Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why I rode the Ural on Friday..

Thursday night, after a day of watching blowing snow accumulate outside the office windows during the second day of our first major storm of the season, I got into my car to go home. I'd not ridden my Ural due to worsening road conditions and the fact that I wanted to attend a funeral at Fort Logan. That funeral, scheduled for Thursday, was delayed due to weather till Friday. I had even worn my good suit! OK, my only suit.

I took the E-470 slab home, avoiding most of the side roads I usually use to get home. They were covered in snow and ice and the slab was just wet. Easy choice. I went to tank up before heading home and found my right front tire riding low and almost out of air!

I tried to use the gas station's air pump but it was isolated by an expanse of snow, a good foot or more high, I could not get my car close enough to reach the hose.

I limped on home, in the snowy ruts of the neighborhood streets hoping to get to the garage and my own air compressor. Alas, it was not to be. Soon as Liesl's front end hit the piled up snow past the entrance of the cul-de-sac, she was sucked in and became well and truly stuck!

After several attempts to get moving, I gave up, walked to my garage. I changed into work clothes and fired up the snow blower to clear a path to my driveway:

Poor Liesl, crippled and stuck

Pretty high snow accumulation for October!

I was not a happy camper since this would end up preventing me from taking the Ural out for a spin about the neighborhood!

Soon enough, I had a path cleared, and poor Liesl struggled out of her predicament and we made it up the driveway and into the garage. Not a moment too soon either as this was how her right front wheel looked once parked:


I let things melt off her while I went back out to finish clearing a path clear to the entrance of the cul-de-sac.

Once finished, I cleared off the remaining ice, jacked up the right front quarter of the car and examined the tire. It seemed undamaged, it had just popped off the bead of the wheel. Hoping against hope, I applied air from my compressor and presto the tire inflated and I heard the popping sound as the inner walls of the tire seated into the bead of the wheel.

I checked it this morning before I headed out on Natasha and the tire was still holding pressure! I did not trust it though and besides, had decided to ride Natasha anyways.

I left the house at 6am, and had the roads mostly to myself. The snowy ruts of the neighborhood streets had hardened to rock hard consistency and I bounced along all the way to the E-470 Gartrell on ramp. No pictures, it was just wet riding on the slab, both myself and the rig would end up coated with road spray liberally laced with magnesium chloride!

The last mile to work, after exiting on Peoria Street, was packed and icy snow covered road. I slid a bit onto Belford Avenue but recovered nicely from a frozen wheel rut which wanted to drag my front wheel off towards the left.

I started the ride with temperatures in the low 20s and packed snow/icy roads. I would ride to the funeral with temperatures in the high 30s and melting slushy roads; and commute home in the low 40s and drying roads. Ya gotta love Colorado weather!

For her great performance on snow, I stopped at a car wash and sprayed all the road spray and magnesium chloride from Natasha. Dripping wet, we both rode home to a cul-de-sac where you could see the pavement, I expect most of the snow will be gone by Monday.

4 comments:

cpa3485 said...

Sounds like you had quite an early season storm there. We just got rain here, but got 1 1/2 inches of rain.
I suspect that the real reason you took the Ural is because you like riding better than driving a cage. Am I right? Sort of gives you a 3rd option when the snow comes.

Charlie6 said...

cpa3485....hmmm ride a motorcycle or drive a cage....hmmmm, exposed to the elements or nice and warm inside a cage....hmmmm

is there really a debate? Of course the motorcycle! : )

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Domingo):

It seems I check this blog almost daily, and then I discover I missed three or more adventures. I love your Mercedes convertible. I am amazed that you have nice names for all of your equipment. I never name cars -- just motorcycles.

I did name a chipper I owned once. My first mother-in-law got sucked into it, so I named it "Merciful."

You folks in Colorado are very casual about the beautiful mountains that creep into every picture. I have nothing to compare at the moment, but I'm working on it.

I used to pray for snow so I could go sledding. You go out on your Ural.

Nice story... Great pictures.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Thank you Jack for your commentary and kind words. I must admit, some of the mountain scenery around here does tend to make one jaded at times....and then you turn the corner on some trail and are, if lucky, rewarded with some beautiful view....you simply must come riding out here. Mi casa es tu casa.