Monday, September 23, 2013

"Second Last Ride of the Season" Not


It was advertised as the "Second Last Ride of the Season" but I was the only one to show up ready to ride. Others showed up in four wheeled vehicles to see what fools would show up for the ride. I didn't disappoint them. The other name for these rides are FOG or Friends of George. But even George (Rahn) showed up with his truck. His bike didn't start and he figured that was a sign to not ride.

It ended up snowing for most of the afternoon but no accumulation on the streets. Originally, I was thinking of sending out an email for next Sunday afternoon but there is an Airhead tech-day already on the schedule.

Monday Morning -  It finally stopped snowing sometime in the middle of the night and it was a cold, beautiful morning. The weather guessers are claiming that it'll be well above freezing again for the rest of the week. I think that walking across the parking lot was the most treacherous part of my commute. No slipping or sliding with the sidecar rig and due to the conditions, everyone was driving pretty cautiously. I left a little early to avoid being on the road at the same time as kids rushing to the local high school.

On Saturday, I put the Arctic Cat foam hand covers on the handlebars and even though it was 21°F this morning, no additional heat was needed. They do a great job of blocking the wind and since the back is completely open, the controls are still easy to see. I believe that they are designed for use on snow machines or ATVs.

I just talked to Adventure Cycleworks to see if they had any left over inventory and it sounds like they may have a 100/90-19 Heidenau K60 front tire in their inventory. That'll resolve my front tire not having enough tread to stud. Too bad that I will be swapping out the front tire as it still has a few miles left just not enough rubber to stud.

17 comments:

Martha said...

I need someone like you in my life who can write about that weather without a hint of a tear. Anyone daring to predict the winter snowfall in your area?

Congrats on riding the motorcycle. That's a beautiful luminous building in that photo. Like an artificial sunrise.

redlegsrides said...

Just "save" the existing front tire for your next summer....and have considered those strap-on ice grips for your boots for that perilous trek from the parking lot? :)

Now see, aren't you glad you came over to this particular dark side of motorcycling? The sidecarist side, that is.

RichardM said...

No, I haven't heard any predictions on the upcoming Winter weather. It has been a wetter September than normal but, fortunately, no real wet, heavy snow yet. Hopefully, the leaves will drop before then.

The building in the background is the Arctic Health Research Building and, as you can see, they recently added a large, multistory greenhouse to the south side of the building. Not sure how it's being used as it was just completed last Spring.

RichardM said...

I have several sets of those ice grip things for your shoes. I haven't tried them on my boots but maybe they need to be part of my riding gear this time of the year.

This "dark side" of motorcycling is definitely very different from the norm. I'll feel better about the slick roads after I change out the front tire and get some studs into it. I get almost all of my braking power from the front tire.

As far as "saving" the front tire, maybe. But since I'm thinking of a long road trip next summer, I may as well start out with a relatively fresh tire.

redlegsrides said...

Richard, you probably know this but it bears repeating....use of the front brakes in snowy conditions is not a great idea, depend on your rear/sidecar brakes used in a methodical and slow manner to slow your rig down. I found the front tire has enough issues steering, using it induces (in my case anyways) situations where your front tire slides too much....or, if no grip, you end up pushing your way into a turn....studs should be great for turns by the front wheel.....but you may want to experiment and see what your rig does when using your front brakes heavily.

Dar said...

I am not even ready to think about snow! I read in the Farmer's Almanac that this winter Southern BC is supposed to get slammed with snow December and January. I am already hoarding bus tickets for this. Glad your paws were warm on your ride. Stay warm my friend.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I was moaning because for the first time this year I had to wear pants, instead of shorts and also a light jacket instead of a T-shirt but looking at your 28°F and snow later in the week I have lots to be thankful for

Is there not a way to cut those studs and only put them a certain depth into the tread ? I know, stupid thinking . . .

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Conchscooter said...

Riding in the snow... the best use for a hack. That and growing too old to ride on two wheels I suppose. I have handlebar covers and i find them excellent in marginal conditions, 60 degrees and rain say, or on a long trip in cool weather (less than 70 degrees) when my hands get cold. I really like them. as for being able to see the controls...why are you looking at your hands when you are riding?

RichardM said...

Studding the tires really do make a big difference when traction is marginal. You're right, when there is deeper snow, the front tire has enough to do maintaining directional control. But when there is hard packed snow or ice, there is little to be gained with rear wheel braking due to weight transfer to the front. I don't have a sidecar brake but I don't think it would make much of a difference unless there was a passenger or more weight in the sidecar. As it is, there is minimal pulling to the left when braking without a passenger.

RichardM said...

I don't think anybody up here really want to think about snow but it's going to come eventually no matter what. I'm not that much of a die-hard to ride once it gets really cold or during a blizzard. But Fairbanks gets a fairly modest amount of snow and once it gets past this transitional season, the roads are generally in pretty good shape.

The foam hand covers make a big difference as they do a good job of blocking the wind.

RichardM said...

They do sell shorter studs but I'm told that they tend to pull out. The ones that I'm using 10.6mm into the tire, is about the minimum recommended for a motorcycle or scooter. The shorter ones are for boots and bicycles.

RichardM said...

Or to carry a lot of stuff. I like the handlebar covers for marginal conditions as well. Just our definitions are slightly different, the purpose is the same.

I find it convenient to be able to glance down and see if I may have bumped the high beam switch. The indicator is blue and really hard to see unless you stare at it for a while. Much easier (and safer) to just glance at the switch. Plus, it's easy to put your hand in and out when compared to Hippo Hands.

I don't see how you survived your last vacation in the Dolomites riding. It looked pretty cold...

Conchscooter said...

Heated grips. Always on. Amazing. Plus we never rode after the sun went down.

Trobairitz said...

You're so hardcore Richard. The only one that rode. Good for you, although it sounds lonely at the top.

Can you save the current front tire and use it for summer when you don't need studs?

RichardM said...

I think the "fool" category is much more appropriate than ""hardcore". The motorcycle with a sidecar seems to be a really adequate vehicle for me. And much more appropriate during some portion of the year.

I plan to save the front tire as it still has plenty of tread.

Lucky said...

Even in Phoenix, I would have loved those grip covers in the winter. Good on ya for showing up to ride, too!

RichardM said...

The grip covers really seem to help and if some snow gets in, you just dump it out. The only negative is that I can't see my digital voltmeter without looking over them. The foam is rigid enough to retain it's shape.