Friday, October 29, 2010

First Panorama Shot

After three days of heavy wind, two days of snow in the mountains, it was time for a good ride. Weather couldn't have been better. Found a nice spot to try out the panorama feature... That's over 14,000 feet in the background... Oh yeah, I'm loving this camera!

You will probably have to maximize your internet window to see the whole thing... I just couldn't bring myself to shrink it...

Here is a "smaller" photo, which is my new desktop background

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We have entered the 21st century!

That's right folks, like all the other serious riders I know, I have finally invested in and activated a SPOT satellite messenger. What is that you say? Well it's basically a GPS that sends a signal to a website every 10-15 minutes (depending on coverage) when turned on. It also will allow me to contact 911 services in the area, transmitting my exact location. Sending "OK" and "Help" messages to certain emails and phone numbers is another helpful feature. This has been on my list of "to buy" for a long time, as out here most of the riding is out of cell range. If you would like to know more about the product, here is their website. I have the first generation, not the fancy second gen.

I will not have the SPOT on all the time, just when out on the bike. I did place it out in the courtyard to test and everything seems dandy!

One word of caution... Please do not blow a lid if I'm out riding and this doesn't send a signal for 20minutes. Don't send the cavalry! I'm probably under tree cover too deep for the SPOT to get signal. Patience, and don't panic (I know this can be hard for certain Pritchards... lol). Also, I cannot send OK messages until I'm done with a ride, so don't be looking for those to pop up all the time! A help message will send a message to certain folks, and I will use it in non-medical emergency situations. Most likely I need someone with a pickup to help me with a broken down bike (yes, it's happened, more than once).

I have also pasted the tracking website into my profile, you will find it in the left column under "about me." You will have to copy and paste the link, my apologies!

Here is the link:
Here is a secondary link:

If anyone has questions, please ask! You can comment on this post (or any posts, for that matter).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Little Ride Through Evergreen, October 24

Angie had the wonderful idea of going for a ride this past Sunday, she and John asked if Karla and I would pick a route. Angie was hoping to see the last vestiges of fall color and agreed some million dollar home touring wouldn't be a bad idea either. Evergreen was the obvious choice!

Karla and I met John and Angie at their place in Castle Rock at 8:30, making our way north and west into the foothills. Here's a map of the route we ended up taking (cut a bit short due to weather from the original plan):

Weather was definitely not warm, but manageable with the right gear and the radar was clear for where we would be riding. It was obvious we would see some snow clouds and would have to be wary of how the front was moving as the day went on. All are thrills of riding in the Rockies in the fall  

Ride was nice and easy at a relative slow to moderate pace. Evergreen is notorious for sand, so we had to watch for that. All in all, made the ride really pleasant! It's not all about scraping pegs.

Plenty of these guys... Don't get me started...

This tree was staggeringly beautiful. Come around a corner and BAM!

The Evergreen area is like the roller coaster ride closest to Denver. I still can't find my way around there with my eyes closed, but I'm working on it!!

Awesome scenery on this barely two lane rode with no striping

This picture doesn't do these trees justice... Bright, skinny leaves with black bark.

Clouds were very dramatic and the wind was picking up as we came around the lake in Evergreen. Temperatures in the 40s.

Did some million dollar home touring.... There are quite a few up here.

I swear... This smiley was MADE to describe Karla when this happens:

She threw a fit for atleast a few minutes. "That was an awesome shot! [insert slew of cusswords] car!"

I can just hear John.... "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" He had a big smile on his face at about every stop pulling up next to me.

I made a quick decision and confirmed with John that those clouds to the west were not very happy looking and the wind was getting worse... So I altered the course to take us down to Lookout Mountain where we stopped to plan our next move. Was getting seriously windy which is no fun, so we decided to head down to the Buffalo Rose in Golden for lunch!

Lookout Mountain can be a very fun road. The usual problem is it's often over run with bicyclists who seem to believe the "ride single file" signs don't apply to them. I almost took out a few groups and I never left second gear (aka, kept the speed down for safety). Came around one corner and two of them were stopped facing the other direction, side by side IN MY LANE just chatting. And here I said I wasn't gonna get started on bicyclists... Moving on!

Arrived safely at the Buffalo Rose for lunch!

21 photo slideshow

Some video of John and Angie outside Evergreen:

Then Karla turned the camera forward... Nice easy pace, you can see some of the gravel too. No outside-inside-outside lines on these roads!

Again, thank you to Angie for suggesting this, and thank you to both John and Angie for lunch!!

After lunch we both retreated to the warmth of our homes. John and Angie spoke of heated blankets while Karla and I couldn't wait to crash on the futon with a good movie.

Really was a most excellent day! 

Terror in the Corn, October 23

Have tried to make it a tradition every year of going to the haunted corn maze at Anderson Farms up near Erie, CO. Well, last year they didn't have it, probably due to the economy. Back on this year! Couldn't wait to go, especially since Karla had never been. Our friends Zoso (Michael) and Rebecca and their kids Adam and Sarah joined us for the festivities! Not very many photos as it was rather dark and no photography allowed in the corn maze.... What a hoot. It was shorter than it's been in the past.... Hopefully next year they will bring back the single wide trailer and more walking through the corn. If anyone comes to visit Colorado in October, this is worth the $ and line!!

This made the night awesome, cause you could still see quite a bit once you got away from the lights!

Sarah and Rebecca didn't like being close to the corn....

We stood in a line for an hour, maybe and hour and a half, but that's on par for the course. An extra $20/head and you can skip the line. We said we'd just wait. Nice to have time to catch up!

Check out these twins.... Awwww...

I think bunnies are really funny.... They chase each other!

ST Ride October 23, 2010

On the Honda ST (like my bike) forum we have gatherings called Ride to Eats, RTE for short. I decided to try my hand at leading one! They are very relaxed, as is on par for the forum. Pick a place to eat, take a nice ride there or back or both! Awesome.

Jim's Wings in Fort Collins was an obvious choice, allowing us to take a nice ride to Estes Park and down the Peak to Peak. Too late in the season to try Rocky Mountain National Park. Heck, mountains had snow from the day before, and it was looking like they would get more snow the day of the ride. Kept a close eye on the radar. Got pretty much soaked on the 1.5 hour ride up, but with the right gear it wasn't bad. Lunch at Jim's was excellent, but we unfortunately forgot to snag a picture of the bikes in front of the restaurant! Whoops!

Karla did snag one while we were waiting for Chuck to get gas, he's out of the picture at the pump on his Vstrom 650.

Weather definitely wasn't going to be perfect, we would be flirting with cold temperatures (it was in the 40's in Fort Collins) and possibly a smidge of precipitation. Kept a close eye on radar and CDOT road cameras and decided to give it a shot. It's easy to come back down off the Peak to Peak, so if things turned at all hairy we'd quickly be out of it.

Time for lots of photos! 

Still some color left up Rist Canyon above Fort Collins

A stop in Glen Haven was a must do, this was the last weekend the general store would be open til spring

They are rather famous for this.... And the ST group has a notorious sweet tooth!

3 of the guys continued on from here to turn back at Estes Park. Two gentleman followed us, but cut off early heading back down on highway 7.

Up to Estes! And yes, this road really is this steep.

Winter is almost here

Came out next to the Stanley

Off on the Peak to Peak

Definitely chilly up here and the wind was building. Weather was very dramatic and made for incredible views!

We passed only one other group of bikes. All sport bikes, saw more than one rider in jeans and tennis shoes. Wow, stupid and FROZEN. Brrrrr. Seems the weather had kept everyone else off the mountains.

Waved goodbye as the last two headed down 7 while Karla and I aimed for Raymond

Found the last vestiges of fall color on the Peak to Peak down in Raymond which is a bit more protected from the wind.

As we got closer and closer to Nederland, the temperature continued to drop while the wind got worse. Official temperature in Nederland was 36 degrees with a sustained 28mph wind and gusts much higher. Exciting! Saw a few tiny snowflakes as well, although the roads were dry. Only got one picture, which proved to be the last of the day. We buggered down 72 to hit the warmer temperatures! It was our first big chill of the season. Quite dramatic! That night and following day Nederland received several inches of snow.

Karla did snag some video coming down 72 near Pinecliff