Saturday, May 28, 2011

A short ride to Greenland, CO

The first long ride attempt on Vikki, my Suzuki V-Strom Sidecar Rig with my loving wife Martha coming along.

The idea was to ride down to Cañon City and cruise up and down Skyline Drive.  The weather was sunny but cool with temperatures in the upper 50s.  The wind however, hit us hard as soon as we left the neighborhood and never let up.

I'd ridden in high winds like these but I think this was a first for Martha, and even with the windshield on the sidecar, she was not really having a good time.  We were nearing the exit to Greenland, CO at this point in time, south of Castlerock, so I exited to allow some respite for her.

She added another layer over her wind shirt and we decided to wait or another day to ride down to Cañon City and its sights.

Instead we cruised through the little settlement of Greenland and posed Vikki for pictures by the railroad crossing that apparently put this place on the map.

We stayed on dirt county roads heading northwards and trying to keep the strong winds coming from the south at our backs.

Pretty soon, the county road we were on dumped us onto CO 83 or Parker Road.  We rode to a point just south of Boxwood Canyon State Park where I like to pose the motorcycle I am riding with Pikes Peak in the background:

We rode onto the town of Parker and did some knick knack shopping to get out of the winds for a little bit.

We stopped by and visited some friends in the neighborhood, a quick little ride with no mechanical issues and some lessons learned:

Full face/Modular helmet instead of open-faced helmet on windy days.

The wired headset kit I bought to use with GMRS radios works just fine, but will need something for the monkey to speak into as only I had the headset kit.   Martha had an earphone to hear, but would have to hold her radio to her mouth to say things to me.

Vikki can hold 75mph constant speed in fifth gear with no apparently issues, her engine turning at around 4400 rpm with an adult passenger in the sidecar.

On really windy days, having a blanket to help you stay warm in the sidecar, is not a good thing.  The wind keeps trying to snatch it out of your hands.

The way the sidecar mounts for the windshield and cover tarp are designed, you can use one but not the other and my monkey prefers having the cover tarp as a lap robe.  I'll have to think on that one.


motoroz said...

I really like the photo w/ Pikes Peak in the background. Glad your trip went well and you learned some things. :)

RichardM said...

It looks like a wonderful day and compared to here, the temperatures sound wonderful. GLad the new rig is working out so well, it sounds promising. Just need to get the $$ together for a similar setup.

bobskoot said...


I'm thinking that you are getting addicted to Suzuki power & reliability. too bad about the wind, there must be some way to attached the blanket to the floor and just overlap the sides with velcro strips sewn in

Riding the Wet Coast

Allen Madding said...

Going out for a wonderful ride on a beautiful day is so much better without mechanical failures due to poor manufacturing quality. I think you have obtained the ultimate combination. Glad you are getting to enjoy it!


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

What a delight it must have been to take your wife along on a trip without having to worry about the side-car rig self-destructing. I am very impressed that you can get the hack rig up to 70mph+, and still have plenty of power. That too has to be a radical departure from the Ural.

Now as to the lap blanket, try this. Stitch four (eye) Velcro pags onto the front of your wife's riding pants. Sew the hook pads of the Velcro onto the blanket. When you wife is comfortably seated, she can press the velcro pads together, fastening the blanket to her lap. Upon exiting, she can just peel it off.

I have a Harley blanket thsat is unbelievably practical. It is soft fleece on one side, and waterproof on the other. It has six brass grommets in it, and could be bungeed into a side car.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Motoroz, it's always good to learn stuff....keeps things interesting, thanks for the kind words.

RichardM, I really am liking the new rig. Thought you wanted to hang a rig off your airhead?

Bobskoot, the power is definitely addictive, the ironic thing though, is that I was doing 70-75mph on the slab and I was still the slowest vehicle!

Thanks Allen for visiting and commenting. Reliability, what a concept, though to be fair, there were many a ride when Natasha gave me no trouble.

Jack, yes, I think the reliability factor is what led my wife to suggest the ride, it wasn't even my idea! Thanks for the suggestion re the lap robe/blanket. I'll figure out something, but first some more riding!

Gary France said...

It is a pity you couldn't get down to Skyline Drive, as you and Martha taking Vikki along that road would have made for a great video. Make sure you do it soon!

Upper 50's temperatures sound a little chilly. Last week in Italy we were just under 90F. Too hot in the traffic on some days, but marvellous in the mountains.

Your rig is looking good and I am sure you are looking to taking it up Pikes Peak.

Charlie6 said...

Gary, we'll make it down there one of these days....just have to work out the logistics of keeping my monkey happy.... : )

Pikes Peak is correctly on the list of places I need to introduce Vikki to....they're still clearing the snow off the top of Mount Evans and the Trail Ridge Roads, perhaps this coming weekend when I am not on call.

RichardM said...

I am still planning to get a sidecar for my airhead. Probably from DMC. I just need to get together the funds for the sidecar and subframe.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, you've ridden sidecar rigs before or had training on one? They're wildly different from two wheeled motorcycles....

Better yet, plan your next trip with a weekend layover in can have a taste on my rig.