Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Ride on Prairie Roads

A beautiful sunny day here in Colorado with temperatures in the mid 50s.

I left home a bit after lunch after a morning of watching my two sons sledding down a somewhat snow covered hill at the local high school. They seemed to have a blast in spite of the very little snow remaining from Thursday's storm.

During my ride, I rode by the same spot where the boys had sledded in the morning, the snow was all gone. That's pretty much what I saw as I wandered about the county roads to the east of where I live.

I took these shots on a side road off of Quincy Road, it leads to the International Order of Operating Engineers' post #9 I think. The angle is nice in that you can pose the motorcycle and see the two lane road leading off to the East amidst the plains.

Looking East towards the Eastern Plains of Colorado

Looking West

I continued on Quincy until it junctions with County 137 which is also known as Kiowa-Bennett Road. I headed south and after a couple of miles or so, ran out of pavement. I'd usually turned around at this point when riding on Maria but continued on as I was riding Brigitta.

This road was packed dirt with some loose dirt around where driveways connected up to the road. Not too bad really, only one spot where I had to throttle down since the motorcycle was getting a bit "loose". Still, not too bad.

Eventually, as you near Kiowa, the road becomes nicely paved again and it's a smooth ride into the small town of Kiowa. I transited the town heading towards it's new water tower to the East of the town:

You can dimly see the Rockies way off in the distance

I pretty much did a clock-wise circuit with Kiowa at its 5 O'clock location, the town of Elizabeth at Six O'clock and my home at about 11 O'clock. All two lane county roads, lightly occupied by pickup trucks mostly. A nice little ride, less than 85 miles and perhaps 2.5hrs in the saddle. I also tried and enjoyed resting my legs on the upper portions of my engine guards; it felt good to stretch out the legs like the harley riders do.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Yesterday's snow is gone - went for a little ride

We got perhaps 4-6 inches of soft puffy snow yesterday. It snowed most of the day with the pesky storm system hovering over the Denver Metro area all day, dumping more snow as I worked to keep a path clear to the main roads with my snow blower.

It finally stopped snowing after sunset, so I headed out yesterday evening for one more pass, it was bitterly cold and my wife gave me her "you're insane" look.

You can see below that my efforts were worth it:

The view at 0730hrs, the sun would make short work of all the snow you see

It still was pretty bad but you can see there's just a very thin snow/ice layer on the sidewalk which I could use later to escape the snow choked neighborhood roads to the hopefully drier main roads.

The sun came out and as I worked remotely the morning away, with a couple of snow/ice shoveling breaks to ensure drainage, and the snow rapidly melted off even the neighborhood streets.

Work and phone meetings done with, I headed out around 1400hrs and was able to dodge and weave my way through the remaining ice/snow on the street and get to the main roads which were just wet. I rode up Himalaya Road to Quincy which I took East towards the Plains Conservation center where I took this picture of Maria with the Front Range in the distance.

Although the temperature was in the mid to high 40s around this time, I did not wander about long and barely racked up 10 miles before heading to the barn.

It's supposed to get into the 50s tomorrow, I'll have to see how things look closer to the foothills and mountains to the West. I like the way the snow does not "hang around" for long here in the state. I guess it's a combination of the altitude and lots of sunshine we get.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Brigitta's the BMWMOA Website's "Picture of the Week"

Got some good news on this dreary snowy day here in the Denver metro area. As I type, there's about two inches of snow on the ground and it continues to fall thickly.

I received an email from the BMWMOA saying they'd selected a picture of Brigitta that I'd submitted soon after the ride that produced it. LINK.

Click here for the "Picture of the Week" page at the BMWMOA Site

Here's the original picture from that day, she does look quite nice doesn't she?

Larger Version

The above picture sure looks a lot better to me right now than the view outside my window at home right now. Sure glad I can work from home when I can't ride my motorcycle to work.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

LINK: SHARP Now Testing Flip-up Motorcycle Helmets

Mike Werner's excellent site has a posting today on the ratings being earned by various helmet manufacturers who make "flip up" helmets. If you wear one, be sure to check out this posting to see how your helmet did. Mine apparently sucks! LINK

Looks like its time to look for a new helmet even though my KBC FFR did fine during my accident back in June of this year. The fact though that it its chin portion only stayed locked in place 43% of time time during SHARP's testing is very worrisome though.

The above is for my helmet!

From the SHARP site:
SHARP is the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme - it's the new helmet safety scheme for motorcyclists.

SHARP enables riders to more easily select a helmet which matches their needs. It provides consumers with an independent assessment of the safety performance of helmets sold in the UK. The SHARP RATING reflects the performance of each helmet model following a series of advanced laboratory tests and rates helmets from 1-5 stars.

More from Mike Werner's posting:

The first 20 have been entered in their extensive database:

Make Model
AGV Longway
Airoh Matisse RS
BMW System 5
Caberg Trip
Justissimo GT
Duchinni D601
G-MAC Concept
Grex RF2
Lazer Granville
Nolan N103
ROOF Boxer
Schuberth C2
Shark Openline
Shoei Multitech
Viper RS V121
RS RS101

Update: There's apparently some "debate" as to SHARP's criteria and use of test data and testing protocol creation. Unsurprisingly, some helmet manufacturers are not happy with the results published on their products. More details here on LINK