Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mueller State Park RV Trip - Uraling to Pikes Peak's Summit

Two Ural rigs went to the summit of Pikes Peak, America's Mountain...14,115 feet up and the same two rigs came back down with their riders and monkeys.

RichardM and Bridget were riding Scarlett today, my 2014 Ural Patrol and Martha and I were on Fiona.

I managed to guide everyone to Pikes Peak with no issues or missed turns and we were at the fee station at the bottom of the mountain around 9:30 AM.  We found that they now charge by the person, at $15 a person!  Apparently, they're building new stuff on the mountain.

Fiona did great, with her bigger BMW engine, powering up the steep inclines and hairpin turns with no real issue.  Scarlett on the other hand, toiled as usual up the steep portions of the 19 miles up to the top of the summit.  I'm thinking perhaps its time to put the exhaust system back to stock to see if it's the cause of loss of power on hills!

At Pike's Peak summit it was in the low 50s, breezy but not windy and sunny.  Good conditions for the summit though the far off viewing of distant mountains was obscured by a lot of haze.

 Yours truly and RichardM
photo by Martha

To my surprise, Verizon was providing two bars of LTE cellular coverage on the summit!  Richard's theory is that the recently held "Pikes Peak Hill Climb" racing had caused Verizon to put up a temporary cell tower to support the event.  I hope they decided to leave the gear in place for good.

photo by Bridget

After a snack in the summit's visitor shop/cafeteria, we all piled into our respective rigs and headed down the mountain for pictures.

 RichardM and Bridget on Scarlett

 Bridget goes into "Heroic Pose" mode

 Gazing out to forever....

Happy Riders

Once we got back from Pikes Peak and had rested a bit, Martha had the idea to take a picture of the dogs while they were in one of the sidecars.  Here's the stuff that came out OK from Martha's iphone.

photo courtesy of Bridget

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mueller State Park RV Trip: Skyline Drive

Yesterday, the day's destination was Skyline Drive in Cañon City, with a slight detour to take a peek at the Royal Gorge Bridge since it was on the way.

RichardM and Bridget would be riding Fiona today

Patrick remained behind, plugged into
his electronics....

I missed the turn to take the shortest route to Cañon City and ended up adding about 55 miles or about 1.5 hours to the day's overall riding.  Doh!

No wonder I'd never ridden on Wilkerson Pass,
its not on the optimal road from Divide to Cañon City
and so I'd not taken it before.  Oh well.

Wilkerson Pass got us to South Park valley and from there we got on CO9 and now headed towards Cañon City.  The heat began to build up in the valley and by the time we got to the Royal Gorge Bridge it was quite warm.

Martha, Bridget and RichardM
with the Royal Gorge Bridge in the background.

We chose to pay to get into the brand new Visitor Center and Museum and instead headed into Cañon City for lunch.

After lunch it was time to tour the Prison Museum located next to the Colorado Territorial Prison.  I didn't really get any worthwhile pics of the museum's exhibits though.

Bridget and Martha after touring the Prison Museum

Next we rode, in the really hot weather now, to Skyline Drive for some pictures.  The sun was beating down on us so no one was feeling motivated for lots of pictures.

Bridget and RichardM on Skyline Drive

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mueller State Park RV Trip - Day 1

Meeting up with the Machidas!

Uma, the URRV, transported Martha and my eldest son Patrick, towing Scarlett in the trailer while I followed with Fiona, the '99 Ural Patrol.

We got to Mueller State Park by Divide, CO, shortly after RichardM and Bridget had arrived with their fifth-wheel RV and setup up four spots away from our assigned campsite.

We spent the rest of the afternoon setting up, chatting and catching up.  RichardM borrowed Fiona from me and will be riding her tomorrow along with Bridget:

We had dinner at the Machida's RV as it was a bit roomier than ours.  Martha got to warm up the fixings using their induction cook top and was duly impressed with its performance.  Looks like there's one in our future as well I think.

Before dinner, after setting up for camp

During dinner, a rainstorm came up with some hail and thunder and lightning.  One lightning bolt hit so close we think it actually struck an RV about three spaces away from ours and on the other side of the road!

The lightning strike also tripped the main breaker for the panel that served our campsite but luckily all we had to do was reset the breaker and we had power again.  We were lucky, the folks in the RV that got struck were lucky in that no one was hurt but their RV will have to be towed for repairs.

Note:  We were shocked and disappointed to hear from these folks that their Good Sam RV Towing plan wouldn't cover them as they considered lightning "an act of god".  We thought it was bogus.

After dinner, we took a walk with Bridget's dogs: Artie and Leinen.  This is how we found out about the lightning damage.

Artie and Thing One, not sure who was
leading whom on this walk....

The plan tomorrow is to ride up Pikes Peak, we'll see what the weather turns out to be like with all this rain.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Solstice Sunset

Ah, the first official day of Summer and the heat we experienced here in the Colorado Front Range left us in no doubt that it was indeed Summer.

Both the day before Summer Solstice and the day of, the temperatures almost broke 100 degrees Fahrenheit and records were broken.

The day did end in quite a nice sunset though, in spite of the imbecile who joined us at the spot where more and more people have joined me in picturing the sunset.
The imbecile in question, decided to share his taste in music, with the rest of us....annoying us all.  Luckily, he didn't stay long.  He departed to annoy other people before the sunset's lighting got really good.  Imbecile.

The usual spot for sunset pictures is becoming too popular and crowded, there's even another imbecile flying a drone overhead at times, adding the drone's annoying buzzing sounds to the ambience.

I wonder if one can buy a drone controller signal jammer?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Last Day of Spring Sunset

I used the title Summer's Eve Sunset on Facebook to originally post these pictures, then I was reminded of the feminine hygiene trademark.  Doh.

It was a record breaking day yesterday in terms of temperatures.  99°F (37..2°C)!   Definitely a scorcher, but it did produce nice cloud formations and lighting conditions for this Spring season's last sunset:

As you can see, Fiona my '99 Ural Patrol with the '84 R80 Beemer engine is back on the road.  I received the replacement Final Drive mounting studs yesterday and replaced the two outer studs, leaving the two inner studs for the next time I have the final drive unmounted from the swingarm.

I also replaced the engine oil/gearbox oil on Fiona and Scarlett's engine oil.  It was a bit early for both but the oil was looking dirty and this way I can now use their respective odometers to schedule future maintenance.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers Day Uraling on Mount Evans

Spent most of the day Uraling with Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig on North America's highest paved road, CO Hwy 5 or the Mount Evans Road.

Once can reach the parking lot at the summit, which lies at 14,420 feet or a bit over 4340 meters above sea level.  A fair altitude yoCou might say, but less than three hours away by Ural, there's also the road up Pikes Peak: America's Mountain.

You can drive all the way to the summit of Pikes Peak as well, and I've done so with all my motorcycles over the years.

Conditions were very crowded at Mount Evans, I attributed it to it's recent opening for the season and the fact there'd been a foot race on the mountain that morning; the race had closed the road to motored traffic until 11AM.

Got there at 12:30 after a 10AM departure from home.  Once I got clear of the usual congestation at the fee station, it wasn't too bad in terms of crowds and cagers.  Note:  If you tell the attendant you're just going up to the summit and back down without "stopping", you don't have to pay the entrance fee.  It's a Colorado Highway you see; now if you park at the summit or use any of the fee areas, then yes you have to pay.

I turned around just short of the summit (been there before many times) as I could see if was just jammed with cagers and crowds.  Here's the pictures I took as Scarlett and I made our way back down, usually stopping at the apex of the several hairpin turns.


 Approaching Summit Lake

 Summit Lake

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Published: Sidecar Traveller #32

For the second time now, Martin Franitza, publisher of the magazine "Sidecar Traveller", a Germany based publication has used my photo in his latest edition.

He asked to use one of the photos taken during the April trip to Moab, Utah where fellow Uralisti and other sidecar riders had a bunch of fun riding the trails.

Here's a link to the specific day's riding:  LINK

Here's the picture selected by Martin:

Here's how it appears immediately after one turns open the cover of the magazine:

source: Gespannfahrer-Shop / Sidecar-Shop

On page 68, there's a blurb about myself and the photo:

source: Gespannfahrer-Shop / Sidecar-Shop

You can order the magazine here:  Gespannfahrer-Shop

Finally, here's the cover page for issue number 32:

source: Gespannfahrer-Shop / Sidecar-Shop

My thanks to Martin for using my photo in his publication.

Here's the last time one of my rigs was published in Martin's publication:  LINK

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Ridgway RV Trip: Telluride and Home

This post serves to wrap up the last three days of this RV trip.

Day Three kind of sucked, stuck doing work all day with only a short ride into town for fast internet access which proved slow.  Ridgway, at least for us, proved a bit "lacking" in fast Internet access.

Day Four was a lot better, there were still work crisis events but since we were in Telluride, their Internet access options were much faster than Ridgway's.

Martha wanted to check out Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride and it turns out to be right at the exit route for Bear Pass Road!  You can see the zig zag marks made by the one way road up the side of the mountain to the left of the falls picture below.

 I remember thinking the tub on Fiona looked a bit crooked
but chalked it off to just a weird angle induced by the camera.

Work done with, we exited Telluride around 4PM and rode under mostly clear skies back towards Ridgway, enjoying the sight of snow clad mountain peaks near the Dallas Divide.


The last day was spent driving back to Denver via US50 to Grand Junction and then jumping onto the I-70 Super Slab.  Took longer to get home this way unfortunately, due to road and tunnel maintenance operations in the Eisenhower Tunnel at the Continental Divide.

The day before, after we got back to the RV park from Telluride, I was tying down Fiona onto the trailer and saw this:

Yep, one of the four bolts that are threaded into the final drive's case had worked loose and fallen off!  Dammit.  Parts will be inbound soon, hopefully the threads inside the case are not damaged.

So, this evening, after putting away Uma the URRV, I headed out with Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol (it's good to have a spare rig) to catch the sunset.