Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Commuting in light snow

Ah yes, one of the reasons I'd traded my 1150RT away for a Ural Sportsman Sidecar Rig was the rig's inherent stability when weather conditions can make the roadway iffy in terms of traction.

We had light snow starting early before dawn and falling throughout the day. It was light and did not stick to the roadways, just making them wet. It stuck only to grassy areas and vehicles in parking lots for the most part.

Still, I'd put on the fairings and leg protectors last night and away I went into the pre-dawn darkness on my commute to my new job location south of Peoria and E-470.

I got to my work parking lot just before 7AM and as you can see, it was still quite dark but I'd arrived with no issues.

7Am, dawn is not for another 15 minutes or so

I watched the snow fall throughout the morning, just waiting for the official lunch hour to start so I could get out on Natasha and ride around the business park complex. The snow still wasn't sticking to the roads you see so it was just wet riding conditions.

The above was taken through my phone's camera...maybe a couple of inches accumulation, tops!
I am using my small motorcycle cover for the sidecar to prevent it from filling with water. Note the schweinhundt SUV driver next to me, parking in the row for compact cars.....

Lunch hour in the Meridian Business Center

This is the building where I work

As you can see, yeah I guess you could call it a snow storm but it did not amount to much so far....just wet conditions for drivers and yours truly. Still, it was a good test of Natasha's recently repaired engine. She started just fine each time, though I had to use the choke when the engine was cold. No overheating issues today! I think it was a high of 40 degrees!

The ride home was uneventful, just wet. I did have to keep wiping the ice that formed on the windshield but that's it. Had I been on Brigitta, my R80 Beemer, things would have been a bit more tense.


Mike said...

You're a brave soul riding in the snow and darkness. It sounds like Natasha handled well. I'll bet you were the only one who came to work today on less than 4 wheels. Nice pictures and update - thank you.

Ride safe.

Stacy said...

You sir are a true Rounder! I salute you. That sidecar rig is fantastic.

Though you probably didn't have quite as much fun as I had reading about it, thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations with the alternator.

redlegsrides said...

Mike, there's a very fine line between brave and foolhardy....I have trouble staying on the right side....thanks for reading this stuff.

Stacy....checked out your website, very nice site! Thanks for the rounder comment....

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I now fully understand the purpose of the Total Loss Charging System. Your determination to ride gos byond the normal individual's desire to breathe. How are the handling characteristics of the Ural amplified by a slick roadway?

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

redlegsrides said...

Jack, yep...didn't want to wait on a rebuilt alternator or the unobtanium denso alternator....must ride....

yes, it's a sickness

as to the Ural's handling, have not hit slick conditions yet. Roads here were wet but not icy yesterday. I'll be sure to let y'all know tho... : )

did you know I keep a riding log?

Unknown said...


Adventurous you are. Your are truly someone to admire.

and also thank you for letting us know about the Scorpion LED Voltmeter. Chris ( put the eBay link on his site, so I purchased one too.

looking forward to more of your snow adventures

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

redlegsrides said...


thanks for using the term "adventurous" vice what I am sure ran through the minds of the cagers that saw me yesterday in traffic "look at that idiot"!

its a nice voltmeter, and cheap. My LEDs flicker a bit when running the engine, figure it's a russian thing....

Canajun said...

This is NOT good! After reading your blog and following your Natasha adventures I find myself on the lookout for my own Ural/side car rig.

If I'm successful, the spousal unit will not be pleased with you :)

Good stuff - keep it up.

redlegsrides said...


good for you! sure, blame it all on me....hope you like "wrenching".

tell the spousal unit it's "safer" when conditions are bad....sure....