Day 8 – Cripple Creek to Centennial, CO
Date: 06/09/2016 Thursday
Starting Location: Cripple Creek, CO
Ending Location: Centennial, CO (A suburb of Denver)
Starting Odometer: 8838
Ending Odometer: 8983
Mileage Today: 144.8 Miles
Mileage Total: 2129 miles
Today’s MPG: 45 mpg
Total Average MPG: 43 mpg (Average mpg increased)
Leaving Cripple Creek
Given yesterday’s weather, I was concerned that there might be rain in the forecast for Cripple Creek. I checked weather.com, and discovered that rain was in the forecast for 1PM. I would be long gone by 1PM, so let’s check Denver’s weather. Denver was showing 85 degrees and sunny.
And so, at 6:45 AM today, I jumped on the bike, and headed North, towards Pike’s Peak.
I’ve had a little trouble downloading the GPX log files form the GPS because of some incompatibilities between the GPS driver, and the USB ports on my computer. In addition, the GPS is pretty finicky and only one of my USB cables would allow the GPS to connect to the PC. And, so with Landy’s help, I stopped at Best Buy and purchased a high-quality Micro-B USB cable and that did the trick.
Below, you’ll see overview tracking from my trip yesterday, and also a magnified view of the trip up to the Peak.
In addition, you can see a more detailed view of the route up the section of the trip that is the climb up Pike’s Peak.
It took about an hour to get to the ranger station at the base of Pikes Peak. I paid my $12 and was on my way up the hill, but not before being warned about the big Semi that is coming down the hill.
I headed up the hill, and in about a mile or two, I came upon the leader truck, and he told me to stop where I was, and to pull over to the right hand side of the road. A few seconds later, this giant 18 wheeler came around the tight turn, and down the hill. You could hear the engine brake working hard to keep this massive contraption from losing control, and running down the hill on brakes alone.
I continued up the hill to where the starting flag station is for the Pike’s Peak event. The rally is coming up in a couple of weeks, so all of the markers had been placed on the side of the road. I rolled up to the starting gate, and awaited starters orders. I gazed into his steely eyes, and waited for the starter to marshal me forward. I rolled the bike into place and waited. Then, I got the countdown. 3 2 1 Release!. Off I went, like a rocket.
I spent the next 8 minutes and 32 seconds tearing up the hill. I’m sure that the speedometer touched 120 mph at a few different points on the track. I was able to capture the whole thing on video, and if you’re interested, just click the link below.
Once I had crossed the finish line, I shut down the bike so that it could cool down, I also wanted to cool the brakes. I really worked them hard. Oh, and I shredded the rear tire from all of the wheel-spin that I was getting out of the turns. But, that’s just something that another new rear tire will cure.
I took a few pictures from the landing at the very top of Pike’s Peak. Enjoy.
I couldn’t resist the urge to create a quick video at the top of Pike’s Peak. I briefly describe the trip up the mountain, and the abuse levied on my race-prepped GSA, running in the Open Adventure Class, combustion engine.
Between Pikes Peak and my friend’s house, I was having problems with the communication system. It would intermittently shut down, or stay connected, but not give me any audible GPS directions. I stopped three times along that 60 mile stretch of I 25, and finally the last time it all started working.
At about noon, I arrived at my friend Rolando’s place, and was greeted with a level of enthusiasm that’s kind of hard to match. Well anyway, he screamed my name and flashed a toothy grin. That will have to do.
What’s happening tomorrow?
Tomorrow I’ll spend the day with Landy, and then head up to Boulder to see Jim. Today, I’ve got a little shopping to do to buy a few parts for this and for that.