A couple of days ago I installed some new 50/50 tires on my little Versys 300x. Now maybe I can hit the dirt and feel a bit more confident that the bike wonít slide out from under me. I am too old to fall down anymore when riding on the dirt forest service roads. To scrub the tires in and get the feel of how well they are going to work I took a short 150 mile loop into the foot hill south west of Denver.
Got going around 07:00 yesterday morning after having my morning coffee, and daily banana. Headed out on my normal route across town, riding south of the city. Rode over to Castle Pines , on to Sedalia, over the top of Rampart Range, down the hill to Spruce Wood , and then hit Night Hawk Canyon to the South Platte River on to Deckers. Time for another cup of coffee and waited a bit to see if anyone else was going to join me in my small adventure. After a bit I headed off on my own to ride up to Wellington Lake. This is a private lake and they charge a fee to do any kind of recreation on the property, but the trail does take you right by it.
Started up Forest Service Road 560, Wigmam Creek Road, which, at the top of the hill overlooks Cheesman Lake. Apparently this lake is closed now to the public as there was a closed gate on the road leading down to it. A little farther down FS560 I made a right turn and headed to Stoney Pass Rd. 560 traverses thru the Hayman Fire burn area of 2002. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayman_Fire
A real shame. I remember riding thru the area in the middle of a forest. Now all the hills are barren except for the new growth of grasses and bushes. No new trees as of yet and maybe not in my lifetime. On up and over Stoney Pass, which is in a part of the forest that the fire did not reach. Not a very high pass and no spectacular views Just a small FS road that meanders thru the forest, a few grassy meadows, and some pretty aspen groves. Very easy, relaxing riding. The road intersects with FS 543 at Wellington Lake, Here after taking a few pictures I headed back on 543 to 550 and onto pavement, Highway 126 back to Deckers. FS 543 use to allow motor vehicles to go all the way back to Buffalo Creek but now at the intersection of 543 and 550, 543 is block off to motorized vehicles. One has to take 550 which at times get quite crowed with campers along the route. I guess that is the sign of progress, More People, Less Area to roam/ride in. It is too bad that the Forrest Service is forced to limit access to the wilderness, as evidence of our recent fires. Anyway that is another topic of discussion for another time.
It was a great little enjoyable outing to see how my new Mitas E-07 Enduro Trail tires hook up on the dirt. I think I am going to like them and best of all, I did not fall down. Today I have to stay home and do the 4000 mile service on the Little Gray Bike. Enjoy the pictures.