I will start this with a shout out and Thank You to my friend Richard Welch for naming this tour for me!
I originally planned this route up last year for a September 2014 ride but family circumstances had me cancel the ride at that time. This year an opportunity arrived that I had a full staff at work and it was the week before Debbie was required back to her teaching job.....so....the short loop tour was revived!!!
The route is a loop west out of Estes Park, up and over Trail Ridge Road in the National Park, down to Grand Lake, Granby, up over Willow Creek Pass to Walden, up over Cameron Pass, down the Poudre River Canyon, to Ft. Collins, Loveland and back up Big Thompson Canyon to home. Four or five days depending how it rides.
Here we GO!! Let's ride bikes!!
Not so fast.
I was not on the bike fifteen minutes and I broke my chain!! Oh boy....not a good way to start, but, I was not even in the Park yet, so it was a downhill coast back to where I left my truck for Evelyn and Debbie to pick up later that day. Back into the truck, over to the LBS to buy a new chain, back to the garage to install said chain and then back to start the trip. So much for my early start to get a head start on a Sunday traffic day in the Park. I had Debbie and Evelyn drive me up to start at Rainbow curve to put me where I would have been had I just been riding.
As I was installing the new chain I thought about it a bit. I have owned Ogre for almost three years, many dirt road and single track miles plus two trips down the KATY trail. Slaps forehead!!!!!!!!!!! Why didn't I think of that??? Oh well, no blood , no foul. At least it did not happen at the top of Trail Ridge or some where else. Way back when, I used to carry some chain links and the chain tool in my tool kit but last few years took them out because my bikes have been so bomb-proof and reliable. I put them both back in the bag.
This was the first trip I have taken Ogre loaded for a tour. It was also my goal to pack "smart" and not carry a bunch of crap I would not use. I wanted to see how Ogre compared to my old workhorse Long Haul Trucker (LHT). No front rack using a frame bag and the small front platform to carry the sleeping bag. The bike was a bit tail heavy using this system, we will see how the week progresses.
Beautiful day up on the tundra with very light breezes and a mix of cloud cover and sunshine!
Chaquita and Ypsilon fron the south side that I don't see from my normal views
It was a huge flower year this summer with most of them gone now, but a few blooms remain
You can see down on the other side of the mountain, Old Fall River Road climbing up the canyon.
Great views of the Never Summer Range to the west from here. I will be on the west side of those in a few days.
Time to go down, down, DOWN!!