I missed most of the good weather in September due to trips to Turkey and Alaska, but my buddies talked me into taking Friday off. The weather in Denver all week was rainy and stormy, but the forecast was for slightly better weather on Friday.
The basic trip was from Littleton to Palmer Lake/Monument on 105, then south to Colorado Springs and up to Cripple Creek.
105 is one of the best ways to get down south from Denver - it's less traveled and a lot more twisty and scenic than the highway. Once we got to Colorado Springs, we headed for Goldcamp Road and Cripple Creek. After a short detour up the 'northern' portion of Goldcamp Road, you see a sign that says Goldcamp does not go all the way through to Cripple Creek. We took the rest of that loop anyway, then found the Old Stage Road detour that hooks back up with Goldcamp Road after a few miles.
I was a little apprehensive on the dirt/gravel roads at first, as the last few times on gravel weren't the funnest rides I've had. But these roads were more hard packed dirt with a good base, and with all the moisture we've had lately, the traction was pretty good.
We stopped at the St. Peter's Dome Trailhead. There is a good overlook of Colorado Springs there:
The three bikes: a Ulysses, my Versys and a Multistrada
While we were there, we hiked the trail to the base of the dome. No one wanted to scramble up vertical boulders, etc. with motorcycle boots on, so we returned to the bikes for the rest of the trip. (Note to self, leave the cotton layers out next time, sweating while hiking and getting back on a bike traveling at 40 - 45mph chills the body a little bit
From St. Peter's Dome, we continued to Cripple Creek. I wanted to stop and get some pics of the bikes with the Victor/Cripple Creek gold mine in the background, but it was raining by then so we pushed on to Cripple Creek and lunch. All in all, we probably ran close to +/- 35 miles of unpaved roads, including three old train tunnels.
I told you the weather had been cold in Colorado:
After lunch, we headed up to Divide, just in time for another nice rainstorm along the way. Then we finished by heading East towards Woodland Park and then North to Deckers:
From there, I headed north to Pine Junction, then back East to Littleton.
Things I learned: My rear tire is down to wear bars at about 4,600 miles. Time for new tires. Heated grips would have been nice (sitting in my garage, waiting for install). Handguards may have helped a little (sitting in my garage, waiting for install). Riding with buddies that have heated vests, and heated grips, makes it seem about 10 -15 degrees colder