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Old 09-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #1
SnowMule OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
Oddometer: 18,913
Blackhawk-Central City Fall Colors Solo ride

Took off this afternoon towards Black Hawk-Central City. Needed some helmet time, relax and enjoy the weekend. Considered making a run to Woodland Park last night, but figured Central City would have better colors with less people. I made the right decision, both where to ride and deciding not to drive there.

Rolled out of bed around noon, kicked the dog out, and dug up the GPS tracks XC and I laid down when we rode CC in June. Plotted out a route, export--CRASH! Okay, Google earth didn't like that... re-open, yep... route's gone. Lay down route again, save-as--CRASH! Delete Google Earth; download new version... 3rd time's a charm, right? Plotted out the route again, successfully exported it, then squirted it into the GPS. Not a very good start to the day.

Grabbed the camera, bike tool kit, GPS power cable and mount, filled camelbak, armored up, and headed towards the mountains.

Here's the route I took; went through Golden to US-6, then took 6 west to 119 into Central City. Rode the loop counter-clockwise, hilighted some points along the way.

Started out by the Central City cemetery. Aired down the tires, the trail ahead gets rocky and with the worn-out 606 i've got on the rear I'm going to need all the traction I can get.

Headed north from there. The first time XC and I rode here, we rode the loop in the opposite direction. This upper gate was closed and locked, so we backtracked and came around a different route. The lower gate was wide open today, so I went up to the upper gate in case it was open too. It was, so I changed my route to go around the north part instead of in the valley to the south.

Elevation is about 10,600 ft up here. Temp was still in the upper 80s, I expected it to be a lot cooler.

Most of the trails up here are jeep-able. This is one of the easier sections, further down the trail the rocks get bigger. Even with the worn-out rear tire, this bike is still doing great. KTM 525 = Best Bike Evar.

Most of the summer I've noticed the odometer doesn't match the GPS on longer rides, but around town and on dirt it's dead on. Seems the computer misses the sensor at speeds over 60m/h. Catches every other one for a while and measures 30m/h, then picks up and reads 60, then drops out to 30 again, and back to 60. As long as its not reading over, I guess. Today's going to be a 100-mile day.

Central City and Blackhawk were both big gold mining towns in the 1800s. There's remnants of old mines all over the landscape out here.

Because of the mining history, you have to pay attention when you leave the road. That pit in front of the best bike ever is about 5 feet deep.

Derelict cabin off the road.

Must have been a nice place in its time. Not much left besides rusty nails now.

Followed the road to Pickle Gulch Campground. Another mile of county dirt road, then it's back to the pavement. Stopped here to air up the tires for the ride home. Note to self: Don't just check that you have a CO2 cylinder, but make sure it's a *full* CO2 cylinder...

Back through Central City/Blackhawk, 119 to 6, 6 into Golden.

There were roughly a dozen gliders in the sky here. Looks like a blast.

Poked some buttons on the GPS and found a BK in Golden. Dinner! The ice-cold Pibb was much needed; sign in Golden read 91F. Wearing a Tekvest and moto jacket at that temperature keeps a person pretty toasty.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow.
Spewer of the poignant non sequitur
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:50 AM   #2
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Fairfield, Iowa
Oddometer: 9
Half eatin' burger

Nice pics - beautiful country.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:35 PM   #3
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: half-life, Washington
Oddometer: 45
Talking Gorgeous Pics, Nice Ride

Love Colorado, I have many relatives living throughout the state but have yet to find the time to ride it. I will soon.........thanks for posting
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