Friday, February 21, 2014

Too Lazy to Ride In

No, I didn't ride in this morning. The weather app claimed that it was -27°F and I opted that riding this morning was probably in the "foolish" behavior quadrant. It was sort of a tossup as it has been warming up almost to 0°F by the end of the afternoon. But I was feeling lazy. The sky this morning seemed really clear and there was a nice half moon in the southwestern sky roughly above where Mt. McKinley would be. I guess, I still enjoy looking at the moon and it reminds me of many evening spent gazing at the night sky when I was growing up with my small telescope.

There is a temperature inversion which means that there is not even a breeze to mix up the air and it must be getting cold. The exhaust from wood stoves and furnaces give you an indication of where the warmer air starts. Normally, smoke rises as the air temperature gets colder and colder the higher you go. But with a temperature inversion, it starts to warm up as you get higher. At this point the smoke stops rising and sort of levels out and as the exhaust cools, it will start to drop back down towards the ground. This is why Fairbanks is always on the EPA top ten list for poor air quality. If you put your air monitoring sensors at the low points where all of the exhaust gets trapped, you will get some of the most polluted air in the world. If you are at a higher elevation, the air is crystal clear. The university is on a hill so it's usually above the inversion layer.

Even after completely draining the tank and refilling using the water filter to insure that I wasn't adding water to the tank, I'm still getting water in the carb bowls. Bing, the manufacture of the carburetors, has a new style bowl and floats that no longer have the bowl vent tube. I'm thinking of getting them to eliminate that path for water to get drawn into the bowls. Plus, Bing claims that they will increase gas mileage. I could use a little better gas mileage. The rig gets over 25% worse gas mileage than the car which weighs five times as much and has at least twice the frontal area.

Update - Just received a great suggestion from the Airhead section of the MOA forums. Temporarily plug up the vent! Now I can't wait until tomorrow so I can test...

18 comments:

Martha said...

Beautiful moon photo! What is it you are using as your camera? I have forgotten because I know it's not a "real" camera and I lose interest...but I still want to know. :^)

RichardM said...

Nikon D60, ISO 400, 55-200mm zoom, 1/125, f6.3, -1.33ev shooting RAW. Contrast and sharpness turned up slightly using Aperture.

But most of the blog photos are iPhone 5S snapshots as that's what I have with me all the time.

Unknown said...

Martha:

I just updated the firmware for my Sony 5n. They have changed the bracketing range to now include +/- 3 EVs so now you can do proper HDR. You have to also upgrade you ARW software and ARW OS drivers or you can't open your RAW files.

thought you might like to know that the firmware upgrade is very recent

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Unknown said...

Richard:

Motorcycles are not very efficient. My 1800cc Honda gets 32 mph (Cdn gallon) in town and I have gotten nearly 48 mpg (cdn gallon) on the highway going fast . . .

You would think that a 650cc bike should get 3x better fuel efficiency based upon prorated engine size. Many bikes get much less than a car with a larger engine. Things just aren't right

Your D60 must be a dinosaur. I used to have a D70, then a D80 then switched to Canon T2i, NEX blah blah, and I am looking for a new camera and all this time you are just using the same one. I still have my F100 and a few F's (the original ones)

Don't punish yourself. You ride in cold weather most of the time, relax for a change

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

The D60 came out after the D80 and replaces the D40X. I was originally looking for a D80 but they were no longer being made and its replacement was out of my price range. I think I got it around May 2010. It still works fine for me though the low light performance of the newer models are tempting. With anything higher than ISO 400, it starts to get noisy.

The other way to look at is the sidecar rig mileage is that it only gets 10 mpg better than the 1 ton truck that weighs around 4 tons empty with a whole lot more frontal area. That makes the rig look pretty inefficient...

Hard to relax knowing what a beautiful day it is outside. I did walk for several miles this morning and it had really warmed up by midday. Around -6°F.

Martha said...

Points for me for thinking it was a "real" camera, but second guessing it was a phone camera! All your photos are very nice no matter what you use.

Martha said...

Thanks for the info.

RichardM said...

Extra points given! But you are right, most of the pictures are from the iPhone. Most of the photos on trips are DSLR. I just don't carry it around around home but almost all of the time when traveling. Even to Barrow.

Unknown said...

Richard:

If you are in the market for a replacement, the buzz right now is the new Sony A6000. Half the price of anything comparable and has a cutting edge 24 MP sensor and the fastest autofocus of any mirrorless. Should be here mid April. I may pre-order one

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Conchscooter said...

One of the off putting things about a hack is reputed poor mileage. I wish you had said what exactly instead of 30 percent if an inknown amount minus z to the power of 8. Squared. Mpg before and after for non geeks.

RichardM said...

No interest getting another camera. I have a really hard time getting interested in anything without an optical viewfinder. It doesn't matter how new or advanced it is. And since I don't print any pictures, 10 megapixels is already overkill. Faster glass would be wonderful and high ISO without noise are the two things I would like to have.

RichardM said...

Sorry, the hack rig gets 29 mpg, the Prius around 40 mpg and the 1ton truck around 20 mpg. Before the sidecar was installed, the bike got around 43 mpg.

VStar Lady said...

Wow, had no idea how much of a negative effect the sidecar would have on mileage. Funny I've never actually calculated the gas mileage on the VStar ... it's gotta be better than the SUV and what does it matter, I'm going to ride it anyway.

RichardM said...

There seems to be a lot of aerodynamic drag from the sidecar plus it weighs over a third of the bike. I'm guessing that my rig weighs about 750 lbs with a full tank of gas.

But you're right, I'm going to ride it anyway though I occasionally think about a scooter or small bike for the summer. The dealer had a Grom on the floor which looks like it'll be a blast...

redlegsrides said...

Plug the vent....I'll be curious to see how that works, I thought you had to have a vent, after all, what does the idle circuit draw from then....

RichardM said...

The vent is also the overflow so plugging the vent could be a problem. Long term. For testing, probably not. So far I had it plugged today and rode about twenty miles with a couple of stops. No water on the carbs. I'll try some more tomorrow. Though it isn't as cold as it has been in the past. So not definitive.

Maybe I'll remove the plug from one of the vents.

Trobairitz said...

Pretty pictures Richard. Hope the breeze comes back to blow the inversion out.

RichardM said...

We only get the temperature inversion with colder temperatures. It's supposed to be really warming up this week with highs on some days forecast to be near freezing!