Saturday, November 07, 2009

Natasha's first time on Pikes Peak

Sunny weather with forecasted highs in the lower 70s....perfect day for taking Natasha down to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak!

I had an eye exam appointment at 8:30AM and was done and southbound by 9:45! I took CO 83 aka Parker Road all the way down to Colorado Springs where it becomes the Interquest Parkway and eventually dumps you on the I-25 Super Slab. I kept my speed between 55-60 mph and got used to the cagers passing me. I didn't want to "strain" Natasha you see, Urals are happiest at 55 or below.

Heading South on CO 83, that's Pikes Peak in the distance

I got to the entrance to the Pikes Peak Tollway at 11:30 and paid my $10. The sign read that 16 of the 19 miles of the road were open. Oh well, I probably should have called ahead but as you will see, plenty of good shots to be had anyways.

I checked in with my loving wife before heading up. The road was nice and drive with plenty of snow in evidence along the sides of the road. Only one icy spot, more on that later. Traffic was light, it wasn't too cold, perfect!!!

Once clear of the forest line, the first snowy hairpin turn

It was quite windy, you may notice the snow blowing about on the far slopes

We're well above the timberline now!

A peek at some of the hairpin turns already negotiated on the way up

Another pano shot, looks icy but it was just wet

Not really that much snow up here, the big snow storm we just had in Denver did not make it all the way down here I think.

The left portion of this pano shot shows some of the snow/ice encountered on the road, it was a bit "squiggly" on the pusher tire.

Mile Marker 16, with the Ranger making sure no one goes beyond this point!

Natasha at the bottom of the curve before Mile Marker 16

This is the icy patch when I was heading down, the sun had turned it to mostly slush, no big deal

A view of the low lands, the wind was so strong here I was being pushed towards the edge!

I call this, the Rock Pile

Almost at the end, this is the Crystal Lake Reservoir, that's Pikes Peak on the left

The requisite "touristy" shot

Natasha did great all the way up and down. You had to keep the speeds low due to road conditions and all the twists and turns so it was perfect for her. Today I must have been photographed as I rode by cagers several times, I guess Natasha is rare enough around this here parts! One couple in a car even stopped next to me as I was sitting on Natasha and asked for a picture of us. I can just see the caption: Look at this fool on this weird motorcycle we saw on Pikes Peak!

After checking in with my loving wife one more time at the tollway entrance, I started heading back north. I retraced my route along I-25 while transiting through Colorado Springs. The it was the Interquest Parkway to CO 83 and a smooth ride at 100 kph or 60 mph for you metrically-challenged individuals. Got home around 4:00 PM, perhaps 6 hrs in the saddle and roughly 186 miles or so round trip.

Here's my route, hope you got a chance to ride today!


Mike said...

Wow, very nice shots recording your trip. I didn't get to ride today so it's great to see and read about someone who did. I really like the Crystal Lake Reservoir shot. What was your highest elevation and did Natasha run okay?

Richard Machida said...

Beautiful shots, I especially like the pano shots. I've never made it to Pikes Peak so thank you for the pictures. The more you ride the Ural, the more I want to find a sidecar. Since you are running off the battery, do you avoid using the starter? I would think that a few seconds of cranking translates to many minutes less range. Looks like a great trip.

Charlie6 said...

Mike, thanks for your comments....I think we were at 12,500 ft when we had to turn around. Natasha ran great!

Charlie6 said...

thanks Richard for your kind words.

I use the electric starter every single time, so far so good. On my first charge run, I went through perhaps 3 tankfuls of gas and was at around 11.2 volts when I decided to recharge due to a snow ride the next day. I am on my second full charge, with about 500km (11 hrs of engine "on" time) racked up so far and at 11.6 volts when I got home today. I'm going to not charge till I get to about 10.5 volts to see where "bottom" is on my battery.

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Great stuff and the pictures are amazing. Happy to see Natasha is getting used to her new home and enjoying it.

Rob said...

Simply Incredible!

FATTKAW said...

I have to say I'm stunned by how far you can ride on a charge. I would of never guessed.
BTW: is Pikes Peak now paved to the top???

Charlie6 said...

AZ Harley Dude, thanks and yes, I am quite pleased nothing broke on this trip either! : )

Rob, thanks for your kind words.

Fattkaw, yeah, getting pretty good range so far....I'll have hard figures by the end of the month for sure but it's looking good. Next charge, going to run with hi-beam on to see the difference!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Unbelievable pictures... And the commentary is pretty hard to beat too. I am amazed that you are running around on this "hybrid" of sorts. I can't see that you would be in hurry to "fix" this.

I was utterly stunned by the shot of the hairpin curve, which appears to be covered with ice. In fact, that was my first guess. It's amazing the difference 6 or 7 thousand feet make. It looked like late summer in the valley.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads