Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Impromptu ride with a Fellow Uralista

This morning I spent it putting new Metzeler Lazertec tires on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer.  The Harbor Freight tire changer I managed to score for $50 through Craigslist came in right handy!  No hassle, no fuss, no muss....and only one banged up finger when I foolishly didn't follow proper procedure when breaking the bead on the old tire.

No pics as I was moving too fast.  The hardest part, besides figuring out how to break the bead easily, was aligning the metal hooks which secure the wheel to the tire changer.  In other words, it was as easy as this video show:

Video made by Mojo Lever Customer.

I gotta say, buying the Mojo Lever shown above made this task SO much more easier!  Well worth the money, and I highly recommend it as the tool to have and use when changing one's motorcycle tires!

As I neared the end of the tire changing, I got an email from Darrell S., one of the Uralisti that I have recently ridden with, suggesting a short two hour ride.  I rapidly put all the tools away, and with my oldest son Patrick in the sidecar, headed off in the direction of Morrison, CO to meet up with Darrell and his Green Patrol Rig.

Shortly before 2:00 PM, we met up at the western end of the town of Morrison (which was crawling with tourists and Harleys).  We headed west on Bear Creek Canyon Road and twisted and turned our way just past the next town of Idledale.  I decided there was too much traffic on this road and turned off onto Grapevine Road.

This is a twisty mountain side road which takes one from CO74 towards I-70 and US40 to the north.  It is mostly gravel and has some decent drop offs for the unwary.

The view from one of Grapevine Roads many hairpin turns.

We arrived at US40 soon enough and after a brief conference with Darrell decided we had the time for me to show him the "Oh My God" Road that is near Idaho Springs.  So we boogied on down US40 it eventually makes you merge onto the westbound  I-70 Super Slab.  We then sprinted along at max Ural Speed for the three miles or so before we could take the easternmost of the three exits for Idaho Springs.  There we stopped for gas and to get Patrick some lunch to munch on.

We climbed out of Idaho Springs on the Virginia Canyon Road which I believe is also the "Oh My God" Road.  It's rough gravel and washboarded in parts but for the most part quite doable by street motorcycles.  The Urals were of course in their element!

 A view of distant peaks from the "Oh My God" Road

 An old mining structure from back in the day of Gold Mining

 A view of the mountainside road that is the "Oh My God" Road

One last view of the road as it was hewn from the mountainside.

As we neared Central City, we first came upon and briefly stopped at the "Ghost Town" of Russell Gulch.  Not sure it's really a ghost town since we saw evidence of folks living there but there are several run down and delapidated buildings in town.  We posed our Urals at the front of the IOOF building on main street.  IOOF stands for Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the building itself was built in 1895.

Russell Gulch's IOOF Building

Soon after leaving Russell Gulch, you pass through the remnants of a Gold Mine operation and are soon in the outskirts of Central City and its casinos.  We meandered through town and I elected to pose the Urals near this steam locomotive which serves as an eyecatcher for the nearby casino:

In Blackhawk, CO

We rode away from the gambling towns on CO 119, heading east towards Golden.  I did slip up and take a turn I shouldn't have so we briefly detoured through the canyon walls/tunnels that lead one back to where US40 and I-70 merge.

Turning back, we got back on US6 and twisted our way through this curve filled roadway all the way back to the outskirts of the town of Golden.  Here we said our goodbyes, and I headed South while Darrel headed North on CO 93.

Darrell and his Patrol

The rest of the ride was just boring slab time coupled with some light city riding.  Patrick and I got home around 6:30 PM, tired but glad all the same.  He was the perfect monkey, that son of mine and all it cost me was some chicken nuggets from McDonalds!

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