Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Dreariness

The dreariness typical of Fall in Fairbanks has returned today. Temperature are hovering just above freezing and raining. But as I read somewhere, as long as it's raining it's warm enough to ride. But enough rain to be extra careful due to reduced visibility for all drivers. I went out and checked the geocaches again just so that we would be ready to answer questions at the tech event, TechFest.

I found some red leaves, a color that is a little rare in the interior of Alaska which is dominated by yellows. I don't know what kind of tree it is but the leaf color attracted my attention. This morning, I stopped by a friends shop to pick up some arc welding cable. He had several gauges to choose from and it is heavier than the 4 AWG cable I installed but as flexible as rope. Exactly what I was looking for. I will need to enlarge the holes in the sidecar for the 1 AWG cable.

I've noticed that my gas mileage seems to have dropped but it turns out that the new rear tire, a Heidenau K60, is larger in diameter than my last tire so it looks worse than it really is. If I correct for tire size, I'm still getting a dismal 28 mpg. The one reason why I may not take the rig on a long summer trip.

Update: On Thursday morning, the TechFest event started and I was there at 8an to help with the setup. The purpose of the event is to highlight the technology being available for use for instruction on the Fairbanks campus. It is held in Wood Center, aka student union, with talks taking place upstairs in small conference rooms. The most popular events were the ones where things were being given away such as an iPad. I also spent a couple of hours making popcorn. Something well within my ability.

A couple of Xboxes were set up for a video game competition as well as an area set up by the art department showing their 3d modeling and printing.


Martha said...

Pretty red leaves, look like maples mostly. I check that great webcam site for Fairbanks and watch your gloomy wet weather. I'm looking forward to seeing your first really big snow storm hit. I know you aren't and I'm not looking forward to seeing it here either! But the cams are nicely positioned and it will be interesting.

RichardM said...

Thank you! I was wondering if it was a maple but I didn't think we had any around here. If it doesn't snow for the next few days, that would be fine with me. Tomorrow afternoon, I need to collect the geocaches as the event will be over then.

redlegsrides said...

Why did I think your rig got better MPG than mine? Lately it's been@ 30 and that's good for a Ural.

RichardM said...

On the trip to Talkeetna it was in the upper 30s but just running around Fairbanks, it's been only about 28.

Trobairitz said...

Yay you found some red leaves. Bummer your temperatures are hovering near freezing, but I guess it could be worse.

FYI - I still don't get how 3D printers work.

BMW HACKER said...

We hope to visit AK some day. I have a number of aquantances who have moved North, never to return to MT. Currently our only "free" time is in the Winter months and understandably, I have no urge to visit your great state in the Winter. The trip will likely be on our retirement "bucket list".

Unknown said...


I was thinking that those red leaves were Maple too, but Martha beat me to it. We don't have many Maples here either, just some yellows mixed in with lots of green

"ONLY 28 MPG" wow, that's dismal. My Honda Civic gets more than that in city driving. I think I get over 50 mpg on my R1200R, and about 55 mph with my Vstrom

Our dreary weather is coming. Our rainy season hasn't started yet but when it starts it will be cloudy, and rain for months until next May

If we have an iMBC2014 next year you will be put in charge of Popcorn production

Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

I'll try and borrow the 3D printer to do a post. basically, it uses plastic instead of ink and it is melted and "sprayed" like ink in an ink jet printer onto a surface that slowly moves away from the print head as layers are built up.

RichardM said...

I know quite a number that have left AK for MT due to weather (longer riding season) and lower expenses.

From MT to AK is only a few days. Next summer, I'm planning on taking the sidecar rig to MN and CA (and back).

RichardM said...

I didn't think we had maples around here either. It must have been planted as part of the landscaping.

Commuting and short trips really kills gas mileage. It's a little better on longer trips like mid-30s but the extra aerodynamic drag is significant.

Once the snow gets here, it'll seem a lot less dreary.