Thursday, June 6, 2013

What's Up

Riding the quad (see previous post) around gives me a lot more flexibility. Such as, on the way back from a meeting in Barrow today, it was trivial to pull off at the beach and appreciate the ocean view, such as it is. Since last weekend, there hasn't been a single clear day. The melt ponds reflect the sky and there were quite a few ponds out on the ice. Less so today since it has been below freezing for several days.

The hut I'm staying in this week has two research groups in it as well as myself. With seven others, mostly grad students, it's pretty lively in here at times. At other times, like today, they all flew to Atqasuk so it's really quiet. Some of them will be here 'til the end of August and others come and go. Like all of the researchers I've worked with over the years, a pretty nice group.

Today, I met with KenR who is a sidecar rider from the Denver area and works in Barrow. In fact he has two rigs. A mid-2000s 2WD Ural and a BMW K bike with a high performance sidecar where the sidecar wheel actually steers with the motorcycle. No scrubbing of sidecar tire in turns. I didn't even know such a thing exists. He mentioned that it easily cruises up through the Colorado passes and has no problem keeping up with interstate traffic.

10 comments:

  1. Richard:

    There, that's your project for next winter, a steering sidecar. I wonder how they align the wheel to turn in parallel. There must be a bracket somehow attached to the forks and a rack and pinion with another bar to go over to the sidecar wheel. Where was your camera ? Now we'll never know

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. KenR doesn't have the sidecars up here in Barrow. They are both back in Colorado where he lives. He said that there is a steering rod attached to the fork which runs back to a relay arm which has a tie rod to the sidecar wheel. They don't really turn in parallel just like the wheels of your car aren't truly parallel. The outside wheel turns less since it is further from the center point of the turn. I.e. for right turns, the sidecar wheel turns more than for left turns. Pretty slick setup...

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  2. That is quite the interesting sidecar set up. I too hadn't see the like.

    Did you ride the quad on the beach and kick up some sand?

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    1. It really is an interesting setup. He mentioned that it was nice to use on interstate trips but he still prefers the Ural for running around. He was really interested to hear how Dom was doing.

      No, I didn't take the quad onto the beach. At least not very far. Maybe if the sun ever comes out...

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  3. Interesting hack. And those are some fat tires on the Beemer. Look like it could go anywhere.

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    1. The fat tires are car tires for longer wear and better handling. Since sidecars rigs don't lean, it doesn't make a lot of sense to run motorcycle tires. There are some sidecar specific tires but these are a lot wider and last longer.

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  4. I remain appalled by the rugged nature of life so far north. I was In Pennsylvania last week lamenting a sixty degree day with what felt like a cold wind. I got goosebumps while people around me were sweating and I was too embarrassed to put on my vest. I feel I should spend some time watching ice melt as a way to toughen up.

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    1. Then you may not my next post at all....

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  5. RichardM

    I really must meet up with Ken soon, invite him to ride with the other Colorado Uralisti. In fact we've a rally coming up soon, can u send me his contact info?

    Dom

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    1. I will send Ken's contact info via email...

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