Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Colorado 1,000 -- 2013

The Colorado Free Wheelers host the 1000-in-24 ride through the beautiful Colorado countryside.  It starts between 2am and 4am on Saturday, August 17 from Aurora CO. See the map will show my progress on the ride starting around 4am on Saturday the 17th.  You can also view the Spotwalla map showing the complete trip: TX-CO-TX.

Start:  03:40 AM, Odometer 49,941  Finish:  22:21 PM, Odometer 50,964
Total Time:  18:41 Total Miles:  1,023 Overall Avg:  54.8 MPH

Aug 17:  My plan was to depart before the 4am window close.  I arrived at the start location around 3:20 or so.  The event is well organized with check in quick and efficient.  I grabbed a cup of fresh coffee and a donut to eat while I did the sign in document check.  I was on the road by 3:40.   I know it would be chilly through the valleys along the way so I started with my electric gear on and plugged in.  Of course, I fired up the FLIR and adjusted the contract/brightness for the conditions.  Good thing, as I was on CO 115 from Colorado Springs I spotted several heat signatures up a head and was able to spot the elk as my headlights got closer.   The FLIR PathFindIR is a very useful piece of equipment during pre-dawn riding.  Most of the heat of the natural environment had dissipated over night which makes heat generators, i.e. critters, really stand out. 

The route was slightly different than the event I rode in 2011.  But, non the less spectacular.  Got to ride over Independence Pass again this time.  The first time was when I rode the IBA Heaven to Hell -- Pikes Peak to Death Valley ride back in 2012.  I used my GoPro 3 helmet mounted camera to capture several great shots of riding through the Rockies.  It will take me some time to piece the video together so check back.

The last segment of the ride was I-70 back to the finish point.  I reached the Glenwood Springs intersection just around dusk.  This make the last bit of riding back to the finish more relaxing than the twisty country roads of the Rockies.  Still, that part of I-70 is beautiful with the terraced west bound lanes, tunnels and gently curving meandering along the white water rivers.  Arriving back at the finish I checked in, turned in my fuel log with its 3 entries then helped myself to a fresh sandwich provide by the organizers.  I highly recommend the Colorado 1,000 in 24 for anyone who wants to experience the beautiful Colorado Rockies on the clock, LD rider style. 

Aug 16:  Woke in in Childress TX to a sever thunderstorm right over town.  It was a training type running north to south.  I would be heading due west.  So, I check the radar and saw a thinning patch between two cells.  After a quick breakfast at the La Quinta I headed out.  Twenty miles later I was out of the bad weather and on my way.

I rode through Boise City OK just to check it out.  Not much there.  Continuing through the western part of Colorado I eventually intersected I-70 for the last segment to my hotel near the start point for the Colorado 1,000 in 24.  Had a good TexMex dinner then turned in early as I was going to get up about 3am.

Aug 15:  Departing home around noon heading for Aurora Colorado.  I plan on taking it easy for a change with a leisurely ride through Texas then New Mexico to Colorado.  I recently watched Ken Burn's "The Dust Bowl" and may ride through Boise City, which was pretty much the epicenter of the 1930s event.

I'm taking my GoPro camera to capture some video while riding the Rockies.  I recently had to purchase a new travel camera as my trustworthy Canon PowerShot A495 finally gave out.  I upgraded to a Nikon Coolpix AW100 rugged outdoor camera.  Of course I got it in Camo.  Can't wait to try it out while on the road.  I'll post the videos and camera shots here when I get back in town.

I'm also field testing a new (to me) tire pressure monitoring system.  I purchased TireGard as a replacement for the TireWatch system I had been using for a couple of years.  That system failed on me just prior to the IBR.  I just mounted a set of new Anakee 3 tires on the bike to have fresh rubber for the Colorado 1,000.