Friday, 10 September 2010

Meeting Charlie6 of Redleg’s Rides and Mt Evans Video

After a few days away from Blogging, I am back! If you were wondering where I had got to, I have been meeting a few people in and around the Denver area for a number of days and it is difficult to make videos, sort pictures and write your blog, when there are fun people to meet!

One of the blogs I have followed and admired for some time is Redleg's Rides written by Charlie6. Some time ago, when I knew I was going to be very close to where Charlie6 lives, we had been exchanging e-mails about meeting up and possibly riding together. Well, a few days ago, we did just that and Oh Boy, it was a great ride!

We had arranged to meet at the Red Rocks Amphitheater on the west side of Denver. You can ride to the top or the bottom of the amphitheatre and I chose to ride to the top, passing some terrific views of the red rocks (hence the name) on the way up....




















The road passes through a short tunnel. You can tell the size of this rock by how small the Leading Ladies look in this picture....




















There were a large number of people using the steps to do some very rigorous training. Quite what they were training for, I do not know, but I imagine it was an iron-man event. That is a strange name really, as both men and women take part....




















Soon Charlie6 rode into the car park with a friend called Oscar. Charlie6 was on his BMW called Brigitta and Oscar on an older Honda. Not only did Oscar come along for the ride, but it seemed his whole family had made the trip as well in a jeep that they followed along behind in for a while! It was good fun meeting them all.

We stood at the top of the Amphitheater looking down at the many people using it for training of one sort or another. The steps make a great training facility....













































We had a long way to travel today, so soon we headed out to ride Mount Evans, which has the honour of having the highest road in the United States. Before getting to the main purpose of our ride, we rode along Bear Creek Road and then over Squaw Pass and while these were good roads in their own right, they were but a warm up for Mt Evans! The main Mt Evans road begins at a place called Echo Lake, which itself is quite high at 10,600 feet above sea level.

However, the next 14 miles were going to be one of the most exciting roads I had ever been on. Before we started though, Oscar had recently been working on his old Honda to get it running after a period of, well, “resting” and it wasn’t running as well as it might. Oscar had needed to slip the clutch on some of the steeper climbs so he wisely decided not to risk his bike by riding it up the mountain.

This was one of those occasions where I just had to make a video of the ride and so I fixed a camera to my bike....

Here is the resulting video of riding up the mountain. Enjoy....



For those of you that noticed the squeaking or “chirping” noise coming from my bike, this is a well-known problem that Harley-Davidsons have where the exhausts are rubber mounted and the rubber begins to squeak after time. It can be remedied by lubricating the mount with silicone, but I don’t have any with me. I will find a H-D dealer and have them do it!

On the way up, there were a few stops for photos....

There is a lake between mileposts 8 and 9 ....


















One of the spectacular views of the road below....



















It was a very clear day and you could see for miles....



















The Leading Ladies and Brigitta standing side by side....



















Charlie6 at the high point of the road....



















And yours truly at the same place....



















I had to laugh at the long queue for the toilets at the top....



















We stopped a few times on the way down for pictures....

“Charlie, back a bit, back a bit”....(Just kidding)....



















What a stunning view....



















The two bikes on the mountain road....



















Charlie6 taking a picture of me, taking a picture of him....



















More wonderful views....





































The bikes with the road we just rode along in the background....



















More views of the bikes....












































Of course, the camera was still running for the ride down....



Overall it was a fantastic ride and one that I would thoroughly recommend. At times it was exciting and took your breath away. It was cold (85 ish at the bottom, 41F at the top) and the cold wind did bite as we rode around some of the bends. This was Labor day Weekend in the US and on the Monday night the road up My Evans closed, so the traffic was quite busy.

After getting back down we rode to Charlie6’s house where I was lucky enough to meet Charlie6’s family and to spent the night. More on that and the famous Natasha tomorrow....

9 comments:

Beck said...

Gary,

Glad you enjoyed yourself with new friends, but your post was worth the wait. The pictures are stunning and the ride was breathtaking. As always, thanks so much for sharing it with us. Look forward to more! Stay safe and have fun!

P.S. I can tell you are a true gentleman. Thanks for your note.

bobskoot said...

Gary: "It's pretty steep here" got my heart going. With no guard rails I would move farther away from the edge while riding and hope no cars were coming the other direction. I would be hypnotized into riding over the edge. My eyes would be affixed to the scenery below.

glad you two made it safely home. And a big thankyou to Charlie6 for arranging for the good sunny weather.

The highest maintained road in Canada is only half the height of Mt Evans

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM4RQ1_HIGHEST_Road_pass_in_Canada

of course you will be riding it next year on your cross Canada H-D Tour. It has been a few years since we have travelled on Hwy 40 through the Kananaskis.

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

motoroz said...

You had a great sunny day. My trip up Mt. Evans this year was cloudy & rainy (sleet at the top). There are some awesome vistas on that road. It is amazing the 360 degree view. Did you spot any mountain goats?

Gary France said...

Beck – My brother also was worried as I hadn’t posted anything for a few days. Thanks for wondering if I was okay!

Bob – For some reason, the full “Coming Down” video didn’t fully upload first time around, so I have just corrected it and re-loaded it so there is now more to see! Most of the time I deliberately rode near the centre of the road, but a couple of times I rode much closer to the edge on purpose, knowing it would make a great video shot! Charlie6 did a great job sorting the weather out for us! No matter how hard you try, I still haven’t decided about a cross Canada trip! LOL.

Oz – Yes, I saw a couple of mountain goats, but my pictures of them were not good. I didn’t see a large herd of them that were there on the way down – I must have been concentrating on the road too much! We were lucky with the weather as we could for miles and especially as the road closed at the end of the next day.

Canajun said...

I know the wide-angle view distorts the picture somewhat, but even then that looks like an awful nerve-wracking ride. But fantastic views though!
Great videos. Thanks.

Charlie6 said...

Gary

outstanding videos! I could tell you were more comfortable getting closer to the edge on the way down than up! I must get one of them gopro cameras for my rides.

it was my family and I who were lucky to have you as our guest!

I always wondered how I look from behind while riding Brigitta, now I know.

dom

Redlegs's Rides

Gary France said...

Canajun – It wasn’t too nerve wracking, but I did see the queue for the restroom at the top was quite long!

Charlie6 – On the way down, with the camera on the side of the road with the steep drops, I thought it would make a good video shot(!), so I rode as close to the edge as I dared! I am glad I could come to meet you and was able to answer your question about how you look from behind. LOL. If you liked these videos, you will love the video in my next post!!

Eve said...

I'm really not sure if I could do that ride with the steep edges and no rails Gary. Not unless there were no other vehicles and I could ride WAY over on the side away from the view! I would probalby fill my helmet up with lunch! Great ride for sure, glad you were able to take up. I liked seeing your shadow wave at the on coming bikers while you were riding down! Cool!
Ride safe!

Gary France said...

Eve - I have done Pikes Peak and Skyline Drive since then and both also have no guard rails! It is just a question of confidence and not being afraid of heights helps!