Friday, September 30, 2016

Five Ride Reports from Colorado

Sorry, I've been forgetting to post about ScooterBob's rides with me lately.

Here you go.

A Saturday Morning Ride with Brigitta and ScooterBob

Saturday, September 03, 2016

It had been almost a month since I'd last ridden on Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer Airhead.  We rode down to the post office to retrieve a package from Russia.

It was a clutch release rod/assembly for the old style gearbox.  I really only wanted the slide cap portion because it would come with the requisite o-ring seal; that and to have a spare bearing assembly.

Since we were out, and the temperature was just right and with the sun shining brightly, the errand ride turned into a somewhat more circuitous ride about the neighborhoods.  I had to return home to retrieve both my camera and ScooterBob but that didn't take long.

 All the recent snow is apparently gone from the top of Mount Evans

 Brigitta and ScooterBob

I liked the sign, as with ScooterBob, it inspires riding and such thoughts.

So, despite the lack of snow on Mount Evans, it was a clear day to view its summit and the front range mountains.  Brigitta got a suitable amount of exercise and met/rode with ScooterBob.

It was quite a bit warmer when we finished the above shot, time to head for the barn and do household things for a bit.  I can't wait for Fall weather to finally arrive, we've been teased with cooler temperatures in the evenings but the heat of the summer hangs on.

ScooterBob on Pikes Peak

Monday, September 05, 2016

Sunday mid-morning, I was out riding on Fiona on an errand when I got a phone call through my Sena Bluetooth headset.

It was Shaun C., a former co-worker friend who'd recently seen me shooting sunset pictures and had stopped to renew relations.  A ride to the top of Pikes Peak was quickly agreed upon and I returned home to switch motorcycles.  Fiona, whose gearbox is still being "broken in", would simply not be fast enough for the planned ride.

So it was that Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer Airhead and I rode out to meet with Shaun.  He was riding his new Triumph Thruxton, a lovely motorcycle as you shall see.

Together, we rode in a spirited manner down Colorado Highway 83, through the turmoil of traffic that apparently now consistently congests the town of Parker and from there south towards Colorado Springs.

A quick lunch near Manitou Springs and then we queued up at the Pikes Peak Highway fee station.  Took a bit of time to pay our fees, and I feared Brigitta's engine would overheat with all the slow stop and go traffic.

Still, no issues, and finally we were clear of the maddening crowd of cagers at the fee station and riding up the mountain highway.

 At the Crystal Lake Reservoir
 Shaun and his beautiful Triumph Thruxton

 Views on the way up...

photo courtesy Shaun C.

ScooterBob gets introduced to Shaun

 photo courtesy Shaun C.

photo courtesy Shaun C.

 ScooterBob didn't want to queue up to have his picture taken at the sign

Though we did manage to ride up to the summit's parking lot (being on two wheels allowed us to bypass the line of cagers queueing up for parking spaces), we didn't tarry.  Too crowded, a bit chilly and very strong winds all combined to make our stay at the top a very short one.

 Shaun at the Bottomless Pit

 One last shot of ScooterBob before we left the Pikes Peak area...

Shaun and I stopped for a leisurely early dinner to kill some time as we hoped to catch the sunset on the way home.  After eating, it was more spirited riding along CO Highway 83 to the vicinity of Castlewood Canyon Park.

 Can you make out ScooterBob's silhouette atop Brigitta?

photo courtesy Shaun C.

After the above sunset shots we rode in the gathering darkness all the way home to our respective home neighborhoods.  A good day's worth of riding to be sure and now ScooterBob has been to the summits of the two highest paved roads in the US.

Early September Sunset

Thursday, September 08, 2016

I rode Fiona to a new spot, near the usual sunset watching spot, but up a bit higher and accessible via a very short but fun dirt trail.

First things first, there was a rather lovely thundercloud being illuminated by the setting sun:

Using the Subtle-Ian effect to add color....better or stay original?

I moved the spare gas can from the nose of the sidecar to the rear

 ScooterBob and a single sunflower that was near Fiona

 Looking to the south
The small white dot is the moon

 Mount Evans crowns the Front Range Mountains

Previous post: ScooterBob goes to Pikes Peak

A Two Pass Day for ScooterBob

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September is the month where the Fall Colors appears in the Colorado high lands.  There had been rumours that it might be a week earlier than usual, the peaking of said Fall Color so I decided to do some reconnaissance.

First, it was a ride to Loveland Pass and the Continental Divide.

ScooterBob and I rode Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol, using both frontage roads and also the I-70 Superslab where it couldn't be avoided to ride towards the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The Eisenhower Tunnel crosses the Continental Divide and is the main route for vehicles crossing the state along it's northern half.

Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) carriers are obliged to take US Highway 6, aka Loveland Pass Road since they cannot use the tunnel.

Loveland Pass is a favorite destination of mine, especially when it's covered with fresh snow, I find it near and quite beautiful, perfect for a day ride.

There was very little traffic, as the western end of the road was blocked for a Triathlon Event.  Skies were clear and sunny and the morning chill eventually wore off as we rode along.

 Another Pass Summit for ScooterBob

 At a nearby picnic area just west of the summit parking area.

 A view of the mountain peaks to the west of Loveland Pass

 Seven Peaks

 Grizzly Peak?

 The ski runs at Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort

As you can see, not much in the way of Fall Colors yet but I did see the beginnings of it in spots along the road.

Once we were done with Loveland Pass, we took I-70 eastbound to the nearby town of Georgetown.  We did stop briefly at Silver Plume just before Georgetown hoping to see the old vintage locomotive but it wasn't on duty today apparently.

So we tanked up Scarlett at Georgetown and then headed along the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway to check Fall Colors along that road.

I will say, it appeared the northern half of Guanella Pass Road was sporting more Fall coloration than the southern half.

 Scarlett's and ScooterBob's first good look at Sawtooth Peak

 At the Guanella Summit Overlook

 A view of Sawtooth Peak from a lower level parking area.

 ScooterBob at the requisite pass summit sign

There were a few other spots but this was the best I could find on the
southern half of Guanella Pass Road.

So, yes, Fall Colors are starting to come in around the areas I rode through today.  I would say it's still a couple of weeks before they really peak though.

I am using this map put out by one of the news stations as a planning guide, I was in the "pinkish" area today.

Update: A different couple of maps for Fall Colors prediction:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This Sunday, given the hordes of leaf-peeping cagers currently swarming over the popular highway destinations for Fall Color, I decided to stay somewhat closer in to the Metro Denver area.

The main destination was the Switzerland Trail in the hopes it had some Fall Colors.

I crossed the metro area using the I-25 to US35 slabs to get to Boulder or the PRB in good time.  I transited through the PRB and turned west using Left Hand Canyon Road.  Not much color to report on this nice and twisty canyon road until you get higher up in altitude and closer to the Peak to Peak Highway aka CO Hwy 72.

 On Left Hand Canyon Road, approaching CO 72 aka the Peak to Peak Highway

Once Scarlett and I reached the Peak to Peak Highway, we turned South on it to keep some distance from the cagers who were most assuredly swarming over Estes Park about 30 miles north.

I turned off on County Road 93, heading towards the Boy Scout Camp to look for Fall Colors.  I found them too, a nice bunch of it at the private lake that is Beaver Reservoir.

 Fall Colors next to the Beaver Reservoir

 ScooterBob gets to witness Colorado Gold

 That triangular peak is called Sawtooth Peak for obvious reasons.
It's one of the mountain peaks visible also from the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Back on CO 72, we headed a little further south, this time turning west into the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.  It's a fee area and it cost me $10 to get in.  It's more of a hiking destination however, I'll have to go back some day if I ever do pick up hiking.

 A vista of the nearby peaks as one heads into the area

 Pawnee Peak on the left and Mount Audubon on the right

 ScooterBob near Brainard Lake 

Exiting the recreation area, we headed south once again and this time stopped at a favorite spot for pictures.  Unfortunately, the colors in the vicinity were so brilliant that the place was swarming with leaf-peepers, getting in the way of many picture angles.  I got only one:

Heading away hurriedly from the milling cagers and leaf-peepers, we rode a short way further south and I posed Scarlett near the edge of a pullout area.

 Along the Peak to Peak Highway south of Ward, CO

Shortly after the above shots, I found the turn off for Gold Hill Road.  This dirt road was pretty much lacking in terms of Fall Colors however.  I did find the turnoff for the Switzerland Trail and spent the next hour or so bumping along slowly on this rocky trail.

Progress was slow as I didn't want to loose the fillings in my teeth or parts off the rig as we descended down into the valley.  Again, no real fall colors or very scenic shots so no pictures taken.  Finally, reached a junction with County Road 118 which became Four Mile Canyon Road.

Very nice and twisty, this canyon road, but again no Fall Colors or much in the way of scenery.  A few miles down this road, we came upon this imposing rock/brick structure that used to be a mill for the Wallstreet Gold Mine Complex back in 1902:

Not much remains of the other buildings but there was the Assay Museum just a bit further on from the mill structure.  I didn't stop, but if you're so inclined, the museum is waiting for you.

Four Mile Canyon dumped us onto CO119 which we took towards Boulder.  We took CO93 from Boulder to Baseline Road and from there swiftly left the PRB and transited north of the Metro Denver area to I-25.

I-25 would take us to 104th Street east, to Tower Road at the town of Reunion.  From there it was just boring usual roads back to the home neighborhoods.

Scarlett ran pretty well though once in a while she'd run a little rough in first gear.  I think the air filter might need replacing.  I'll find out this coming week as Scarlett went over 40K Km during this ride and it's time for services!


That's it folks...I'll try and be better about these postings.