Unfortunately that was not the case. In fact, the cars got even slower, until I experienced the joy that Cider had found in riding Pike's Peak: cars moving so slowly that following them actually becomes a struggle, because a bike needs a certain amount of speed to lean over without falling down. Frustrated, I zigged back and forth, dragged my feet on the pavement, and generally made an ass of myself while we crawled along like heroin-addled snails.
If the entire Parkway is like this, I'm going to survive about 5 miles before I stab someone.
"You are such a tease!" Rogue complained. "Stopping at that pull-off and then leaving again."
"I was just waiting for you," I said. "So you could follow me to gas."
"The scenery!" she said. "The mountains, oh my god! I want to take pictures!"
"That's nothing," I said, with a deliberately obnoxious been-there-done-that inflection. "You just wait. Don't waste your battery here; it gets better."
She stared at me doubtfully, but said she would trust my word.
Back on the parkway, I skipped a few more pull-outs and then stopped at one of the broadest views we'd seen yet. I enjoyed the scenery and cleaned my sunglasses while Rogue dug out her camera and did her photographer thing.
Among other reasons I was glad to have my derby wife along was her photography. A writer and a photographer are pretty perfect companions, and while I get some decent pictures, she has a trained eye that I don't. Many of the photos I'm posting from this trip are her work, and I'm grateful to have them.
We passed most of our day passing - cars, motorhomes, and the occasional bicyclist. I rode ahead, winding up the engine to get around slow vehicles in small spaces, enjoying the few wide-open miles I found but spending a huge amount of my day frustratedly stuck. The parkway was busier than it had been in August, and I didn't like the changed conditions.
One roadside stop promised a waterfall, but once we had parked, the sign said it was over a mile hike away. We unpacked our meatloaf sandwiches and ate them in the seats of a small amphitheatre. The air had a chill, but not a threatening one, and both walking and riding were pleasant. The sandwiches, the only home-made food we'd had while traveling, were delicious.
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