Thursday, October 28, 2010

A late October ride on the Peak to Peak Highway

The sometimes unnervingly strong and gusty winds that had been hitting the Denver Metro Area the last three days finally eased and temperatures were predicted warmer for today.

I rode out of the house at 9:45 AM seeking to find some snow-capped mountain peaks along the Peak to Peak Highway.  Here was my route:

I made my way out of town using US285 as usual, taking C-470 up towards the intersection with US6 and Golden.  From Golden it was US6 or Clear Creek Canyon Road towards the gambling towns of Central City and Blackhawk where I would pick CO119 and the Peak to Peak Highway.  Though the roads were clear up to this point, traffic was a bit heavier than expected so it was slow going along US6's rocky canyon walls.

Once past the gambling towns, traffic eased up considerably and I was able to ride smartly along the Peak to Peak Highway northwards towards Rollinsville.

My first view of snow-capped mountain peaks, just south of Rollinsville on CO119

A short detour at Rollinsville, heading along the Moffat Tunnel Road didn't pay off in terms of pictures as I ran into snow early on and had to turn around.

Proceeding again north on CO119 from Rollinsville, it was continued smooth roads with the occasional patch of wet pavement where snowmelt had flowed across the road.  I tended to slow at these wet patches, since I didn't want to chance hitting some ice, even though the temperatures were in the low to mid 40s by this time.

I continued on CO119, now heading towards Nederland where I would pick up CO72 towards Estes Park.
Just before Nederland however, once comes upon the Los Lagos Reservoir area:

I turned Brigitta to point southwards for this picture, I was still heading North

Soon I was on the outskirts of Nederland, traffic remained light even in town and chose to take a quick break near the town's main traffic circle where their mining museum is located.  Here's a picture of Bucyrus, one of the last remaining steam shovels that helped dig out the Panama Canal:

Proceeding North out of Nederland, now on CO72, I kept making stops to catch the different views of Mount Meeker that are visible from the Peak to Peak Highway.

Approaching Allenspark


Getting closer to Mount Meeker and Allenspark

Getting closer to Allenspark, now on CO7

 Mount Meeker from Allenspark

The sun was in the wrong position for the rest of the ride to Estes Park so I just kept riding past Longs Peak View.  I'd catch it on the way back.  I made it to Estes Park and debauched onto the valley it sits in with pretty light traffic conditions.  I wandered about for a bit but then decided to get back on CO7 and head out of town.  

I got stopped by one of the police officer on CO7 but squeaked my way out of a ticket as I was going 14 miles over the limit (I swear I missed the dang speed limit sign that said it was a 35 mph area); and fortunately for me, the officer's policy was to write for 15+ above the limit.  

A view of Long's Peak

I slowly left Estes Park and got back into the Peak to Peak Highway to make my way down to Lyon and from there get on US36 to Boulder.  I was feeling a bit tired and cold by the time I went past the junction of CO72 and CO7 so didn't get much enjoyment from the twisty turns provided by the St. Vrain Canyon Rd which leads one to Lyons.

The rest of the ride was slab riding in ever increasing traffic.  I hit Boulder at 3:00PM and I guess that's when their rush hour starts since it was pretty much stop and go traffic through the town.  Finally clear of it, I made good time on southbound US36 which got me to US270 to the I-70 Super Slab heading east.  I got off at the Tower Rd exit and from there it was my regular work commute home.

237 miles in about 7 hrs of saddle time, my butt's out of shape for touring apparently, must ride more!  Temperatures had soared in the afternoon into the mid 60s for the Denver Metro area and felt quite nice as I neared my home.  It was a good day to ride, hope you got some riding in.


SonjaM said...

I certainly like it when you take Brigitta out for a spin. Thanks for taking me along to discover the snow peaks.

Raftnn said...

Enjoyed the read, and great pics looking forward to seeing more.

George F said...

Nice ride, beautiful mountains to ride, I wish I had them near me. Beautiful pictures too ;-)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Domingo):

I read this latest episode of yours, realizing that the slush on the shoulders of the road was the handwriting on the wall for the motorcycle season in Colorado.

Great pictures.

Now, I initially read the post on "The Examiner" site, as I wanted my hit to count toward some advertising revenue for you. So I left a remark there too. What amazes me is that so many of your other readers don't get this. What's not to get? You're trying to raise revenue -- get compensated -- for entertaining us with pictures and text. By clicking on the link, we all (brother and sister riders) send a donation your way.

Not doing it is almost contemptuous.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM, Brigitta is definitely the fair weather motorcycle in my life...glad you liked the pics and thanks for commenting.

Raftnn, thanks for your comments and kind words.

George F, wait till we get some real snow....the views get better! Thanks for commenting.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Jack for your comments.

Thanks too for visiting the version of this ride's not much revenue, barely 2-3 tanks of gas each month but every bit helps! : )

I've not forgotten the Georgetown Loop Railroad story/pics you requested....need to get the Ural out of the shop first. I hear there's much more snow up there than last time I was there.

BMW-Dick said...

Wow. A serious riding blog! I'd love to link to your blog from Riding With Riepe and Other Indiscretions. Let me know if that's ok.

Charlie6 said...

BMW-Dick, thanks for your compliment and it'd be an honor if you'd link to my blog...I had already added yours to my list of sites to read.


Chris Luhman said...

Good ride report. I always love the snow covered mountain pictures.