Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pikes Peak in the Fall, a URAL sidecar's perspective.

A beautiful Fall Sunday here in the Great State of Colorado, it beckoned Valencia, my 2011 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig and I up to the summit of America's Mountain: Pikes Peak.

I left the house soon after 8:30 AM and by 10:20 AM I had made it past the fee station at the bottom of Pikes Peak Highway and was making my way to the summit.  The temperatures at the top were reported to be in the low 20s as opposed to the low 60s that the lowlands would achieve.

Valencia's engine pulled strong and steady up the steep inclined portions of the Pikes Peak Highway, the views above the timberline soon appeared and were as magnificent as I remembered from previous rides.

 Such a clear day, you could almost see forever.

 Just a portion of the many hairpin turns on the Pikes Peak Highway

 Don't you just love the way they carved the road out of the side
of the mountain?

 Really, not much snow has collected on the mountain.

The requisite sign picture at the top.
It says 14,110 feet at the sign, but my
GPS reported 14,088 feet while standing next to the sign.

The vast views afforded to one at the top of Pikes Peak mandated my trying out the panorama feature on my new camera.  It's very easy to use, no more stitching required afterwards.

 View from the top of Pikes Peak, near the summit sign.

 View from near the weather observatory building.

A view of the visitor center/Cog RR station on Pikes Peak,
while standing in the center of the parking lot on top of the peak.

Now it was time to start heading down, the cold up on top wasn't too bad as I was dressed quite warmly in my riding gear.  The winds however, were quite strong at times!

 Pikes Peak doesn't lack for views

 As Winter approaches, pooled water holes are almost frozen over.

Kind of looks like the peaks are floating on top of the haze, doesn't it?

We made it down to the Bottomless Pit area, and while waiting for cars to vacate the area, I tried the pano function once again.

 It's quite the view but not quite bottomless....maybe when its foggy
on the mountain.

Now, for a series of hairpin turns as Valencia and I wound our way down the mountain, taking time to pose on the outcrop formations created by the hairpin curves.

 OK, I may have gotten carried away with using the pano function.

Shortly after I left the "rock pile", I found the gate to a trail that is normally closed, open!  It led one down a dirt road to a round rocky hilltop below the entrance.  I'd always found the gate closed, so I couldn't resist going down and posing Valencia thus:

Valencia and I would soon reach the timberline and trees would block our view of the mountains as we motored downwards towards the exit of the Pikes Peak Highway.  I would reach home about 90 minutes later, with temperatures in the low 60s and the sun shining brightly.  I'm happy to report Valencia did great.

Hopefully, the next time I motor up Pikes Peak, there will be much more snow on the mountain.

P.S.  Happy Birthday Marines!

P.P.S.  Want to see conditions at the top of Pikes Peak?  LINK

Previously: Yoshie is back home.


Canajun said...

Definitely looks like a ride I'll have to do one day. And you didn't overdo the panorama shots!

Anonymous said...

Nice work! It looks like this new camera suits you well. There are some great shots here.

Bob and Sharon said...

Great snaps as usual, what kind of camera are you using for panorama
We still dont have any snow

RichardM said...

I like the shot of the winding road and you can never have too many pano shots.

I would have been concerned about returning to a locked gate after venturing down the trail.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Canajun.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks mapperjay, got to try out its video function soon as well.

redlegsrides said...

Hi Bob and Sharon, no snow eh? The camera is a Nikon AW110. Thanks for the comment.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, no worries re the locked gate, I think they want folks to check out the overlook. I've either missed it in the past or snow has forced the gate to be closed, the entrance is a bit steep. Glad the Heet resolved the issues you were having.

Trobairitz said...

Gorgeous pictures Dom. So bright and sunny and that panoramic feature is nice.

So cool to see pictures of the road meandering up and down the mountain.

Steve Williams said...

Fantastic post. I kept going through the pictures finding more and more details. I would like to take a ride up that mountain.

Are there rules that would prohibit the Vespa and the CVT transmission? Mt. Washington won't allow such things. They want you to have some engine compression available to slow you down if necessary.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, thanks for the kind words...

Steve, ya know, I've never seen scooters going up/down the mountain....never gave it much thought really. You could email your question to: and see what they say. As to your riding it Pikes Peak though, all you have to do is fly can borrow one of my motorcycles for the ride.

SonjaM said...

Love the pano pics. Breathtaking as usual. And my favorite colour combination, too: blue skies, a bit of snow and the bright orange of your hack. Thanks, Dom. It made my day (which was all grey today).

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, glad to be of service, thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Nice ride and great pics, Redlegs!
I'm a retired Yellowleg and have a 2011 Ural T here in AZ. I haven't been to 14000', but just above 11000 in Utah.
I was wondering how your rig performed going up? I suppose you have richer jets for the alt?
Anyway, thanks for the great Blog!


redlegsrides said...

BudK, thanks for the kind to your question re jets, am running the rig with the jets it came with 40 idle and 122 main. She did just fine going up and down from the top but I never got above 2nd gear either ways.