Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pueblo, CO

Last Friday I traveled to Pueblo, CO for a work related meeting at the Rawlings Public Library. And even though the temperature that day was supposed to be 100 degrees in Pueblo, I decided to ride there. :-) As if there was a question....

My route there was direct since I'm not an early riser. It's about a 2 hour drive without traffic and I wanted to be there by 9:00 am. So, I hit the interstate, pointed the GS south and settled in for the ride. My strategy for riding on the interstate through town is to quickly move into the fast lane. I have the same strategy if I'm in my car. I feel more comfortable going with the faster flow of traffic and also feel as though I am in less danger because there is only one other lane that traffic can move into my space from. I also like having that emergency lane to my left as an escape path. I don't think Denver traffic is as fast as say, Atlanta's traffic. The interstate isn't as wide either. But, people seem to be more unpredictable in Denver than in the Atlanta traffic. At any rate, I'm not afraid of being on the interstate on the moto, any more than I am in my small car, but given the choice, like most I think, I'd rather travel a different road. But, with a specific time and place to be, it was the most efficient route.

The traffic luckily was very light all the way there. Even through the mousetrap and through downtown Denver wasn't too bad. Colorado Springs was like driving on a Sunday morning. Sweet! That meant I wouldn't be late and could relax a little and enjoy the ride. I'd decided not to use my tank map bag. It is pretty bulky and I've gotten used to riding without it. And since it doesn't lock, I'd have to bring it inside. I also didn't really need to put anything in it. So, instead I taped a map to the bike. :-) I also wrote in larger letters, the directions. It was very simple to locate - I-25 south to Pueblo, exit at Abriendo, go right about 6 blocks and it's on the right. :-) I am directionally challenged so was glad for the simplicity of this location.

130 miles from my driveway to the library parking lot. :-)
Towards the end of the meeting I started thinking about the ride home. I wanted to take a more scenic route for sure but wasn't sure the heat would agree with me. Ever since returning from the Peace Corps (back in '95) I've had trouble dealing with the heat. The longest way home would add an hour of travel as well and I didn't want to get home too late or be in the heat that long either. So, I opted for this:
The road that travels behind Ft. Carson (115) is very easy with beautiful red rocks along the route. I'd never traveled this way before in the car or on the moto. Not surprisingly, the base isn't marked. And it wasn't until I got home and looked at the map that I realized I'd actually ridden very close to NORAD. I hopped back on I-25 in Colorado Springs all the way to Castle Rock. From there I took hwy 85/Santa Fe Drive to C-470 and then home. Nothing really to report that was unusual or dangerous along the way. I saw one deer. I can't even remember where. Again, traffic was very light. Taking the round about way from Pueblo to the Springs allowed me to miss the rush hour traffic.

I didn't stop to take any photos. I'll have to remember to put my camera in the tank saddle bags before leaving. Before I left home, I removed my trunk and used my laptop backpack bungeed to the seat and rack. Everything fit just fine in there including a change of clothes. It was warm enough (and casual enough) that I just threw some flip flops into the bag to wear at the meeting.

162 miles from the library parking lot to my driveway at home. :-) That's a grand total of 292 miles. My longest day yet! Although those miles weren't all at once. Still, I think my previous longest ride was only about 150 miles so the ride home by itself beat that record! :-)

Some points to note.

My engine puts out a lot of heat. So much that it burns my leg through the mesh pants. I wore tights on the way down but left my shorts on for the ride back. To avoid the heat, I pulled out the passenger pegs and put my toes on those. The angle kept the heat away from my leg and was a nice change as well for my riding position.

I'm getting about 200 miles per tank lately. Very nice!

My throttle hand falls asleep on these long interstate or highway rides. The cramp buster helps a lot but I'd like to get different grips I think. Cushier ones might help a little. I think a lot of it is the vibration.

My feet also fall asleep. Weird. Also partly due to vibration. I've been told by another GS rider I should get Fastway Footpegs. Might have to look into that.

The bike handles great. I think on I-25 heading to Pueblo, I held it at 75 or 80mph most of the way. (The speed limit is 75mph.) I could pass uphill without any trouble. And I like sitting up higher (higher than the Rebel and my car) so I can scan traffic better. I could see and anticipate more things.

I should have worn my tights on the way home though. Sitting on bunched up shorts for 160 miles wasn't fun at all. Sigh. Lesson learned.

I also passed the May Natural History Museum on hwy 115 near the Springs. That would be a cool destination for the hubby and I this year. :-)


  1. Nice ride report. I have never ridden in weather that warm before. One of these days, I'll get down to the lower 48 with my bike...

  2. Thanks! I hadn't realized it had been so long since my last post. The daily commute just doesn't seem exciting enough to blog about. That warm weather is just the start I suppose. But, it's usually warmer in Pueblo than it is in Denver.

  3. Allaina:

    you had a nice ride, both before and after your meeting. Less traffic is always a bonus. Our temps aren't as hot as yours and we usually get a breeze off the ocean. In you heat I would think that shorts under mesh pants would be best. Congrats on your long distance record

    Wet Coast Scootin

  4. Yes, I usually wear shorts under the mesh pants. But, I've found that the tights keep the heat of the engine off my legs better. And they are fairly thin too so they breathe a little. I'm still experimenting with it. In stop and go around town rides, I'll probably just wear shorts. Or rides that won't allow me to change at my destination. But for the longer in the saddle rides, the tights are more comfy. They don't bunch up and cause irritation on my legs like the shorts did.


  5. Allaina

    I like the idea of being able to change at the destination. How about shorts with leg warmers of some type ? that way you could change without going somewhere private. I also bring a pair of sandals and ditch the riding boots.

    Wet Coast Scootin