Wednesday, July 23, 2014

True Adventurer

This morning at College Coffeehouse, I met Mike Saunders who had stopped in Fairbanks to pick up an new rear tire for his 49cc Honda Ruckus before he heads up the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay. If you check out his blog, he headed out from D.C. near the beginning of May, headed down to Key West before turning north exploring the country along the way at 30mph. Unlike most of the riders passing through Fairbanks on their way to Prudhoe, there is very little "extra" on the Ruckus, partly because there is very little room. He has primitive camped (i.e. not at campgrounds or RV parks) just about the entire way claiming to have only spent $4 on lodging so far on the trip.

If you check out the first couple of posts, he lists the mods to the Ruckus and the gear he was taking. I hope to be able to visit again on his way through Fairbanks after his trek up the Dalton to get an update. He has been riding for quite a while as evidenced by his well worn Roadcrafter jacket and even though he has an R1150GS, this is the bike he chose for his trip. That says something about him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Someone Wants a Ride

I think someone really wants a sidecar ride as he will hop in whenever the tonneau cover is off of the sidecar. It doesn't matter which one but I think he likes this one better. Then again, everyone seems to including me. We don't have a helmet his size and at two and a half, probably still on the young side to really go for a ride. Maybe just around the driveway.

I still haven't finished taking the subframe off of the Beemer. No incentive as the Ural is still more entertaining to drive.

On this day, we were getting ready to go for a short ride to visit some friends visiting from Oregon. One of them really wanted a ride in the sidecar and after a short ride, she said to her husband that they really need to get one of these. They currently ride 150cc scooters.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Well, it's done. I took the Cozy off of the Beemer for the first time in a year and a half. I also changed out the Heidenau sidecar tire on the rear for an old Shinko rear tire that I had installed in Corvallis, OR, during my 2012 road trip. It still has some mileage left on it as I had removed it when I installed the Cozy. I am going to try leaving the subframe installed though I'll need to be conscious of it when leaning to the right as it hangs a bit lower than anything else.

After swapping out the rear tire, I took the Beemer out for a test ride. This is the first time I've been on two wheels in almost a year. The last time was the demo rides at the Salem MOA rally last July. It really felt weird, for lack of a better description. It took a few miles before I felt comfortable with the leaning and countersteering. To add one more thing, the bike seemed to stumble a couple of times before I looked at the trip odometer and realized that I was running out of gas. Once I switched to reserve, no stumbling. As you might have guessed, the bike accelerates much faster without the sidecar and the steering seemed odd until I turned off the steering damper. After getting back home, I felt much more comfortable on the Ural.


Friday, July 18, 2014

"Feels Like" -124F

We went out to celebrate my youngest son's birthday at a local restaurant called the Turtle Club. As you may guess, they have quite the collection of decorative turtles. I think that they have one of the best salad bars in town and really, I should've called it quits after that as most of my dinner came home in a box. No bike related things going on but it was nice and sunny until around 1:00pm when the rain started up again. June brought record breaking rainfall and July is almost another record. Just the normal commute and some running errands around town. The trunk on the Ural is extremely convenient for storing my helmet or the Roadcrafter but not both.

Maybe it's a requirement for being a Ural or Airhead owner but I always feel compelled to go to the garage and work on something. This weekend, I'm thinking or taking the Cozy off of the Beemer for the rest of the summer. I'll need to change the rear tire but I still have the Shinko that I picked up in Corvallis a couple of years ago. It shouldn't take me that long to swap it out.

While browsing on the Internet this afternoon, I ran across this weather page for Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. For anyone thinking of complaining of their local weather I should send them the link. -90°F without wind chill and "feels like" -124°F. I'm not sure I ever want to know what that feels like. N.B. The wind speed was only 8mph.

Which reminds me that I need to put an outlet for the Gerbings somewhere on the Ural. Last Tuesday it was cold enough to need the liner with morning temperatures below 40°F and raining. Not for my short commute but all the running around that occured during the day.