BFC Group Ride – Salida

I have another group ride to share with you! This one is a little more recent than my last post, but it was still two months ago. Sigh….time flies when you have to work.

On Saturday, October 5th, I led a mixed group of friends from Black Forest Chapel and the Black Forest Riders on a ride that involved beautiful weather, lunch by a river, and heavy smoke from a forest fire!

We met at a Starbucks in north Colorado Springs and had a great turnout – 7 riders on quite a variety of machines…

We made our way down Hwy 115 past Cheyenne Mountain and over to Canon City where we visited a new coffee shop. I think everyone in the group ordered coffee cake!

Saw this adventure van in the parking lot – they were a long way from their home state!

Another hour down the road we arrived in Salida and found a great parking spot in some shade down by the river

Look closely and you can find some hikers and a car going up to the lookout point! (Click on the picture for a larger version)

Such a beautiful day!

Time for some food – this is a great location!

We got a great table and had some great food!

What I love about Salida is that it’s close enough to Colorado Springs that you can ride there, enjoy lunch, have lots of time to explore the town, and still ride home in time for dinner! Here are a few of the pictures from our walk around the riverfront – such amazing weather!

I liked this image of the downtown area, and the neat mural!

An original adventure van – look at that lift! I also didn’t know that Dodge ever made motorhomes?

This was an unusual sight. I guess crime is so rampant that officials decided to take extreme measures to protect their street lights. Good thing they have TWO locks on there… 🙂

Ah Brown Dog Coffee…my second favorite coffee shop in the world. I always go to their Buena Vista location when I’m in town. I haven’t been in the Salida store, but will stop in next time!

This was a nice sign of appreciation for all of the brave men and women who were fighting the very close, Decker Fire.

This was the view of the fire from a gas station in town. As we rode out of town (towards the fire), you could see flames with the naked eye as they left over the ridge. Fortunately, this fire was finally contained at the end of October with assistance from a good snow storm. The fire burned almost 9,000 acres.

As we rode through Cotopaxi and Texas Creek Junction back towards home, the smoke filled the Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Even with my helmet visor down, the smoke stung my eyes and I could taste it as well.

We made one last stop at a gas station in Canon City where we enjoyed some snacks and the last of the great afternoon weather. Here’s a quick image of my brother-in-law, Doug on his beautiful BMW 1600.

It was a great day to enjoy a ride with friends and I’m already looking forward to more rides in 2020. Merry Christmas everyone!

Ride Safe,
MV

Georgetown and Guanella Pass

The last time I touched this blog was seven months ago…the 2019 Group Ride season hadn’t even started yet! Clearly I need to work on the frequency that I share posts. Unfortunately, this has been such a busy year for me that I only went on two group rides, with two different groups of friends. They were both a lot of fun, so I’ll start today by sharing the first one.

On Saturday, August 24th, I joined my Black Forest Riders friends as we headed over to Georgetown, Colorado. The route had us heading over the stunning Guanella Pass and back home on a new-to-us-road through Tarryall.

The day started off with cooler temperatures as we group met up at Rudy’s BBQ off of Hwy 24.

I invited a friend, Mike, along for his first ride with BFR. That’s his Kawasaki Concourse in the background. Sadly, Mike was hit on his bike about a month later when a truck failed to yield in an intersection. Thankfully, Mike was okay. His bike was totaled.

Doug was distracted with his new x-ray glasses during Jeff’s safety speech…

Ready to roll!

First stoplight and the group is still back there…that’s a good sign

Less than two hours later we stopped for coffee in Pine, Colorado. It’s usually a challenge to find a table big enough for our group, but Coffee Bean N Bakery did a great job accommodating us. They even had some gluten free options for brownies and cookies!

Back on the road again, and the road up to Guanella Pass was absolutely stunning! This is one of my favorite rides.

We stopped at the top of the pass, but there was way too many people parked up there trying to bag a 14’er late in the season.

Mike standing by for instructions as we decided whether to wait for parking or not…Jack is serving as rear road guard on his beautiful white Gold Wing

It was a little cool anyway (that early in the day), so we decided to head down to Georgetown to eat, and would try our luck on the way back. We navigated our way down the pass and through the crowds in the shops area until we arrived at The Alpine Restaurant.

Yours truly and my bodyguard (aka my brother-in-law Doug) – I think I’m standing on a curb to even get that height!

The restaurant is housed in the old train depot – cool!

The sign below said that in 1877, town citizens raised “the substantial sum of $5,365” to buy the land and build a simple depot. In today’s value, that would be $131,491.55! Definitely a substantial amount of money 142 years ago.

We were seated in two groups inside, and a nice guy at the table next to us asked if he could take our picture. The bummer is that my lens wasn’t wide enough to catch the rest of the group on the far right side of the room!

After enjoying our lunch, we stepped outside to beautiful blue skies and warmer temps!

We headed back up the pass and were easily able to find parking so that we could enjoy the views and take some pictures!

Another kind person offered to take a picture of the whole group – this is a rare opportunity!

We headed SW on US 285 and took a great road that would lead us near Tarryall reservoir – we found a beautiful little oasis to stop at!

This is my favorite image of the day!

We made it safely to Woodland Park and several of the group kept riding to make it home for evening plans. The few of us that remained headed over to Starbucks for a cool drink to wrap up a great day!

Until next time!

Ride Safe,
MV

A Loop Around Pikes Peak

When I said this story was “Coming soon“, that might have been a figure of speech! Here we are well over a month later and I am only now making time for this post. Sigh…time goes by too fast!

On Saturday, October 20th, me and four friends decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and do a loop around Pikes Peak. We met up at a parking lot off of Hwy 24 before heading towards Cripple Creek:

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We stopped at the “Grassy Valley Mining Overlook” and a guy there was kind enough to take this group photo!

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He had a pretty cool truck too…

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This has to be the most unique lookout tower I’ve ever seen and been in!

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Doug was happy he conquered the climb!

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Hmmmm, that is a lot of stairs…

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Such a beautiful day with magnificent views!

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Although I have mixed emotions about seeing the mine, I do have to admit that the sheer size/scale of it is astonishing! That tiny dot in the middle left of the screen is a HUGE crane!

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And if you look extremely closely in the top left of this image, you can see a massive earth mover like what we are standing in…

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This was as far as I could zoom in – now do you see it!?

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Remnants of some of the old mine

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Mike and Jenny get one last look at the vast pit

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Jeff was happy thinking about the lunch we were headed towards!

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We looped out towards Guffey, Colorado and then headed to a pub in Divide for some tasty treats. It was a great way to end the group-ride season!

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Ride Safe,
MV