Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Few Bends, but a Great Road Anyway....

I arrived in Canon (pronounced Canyon) City and struggled to find somewhere half-way decent to stay. I checked into a motel that was too cheap. It was okay but a little run down in a not very nice part of a not very nice town.

I went and checked out the Royal Gorge- I had heard it has a suspension bridge over a deep gorge. As I got within about 5 miles of the Gorge, the signs began. All sorts of promises of having a good time at the Gorge were displayed to tempt me. They didn’t - that sort of thing really puts me off – it is as if they are trying too hard to sell you something you don’t really want, or need.

When I arrived I asked how much to just go look at the bridge and Gorge without the amusement park, theme rides of other tourist trappings. $25 was the answer. “Thanks, but no thanks” was my reply. I wouldn’t mind paying that price if I was going to make a full day of it, but I had intended to be there for 10 mins at the most, and I don’t pay anybody the equivalent of $150 an hour.

I had heard about Skyline Drive and as it was in my gps / sat nav, I was able to easilly find it. I fixed on the GoPro camera, jumped on my bike and rode it. 3 times!

Skyline Drive is a nearly straight piece of road, with very few bends. It has a 15mph speed limit. It is one of the strangest roads I have ever ridden. But it is also one of the best short roads I have ridden. Want to know why? Watch the video....



The road runs along the top of a ridge, with steep drops to both sides! It was a lot of fun, in fact so much fun, the first time I did it, I wasn’t sure if the view from where I had put the camera would be good enough – it was probably too low, so I fixed it to the handlebars and did the road again. Then I went back and did it a third time to take photos....

Much of the road is like this. Narrow with a drop to at least one side....







































The roadway below seems very small from up here....







































Some parts of the road just seem to keep going up....




















I love this section – drops to both sides!.....




















More views....













































































Looking back....




















The Leading Ladies, parked right be the edge....




















It is a long way down.....




















The houses and gardens below....




















It is a great view from up here....




















I resisted riding it for a fourth time!

A truly great short road, that really lifted my spirits! I think I am back to normal again now!!

--------------------------------

Completely changing the subject, can anybody leand me a gun?

I just heard a sports commentator use the term "Winningest" and I want to go shoot him for corrupting a beautiful language. Winningest IS NOT A WORD!

That is nearly as bad as calling the winner of the Super Bowl the "World Champions". And don't get me started on the "World Series"....!

14 comments:

SonjaM said...

A fantasmagorical road indeed. Thanks for letting us ride pillion. As for the mutilation of the English language, I thought that only second language speakers would be able to produce words like 'winningest'...

Radar said...

Gary's got his groove back! Awesome road, especially when the sides drop-off. Sure hope it was wider in real life than what it appeared on the video. That is perhaps the winningest road EVER!

Eve said...

Ha ha ha!! I hope you only care when the butcher sports type words Gary...and that you didn't mind my "biggify" word....(now I don't even know if I spelled it right!) A lot of reporters make up words on the fly!

SO getting back to the road!!!! WOW I LOVE THAT ROAD!! Thanks for taking the time to get the video just right! FANTASTIC! When you got to the top with the drops on both sides I was laughing out loud! NICE! Had to Google Map it with the terrain checked. I'm so glad I live in an area where I can just go down the road and have my breath taken away by the view!!
Oh don't forget to check my lastest post...we were on the edge of a mountain with a nice view too and there is a special little red ditty in there for you. (ok ditty probably isn't the word I wanted but I'm sticking with it!!!)
I hope the Leading Ladies weren't too scared looking over the edge...the guy who painted them might be upset if they went back home with faces like this......:-O

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony, I'm continually suprised by the clarity of your videos shot on the GoPro camera. Are you using the HD version? Thanks for a great blog and photos, I'm following your progress enthusiastically every day.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Wow! What a road is right! That was some awesome video! I can't blame you for riding it more than once. When we went to TN to ride the Tail of the Dragon, we rode up and down that 13 mile strip of excitement three times! It's what make riding fun! Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

Anonymous said...

My name is James, and I have been keeping up with your ride since you started. I live just west of Zion National Park in Utah and in a few weeks you will ride past my house, seriously you can see my back yard from the road. My mum is from England and is the general manager of a hotel in Springdale, the town outside Zion National Park, if you think you might stay there let me know and I will see what I can do. It appears from your map that you will be doing Highway 12 in Utah, if you like this road you will love Highway 12, it is a highway that falls away on both sides.
Finally, while I agree with you on the World Series, calling the Super Bowl champion the world champion of American Football is not too much of a stretch. It is not hard to believe that the NFL champion would also be the best team in the world of a sport which is played almost exclusively, and definetely at its highest level, in the United States. Well until the International Olympic Committee makes American Football an olympic sport, I guess we will never know.

mq01 said...

you must be feeling better after that great road!! :) ahhh...

Beck said...

Gary,

Absolutely spectacular! Glad to hear you are in good spirits again! As always, thanks for sharing.

Now, on that completely different story. Let me just say that being from the great state of Louisiana, we are extremely proud of our "Super Bowl Saints". We've waited, cheered, prayed, and even cursed but through it all we have been loyal fans for over 40 years and we are very fortunate to finally be able to call them that.

Who Dat! Who Dat! Who Dat say de gonna beat dem Saints!!!!!!

Webster World said...

That was a good ride. Thanks.

FLHX_Dave said...

15 mph? Uhmmmm...somehow I don't think you followed those recommendations. Whoa! One mistake and you are flying!

Thanks for the vid. It was awesome. After the day I had, this was a big theraputic view.

Another thing to add to my bucket list for sure.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

take James' advice. Take Hwy 12, this is the million dollar highway you previously mentioned. We were on it a few years ago on our way to Zion and Bryce. There are canyons on both sides, similar to Skyline road.

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

Charlie6 said...

This is one of your best videos by far, Gary....you can see now why Skyline Drive is a must ride road when in the area!

dom

Redleg's Rides

To hopefully add further views of this great road for your readers, here's links to previous rides of mine on Skyline Drive:

Cañon City's Skyline Drive "Contains "then and now shots".

Natasha on Skyline Drive

Gary France said...

Sonja – LOL. Second language speakers can be very good, especially tea-drinking book-worms!

Radar – Actually, to quote Austin Powers, I think it was my Mojo that went missing! The road was just wider than the width of a car, so plenty of room! Ok, enough of the winningest jokes!

Eve – It is ok when individuals make up words, but for any sort of a broadcaster, then that’s different. Skyline Drive is pretty special and the bit at the top is just splendiferous! I am glad it made you laugh. I don’t know what I will do when I get back to the mainly flat roads of the UK.

Hi Tony – Yes, it is the Go-Pro HD Hero Wide version. I can’t believe the quality either! I am pleased you read every day.

Lady R – When you find a great road, it is always worth doing more than once! I would love to ride the Tail of the Dragon....

James – Hi and thanks for reading my blog. If I need somewhere to stay around Springdale, I will let you know and I will pop in and see your mum. I generally don’t plan my hotels / motels in advance, preferring instead to find somewhere when I feel I have ridden enough for the day. What is the name of the hotel? Yes, I am doing highway 12 from Torrey to Bryce, so now I am looking forward to it with eager anticipation! I do 100% agree with you that it is not hard to imagine the best American Football team being the best team in the world. However, calling a team “World Champions” is ridiculous because the Superbowl is the final of a national, not an international sport competition. Many people believe the use of those words is wrong and dare I say it, arrogant. The real problem is, the Superbowl is broadcast around the world and Billions see that broadcast, especially the highlights including the presentation of the trophy when the announcer invariably calls the winning team the “World Champions”. You cannot imagine what the rest of the world feels about that – a few simple words said carelessly doesn’t portray the US in a good light abroad. It really would be better if the announcers restrained themselves and chose their words more carefully.

mq01 –Much better thanks!

Beck – I hope that you revel in your year of glory! Sticking with your team for that long deserves high praise indeed!

Webster – Glad you enjoyed it....!

Dave – Honest, I stuck rigidly to the 15mph limit.... err, okay, I didn’t. I went just a little bit faster..... I am pleased it helped at the end of your day!

Bob – I am looking forward to doing it, but isn’t the million dollar highway between Silverton and Ouray? Either way, both roads sound spectacular.

Redleg / Charlie6 / Dom – A must ride road indeed! I liked your pictures of Natasha with the snow covered mountains behind. It really is an incredible road and I have to wonder why it was ever built. As you said in your post, it simply serves a local neighbourhood district – lucky them!

Gary France said...

James - Guess where I am right now! I met your Mum and a very nice lady she is! Thanks for the tip about the hotel.