Friday, August 1, 2014

Too Hot and Sunny

Obviously I'm not talking about Fairbanks. Part of our family is heading south to sunny, southern California for a family reunion as well as other unrelated activities. And, I'm not really looking forward to these temperatures nor the crowds. I was originally thinking of riding down for the reunion but I just didn't have enough annual leave to make the trip. Maybe next year will bring another motorcycle trip.

So no moto-content for a while but I should be more than ready for some Fall weather after this trip. I guess it qualifies as a vacation as it's not work related though I'm not really enthused about the location. I left southern California in 1982 because I didn't care for the area and I don't look forward to returning at all.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More Ural Farkles

This is as close to a sunny morning as we've had in a while. The Alaska Range isn't visible due to the clouds but nice crisp shadows. This was taken using an iPhone HDR app as the original photo looked very bland and monotone. This is at the same turnout at the university overlooking the farm.

It's almost time for the next service on the Ural but it can probably wait until the next round of travelling is done. L.A. and Barrow. How about that for contrasting locations? Not really a farkle since it isn't shiny but is functional, I added a headlight on/off switch. The switch is waterproof and is the black bump above the high beam light. It is connected into the wire running from the non-existent headlight switch on the right grip to the high-low switch on the left handgrip. All connection soldered with heat shrink tubing. I will probably leave the switch on all of the time but if I need more current from the battery in the winter, I like the idea of being able to turn off the headlight. And since I was in the headlight anyway, I fixed to shorted speedometer light that was tripping the fuse a couple of weeks back. It was a just a poorly made light socket that I bent into the proper shape to hold the bulb. The next task is getting the fog and driving lights installed on the sidecar.

Last Sunday evening, we took my step-son to dinner as he was up visiting from California for about five days. This is the cheese soup at the Silver Gulch made famous by an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network with Guy Fieri. I hadn't tried it before nor had I tried their hot wings before. Both were tasty though the cheese soup was a bit saltier than I like. But the best part of the meal was the pretzel roll.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Arctic Circle & GoPro Testing

On Saturday, we went up to the Arctic Circle with Bridget's brother. He wanted to pick up a couple of geocaches north of the Arctic Circle. It seemed like a good opportunity to play with the GoPro again. The first video was taken with the camera mounted to the top of the truck windshield using the suction cup mount. It was taken on the Dalton Hwy as we were returning from the Arctic Circle. The first couple of clips were at 1 frame per second and the rest were at 1 frame per 2 seconds so you will notice that the video seems to speed up. You may also notice that the road is pretty nice gravel or pavement at least to the Arctic Circle.

The road was just a little muddy. Not as bad as it could be. My son offered to clean the truck after we got back home so it is all clean and shiny again. Thank you Kyle!
This second video was with the camera attached to the left turn signal mount on the Ural. Still trying to find a good place for the camera. This was my regular commute into the university with a few of the buildings highlighted. Ignore the invalid title near the beginning. I'm still getting used to the GoPro Editor...
Update - Mike Saunders is back from his trip to Prudhoe Bay on his 49cc Ruckus. Read about his adventure!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ural Ride to the Monderosa

A small group of us rode out the the Monderosa again. I think this was the third time this summer. I think it is the only place that is a "convenient" distance away from Fairbanks. By "convenient" I mean somewhere handy to ride out, have lunch and return without having to fill up the bikes. Or for this group around 45 miles each way. This photo was taken looking to the west towards the flats but does show what blue skies that we had. The gas cans are now empty but I think it looks odd with just the gas can mount so for now, I'll leave the empty cans in place.

On this day, there was a R1200GS, Harley Road King (I think), two 200cc-ish dirt bikes and the Ural. One of the dirt bike riders was a new rider and has only ridden around 400 miles and this was by far her longest trip. I was the last to arrive (big surprise) but only by a couple of minutes. 55mph is a real comfortable speed on the Ural for me though I think I may need to balance all of the tires. There was some vibration.

This was taken on the way back at my usual photo spot, the Parks Highway Monument. The temperature on this trip was a very comfortable 60°F for most of the trip. The first and last photo were taken using the HDR app on my iPhone otherwise the colors looked really muted. I was originally planning on riding the Beemer on this trip but I haven't had time to remove the sub-frame. Saturday was spent driving up to the Arctic Circle looking for geocaches and I need to process the Go-Pro video so, next post…