Thursday, May 05, 2011

Riding the Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway with a fellow Rounder

Ken Phenix was staying with me this past weekend, I was his "end of ride" witness for this second attempt at a Ironbutt 1000 miles in 24 hours ride.  Ken made it handily with almost an hour to spare I think, but he was one tired puppy at the end of that ride.

Ken is looking like one tired puppy

Ken's Suzuki Bandit adds to the herd of motorcycles in my garage

After about four hours of sleep, we both rode down to Performance Motorcycle Accessories so Ken could replace the rear tire on his Suzuki Bandit, it was a bit thin down the middle.

He showed me how easy it was to take off the rear wheel, doing it right there in the store's parking lot.  He then took the wheel in and the store swapped it out for him for a small fee.

The next day, once Ken was fully rested with a full night's sleep under his belt....we rode out towards Fort Collins and then West on CO 14, aka the Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway.  The weather was gorgeous though a bit cool, especially for Ken who lives in SE Texas and is used to warmer temperatures by this time of year.

 This is the opening scene when one enters the canyon portion of the Scenic Byway
It's here, where Ken had chosen to stop, that I told him things would get even more scenic.

 Just before the rock tunnel, we stopped for pictures of the motorcycles with the high canyon
walls and flowing Cache La Poudre River flowing by

 Another angle on the motorcycles, the road is quite twisty at times

 a glimpse of the Cache La Poudre river

 The rock tunnel one traverses on CO 14

 A snapshot of Ken from movies we took while at the tunnel area

Several lovely and twisting and turning miles later, we stopped around 1PM for lunch
at Glen Echo resort.

 The requisite food p0rn shots for the readers from the rounders website
of which Ken and I are members

 After lunch, the objective was riding to Cameron Pass, we would be stopped at the above turnoff 
area due to increasingly wet and icy conditions on the road.  

 Ken and I pause for a moment at our furthest point of progress, 
Cameron Pass will have to wait for another day, another ride

 As we headed back East on CO 14, Ken stopped a few times to shoot 
pictures, here he is playing in the snow.

Here I am, with the camera looking back towards the West  

 The last stop we made on CO 14

We didn't go all the way back to Fort Collins to get home, I elected to turn south on Stove Prairie road as it's quite twisty in points and more scenic.  The choice however turned out to be a wet one.  We got snow-showered on during most of the time on this road so not able to enjoy the twists and turns.  In fact, since it was below freezing and the roads were wet, it was a bit worrying for me.  Ken, trusting me implicitly it seems, and riding behind me, told me later he was almost giggling while riding in the falling snow.

After the longest transit of Stove Prairie Road by this writer, we arrived at the crossroads where the small settlement of Masonville still exists.  There's an eclectic collection of ironwork, old contraptions, vehicles, statues and such here for the passing rider:
 This metal sculpture was my third favorite one at the Masonville site

Here's the number one and two metal sculptures at Masonville, we parked 
our motorcycles without realizing what a neat alignment they formed with 
the two statues of wild stallions.

Proceeding south from Masonville, we were soon on CO 52 heading east towards the city of Laporte where we again turned south on US 287 and motorcycled our way through one more snow shower.  We made it hope a bit after 6PM, almost 300 miles under our belts and about 8hrs in the saddle, quite the ride.  We experienced all four seasons, Ken got to see and play in snow, ride during a snow fall and neither motorcycle had issues.


motoroz said...

That is such a great road. This past summer on our trip to Yellowstone we stayed in Gould on the west side of Cameron Pass. That evening after dinner we road carefully up to the pass looking for moose. We ended up seeing a total of 4! Two bull and two cows. It was really great. Looks like I need to eat at the Glen Echo Resort.

Charlie6 said...


perhaps it was because we were quite hungry by the time we got there, but the burgers were delicious! thanks for visiting...

Anonymous said...

Nice pics, including the food pr0n. I wanna ride this road but I'll wait for summer!

Chris Luhman said...

Love the pics! Congrats to Ken on his saddlesore. I'm contemplating doing one this summer myself. I just can't decide if it'll be the SV or the GS.

Bummer you guys got snowed on. I think we've finally escaped the last of the snow here. (I hope)

SonjaM said...

Gorgeous pictures. Simply stunning. It still looks a little nippy though.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I am constantly amazed by guys who can pull bikes apart by the side of the road or in a parking lot. I have written reams about the scenery in your neck of the woods. Your average pictures are hard to beat with my best — or anyone's for that matter.
You seem to be writing your own chapter in the BMW Anonymous Book these days.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

irondad said...

Sounds like you have now become a Destination, my friend!

KEN PHENIX said...

@ Chris: Thanks. My membership number just arrived via email. I was actually glad to have the temp in the high 20's on the second half of the ride. It gave me the ability to dial back the electrics a bit to stay alert. I didn't have to worry about hydration either. Just choose the steed most comfortable on longer rides. My Airhawk seat cushion was worth its weight in gold. Most important: If possible, end your ride with a good friend like Dom. Here's my report. Enjoy!