Saturday, February 04, 2012

Post-Snow Storm Riding

Starting Thursday evening, the Denver Metro area was treated to a pretty strong snow storm with what would end up about being very large amounts of snow being deposited.

I figure we got about 12 inches of snow at least with drifts topping almost 20 inches in portions of my neighborhood cul-de-sac.  I spent part of Friday, while working from home, watching the seemingly endless snow fall and soon filling in where I had been clearing snow with my snow blower.  As night fell, it almost looked like I'd not done anything, the cul-de-sac was covered in white once again.

I did got out briefly during lunch and found myself losing ground clearance almost immediately.  Yoshie struggled, even with her snow tire, to ride up the slight incline leading to my house!  It was deep, wet, heavy snow and the conditions were what I am expecting at the upcoming Elephant Ride.  Tried all my snow-riding techniques, really didn't get very far.

This morning, I spent the morning working to clear a path out of the cul-de-sac and helping out the neighbors who didn't have a snow blower.  I got a little carried away with the snow-blowing but by noon, the way was clear for everyone.

Noon, Saturday

Given Friday's dismal performance by Yoshie in the really deep snow, I made a few modifications.  First I removed her "skid plate" which gave got me about an inch or more of clearance.  I figured the plate had caused Yoshie to start "floating" or "high-centering" easy with the deep stuff.  

The next thing I did was to remove the BestemUSA top case from Yoshie's cargo rack and instead strapped the Deep Cycle Marine Battery for it's 57 pounds of weight.  I also added and old jack and carrying case to the pillion seat, so perhaps 70 pounds total.

The idea here was to put more weight over the rear axle so the pusher tire get more bite.

I'm also working on an idea to rig up small bike-type panniers for the front wheel, put some weight over the front axle so it gets some bite but we'll see.

After lunch I went riding, snow levels were much lower as traffic had packed down the loose stuff.  Still, there were "moments" when Yoshie lost a bit of traction but she quickly grabbed more and we continued onwards. I cruised through the neighborhoods and made my way out to the eastern prairies along County Line Road.

The main roads were nice and clear, with only sporadic patches of slushy/melting ice and snow which would begin building up on Yoshie's lower structures.  I learned after a while to avoid the slushy stuff which although fun to splash through, would build up and FREEZE on the front of my boots and lower leg.  Usually, this is not an issue except when enough ice builds up and you can't flex enough to actuate the rear brake pedal!

The sun was out, the skies were mostly clear and the prairies were covered in snow.  The temperatures were in the low to mid 20's but it felt much warmer.

Eastern Prairie

I wandered east and south for a bit along county roads but alas, not much in the way of picture opportunities. I made my way back home and shot these pictures before I washed all the ice and frozen slush off of Yoshie.

 A bit of ice accumulation, wouldn't you agree?

I liked the ice crystal spikes that formed from 
centrifugal force forcing melted slush away from the hub 
before the air froze them solid.

I hope to get some more riding in tomorrow, got an errand to run but it shouldn't take too long.  I hope you got a ride in today!


Steve Williams said...

I wondered how you fared in the recent snow storm. Looks like it's cleared pretty fast.

We have no winter at all save for a few frigid days. Hardly any snow to speak of.

I guess that means there's really no need for a sidecar...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Unknown said...


when the Denver snowstorm was on the news I was worried for you. Lucky you have the neighbourhood snow blower.

it was good to ride today. Warm as compared to you, no snow but frost again tonight

Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

Yoshie has to accumulate quite some weight to be fit in the snow or so it seems. What does this do to your fuel consumption (or is this a question that should better not be asked...) ;-)

redlegsrides said...

Steve, it actually hung around a bit, orbiting over Denver....some parts got some serious snow. It's now headed your way I think, better get that Ural.....

Bobskoot, no need to worry, Friday the snow was so deep I barely made it back home after doing a short cruise of the neighborhood. So the snow itself kept me from ranging's a bracing 14F out there this Sunday morning, good riding weather.

Sonja....mileage does suffer, which kind of begs the question: I put 70 lbs where the pillion would usually sit, two-up makes so much difference? Or, it could be I rarely got above 1st gear while in the snowy stuff....

Thank you all for visiting and commenting.