Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another Long Bike Ride

Howard rode a metric century on his touring bike today. A metric century is a ride equal to or greater than 100 kilometers, which is about 62 miles. Howard's ride was 65 miles. Here's the intersection of Taft Hill Road and Owl Canyon Road, although this far north of town -- 10 miles -- they go by County Road numbers 19 & 70, not the names. Don't care. Taft Hill and Owl Canyon it is. See the pretty snow-covered mountains? Yes, we are in Colorado, though Howard was seeking horizontal distance rather than vertical distance with today's ride. Tomorrow he heads for the foothills.

Another typical Colorado sight -- cows, horses, electric fences, scraggly cottonwood trees, and metal barns. These cows didn't appear to be alarmed by Howard's presence. The farther from town, the more alarmed cows become at the sight of a cyclist. Especially of Howard.

This is the Rawhide Power Plant about 20 miles north of town. Burns "clean" Wyoming coal. We're speaking in relative terms, of course. When Howard reached Rawhide, he realized that he had been riding with a 10 mph tailwind. He thought he was just particularly strong and virile that morning. For the afternoon return ride, directly into the wind, Howard didn't feel quite so strong. Or virile.

At the 50-mile mark, Howard was zooming down a hill at 38 mph -- three miles an hour over the speed limit -- when he saw a County Sheriff parked at the entrance to a trailer park at the bottom of the hill. Howard glanced at his speedometer but didn't touch his brakes. Instead he gave the Sheriff a smile and a wave. In return, the Sheriff went on his loudspeaker and said in a deadpan voice, "38 miles per hour. Don't tempt me." Howard watched in his rear-view mirror to see if the Sheriff was going to come after him. He didn't. Howard wondered what the neighbors thought to hear someone on a bullhorn say, "Don't tempt me." 30 seconds later, a car went zooming past Howard, followed by the Sheriff with lights flashing in hot pursuit. Howard broke the law and got away with it!

Here's a photo at the confluence of the Poudre River Trail (to the right) and Spring Creek Trail (beyond). The actual Poudre River and Spring Creek conflue about 200 yards to the left of this photo, but Howard likes to refer to this intersection as the confluence since he's all about the cycling. Note all the unmelted snow remaining from the blizzards of December -- two months ago. Lots of melting has occurred. More still to come. If global warming is to be believed.

Finally, here's an elevation chart of the route that Howard rode (click on it to make it much bigger). It has one redeeming characteristic: The second half of the ride was downhill. That's the part of the ride that was into the wind. Love it when it works out like that since it happens so rarely.


Post a Comment

<< Home