Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Trail Ridge Road, Memorial Day, 2016

I met up with a couple of fellow Ural riders on Monday, Memorial Day, to go check out Trail Ridge Road which had opened for the season on Saturday.

Jay B, with his Patrol and I on Scarlett rode up via US6 to CO119 to north of Black Hawk, CO where we were joined by Dan K on his URAL M70 Solo motorcycle.

We rode north on the Peak to Peak Highway, twisting and turning our way upwards to the gateway town of Estes Park.  The place was very crowded with tourists and locals alike.  Took us a while to get through town after fueling up.  I'd never seen the park this crowded but then again, it was Memorial Day weekend!

Cager crowds aside, the weather was pretty good in the morning with partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures.  It would not get below 45 degrees Fahrenheit even at the summits on Trail Ridge Road so it was good riding weather even when the stormy clouds moved in later in the afternoon.

Jay B.
photo courtesy Jay B.
Dan K.
photo courtesy Jay B.

 Near the "Rock Cut"

We went all the way to the Alpine Visitor Center where the bigger snow accumulations could be found along the highway.  Dan K. rode in my sidecar shooting video of Jay on his rig as we rode towards the Alpine Center; then Dan got into Jay's sidecar and shot video of me on my rig on the way back to the Rock Cut.

Dan figured out how to stabilize himself better for the return trip, so there was more video to be had.  I mixed in footage from my go-pro camera which was mounted on the sidecar's nose.  See link to video at the end of this post.

At one of the snow walls visible from the road.  There were really
no safe stop points along the really high snow walls.
photo courtesy Jay B

 This stop was by the overlook to the Lava Cliffs
photo courtesy Jay B

Once we got back to the Rock Cut, we found a couple admiring Dan K's M70 Solo motorcycle.  Turns out it was Adam of Granby, who owns a 2005 Ural Patrol.  I didn't get a picture of his rig, sorry.  He and his companion (who was on two wheels) while Adam had her dog as a monkey.

Discussing EFI on the new rigs.
photo courtesy Jay B

photo courtesy Jay B.

The weather was starting to move in so we headed on down after the above pictures at the Rock Cut.  It snowed briefly on us a couple of times but each time it was just flurries or very light hail.

We retraced our route back to Black Hawk, stopping for a pizza in Allenspark and a rest break.  Everyone got home safe, I got briefly rained on while transiting the C-470 slab after tanking up in Morrison.

Looks like replacing the stock muffler on Scarlett after installing the two-into-one header pipes from Raceway was the right solution.  I got better MPG readings from the last tankfulls.  From 29-40 MPG!

Of course, the 40 MPG was during the portion where we were coming off the mountains and into the Denver Metro area but still, way better than the low 20s!  Scarlett performed very well.


Trobairitz said...

Great write up Dom. Loved seeing the walls of snow and the ominous clouds in the video.

Oz said...

I love that road. In 1997 I took my parents on their only trip through RMNP & Trail Ridge Road. They loved it. We actually drove the road on the first day it was opened that year. Crazy how high the snow was. Great photos.

SonjaM said...

What a ride, Dom. These snow walls are very impressive (and make a nice contrast to the bike...).

RichardM said...

Beautiful photos and the clouds really make it much more dramatic.

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, thanks very much....I wished the snow walls had been higher but then again, that much snow would have meant a delayed opening I think.

Thomas Osburn, glad you liked the photos and that you've been on the road.....its one of Colorado's jewels when it comes to motorcycling.

SonjaM, the walls were pretty good and yes, they make a good backdrop. :)

RichardM, thanks to you as skies are nice but I prefer a few clouds.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about riding Trail Ridge Road on Saturday....real life might get in the way of that, but we'll see.

redlegsrides said...

There should still be some snow up there Motoventures, with any luck.