Friday, March 9, 2012

71 Degrees, March 6

Weather man said 66 for the high, and a bunch of the mountain roads looked clear on the CDOT webcams... Worked extra the day before, so lets enjoy this beautiful afternoon in early March!

Knocked out 200 miles, with loads of twisties and some dirt thrown in for good measure. Saw a lot of bikes out, actually more than we did last weekend on the group ride. Lowest temp was 43, highest was 71. That was a little tricky to dress for... Totally worth the twisties though, as dirty as they were.

Just me and the Ninja, so opted to run the GoPro on camera mode. Is this thing on?

First I head up Golden Gate canyon. The twisties are nice, but quite a few have a lot of sand, so you just take it easy and enjoy being able to turn at more than just a stop light...

More twisties, and some excellent views along Peak to Peak to Ward. Still some sand and dirty roads. Lots of snow melt running across the road, which mixed with the dried salt and sand and made a sloppy mess. Again, just slow down and enjoy the day.

Stopped in Nederland for a little break and a snack

Continuing north towards Ward

I've always wondered where this little road in Ward goes. Good day to give it a shot.

That was a bit slippy, but I'm getting better and better with handling the little Ninja on less than ideal surfaces.

Ward is an odd little place full of a lot of crap. I dunno, the locals just don't seem to care to keep things up.

And it looped me right back onto Peak to Peak. Huh, well now I know where it goes!

Back to the main road through Ward

Down Lefthand Canyon

Then left back up the hill heading towards Jamestown. This bit of pavement before Jamestown was in the best shape! Weeeeee.

Into Jamestown. I like this little place. Lots of well behaved neighborhood dogs. Folks are pretty quiet though. It's a favorite among bicyclists, probably because the road isn't frequented by many cars or motorcycles as you have to do a few miles of dirt to get back up to Peak to Peak.

With all the run off on Peak to Peak, and the ice on the road in Ward, I wasn't quite sure the dirt road a few miles up would be suitable for my stiff front suspension and street tires. Then I spot a KTM 950 Adventure ahead, with its rider just about to hop aboard. Awesome, I'll ask him, I bet he knows. I mean, this is what his bike looks like, they are used to run the Dakar!

See him on the right? Well, as I pull up I realize his bike is as clean as the one in the picture above... Definitely cleaner than my bike. I ask how the dirt road ahead is anyway.... "I'm sure it's fine, I haven't been up it in weeks," he says, clearly with no intention of carrying on a conversation with me. I shrug, thank him and his fancy $500 helmet, and move along. Some people....

More sand up here

This is quite a nice dirt road. Well maintained, very hard. It is dirt from here until Peak to Peak.

Some great views too

Then started getting some snow run off. This road is GREAT dry cause it's so hard. That's a bad thing when it's wet though. Quite slick, but OODLES of fun! I don't think I could have turned or stopped quickly, so just kept a steady, even pace and direction. Grinning the entire time!

More views....

And more road snot. Don't worry. I'm still laughing in my helmet. And being careful not to turn the handlebars too much. Last thing I want is a face full of that stuff!

Back onto the Peak to Peak, with some mud splatters on the GoPro case. Heading north again towards Estes Park.

Down the hill a bit into Estes Park.

Aaaaand another break. What can I say, I'm hydrated!

Hmmm, that's pretty dirty, lemme fix it.

Did I get it? (Somewhere a village is missing it's idiot....)

Made the traditional visit downtown as I dare not return without a caramel apple!

Heading up to loop around the Stanley Hotel and down into Glen Haven.

Love this little road

Just before the switch backs going down into Drake traffic was stopped by construction. Ended up being utility workers setting up new poles. It's a good thing the wind was coming from behind me, cause man it felt like it could knock the bike right over! Stopped here for about 15minutes waiting and enjoying the view. I cocked the bike a bit so I could get off and not worry about the wind.

Down the switchbacks. Unfortunately had a reeeeeeally slow old pickup in front of the Forester.

This little canyon doesn't get wind too bad, which probably made their jobs much easier.

Down past the Glen Haven General Store, which won't be open for cinnamon rolls for another two months. :( You KNOW we will be there on opening weekend!

This is a great bit of road heading down to rejoin with Big Thompson canyon

And down Big Thompson canyon towards Loveland.

From here I could either go north and hit some more twisties up to Fort Collins, or head south. I opted to head south, aiming for Carter Lake. I didn't want to hit rush hour traffic on the way home! So, up to Carter Lake.

Found a nice spot to have a snack. It was windy (it's always windy at Carter Lake, lots of sailboats in the summer), but it was so warm I didn't care.

Yep. I like it dirty.

Great view.

Enjoyed my snack, time to head home. Shut off the GoPro, not much more stuff to take photos of from here. Dropped by Karla's work on the way home to say hello, made it back safe and sound. Wow what a mess I made though! I'll be adding some additional mud flap style protection to the bike very soon, cause I'm not sure I can get all this mud off!

Some DIY protection for the radiator is planned as well. Looks like it's baked onto the headers... Ugh.

Hahahaha, how did mud get up HERE??

Gonna add a "mud flap" back here for sure. What a mess!!

Chain guard extender should help too.

GoPro case did a good job! 

A long trip to the car wash is in order this weekend... I pity the people waiting behind me in line for the bay. They're probably pull in thinking, "sweet, this guy has a tiny bike, it won't take long at all to wash!" WRONG! Hahahaha.

It really was a great ride. I didn't think I would have as much fun as I did slip-sliding around. Looking forward to warmer temps to finish off the snow melt and a rain storm or two to really clean off those twisties.

Slideshow of 139 GoPro photos

Slideshow of 16 camera photos

1 comment:

  1. You need a front fender extender; that's why you got mud on the gauge cluster. You can probably make one out of a black plastic trash can. I also made my own rear hugger to keep some of the crap off the top of the muffler where it would just build up.