Friday, January 23, 2015

Winter is Threatening

A couple of days ago, the fire alarm went off in the building and the building that we get to move to is the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Not a bad place to get stuck. This bear is at the entrance to the exhibits and has been there for as long as I've been at the university. I didn't take advantage of the emergency "free admission" (the crowd entered the museum through a normally locked door) and wander around much but I think the gift shop sold a whole lot more coffee than usual.

It looks like winter is finally arriving here over the weekend with low temps ranging from -35°F to -55°F depending on what weather app/site you choose to believe. I don't really intend on riding much at those temperatures but it'll be a good opportunity for a picture. Plus a way to really blow the PBC stats. If it were -55°F, I would be getting 8.7 points per mile so a short 10 mile ride to the temperature sign and back would be equivalent to an 87 mile ride at freezing.

Below, I have two more PBC videos. The first is a not very interesting commute though not on the most direct route. Taking 51 km to travel 8 km is not very fuel efficient. The second video is a "short" ride to College Coffeehouse. Since I saw the crossing lights start up on University Ave, I headed out to the railroad crossing on Sheep Creek Road Extension and caught the train on the video. This was also not the most direct route as 1 mile turned into 34 km.

At College Coffeehouse, I met with a local airhead who has put a deposit down on one of the 2015 Urals. He was concerned about the lack of a local dealer. I mentioned that if was planning on getting a Ural, he also better plan on learning to work on it himself. Kind of like a BMW airhead. Apparently the dealer in New England has two sales pending in Fairbanks as they are looking into possibly shipping two fully assembled rigs to Fairbanks. I mentioned that I would be happy to help with the maintenance as it isn't much different than with the old BMWs.

BruceW, the Ural rider from southeast AK, and I are still having issues with the breather freezing up. He sent this picture of the breather after only a half hour ride at -3°F. I have added some closed cell foam between the engine and the leg guards against the fitting and the hose to block airflow to the fitting. The jury is still out on whether it has helped any. BruceW and Simon, his British monkey, are riding back to Fairbanks today so Simon can catch his flight out tomorrow.

You may have noticed that my speedometer is broken due to the cold temperatures. A call to Mickey in Anchorage and a replacement unit is on it's way up from Ural. Just as Charlie6 has said, a great warranty. Unfortunately, I only have about 7 months left.








10 comments:

redlegsrides said...

That would be "cool", to have a pbc video with you riding the ural in -55°F! If I was up there, I'd join you!

Trobairitz said...

Brrr, I wouldn't be riding at those temps, but I can see you doing it just because and for the PBC points. You'll have t document it for us if you do.

Meanwhile I'll enjoy the 62˚ we are supposed to see Sunday. Dirt bikes are already on the trailer. :-)

Martha said...

I knew you would be an ambassador for Urals!

So, heating those buildings with all the big windows. Is that a university v environment issue?

These are starting to be real action feature films! Always sad not to see a caboose...

RichardM said...

If I do ride it'll just be to say that I did. -55°F is never much fun. Plus I don't know if I'm doing any damage. Today, the left exhaust valve needed to be adjusted again after 1000km. Is valve recession a Ural problem?

RichardM said...

If it was the regular environment, maybe you would...

Enjoy your dirt ride on Sunday. I'll be looking for the post!

RichardM said...

That is one of the newest buildings on the Fairbanks campus and it got a really good Energy Star rating. All of the heat for the campus is from the university power plant. Maybe that helps...

I don't know about action or feature and what's "film"? ;-)

redlegsrides said...

I don't recall valve recession as a recurring or frequent topic on soviet steeds. Too loose or too tight? I would ask George R what would cause this on airheads and check corresponding on the Ural?

SonjaM said...

Man, you need to do something about this PBC addiction ;-)
Loved the train horn... we don't get this here, our trains make rather meager beep noises compared to this.

RichardM said...

You're right. I have it backwards. Valve recession would tighten the valves. The exhaust valve was really loose. The obvious was that I didn't tighten the locknut but it was still tight. I checked all of the other valves and they were all fine. For now, it's wait and see.

RichardM said...

The PBC only lasts until the Feb 15th so only about 3 more weeks of videos.

I like watching the train. And the sound of the whistle.