Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Post 750

I was originally asked to start this blog by our public relations group in 2004 as a place to log my walks around campus. They were attempting to get staff more interested in getting some sort of exercise and walking is a great place to start. Originally, it was on a University of Alaska host then they asked everyone to move off to some other provider such as Blogger. People complained that it was an inappropriate use of university resources. Out of all of those that started back then, this may be the only one still around though I don't mention walking or exercise very often though it is still an important part of my life.

Yesterday, it was above freezing and the mess known as breakup has begun. This morning, the rivers flowing through the parking lots have re-solidified and I am again reminded that my rig doesn't have reverse while pulling it into the parking slot while trying to keep my own footing. I was originally considering removing the tire studs a few days ago but installed a fresh batch on the rear instead. Now I'm glad that I did.

Having the hard pack removed has done wonders for our driveway. Now I don't really have to worry whether our front wheel drive Prius will be able to get out once we remove the studded snow tires. The traction control cannot be turned off on this car so if a wheel starts to spin, forward motion comes to a complete stop. Toyota claims that it's that way "for your safety".


You can see how much snow has melted as the snow on this hill was few feet thick only last week. The clear sidewalks are a lot easier to walk on. You don't have to pay much attention to where you place your next step. On the exercise front, I still have managed to continue walking almost every day with a goal of 15 hours per week. I am part of a virtual team here on campus and, as a group, have managed to average just under 14 hours per week. Sunrise is now before 6am and sunset is almost 10pm. Lots of opportunity to get out and do something.

My new challenge with the sidecar rig is to figure out a way to put on the external steering damper. Even with the stock friction damper turned up all the way, there is an instability at about 10mph where the bars want to swing back and forth. I originally attributed it to snow and ice on the road but it is more pronounced with clear, dry pavement. There is a some vibration at speed (over 60mph) with the fairing and windshield. I can't feel it at all through the handlebars. This morning, I stood up on the pegs and looked over the windshield at the front wheel and there was no shaking evident. With the one lower fairing removed for the front sidecar mount, the fairing is less solidly mounted than originally designed. Maybe I will try and remount the lower to see it that resolves the vibration. All this means is that I need to drill a large hole in the upper part of the lower fairing for the front upper sidecar strut to attach. This is one of those measure twice, cut once. Or maybe measure more than twice...

21 comments:

BeemerGirl said...

You lost me at "upper part of the lower..." hehehe. Things seem to be bright and shiny...and amazingly that grass is stil green from being under all the snow weight. :)

RichardM said...

One of those picture is better than a thousand word kind of thing. Yes, everything is bright and shiny with warm, soggy afternoons and frozen mornings.

I think that they must just paint the grass in the fall so it'll look more "Spring-like" during breakup.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Congratulations!

Wise call on the studs.

I am enjoying your adventures getting the rig sorted out.
~k

redlegsrides said...

Richard, have you tried lower air pressure on the front tire perhaps?

RichardM said...

Lot of sorting out needed with this old bike. ;-)

RichardM said...

Thank you for the suggestion. I'll try lowering the tire pressure tomorrow (or is that today). I've read that a more squared off profile front tire may help eliminate the instability.

Black Inazuma said...

Measure, measure and then measure again and then ask yourself: Does it go that way? Are you really sure?

The number of times I've looked incredulously at the larger-sized hole I drilled on a side of a piece of wood when it should have been on the other side with the others!

Martha said...

Congrats on the melt and the daylight.

RichardM said...

I've done that before. After looking at the lower fairing last night, I'm thinking that it will be a difficult task getting the openings in the correct location. And the lower part of the front subframe may make it impossible to properly secure it.

RichardM said...

Lots of both these days though it is still dropping to single digits (and lower!) at night. It was a chilly 6°F ride in this morning.

Trobairitz said...

Congrats on post 750. That is quite an accomplishment as is all the walking.

RichardM said...

Thanks, when I started this blog I never expected it to last this long. And I would've never thought that I would meet so many wonderful people through it. The walking has become something that I HAVE to do or else I start to feel miserable. I guess it's a good habit to have.

Unknown said...

Richard:

at least you are able to walk great distances. I used to walk all day around town taking photos. Now I rely on my throttle hand . . .

Yes, it's the many people you meet or converse on the internet with and hoping to meet one day. All part of our friendly circle. It is very different from our PenPal days

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

I don't know what I would do if I couldn't walk around. Even during the normal work day, I walk around a lot both inside and outside. It all adds up.

"PenPal days"? I never had any of those...

Unknown said...

Richard:

What ! you never had a Pen Pal ?

info HERE

I used to write letters to my PenPal when I was in elementary school. It took a long time to get replies since you had to rely on the mail, and then write about things when you don't really know the person at the other end

bob
Riding the Wet Coast


RichardM said...

Must've been before my time ;-)

I do remember writing letters when I was a kid and it seemed like a painful, one-way process.

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to snow. We just had 11" yesterday and today. Here's to better riding weather!

RichardM said...

With the sidecar, I've been enjoying fresh snow. At least for now... I'm surprised that your winter is continuing on after the reprieve last week...

GF said...

Did you add the sidecar to your bike? Are you taking the sidecar on the Dempster next year?
I just want this winter to end, tired of it and we haven't even had much snow.

RichardM said...

Yep, the sidecar is on the bike since Jan 1. I've been able to ride since then. And, yes, my plan is to take the sidecar rig up the Dempster next year when I go to D2D.

VStar Lady said...

Richard, walking and riding - I can't think of a better combo. 14 hours per week on two feet is an enviable average (but even more impressive to me is that you get even one hour on two wheels in your climate.)
Congrats on post 750. All totaled, I wonder how many miles/kilometers (foot/wheels)?