Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Castle Rock Run

Day: 202 and 203
Littleton to Castle Rock to Littleton
Time: 4 hours each way
Distance: 31 miles each way
Avg Speed: 8.5 mph
Terrain: rolling
Location: 39.38 N, -104.84 W

It was kind of like Cannonball Run, but without Burt Reynolds and that cool Ferrari.
We decided that our run really wasn’t going to be a race, but rather a ‘nuts and bolts’ tour down to Leslie’s sister’s house. We had recently gotten our BOB trailers and were keen to give them a go. We didn’t carry as much weight as we will in our tour this summer, but we did give our bikes, trailers and handlebar bags a thorough shaking. We left Leslie’s parent’s house in the heat of the day on Tuesday. We enjoyed 80˚ weather as we worked our way across Denver and through one of the last dirt roads in the area. Daniels Park Road heads out the back of a large housing development and climbs a large sandstone bluff overlooking the Front Range. We enjoyed views of downtown Denver to the north and Pikes Peak to the south. We eventually dropped down and wound our way through some high end golf courses and finally into Castle Rock. We wound around some bike paths and eventually found our destination. It is always interesting to ride somewhere after you have driven it several times. The bike allows us (and sometimes forces us) to take different, more intimate routes. In this case we decided to stay off the road we normally drive and follow a bike path that went in a different direction. After winding our way around the development we called and were set straight. We were close, but not too close. We enjoyed a mellow night hanging out with family and watching Transfomers.
This morning broke with cooler winds from the north, but clear skies nonetheless. Leslie and I both thought that the storm forecasted wasn’t going to go anywhere. We had a mellow morning seeing our two nephews off to school, and enjoying a nice breakfast with Leslie’s sister and niece. The weather kept cooling off, and to the north it just kept getting darker and darker. Maybe the storm was going to materialize. Leslie and I finally got on the road and enjoyed a swirling tail wind propelling us back up Daniels Park Road. The weather continued to get cooler and cooler and at the top of the road we donned more layers. Leslie’s sister found us on top and took some pictures of us riding together (check out the above pic). She left us, and Leslie and I were left alone to descend into the snow starting to fall. The snow continued to pick up and we took a pit stop at a Starbucks for some tea and cookies. We put on the rest of our layers and got back on the road for two more hours of snow riding. Leslie reminded me that the last time we toured was in Laos where the temperature was in the mid 90’s and the humidity was about the same. Nothing like a 60-70˚ swing to really put your body in shock.
Our ‘nuts and bolts’ tour turned out well with us riding in all conditions and all of our gear coming out great.
Yeah for tours!!

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