Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Drew Hill Road

This past Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I was able to get in a short ride. First I went to Foothills BMW to check on my windshield that my lovely hubby had ordered for me for my birthday. It wasn't in. So, then I headed to Golden, which is the old standby when we can't decide where to ride to. Well, being black Friday, it was quite crowded out on the roads. So, I didn't have a very good time. And it was lunchtime, so I headed back home for a leftover turkey sandwich. After that, I took out one of my maps. I hadn't ridden in weeks and I really just wanted to be on the bike. So, I decided to take hwy 93 towards Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Instead of taking the road straight to the park, I turned on CO Rd 57/Crawford Gulch Rd. towards White Ranch Open Space Park. That was fun. Not crowded at all. Just what I wanted. But, there isn't a road that goes through White Ranch, so I had to turn around. At that junction, CO Rd 57 becomes Drew Hill Road. I wondered where it went so made the right turn and set off to find out. Soon enough I came to this point:

Can you see the yellow road sign to the right of center? It says "Pavement Ends". :-) Cool! I kept going.

Friday the temps were in the upper 60s, so I had on my mesh pants over my jeans, with my mesh jacket with the liner and a long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirt on underneath. I was quite warm in town but once I hit the canyon, I was glad to have my liner. And the further I went, I had to turn on the heated grips. At some point along the ride I probably should have pulled over and put my rain pants on over my mesh pants but I didn't want to stop riding.

I'd never been on Drew Hill Road before and I didn't really know where I was going to end up. I am very directionally challenged and had some how left the map at home. But, I was glad to be out on the bike and didn't really have any place to be so I just enjoyed the ride. The unpaved part of the road was pretty easy. Not many curves at all, not too much grade, but it was snow packed and icy in spots. That was a first for me. I just took it easy and slow and tried to relax and look ahead. It was a bit scary but I didn't slip at all. So, that was very cool and very fun too! But it sure got cold fast when the road is shady and covered in snow. I was glad to have the heated grips for sure!

Drew Hill Road ends up in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, so I knew I wasn't far from where I wanted to be but I still wasn't sure where I was exactly. But, I kept going. I think there is some internal map that tells me when I've gone to far to turn around. I don't have any idea how accurate it is, and considering my navigating skills, it is probably quite inaccurate. But, I like to think of it as intuition, so I listen to it. Maybe it's just the bike talking, saying just keep riding... Anyway, once I was in the park, and on the paved road again, I thought I was good to go. And eventually, I did end up at the park visitor's center and was able to get my bearings and head back home. Once I made it back to hwy 93 I warmed up and could get home before the sun set.

I saw some deer in the canyon, in fact, the car ahead of me stopped and put their hazard lights on because the deer was in the road. That was a bit scary but I'm glad the car was ahead of me then. Even the roads in the park were snow packed and a bit icy but it was fun to be able to ride in those conditions too. I managed just fine and was quite proud of myself.

So, all in all, it was a very good ride. I wish it could have been longer but that's ok. It's so cold now and snowy and icy out, I don't think I'll be riding for a while. Guess I'll keep planning my summer trips and thinking about new farkles for the bike. :-)

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