Sunday, March 07, 2010

Uraling to a monthly gathering of British Iron

Note: This posting is also located on examiner.com. So what's the difference?  I get paid per # of hits on that site, so if you feel like helping my fuel budget, read the article there instead:  LINK,  Thanks!


Back in February, I had been riding my Ural Sidecar Rig on Gun Club road, minding my own business and looking forward to exploring a nearby abandoned air park.  I had spotted a police patrol vehicle behind me as I rode along and had consciously kept to the speed limit (not that hard to do on a Ural, in fact sometimes its hard to achieve the speed limit!) and using turn signals as I went to turn right onto Jewell Avenue.


No sooner had I made the turn that I spotted the patrol vehicle still behind me and now with his lights flashing! I quickly pulled over and removed my helmet and gloves wondering what I had done to merit the officer's attention!  Turns out, it was a supreme moment of  UDF (Ural Delay Factor).  The officer was a fellow rider who owned not only a vintage Triumph Bonneville but had recently become the proud owner of a 1986 R80 Airhead Beemer.  The man just wanted a closer look at my rig!  He'd at first thought Natasha was an old Beemer with a sidecar.


While we chatted, Hans invited me to the monthly meeting of the British Motorcycle Association of Colorado Motorcycle Club.  These British Iron enthusiasts meet at the Yukon Tavern at 525 South Circle Drive  Airport Blvd and S. Circle Drive) in Colorado Springs the first Saturday of every month.


This Saturday morning, I met up with Hans, near the intersection of Parker Rd and Arapahoe Rd.  It was a cool morning with temperatures in the low 30s but with the strong Colorado sun out, it felt a bit warmer than that.  Hans was riding his '72 Triumph Bonneville and we set out at a sedate 60 mph pace down Parker Rd for the 10:00 AM meeting in Colorado Springs.


Here's Hans and his '72 Triumph Bonneville


Beautiful riding weather today, we saw lots of other motorcycles enjoying the spring-like temperatures and sunny conditions.  We were met with the sight of over 30+ motorcycles at the parking lot for the Yukon Tavern, most of the motorcycles were British but I spied a Beemer or two, a Honda and a couple of undetermined sport bikes as well.  The BMAC encourages all brands to make a showing at these meetings and they turned out to be a pretty friendly bunch.


Hans and I walked in and the meeting was shortly called to order.  As we drank coffee and some ate breakfast, I listened in with about 50+ other riders to the club notes and business items.  I'll mention some of the things in a minute.


But first, a few pictures of the beautifully classic looking British motorcycles I saw parked outside:


 
 A very clean looking Triumph

 
 I liked the blue and white color scheme on this Bonnie

 
 A very clean looking BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) Circa 1970s

 
 Another pretty Bonnie

OK, eye candy break over for now, here's something that was announced that might be of interest to you:


I've written about the wonderful motorcycles, especially to HD riders, that are on display at the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum.  Well, on the 27th of March, they're doing a "spring cleaning" of the museum and are still looking for a few volunteers to help clean the motorcycles that are on display!  I was told its not a "detailing" of the motorcycles, but more a general wiping down and dusting.  If you want to help and lay your hands on a bit of motorcycling history, check out the BMAC site for details!


In a small informal ceremony, Kris Geller, twice president of the club was "knighted" by the club for his contributions to the club.  I thought that was a nice touch for members who serve over and beyond the call of duty.


I also learned that  the editor of the club newsletter, Jerry Pokorny, established a still unbroken land speed record at Bonneville Flats in 2008.  He did it on his 1945 3HW 350cc single cylinder rigid tail Triumph, achieving over 50 miles per hour on the salt!  

Now before you say that's not very fast, you've got to consider the competition "class" he was riding in which is Production Vintage (stock as they came from the factory – no hop up’s allowed) and this bike seldom saw speeds of over 40 mph when it was used as a military dispatch machine during WWII.  I am also told riding on the salt of the Bonneville Flats is a lot harder than riding on regular pavement!


The club also had an interesting "show and tell" segment of the meeting.  This month, Dan showcased his 2001 Triumph Triple Speed which is also known as "The Hooligan Bike".  It's apparently a very fast motorcycle, with 108 horses on tap and capable of achieving 145 miles per hour!  What made the presentation unusual was that the motorcycle in question was right there inside the tavern with us!  Now that is one accommodating tavern!


 
photo courtesy of Jerry Pokorny


Soon enough, club business was over with and a planned ride to Sedalia got underway.  I took some more pictures of the motorcycles and their riders as they lined up for the ride:


 
 A newer Triumph Thruxton, next to Hans' '72 Triumph Bonneville

 
 The BSA from earlier and its lucky rider

More modern Triumphs, there were several of the large TR6 Rockets at the meeting.

Once the riders departed, I stayed behind and chatted a club member by the name of Todd who happens to own a Chiang-Jang Sidecar Rig.  Similar to the Ural I ride, but made in China and he bought it from a dealer there that specializes in putting transplanted Beemer airhead engine of 900cc capacities into a Chiang-Jang frame.  I hope he'll ride it the next time we meet.  He mentioned that he'd  recently attended the monthly Club 404 Bike Night (first Thursday of every month) so maybe I'll see him there next month.  The meeting place is apparently a "dive" but lots of cool looking motorcycles make a showing


I retraced my route, sans Hans who'd gone riding with the club.  It had warmed up into the 50s and it was nice and cool riding all the way back to Parker and from there to my home neighborhood in Centennial.  So, if you're a rider of a British Marque, this club is something you should check out; especially if you live in the Colorado Springs area where they are based.  Even though “Brit Iron” is their focus, they welcome riders of all marques and are quite friendly to visitors.  I am glad I rode down there to meet these folks.  Thanks Hans, for "pulling me over" and introducing me to the BMAC's friendly riders.  Thanks also to Jerry for his edit and information which helped "flesh out" this posting.

Great riding day today, hope you were able to get out and ride.  If you were in the Front Range area, you really had no excuse, it was gorgeous!


Other of my articles involving Vintage Motorcycles:
Riding in the Old Bike Ride #7
Visiting the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum
The Vintagemotos Museum - Italian Iron Heaven

3 comments:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sir:

I commented on the newspaper site.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Canajun said...

Nice pics, but where were the Nortons?

Charlie6 said...

Mr Riepe

thanks for commenting....I am sure it was your commentary which motivated the over 400 views on this one article! That by the way is a record for me.

Canajun, yeah weird huh? A couple of the riders told me they had Nortons in their garage but it was Bonnies and TR6s galore in that parking lot.