Thursday, September 27, 2012

Uraling in the Third Annual Small Bike Ride

Today I had the pleasure of meeting and riding with several small engined vintage motorcycle enthusiasts under the auspices of the Third Annual Small Bike Ride. The first two rides, mind you, were low key rides, but #3 proved a very successful event!

Todd Wallis was the main organizer, Tim was the road captain leading the way into the nearby canyons and hills and the rest of us enjoyed a beautiful day of riding, meeting fellow riders and at least in my case learning a lot about small engined vintage motorcycles.

For instance, I didn't know there'd been a time when Sears imported Puch Austrian Motorcycles and placed the Sears logo on the tank! 

Or, I had no idea that at one time, Harley Davidson had owned 51% of the Italian motorcycle firm Aero Macchi and had imported in the '60s a 350cc Thumper version which it branded with the HD Logo and called the Sprint.

I arrived a bit before 9:00AM to find two riders there already ahead of me. Both were named Mike and one Mike rode a veteran 1955 Triumph 650 Thunderbird and the other Mike had ridden in from Larkspur on his 1981 Honda GB500 which was in pristine shape.

More riders arrived in their vintage motorcycles, see the link to the photos at the end of the article...I'll not be posting them in the slideshow feature as you have to see the photos in their uncompressed size to appreciate their beauty fully.

Of note, was Crazy Cal's home-built sidecar rig using a 2004 Triumph Motorcycle (which he races after disconnecting the sidecar). His rig is a leaner sidecar so he can take the curves like a normal motorcycle but with the stability of a sidecar. It was rather strange watching that sidecar wheel lean as the tug leaned.

A rather pleasant surprise for me, was the appearance of a 1944 German Army Sidecar Rig, it's owner: Hartwig H had been a 12 year old boy when he came upon the abandoned rig hidden under a haystack by retreating forces near Bitburg, Germany. No one came to claim the rig after a year so Hartwig rescued it, pushing it home and he's owned it since then. Quite the story that came with that rig eh? I hope to get Hartwig to join the Uralisti sidecar rides in the near future.

The route took us riders up through Deer Creek Canyon, to Turkey Creek Canyon, up into the Conifer area via twisty, curvy and climbing narrow paved roads which were a delight to ride on.

I managed to convince Crazy Cal and his ten year old daughter Emily to have Emily ride in my sidecar as the monkey. She quite enjoyed it as previously she'd rode pillion on her dad's rig.

Tim, the ride captain lead us surely and steadily to Conifer for a gas fill up, then led us down Foxton Road down towards the South Platte River Road area which was quite beautiful with fall colors mixed in with views of swiftly running river water. We then followed him onto CO 126 northwards ending up in Pine Junction for a quick rest break and gather up stragglers.

We then took back roads to eventually end up crossing over US285 and taking the immediate turn onto South Elk Creek Road which took us back southwards in the direction of Sphinx Park. I'd ridden this road before but hadn't remembered it so narrow and twisty and full of blind curves and gorgeous Fall Colors, it was, in my opinion, the best part of the ride.

We gathered once more in Sphinx Park, near the Bucksnort Saloon, and soon were riding once again back onto CO126 which we turned south on back towards the South Platte River area. This road is nice and curvy as well, with some really tight turns to delight those on two wheels and give those on three wheels a chance to really "hang a cheek" to tackle said curves.

It was while we were riding back along the South Platte River towards Foxton that we came upon Jerry P. and his very nice BSA 442 Victor Special. Luckily, the mechanical issue he was experiencing was simply running out of gas. The chase truck with Todd Wallis' wife provide the needed gas and he was back on the road.

Back up Foxton Road, we climbed our way up smoothly curving pavement and returned once again to the town of Conifer where lunch would be centered around the Subway store in a strip mall near the gas station where we'd earlier done refueling operations.

Lunch over, which involved more tire kicking, swapping of stories and picture taking....found the majority of the group heading out over Pleasant Park Road and then onto High Grade Road which eventually would dump them back onto Deer Creek Canyon Road and our start point.

However, there would be one more unplanned stop on High Grade Roads narrow and curving roadsides. Mike, from Golden, had a bracket break on his left muffler and it came off! Somehow in the process, his drive chain had come off as well! We stopped to lend a hand and soon he was back on the road, though sans his muffler which now rode in my sidecar with Emily.

We all gathered back at the start point, had a highly suitable cup of celebratory refreshment provided by Todd and Tim (nice touch, guys!) and from there goodbyes were said, Mike departed with his muffler in his backpack, others stowed their bikes onto trailers, and most others rode off towards their respective homes.

Great ride, no injuries, no major mechanicals and all riders accounted for! Kudos go to Todd and Tim and the ladies in the chase vehicle of course!

LINK to all the pictures taken that day:  LINK


RichardM said...

Beautiful shots of the bikes. I remember seeing Sears bikes when I was a kid. Back then, any motorcycle was cool!

Unknown said...

You should most definetly let me write a review about your bike on is where you can see what I'm all about ;)

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, you're one up on me then....never saw one till the day of the ride!