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May 15, 2021

Thursday May 13th - Phantom Canyon

So, we've had a lot of snow this season, and more recently rain. But Thursday May 13th looked like a nice day to ride in that at least there wasn't any snow/rain in the forecast. So, I decided to do a big loop on the Africa Twin, and it would look something like this:

Marshdale > Conifer > Foxton Road > Deckers > Woodland Park > Ute Pass/Divide > Tenderfoot Pass > Cripple Creek > Victor > Phantom Canyon > Cañon City > Guffey > Currant Creek Pass > Hartsel > Fairplay > Red Hill Pass > Jefferson > Kenosha Pass > Conifer > Marshdale > home.

Ute Pass: 9,165 ft
Tenderfoot Pass: 10,249 ft
Currant Creek Pass: 9,485 ft
Red Hill Pass: 9,993 ft
Kenosha Pass: 9,997 ft

This includes about 9.6 miles down a dirt road from where South Foxton Road meets with North Platte River Road. Then it turns into hardtop, and south to Deckers. South from Deckers on Colorado State Highway 67 to Woodland Park. West on US Highway 24 to Ute Pass (9,165 ft). Then south Colorado State Highway 67 again, over Tenderfoot Pass (10,249 ft). Then through the gambling towns of Cripple Creek and Victor, and south down Phantom Canyon. Phantom Canyon is roughly 30 miles of dirt roads. Then, west into Cañon City, and I planned on looping back though Guffey, Currant Creek Pass, Hartsel, Fairplay, Red Hill Pass > Jefferson > Kenosha Pass > Conifer > Marshdale > home.

But that's not exactly how things went.

I was fine up to Woodland Park. Then to west to Divide, where I saw that my old BBQ hangout (Mike's BBQ) was permanently closed as of October of last year (2020). Then south over Tenderfoot Pass, and down into Cripple Creek and Victor. Then, down Phantom Canyon. I saw a few people stopped. I always stopped to check on them, as cell coverage in this canyon is not good. Stopped and took some photos in the old railroad tunnels. Then came out of the canyon, and turned west into Cañon City.

Then, I start looking for the old main street. It's just one block north of US Highway 50. So, I cut over to Main Street and roll down until I find where I used to hang out. I'm pretty sure the old restaurant/bar I used to hang out in was Rumors.

Rumors Bar & Grille 406 Main St, Cañon City, CO

But it's permanently closed now, of course. And has been for years, apparently. I left Colorado Springs in 2014, so that was roughly 7 years ago.

Then, I head west of Cañon City and just west of Cañon City, I lose my front tire and the bike starts to go down. Somehow, I keep it up and don't crash. A guy stops and gives me a ride into town where I buy 2 cans of Fix-a-flat. Return to bike, air up front tire, and try to drive back down into Cañon City, but then the front tire immediately goes flat again as I'm riding. Somehow, I keep the bike up for the 2nd time, and stop on the side of the road. Another person with a truck stops to help me, and this time they drive me into town and we unload the bike at a little no-tell motel Parkview Inn on 3rd street.

I'm not sure what to do, so I call Robert and he comes down in his pickup with some ramps, and we load the bike into the back up of his truck and drive it back to my house. Then, we take it to B&B Cycles in Evergreen and unload it. They've had my tires backordered for some time. I tell them I'm not riding it until they put new tires on it. At this point, I don't even care if they're the same tires, but I'm not getting on the bike with bald tires any more at this point.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 15, 2021 at 2:04 PM


"he comes down in his pickup with some ramps, and we load the bike into the back up of his truck and drive it back to my house"

house : odometer = 131,047 miles @ 7:45 PM

HWY 285 → Fairplay → HWY 9 → HWY 50

Cañon : odometer = 131,184 miles @ 11:00 PM = 137 miles out

HWY 50 → HWY 115 → I-25 → C-470 → HWY 285

house : odometer = 131,312 miles = 128 miles back

Posted by: robert on July 5, 2021 at 11:03 AM

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