We are still loving the temperature inversion as it has rarely been below 0°F at the house for several days. I'm thinking that I may still be able to get at least one more ride in this year;
I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014!
It has been too cold to go outdoors these last couple of days with temperatures hovering in the -40 (°F and °C) area with the weather guessers saying that -45°F is well within the realm of possibility. So this is as close as I have come to playing with a sidecar rig. My maintenance plans falling by the wayside as it's easier to just sit in the warm house dinking around in the kitchen.
This is our view to the south just past solar noon. We live in the hills north of town so we are usually above the temperature inversion and well out of the hazards of the ice fog enveloping the lower lying areas. Plus, it is generally a little warmer. My son ventured into town this afternoon and reported that in town, it was sometimes challenging to even see to the other side of the intersections.
First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. The picture on the right came through my Twitter feed though I'm not sure who posted it or who to attribute it to. But I thought it was too cool not to share and it fit with my geeky nature.
I'm still attempting to make a slideshow ala Bobskoot but it's still uploading. And no music.
We got quite a bunch of fresh snow over the weekend and since I didn't get out and clear the driveway (again), I opted not to ride in this morning. Most of the roads weren't very clear so I'm it was probably a good decision. I think it took longer to dig the truck out of the snow than it would've taken me to ride in. The snow on the sides were well above the top of the tires so some shoveling was needed just to open the door. Most of the university is shut down for a couple of weeks and I just came in to get a proposal finished up and submitted.
Yesterday morning, I rode around the area looking for photo opportunities but nothing really stood out. With the heavy snowfall, I really didn't want to venture off of the main roads and visibility was poor plus it was dark. It sounds like I'm full of excuses for not stopping to take pictures. It was a challenge getting back up our subdivision road with a lot of fishtailing while heading up the hill due to the fresh snow. The bike ran really well and I hope this whole "water in the gas" thing is behind me.
This morning, Shawn from Adventure Cycleworks, dropped off a new rear tire at my office (how can you beat service like that!). It is a Heidenau K28 and will be the new summer tire for the rear of the bike. It is a sidecar specific tire in the correct "inch" size for the bike. Note the square profile to put a little more rubber on the road and the two ribs down the middle should contribute to longer life. I had heard about this tire at the BMWMOA rally last summer in Salem, OR, and needed to show the brochure to Shawn to try and order it. Heidenau US had just began importing these tires but they've been available in Europe for a while.
Once the Christmas break starts, I plan on removing the sidecar and performing some maintenance on the bike including:
Other items include:
|Monday Morning Fog|
This was the view through my windshield this afternoon. No nice fluffly snow like they had in Corvallis but rather 24°F and raining. It had started to rain last night but by this morning, it looked like we just had a little rain. I went ahead and rode in and maybe went a little slower than usual but not by much. This afternoon, it started to rain and it was still below freezing (how does that work?) I thought that it may be a good idea to simply head home before the evening rush hour traffic. I think I was in 3rd gear all the way and pulled off the road a couple of times to let other traffic go by. It was pretty slick. The whole bike (except for the engine and exhaust) and sidecar had a nice layer of ice built up on it.
Fortunately, most of the other traffic recognized the driving hazard and speeds were reasonable. The only speed demons were the usual suspects, lifted trucks and Subarus. There was one car sitting on top of a snow bank along side of the road and I couldn't figure out how it got there. No signs of sliding, no wheel tracks and all four wheels weren't touching the ground. Almost as if it was put there by a crane. But at least it was right side up and no one was in it. I didn't stop to take a picture since there was traffic behind me.
On Sunday morning after a wonderful breakfast of homemade blueberry pancakes and apple butter, Chris took us on a tour of some of the sights around Minneapolis. The first stop was Minnehaha Falls and the surrounding park. Since we have few waterfalls readily accessible around home, it was really cool to see these falls in the winter. I actually vaguely remember stopping here the first time I was in Minneapolis sometime in the late '60s but only remember the location, no details.
We walked down on the trail to the creek at the base of the falls to do a little more exploring. (No geocaches were found) I guess the falls at this time of year are barely a trickle compared to their summertime flow. There was only a slight breeze so it didn't feel as cold as it did a couple of days ago in St. Paul.
This is the creek at the base and we followed it for a short ways before heading back up the stairs towards the parking lot. I'm still amazed at the lack of snow but I'm not complaining. The weather guessers are saying that it'll be -17°F by next weekend and it was -24°F back home in Fairbanks. Here, it was above freezing with scattered clouds.
After Minnehaha Falls, we drove up along the west shore of the Mississippi River. This is on the opposite side from where we were on Thanksgiving Day. We stopped at the Stone Arch Bridge to walk across. This is the bridge I had a picture of yesterday. These buildings are just downstream from St. Anthony Falls. According to the posters, the falls were rapidly deteriorating and instead of allowing them to turn into rapids (falls are more geographically contained) they added concrete to keep it in place.
I guess I really like to look of all of the old commercial buildings and warehouses along the river and enjoyed hearing of the history of the area.
These are locks on the west side of the falls. Chris pointed out that this lock is much narrower than the lock at Ford Falls, which are shown in the previous post, to handle smaller boats and barges.
Here are the St. Anthony Falls. Even though these are much larger, I still like the appearance of the Minnehaha Falls and from the drawings of what these fall originally looked like, it was looked more scenic before when it had a nice "U" shape.
After the Stone Arch Bridge, we visited my cousin and his wife for lunch then went to one of Reuben's rehearsals in downtown Minneapolis. It was like getting a private concert as the small group was practicing for an upcoming gig. They sounded pretty good.
On Monday morning we headed to the airport but not before getting at least one photo of Chris in his natural environment. In this case the Ural since "snow pellets" were forecast later in the day. Thank you to Chris and his wife for hosting us for the last couple of days. We thoroughly enjoyed spending the last couple of days with them.
This post is was made using Blogsy on the iPad, email from the iPhone, BlogGo on the phone and I finally had to use the browser editor to clean up the mess that all of the apps made. They really don't work together very well.