27 October 2016

Stardate 2016.822

Carbon Dating

Early this past riding season, I decided to take a reprieve from road riding. According to my fun meter, I enjoy off-road riding a tad more than road riding. However, I participate in many road events, and over the past handful of years, I've spent more time on the road bike. Excessive road riding finally caught up to me, and last spring I found myself in a quandary.

Yes, I was burned out on road riding. I took several little rides in July when surrounds were green, as below, but that's about it for road riding over the summer.

Except for mid-September, when Snowcatcher and I ventured to the Pacific Northwest to visit friends and ride the MS-150 Deception Pass Classic; it has been all mountain bike. In mid-October, something came over me as I sat in the living room eating Little Debbie brownies while getting ready for a mountain bike ride. Perhaps it was the carbon weave of the cranks. Perhaps it was the paper-thin carbon-layering of Trek's OCLV black carbon fiber reflecting in the sun. Perhaps the svelte lines of the frame, symbolic of speed, like the Enterprise accelerating to light speed. (Yes some of us have warp capabilities.) Or, perhaps it's the only mistress my wife will welcome into our home...

...it was time to brave the asphalt, yet again. Following are some autumn pics acquired while on two different carbon dates. At 6,200 feet of elevation, Lower Deer Creek Canyon was fast shedding its leaves.

It's been very warm and hard to accept winter is right around the corner.

Turn-around and/or rest stop at "the top" at about 8,500 feet of elevation! During the warm months this place is nothing but bikes and roadies. We all chip in on occasion as part of an honor system because locals maintain a rest stop with coolers full of Gatorade, water, homemade cookies and a blue room (bathroom).

Some fun history exists here too. The old school house was built in 1894 and may be rented for events. The structure also functioned as a grange at some point. After a snack-filled rest stop, it was time for me to continue riding. With 20 less Fahrenheits bouncing about and a stiff breeze, there was more of an autumn feel. I was happy to have brought along a jacket for the fast descent.

Highgrade Road winds its way deep into the foothills of the Front Range.

Highgrade Road is steep in places. Albeit hard to tell, the segment from me to the turn is about a 12- to 15-percent pitch.

Soon I was back down on the flats. Carbon dating mission accomplished.
More autumn road riding to come... Stay tuned!


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