Sunday, March 15, 2015

Warm Sunday Ride in the Foothills

To the West of the Metro Denver area, there's a series of small hills called the foothills, they are the precursors to the real mountains a bit further west.  These foothills are crossed by canyon roads that twist and turn their way alongside creeks and small rivers which carved said canyons eons ago.

As Scarlett is in the shop, it was Brigitta who I rode out on towards the foothills around 9AM in the morning.  It was already in the high 50s with a brilliant sun out with mostly clear blue skies overhead as Brigitta sped along the slabs towards the foothills.

Here's a view of Mount Evans from the south side entrance to Cherry Creek Reservoir Park:

Mount Evans from Cherry Creek Park South

Once on the Southwestern side of the Metro area, we started off in Deer Creek Canyon after taking the Wadsworth Boulevard exit from the C470 slab which acts as the beltway for the Denver area.  The sides of the road had a lot of bicyclists but everyone was behaving and following the rules of the road

The canyon roads still had loose gravel left over from the snowy days in the center portion of each lane so one had to pay attention while enjoying the curves of the road.

I meandered near the rock formations of Deer Creek Canyon, the light was good even at such a late time in the morning:

Next, Brigitta and I motored up High Grade Road from Deer Creek Canyon, which becomes Pleasant Park Road as it climbs further into the foothills and eventually dumps one into Conifer.  In the intervening space though, there's curves aplenty and tight hairpins to keep one on their toes.  Add a little gravel where you want to make your apex turn and it makes for some heavy concentration while riding.

It was cooler as I got to the top area of Pleasant Park Road and soon I was in Conifer filling Brigitta up at the gas station there.

Brigitta and I then re-traced our route back onto Pleasant Park Road, this time enjoying the views from a different perspective and a bit slower as I was hoping to find a narrow but safe spot for pictures along the road.

Pleasant Park Road

Traffic remained light throughout the foothills portion of the riding thankfully but more and more motorcycles were seen heading into the foothills as I left them behind.  It was early afternoon now and so warm that the cruiser guys were riding with only a T-Shirt for upper body covering and their token helmets if they bothered at all with a helmet.

I made a slight detour once I got back on Deer Creek Canyon Road, taking Turkey Creek Road North towards the Mount Lindo Memorial Cemetery.  I wanted to get a view of the downtown area from high atop this small mountain where the cemetery is located.  This is the same small mountain that has a giant cross composed of electric lights, which are visible at night, displaying a cross on the side of the mountain facing Denver.

The road to the top is dirt and it was slow going for me on two wheels as the surface conditions were sub-optimal in spots with fresh mud and "moist" looking areas causing some worry.

 Downtown Denver

From Mount Lindo's main parking lot.
That's US285 making its way into the mountains.

Made it home shortly after 2PM with temperatures in the high 60s F!  Truly a lovely day for a ride on a motorcycle, no weather challenges, just a bit of gravel to watch out for in the blind canyon curves.

If you got the impression everything is looking pretty brown, that's because it is, no spring budding yet on the trees and the grassy areas remain asleep.


CCjon said...

Dom, see you are enjoying the time-lapse feature. Very impressive, I likey...

Have you capture that Downtown Denver shot at sundown with the sun reflecting off the glass buildings? Will the mountains allow a good shot from that angle??

Charlie6 said...

CCJon, even when I worked in downtown Demver, never was there late enough to see what kind of sunset shots would be possible. I thank sunrise would have more possibilities to catch the light reflecting off the buildings.

Richard M said...

Out of curiosity, what is Scarlett in the shop for?

It looks like winter is on the way out for you. Is it just me or did winter seem short?

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, she's in the shop for probably clutch replacement. More details later on this week. I hope to get her back Wednesday evening this week.

Trobairitz said...

Wow, beautiful day for a ride. And it is almost Spring!

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Trobairitz, it felt like a late Spring day to be honest.

SonjaM said...

Wunderbar, Dom. It looks warm ;-)
Also waiting for the buds to bud.

Biker Malaysia said...

The best scenery I eve seen. All the mountains. Its really beautiful.