Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ride Repeat: Redstone Canyon

Yesterday was a heck of a day here on the Front Range. We had a bad case of the Chinook. A Chinook is a very dry and strong wind that comes off the mountains. Chinook means “snow eater”. These Chinook winds are warm and dry and can melt lots of snow in just a few hours.

I’ve never seen anything like this before. The wind in Boulder county was clocked at 107mph. Here in Larimer county and Fort Collins the winds only got up to 75mph.

And yesterday was a warm day for January - 60 degrees. But with winds that strong I didn’t even go outside. Today I woke up and found out it was going to be even warmer - 65 degrees and no wind.

I haven’t ridden a motorcycle since end of November. Not because it was so cold all of December, there were some nicer days here and there, but mostly because we were just returning from Chicago in early December and then heading to Arizona at the end of December - and in between recovering and unpacking from the first trip and catching up with stuff at home, then planning the next trip and packing again.

So finally today the XT225 and I were going for a spin. The XT roared to life and a few minutes later I was off heading toward the foothills. I was actually warm. I wore my thick Marsee jacket and probably a few too many layers.

Neat looking clouds on 25E

This photo was taken in the same place as the above picture but looking the other direction - this is the highest part of the road

You can get a clear view of Horsetooth Mountain from 25E, the top of it looks like giant horse teeth, hence the name

To finish some unfinished business, I headed back to the same road I was on the last time I was on my motorcycle. On November 22nd I rode 25E, which runs along the Redstone Canyon but I got there too late in the day and couldn’t ride all the way to the end since it was getting dark and cold.

Redstone Canyon follows 25E from the beginning to the end of the road

The gray Horsetooth Mountain and the red rocks of Redstone Canyon - this road is nothing special, just a wide gravel road but I really love the scenery here

Well, today I got to the end of 25E. The road kind of dead ends at someone’s driveway. I was going to actually stop there at the end and take a picture but when I stopped the bike immediately from behind the house I first heard - then I saw; two dogs running toward me and they meant business. There was no fence to hold them back and I wasn’t going to wait and see if they were going to stop at the gate.

I hiked up this steep rocky hill to get this picture - I kind of had a hard time getting back down so - my BMW Santiago dual-sport boots are not the best for hiking and especially climbing on rocks

Nice looking boulder on 25E - Redstone Canyon in the background

I’m glad I didn’t wait because they didn’t stop at the gate. They chased me down the road until I accelerated and left them in the dust. It’s a well proven fact that dogs do not like motorcycles and chase them whenever they can. That always freaks me out since I wonder if they would bite me if the could catch me. I don’t plan on testing that theory.

On the way back I saw a side road called Christ Mountain Road. I turned on this road but within a mile or so I reached a gate. It looked like private property beyond that point.

Christ Mountain Road

So with no other roads to ride I rode 25E back until I reached Stove Prairie Road. It was still early so I decided to head further west and check out a recreational area that I’ve been reading about. I turned south on 56 and then on 32C. The road to Bobcat Ridge was dirt, how appropriate.

The view from Bobcat Ridge included awesome looking rocks and an almost full moon

I pulled in to the parking lot, parked the bike and grabbed my lunch. Just past the trailhead there was a picnic area. It was nice to sit outside in the warm sunshine. For a split second I looked around thinking if I was back in Arizona. Nope, this was Colorado.

Today's route was an even 50 miles

So I did all of 25E now. It‘s a nice and easy dirt road with very nice scenery and mean guard dogs at the end. I arrived home after my 50 miles of fun in the sun.

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