Saturday, January 01, 2011

First ride of 2011: Jarre Canyon Rd and Red Rocks Park

Happy New Year!

We woke to warmer temperatures today from yesterday's sub 8°F temperatures with some sunshine thrown in for good measure.  I bundled up and headed out for a long first ride of the year.  I was also testing the durability of using 175lb Tensile strength zip ties to hold chain links to the front tire on Natasha.  Figuring on using something like this for running on ice, if I ever get the chance this winter:

The links are from an old car tire chain set I had in storage.

I first headed over to the Blackstone Country Club area to see how the chains did, all four remained tightly bound to the front tire.  I had a nice view of the mountains near Mount Evans from where I stopped and so I got this shot:

The peaks seem close don't they, actually using the 12X optical zoom on my new camera.

The main roads were mostly dry or drying on the way to Sedalia so I didn't expect the chains to hold up under that kind of conditions.  Surprisingly, I only lost one of the four by the time I got to the Parker town limits.  Soon enough though, the highways speeds needed on Crowfoot Parkway to Castle Rock caused two more of the links to break off and disappear by the time I got to Sedalia.

Past Sedalia, on CO 67, you come to a neat little bit of twisties by the name of Jarre Canyon Road which eventually takes you past Rampart Range Road.  Here's a bit over four minutes video of the 14 minute ride to the entrance to Rampart Range Road:

or you can watch it on here:  LINK

Road conditions as you can see were not optimal for two-wheeled motorcycles; at least, not two-wheeled motorcycles ridden by yours truly!  It's times and conditions like these where riding a Ural really comes in handy!

Once at Rampart Range Rd, which is closed for the winter, I posed Natasha for these shots:

 Copying a shot angle I saw on, thanks for the idea Chris!

note I still have one remaining zip tie/chain on the front wheel, amazing.

Although the road to the parking lot was plowed, 
there was a barrier stopping traffic further past the curve in the picture.

I retraced my route, heading back towards Sedalia on CO 67.  Once I exited from Jarre Canyon Road I turned right onto Oak Valley Rd and went looking for the turnoff for the county road that leads one to Bee Rock.

Snow conditions on the road past Bee Rock were pretty meager, not much snowfall in this area from the storm we had a day or so ago.  Still, it made for a nice background for this last shot of Natasha:

Bee Rock, 01JAN2011

It was now time to head northwest towards the town of Morrison to check out the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater.  I headed back through Sedalia where I picked up northbound US85 until I was able to get on the C-470 super slab westbound.  Soon enough I was cruising through Morrison (not a single motorcycle in sight, go figure) and I arrived at Entrance #3 for the Red Rocks Park.  Note, I lost the last chain link somewhere on C-470, pretty good performance I must say, of those zip ties.

I hope you enjoy the following video ride through the park.  It was a total of 24 minutes long but I edited out all the not-quite-so-interesting bits.

Soon after I exited the park, I was homeward bound using Morrison Rd to get me to Kipling which I took south to US285.  From there it was light city traffic all the way to the I-25 to I-225 interchange.  Parker Road came up a bit afterwards and I was home by 3:00 PM or so.  A bit cold to be riding today but my gear kept me warm enough, specially when the sun shone down upon me.  When riding under overcast skies and at highway speeds, I could feel the chill start to seep in on my arms which are exposed to the wind, still, not bad.

Hope you got some riding in today! 


RichardM said...

Wonderful videos and photos. The road really looks slick. Do any riders use studded tires in icy conditions? Or are they prohibited?

Really like the low angle shot.


Gary France said...

I think I am going to enjoy the fact you got a video camera for Christmas. It was good to see these two rides at Jarre Canyon and Red Rocks in the snow, on video. RR certainly looks different from riding it in the summer! When I was watching them at first I thought it would be nice to hear the sound of the wind and the engine as well as the music, but then with just the music it seems very peaceful. You are going to have so much fun with your camera, but the good thing is, we get the benefit!

Canajun said...

Nice video. Too bad there wasn't a microphone in the cab of that snowplow - I'm sure he had an interesting comment or two when he met a motorcycle on New Year's Day.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, the only place I saw studded tires used was at last year's Elephant Ride up Guanella Pass. I don't know if they're illegal here in Colorado.

I really liked the low angle shot too...thanks.

Charlie6 said...

Gary, it's been fun using the camera and getting to know the editing software. Can you imagine the camera on Skyline Drive? : )

I'll work on leaving some engine noise and wind in the video for future rides.

Charlie6 said...

Canajun....hmmm, I bet he had choice words for the moment. Thought I was not looking at his face, just keeping an eye on the blade of his plow!

Thanks for reading this stuff.

Allen Madding said...

Absolutely awesome footage. I started wanting to put gloves on halfway thru it. I certainly cannot imagine even trying to ride my two wheeler where you went!

Stay warm!


SonjaM said...

I'm with Gary on the video equipment and foresee a lot of scenic eye candy for us. Great winter ride! Makes my throttle hand itch... Keep warm!

cpa3485 said...

That looks like such a blast!. You make riding on 3 wheels very attractive. Did you do any do-nuts in the parking lots? In my Subaru I would have. Some of those roads looked really slick.
We have not had any snow here yet. It's nice because it means I can ride to work, but I also like snow. It's pretty and fun sometimes. Thanks for the videos and have a Great New Year!


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Happy New Year! What a great way to welcome 2011!

Both of the videos provided unparalleled perspective of a great winter ride on a hack rig. I was amazed at your speed, and the control you maintained going around the curves (which were covered by hardened snow patches and probably ice too. Sand can be as bad as ice under most circumstances as well.

The chains on the Ural were a nice touch. Is that a tow rope coiled around the front of the hack frame? Or cables? How is the new "hand grenade" alternator working out?

I had planned to ride on January 1st, but the ice in the driveway worked against me.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Allen, I wouldn't have taken my R80 down that road that day either! Thanks for commenting and reading this stuff.

Charlie6 said...

thanks Sonja for the kind words and continued readership. I actually stay plenty warm with my riding gear and layers....strangely, it's just part of my forehead which gets cold....dang KBC helmet visor leaks I think!

Charlie6 said...

cpa3485, and a happy New Year to you too Sir. Donuts were done on New Years Eve.

Charlie6 said...

Jack, Happy New Year to you....I hope you'll catch up on the last few days worth of postings as well.

The camera makes it look like I was going faster than I really was, don't think I topped 30mph anywhere on that stretch except for the straight parts.

Yes, that's a tow rope at the front, used once for me, once for someone else...handy thing.

I've already managed to "smoke" the alternator, doing stupid things....I might comment on that one day.

Too bad about the ice in the driveway preventing you from riding the first day of the'll just have to add in more salacious material than normal in your next posting to make it up to us, your faithful readers.

Chris Luhman said...

Interesting idea on the zipties. A guy at the I-Cycle Derby made his own with gutter clamps and some wire. Most of them flew off at my Ural (I was behind him). A nasty road hazard for others. Yours looked much safer for others. pic here:

These look neat too:,showdetail,2004g,e,,,10107,,,.htm

PS: nice copy of my photo!!

-Chris @ - year round riding in Minnesota

Charlie6 said...

Chris....I did give credit where credit was due! : )

Yes, my links would not be a hazard I think, its just four chain links and plastic zip tie remnants. I think they'll last just fine on snow/ice...pavement and high speeds, not so much.

The inspiration was the group buy on sovietsteeds of ice chains from I just didn't want to pay the price for something I'd use perhaps 1-2 times a winter.

bobskoot said...


How about using stainless steel aircraft cable and just snake it around your wheel. There could be loops at both ends and you use something elastic (Bungie cords) to hold them under tension. I don't like the idea of those metal links flying to the person behind.

Nice for you to be able to get out for a ride. Our roads are too icy.

Wet Coast Scootin

Charlie6 said...

Bobskoot, not a bad idea, however....there's two things in the there's less than 1 inch clearance at the rear wheel and the shaft it would have to clear that...two: if it breaks, then I've got lengths of steel cable trying to wrap themselves on the axle....probably not good.

As to links flying at people behind me: a. I've a mud guard/fender which should keep it down. b. if they're that close to me, they deserve it for tailgating me in the first place!

irondad said...

Great photos, as usual. The photo of the bike and the peaks looks pretty sharp at 12X optical zoom. Did you hand hold or steady the camera another way?

Charlie6 said...


I handheld the camera....the steadiness could be attributed to the great shooting skills trained into me by the US Army in terms of holding a handgun steady or the advanced image stabilization technology built into the camera.