Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Deer Trail Dance Permanent #733

On Saturday, December 28, Beth Long, Brent Myers, Vernon Smith, Kevin Pedlow and I decided to finish the year with the Deer Trail Permanent as our last RUSA ride of the year.  Vernon and I had ridden this permanent in December 2012, and found it to be a great winter ride due to its location minimizing the risk of significant snow cover.  I was also eager to get back into the randoneur mode after being confined to in door riding for three months due to a broken hand.

Map of Deer Trail Dance from Ride with GPS
We started out about 7:30 am, shortly after sunrise, with a chill in the air but a beautiful blue sky with soft whispy wintry clouds.  The route has an urban start, following the Highline Canal bike path to the Cheery Creek Reservoir area before heading southeast.

Brent, Kevin, Beth, and Vernon enjoy a bike lane around the park.
 On the eastern edge of the metro area we stopped for a warm drink before heading east into the plains, and had one of our first of many great front range views.
 Making our way east along Quincy Ave we enjoyed the roller coaster ride onto the plains, again with stunning front range scenery.
 As we turned to head north towards Bennet, the winds were favorable but the local housing standards were quite different than southeast Denver.
 Looking west along QuincyAve the front range contrasted nicely with the grass of the plains.
 Our tail wind made the ride north very enjoyable and allowed us to save energy for later in the day.  Unfortunately my camera could not capture the expansive views from Pikes Peak to Mount Evans to Longs Peak, which were abundant on the leg north towards Bennet.
 Heading east of Bennett, we made our way through Strasburg and Byers and began to overlap a section of the Last Chance 1200km  Randonnee which Vernon and I have enjoyed riding together in the past.  In fact, I believe this spot is the same one I experienced a flat on during one of those adventures.

A lone cow on the horizon made things look pretty desolate.

Rolling farm land and fields are a nice change from the nearby metro area.

We refueled in Deer Trail.
 As we started back west, a northerly side wind brought in clouds and cooler temperatures.  The turns along the road at times gave us a slight head wind or slight tail wind as pay back from our prior tail wind.
Chasing Kevin over the gentle rollers between Byers and Strasburg
 The ride finishes by rejoining the Highline Canal bike path off of extreme east Colfax Ave for the last ten miles.  We finished just as the sun had set and the temperatures dropped.  Fortunately Starbucks was available for a warm drink.
Vernon and Kevin celebrate the finish as Kevin adds 200 km to his holiday Strava challenge of riding 500 km between Christmas and New Years.
 Kevin and I had a recovery hamburger and beer before the final drive home through snow fall which made us happy we had seized the opportunity for a great winter ride as the weather allowed.

I would certainly recommend the Deer Trail Dance as a great ride for those looking for gentle rollers, changing scenery, and a central starting location for those living in the Denver metro area.

1 comment:

  1. The first line of this post took me back to the Oct-2013 Taste of Carolina. It was probably on the second day at the mainland end of the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge when I introduced myself to an unknown rider and asked his name. He responded, "I'm Vernon." I likely replied with a not-so-witty, "oh," while thinking to myself, "who the heck is Vernon; am I supposed to know Vernon?"

    Maybe I also thought that meeting Vernon was similar to how I met RUSA #12, aka Pamela Blalock. Chatting after that ride, I had to ask Pamela a couple times to give me some background, please -- while also reminding her that I had never heard of her until the previous day.

    I do not recall seeing Vernon after that momentary exchange, but I do know he finished the Taste.