2011-10-09 Sunday
Ride a good portion of Johnny Park Road with a group from Front Range 4x4

I, and others, well enjoyed this trail, group members, and scenery. The prior days were cool, rainy-snowy, but today was a dry one with reasonable sunshine and temps. Some snow was visible at the trailside.

While I owned a Jeep years back I am new to trail riding in Colorado. The last trail I was on, somewhat my first that was more technical, was tedious. The air compressor for the locking differentials wasn't connected (and would have come in handy in a couple spots). That issue tied with the trail being rocky / bumpy led to my manual transmission vehicle lurching forward as my foot bounced on the gas pedal. I tried to reset the right side of my shoe against the Jeep's body but the lurching continued. It was a bit aggrivating. That trail wasn't relaxing and scenic. A bit of a bummer.

The workaround to the "bumpy trail / bouncing foot / lurching vehicle" issue is a hand operated throttle. They're fairly common, rather inexpensive, and fairly easy to install. I'll work up photos before long but essentially it involves a trip to a bicycle store, hopefully one that sells used parts (inexpensively). Fortunately Fort Collins has a "Recycled Cycles" store with a nice selection of inexpensive parts. I selected a gear shift selector from the bin and also purchased their longest brake/shifter cable.

The shifter gets mounted to the Jeep's manual transmission shift lever and the cable connects to the throttle plate, like the standard gas pedal does. When the trail gets bumpy (or you wish to perform an uphill start without rolling backwards, or you wish a slow speed cruise control) I put my fingers on the bicycle shifter lever and rotate it. It pulls the throttle plate open and I can remove my foot from the gas pedal. No foot bouncing on the pedal!

The hand throttle, along with good wiring for the differential locking unit, the Jeep's working nicely to process some trail, smoothly.

The trail track log is in yellow-black, circled in green. It took me about an hour to get to the trailhead about 45 miles from home. The trail, as we drove it, was 5.5 miles round trip which, generally moving took 126 minutes (about 3 miles per hour).

Elevation profile of the day.
The first is from home and back while the second is a detail of just the trail.

WMV format, 3 minutes, 320x240, 36MB

Heading up County Road 47

Trail start

A tad bit of snow about

The trail was a nice mix - some open, smooth soil sections, some rocky sections, a few technical obstacles. It wasn't a "pine tree canyon" through the whole ride so views to the far hills were enjoyed.

Panorama photo
Click for a larger image

Right about this location, the highest for the day, we did a U-turn and headed back. The trail does go through, but was said the remainder wasn't as interesting.

Back we go, headed east with the open plains on the horizon