Sunday, September 04, 2011

Roxborough Park with my family and Guanella Pass with Yoshie

A beautifully sunny yet cool day here in the great state of Colorado.  My family and I headed out towards Roxborough State Park, located on the SW side of the Denver Metro Area for a little bit of hiking.

Temperatures were in the mid 50s on the ride out to the park, it was quite brisk but bearable.  I'd neglected to put on my jacket liner you see, when we'd stopped for gas for both Yoshie and my wife's SUV.

We got some good parking at the park and we set off for the Fountain Valley Trail, which was rated the easiest hike of the trails open to the public.

 One of the rock formations visible from the park's visitor center

 Martha and the boys, at the start of the hiking

 Above and below, some of the more interesting rock formations
visible from Lyon's Overlook

 On the return portion of the Fountain Valley Loop, these standalone rock 
columns caught my eye, below you can see the boys 
"enjoying" the hike

We were done with the hiking just short of Noon and I took my leave of the family, they headed home and I headed towards US 285 via the C-470 slab towards the settlement of Grant and the southern end of the Guanella Pass Road.

Yoshie rode along just fine, at or above traffic speed with no issues; her driveline thrumming smoothly below me as we climbed and descended the hilly portions of US285.  She powered up the inclined portions of the highway with just a slight twist of the throttle and it was quite the pleasure to have that ability once again.

The beginning of the Guanella Pass Road near Grant is packed dirt with stretches of washboarded dirt and clusters of small rocks poking out from the dirt surface.  Yoshie settled into a brisk but not fast pace as traffic was light and she make light work of the uneven terrain, potholes and loose sand and gravel accumulations.

After a few miles, the road becomes nicely paved with some rough spots all the way to the top of Guanella Pass.  I made it to the top of the pass on or about 1:30 PM and parked Yoshie by the side of the road near the summit parking lot.  There were a lot of people at the summit, all doing some hiking and generally enjoying the good weather.  It was perhaps a bit "cool" at the top but nothing remarkably cold.

The requisite picture of the pass sign
Note: that dark blot was some debris on the lens which I didn't notice  at the time.

A view of the nearby mountain peaks from Guanella Pass Summit Parking Lot

 Far off views to the North I think

 Yoshie waits, patiently, to resume her effortless riding

I retraced my route back down the mountain towards Grant, not much to report except how effortlessly she handled the occasional rough terrain and how she drew every cager's eye that we passed along the way.

I took US285 all the way into the Denver Metro Area and soon was home without incident.  I am happy to report that in over 350 miles of riding since I installed the new chain and sprockets, there has been zero detectable chain stretch, no klunking noises endemic of said stretching and just mile after mile of riding smoothness.  Oh, and 42MPG!


RichardM said...

I like the rock formations and it lpols like a great place to hike. I realize that this time you had the suv but would you normally leave all your gear on the bike to go for a hike?

And the new chain and sprockets sounds promising. Is the gearing change significant?


Charlie6 said...

Actually RichardM, if I am riding by myself, I don't go hiking. : )

As to the gearing, it's enough of a change to allow me to just ease out the clutch and have the rig start moving forward without any throttle....before, I had to use throttle or risk it stalling.

SonjaM said...

What a nice outing, the rock formations never cease to amaze me. Good to hear that Yoshie performs well, and you enjoy your new companion.

Steve Williams said...

Those rock formations are really alluring. Makes me want to fly back to Denver to explore. Need to figure out how to ship my Vespa....

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

bobskoot said...


excellent that your rig is working perfectly. I like unusual rock formations, but seldom hike, too hot and no place to secure gear. I really like the Moab area and want to go back to Arches NP, and maybe rent the Pink Jeep and ride down into Canyonlands NP.

Riding the Wet Coast

Tuscan foodie in America said...

Hi there: how does the V-strom handle as a sidecar? I had a V-strom 650 for several years back in Italy, and loved the bike. A few months ago I started to look for a sidecar, but it never occurred to me that the v-strom is also an option...

Charlie6 said...

Tuscan foodie, there's not that many V-strom rigs out there, perhaps 3-4 that I know off via the advrider forum. There is one rig out there mated to a wee-strom too.

Lots of power on the DL1000, can't speak for the 650 version. I've had issues with the chain not being strong enough but currently trying out a stronger chain and sprocket set.

As to handling, it's a have to learn to deal with the yaw effects of a weight hanging off the side of your bike! : )

thanks for reading this stuff

bluekat said...

Love all the rock formations. What a great place to hike! We haven't done many hikes when riding either - maybe one or two when we rode the Redwoods. Hate to leave the bikes alone for too long.

Tuscan foodie in America said...

thanks for your reply! I loved the wee strom. One of the best bikes I have ever owned. The only problem I had was the buffeting due to the windscreen. I couldn't get rid of it.