Sunday, September 13, 2009

Deer Creek Canyon and my first Three Wheel Practice

After a lazy morning doing mostly inconsequential things around the house, I left it a little after 1:00 PM and headed west along city roads and county roads. I wanted to get a feel for how long it'll take me to get to the foothills without exceeding 60MPH for when I ride the sidecar rig to the mountains.

It takes just shy of one hour I now know. From Deer Creek Canyon, I can range north and west without hitting expressways (almost) so I should be good to go in terms of reaching mountain roads.

Since I was at Deer Creek Canyon, my favorite and nearest curvy road, I rode the curves and twists all the way to Fenders. Turning around, I had even more fun since this time there were no cars ahead of me like on the way up.

I turned onto a residential road called Buckhorn Road where numerous large rock formations dot the countryside. Pricey looking houses are nestled near the rock formations and the place must look awesome with snow on the ground. Soon, I'll have a rig that can go on this road, even with snow on the ground.

Pictures done, I went back towards Chatfield Reservoir on Deer Creek Canyon Road. I had an appointment with my riding mentor, John, aka Sanoke. He'd graciously put his outrigger wheel onto his Yamaha 550 Maxim motorcycle and was willing to let me get a feel for riding with a third wheel. Here's my previous posting about John's outrigger: LINK.

I got to John's house a little before 3:30 PM I think. He rolled out his rig and after some instructions, I was told to go. I promptly went in the wrong direction. Got my wits about me, and still in first gear, slowly careened out of the cul-de-sac. I managed to run the rig up onto the neighbors lawn and near missed the man's mailbox!

What a cool rig eh?

Still, I wasn't giving up. I kept going, learning to steer the rig as a sidecar rig and not as a solo motorcycle. Let me tell you, at first, it was wildly different and quite disconcerting! After a couple of runs around the neighborhood streets, I returned to John's house.

We talked for a bit, he gave me some more advice and graciously let me have another turn at the rig. This second ride went much better. I steered my way sedately out of the cul-de-sac with no issues. I went up and down the same neighborhood streets, even achieving 20 mph on the straightaways. I would slow way down on the right hand turns as I did not want to "fly the chair" or in this case, the third wheel!

Here's John's rig back in the garage, undamaged by me

I practiced u-turns which are a cinch with a third wheel by the way. I even wandered a bit from John's home neighborhood streets, into the next housing development and did just fine. I was having a blast during this second ride, big stupid grin on my face and not much in terms of death grip on the handlebar grips. You know what one of the hardest things was? Not putting my feet down at stops, it seemed unnatural the first few times!

Made it back to John's place and tried a tight right turn within the cul-de-sac. Guess I went too fast because I saw the third wheel start to come up! I panicked a little bit and over-corrected but it was all good. Got the rig stopped and steered it back towards John's driveway.

Had some more talk with John about his rig and I remain impressed at his metallurgical skills. As my previous posting mentions, he built it himself! I thanked him and promised him rides on the sidecar rig once I got it.

I left on Brigitta and didn't forget to put my feet down at stops now or how to counter-steer correctly. I hope my brain is nimble enough to allow me to learn two vastly different riding methods and keep them straight!

I still hope to get to the Ural dealer sometime this week to get a test ride on an actual Ural sidecar rig.


Rob said...

I have taken an interest in the Ural Brand myself. I saw some recored Ural cycle/sidecar races while at a motorcycle show. Really cool stuff!

Canajun said...

Great pictures. Will have to find my way out there one day to ride some of those roads.
Thanks for posting.

cpa3485 said...

My guess is that you and your family will really enjoy that new (to you) Ural. Can't wait to hear more!

Anonymous said...

I like your blog and i think that the photos are amazing. i like the motorcycles posted in the blog.

Lina said...

I like your blog and i like the photos and bikes in it. your blog is very creative and interesting

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Yo amaze me. I think there will be agreat deal of difference in doping 20mph on city streets and 60mph on the highway. Post as soon as you can tomorrow night as I'll be wondering.

Good luck Mr. Lindbergh. I am insanely jealous.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad