Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This was a short fun ride. I met up with my brother-in-law, Chris, at about the half way point. He lives in Idaho Springs and I live in Colorado Springs so we met at the mother-in-law's place in Littleton. It was sunny and clear when I left at about 8:00 in the morning so I took my Joe Rocket mesh jacket and left the rain suit at home. Of course this being Colorado, I would eventually end up wet (but just a little). We took off toward Deer Creek Canyon at the end of Kipling Blvd. There were several bicyclist's going up through the canyon, I'm not sure if this was a normal thing or if they were having an organized bike event. Colorado is a big bicycle state and the canyon seemed to be popular with bikes as well as sport bikes. As soon as we headed up the road several sport bike riders gave us the slow down sign. Cops ahead. Sure enough as we rounded a lovely tight corner there was "the Man" with a radar gun pointed right at us. Chris was in the lead and had the good sense to stick to the speed limit. Apparently the road is such a popular place for sport bikes it's a prime spot for Johnny Law too, we passed about three speed traps in less than four miles of road. While I don't advocate breaking the law or excessive speeding I do think that the speed limit in that canyon is set way to low to test even a beginner's skill. Before we even got through the end of the canyon I was promising myself I would be back on a week day when it's not so busy. We passed a lot of frustrated CBR, Ninja and Ducati riders.
Eventually we popped out on 285 and headed south toward Pine Junction. From here we headed down County Road 126 towards Deckers, site of my last ride. This time we were headed in the opposite direction. This road was less crowded and less heavily patrolled by the Police. We were still keeping the speeds reasonable. Chris just got a new Aprillia RSV and was getting use to the feel of it. CR 126 is a beautiful stretch of sweeping curves, long down hills and beautiful views. As you would expect, we passed whole buffalo herds of bikes, everything from more Ducatis and Ninjas to Harleys and Goldwings and several BMW dual sports. I like riding on the weekends for the feeling of community you get.
We made our way to Deckers and stopped for a few photos then headed for that stretch of dirt road that connects CR 67 to Sprucewood. It's a short four miles on decent graded road, treated with manganese to keep the dust down. Waiting for us on the other end was a decent meal at the Sprucewood Inn. It's a little hole in the wall diner catering to the trail riders that pass by on a popular dirt trail that runs right in front of the inn. There were several dusty families with satisfied looks on their faces coming and going for some pretty decent mexican food.
By the time we ate the clouds had rolled in and we took off a little faster. We got to Sedalia and split, Chris for Denver and me for home. As I topped Monument Pass I got a little rained on but had such a good ride I didn't mind. It's nice to have someone to ride with. I like to ride alone most of the time but it's always good to have someone that can share in the experience of a great ride.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been talking a lot about how the state’s leaders need to live just like ordinary citizens do: within their means. To that end, he has proposed addressing billions of dollars in projected deficits by selling off state landmarks, cutting off healthcare to children and adults, closing parks and more.
But the movie star turned governor clearly isn’t one of the ordinary Californians he is talking about. Before giving a speech about the budget crisis in Sacramento this morning to small business leaders, he took a few seconds to banter with an audience member about making a deal to buy some new motorcycles.
“And so I heard even there is someone out there that is from a Harley-Davidson shop in Orange County. Who is that? It's you? OK, I'm going to come to your table very soon after my speech and we'll make a deal to buy an extra few hogs, because I love motorcycles and I ride them every Sunday, OK? So it's good to have you here.”
Later in his speech, Schwarzenegger spoke of the people in the state who, unlike him, are unable to afford the motorcycles they already have.
“This is something that businesses have to do and individuals have to do in California. When they are in financial trouble they have to sell off their motorcycle or their boat, because they know that it doesn't make any sense to have a boat at the dock when you can't feed your family.… And that's exactly what California has to do and this is why we are having on the block today for sale San Quentin, Cal Expo, the Coliseum and the list goes on and on and on.”
-- Michael Rothfeld
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Deckers is actually at the crossroads of where I should have turned. I decided to follow Goggle not the directions of the motorcyclist obviously familiar with the area. This led me across some more great twisty road but also to Platte River Road. For the next 17 miles I was making my way down a very twisty, very dusty dirt road. Fortunately it was a well maintained dirt road, one that I had been down a few years ago when my wife and I were looking for ghost towns. The bike actually handled the washboards better than her Tacoma. The ride was scenic as all get out and I stopped and took several photos. I eventually ran past this creepy old abandoned hotel Lisa had taken me to before. I finally came out on paved road. It turned out to be the road I would have taken if I had followed the local's directions back at Deckers. The road sign said Deckers was ten miles, I had gone about 25 extra miles, 17 of them on dirt. I guess there are two ways to look at it, I had to go 25 extra miles or I got to go 25 extra miles. Anyway, after getting the bike up to speed and just getting back in the groove, I came to my next turn - back onto gravel! This was an interesting road with some steep inclines and narrow stretches hanging on the side of the hills. It struck me as a logging road almost, albeit nicely maintained. I passed a few SUVs and received a few curious glances as well.