Posts Tagged ‘2012 bike tour’

Take it to the bridge

November 16, 2012
Old Pueblo Road, just south of Hanover Road.

Old Pueblo Road, just south of Hanover Road.

BIBLEBURG, Colorado (MDM) — Meanwhile, back at the ranch … Herself and I went out to dinner at Nosh to celebrate the return of the prodigal. (The prodigal was hungry after 144.6 miles of cycling in three days and there was nothing to eat at the ranch.)

My old Cateye computer developed a partial paralysis somewhere between Pueblo and home, but the mileage is right; I just lost elapsed time and average speed, neither of which were worth bragging about.

That final leg from the Pueblo Hampton north is a real hodgepodge of terrain. It starts with a couple of streets that have no business existing, were it not for a couple of underused strip malls, then segues into a few miles of Interstate 25 before veering east at the defunct Piñon Truck Stop onto a stretch of what the old hands would call “heavy road” — a rough, rolling chip-seal frontage road that may be the remnants of the old Highway 85/87.

After the rest area another short run on I-25 takes you underneath and across to the west side of the interstate, and that’s the last you see of the sonofabitch — before you know it you’re on Old Pueblo Road, which leads to Fountain, the Front Range Trail, and blessed freedom from infernal combustion until just a half-dozen blocks from Chez Dog.

Now I’m typing with the right hand while the Turk’ sprawls across my lap and onto my left hand. You may recall the tale of the wise man who cut off the sleeve of his garment rather than disturb a sleeping kitten — well, the Turk’ is no kitten, and better to surrender aspects of one’s keyboard than to lose one’s left hand.

I may not be wise, but I’m not exactly stupid, either.

They call me The Breeze

November 16, 2012
The Arkansas River Trail, just east of City Park.

The Arkansas River Trail, just east of City Park.

PUEBLO, Colo. (MDM) — It’s hard to know what to make of all the traffic on Highway 50 between Cañon City and Pueblo. We could chalk it up to unemployment, but then how do all these people afford the gas?

Day two of my self-propelled getaway began with a free breakfast at the Hampton followed by a five-mile ride to the AT&T store for iPhone surgery. A very helpful young lady showed me how to reseat the SIM card using a paper clip (my preferred tool is a ball-peen hammer, but different strokes, etc.).

It was cool, in the lower 40s, with a brisk wind out of the east, so I made a few itinerary changes on the fly. I skipped a second visit to Dakota Hot Springs, reasoning that poaching my thighs just 10 miles into a 50-mile day might not be smart. And I likewise gave a miss to Lake Pueblo and the western stretch of the Arkansas River Trail, because Pueblo West has changed some since last I cycled through there and I didn’t feel like getting lost in some prairie-dog town hunting the trail. So I stayed on Highway 50 to Pueblo Boulevard, hung a right, and picked up the trail just west of City Park.

Despite the chill there were plenty of fishermen working the river — one of them in shorts — and quite a few folks either walking or cycling the trail, which beat the mortal nuts off Highway 50 in terms of traffic/noise volume.

I left the trail at Main Street and hung a left over to Union for lunch at the Hopscotch Bakery. Dismounting and walking the bike through a crosswalk I narrowly avoided getting center-punched — by a cop car! I gave the bluesuit the stinkeye, which is always a bad idea in P-town as these guys like to tase you before they shoot you. But still, damn.

If you’re ever in Pueblo make sure to visit Hopscotch and its brother op’, Bingo Burger. Locally owned, great food, better people.

The final leg of the day was up Main through Mineral Palace Park, over to Elizabeth and north to another Hampton (free stay, free breakfast, what’s not to like?).

Today it’s back home to Bibleburg on what looks to be the chilliest of my three days on the road. It’s just 28 at 8:40 a.m., so it may be checkout time before I actually check out. No need to hurry — some of today’s finale involves short stretches of Interstate 25, and I’d like to hit that sweet spot between hungover motorists driving to work and drunken motorists heading back home.

Rollin’ on the river

November 15, 2012
Cañon City creek

This little creek was burbling just east of the Hampton Inn in east Cañon City. While I was snapping pix a coyote ambled past.

CAÑON CITY, Colo. (MDM) — Enough, it seems, was finally enough. After too many consecutive days of working for a living (however do you people bear it?), I decided to hit the road.

I had considered blasting down to Arizona, where the sunshine is plentiful and the cycling excellent … and then I started thinking about the two days of driving there, and the two days of driving back, and all the cycling I would not be doing as I herded the rice-grinder through the American Southwest. Plus that shit costs money, and the weather was not too shabby right here in Colorado.

So instead I loaded up the Soma Double Cross and rode down Highway 115 to Penrose for a soak at Dakota Hot Springs, then continued on to Cañon City, where I spent the night at the Hampton for freesies thanks to banked-up Hilton Honors points. Fifty miles with 25 pounds of crap — not bad for an old feller.

My iPhone 3GS spazzed out en route, so this morning it’s off to the AT&T store to find out how come (I suspect the SIM card got jarred loose) and then I’ll head west to Pueblo via Lake Pueblo State Park and the Arkansas River Trail.

Maybe I’ll take another soak at Dakota en route. Fifty miles with 25 pounds of crap — not good for an old feller.