colorado springs, co
Posted - 05/17/2010 : 3:38 AM
237 miles added to my resume today.
The skies were clear and the winds mostly calm. I met up with two others for a trip through Penrose, Canyon City then out to Texas Creek. Hwy 50 runs along the Arkansas river valley where we are met with a nice twisting ribbon of 2 lane shelved 50 feet above the river to our right and canyons of rock walls on either side. The river rafters are getting an early taste of the season as we pass a few designated drop in points along the way.
From Texas Creek, through Westcliffe and Wetmore, the road is peaceful, absent the light traffic we had on hwy 50. It rolls high and low weaving around the hill sides and offering views of mountain peaks too numerous to count, all with plenty of white snow cap adding a ridge of bright white coastline to the brilliant blue sky at it's uppermost boundary. It is truly irresponsible behavior to not pull off and snap some pictures. I'll have to come by here another day. The bike sings a smooth tune and the gauge shows mid 50's to mid 60's as mph. The air temperature is about the same.
More elevation changes and I'm soon rolling into some downhill grade with snug turns. The road surface is typical black asphalt that's been laying around for many years but has the added appearance of loose sandy gravel. I slow to a grandpa speed and roll through the tighter turns as an old man walking at a brisk pace with his cane. My brain tells me these are mountain roads where rain means fast moving water rushing to erode, snow comes early, stays late and is secretly lying in wait just about any night when the temperature drops 30 or 40 degrees. These roads could have been snow covered very recently and the sandy-gravel appearance makes perfect sense. This is how traffic is able to get in and out of these Norman Rockwell communities when the flurries flur.
Moments later, we pull off to a wide shoulder, get off the wheels, stretch, yawn and here, I shake loose my tension and pucker. I realize the sandy-gravel appearance is a layer of the actual road surface designed into the asphalt. The tan and red tell-tale colors are so closely matched with that of the loose shoulder, it seems a nasty trick by the county road crew to have 'punked' me. I'm taking some friendly ribbing as the other two (know this road pretty well) now realize the situation I found myself in. Still, I'm proud of myself to have assumed the worst in the case of traction and rode that thing like I was on a frozen lake.
We get into Pueblo right at lunch time and stop off to the local feed and grain dealer to hydrate and fuel. The local part of this ride ends with 45 minutes of PLP at the local college which happens to be as good for my physical as for my cognitive .... even after 180 miles.
Home is about about 50 miles up the road for me ... and so we leave the local guy to take our rides north. The Harley guy goes on another 50 miles or so beyond my turn off so he'll be reading 340 miles or so by days end.
Edited by - bachman1961 on 05/17/2010 2:47 PM