Monday, June 24, 2013

The 2013 CZAR: Colorado Zidecar Adventure Riders Rally

The CZAR rally this year, the second one since its conception, occurred from 21-23 June this year.  It was centered in the Gunnison, Colorado area and there would be a total of six rigs, and eight Uralisti, two boys and three dogs.

I didn't get there till Friday evening due to other commitments, but traveling along with me was my youngest son Miles.  We greeted the folks that had already been there, they'd ridden to the campsite near Taylor Reservoir via Cottonwood Pass and Salt Creek Road, and had already set up their own campsites.

In attendance were organizers Jay and Deana along with Darrell and Piper with their son Nakari and two dogs: Duncan and Schnitzel.  Having arrived with their RV towing their Ural, were Craig and Julie.  Rounding  out the group was new member Scott M. on his Taiga Green 2012 Gear-UP.

Martha and Patrick showed up a little later to join the dinner gathering, with Jay being the cook and the rest of us taking advantage of the preparations made or provided by Darrell and Piper, Julie and Martha.

 Miles studies the scavenger hunt list while I drink some of Darrell's wine....
Yeah, I know, nice camp boots....forgot to pack something more comfortable

 Ready for S'Mores!

Patrick, not a camping or outdoorsy kind of teen....

Martha would then "retired for the night" to the hotel she'd booked in Gunnison as that's her idea of camping; tagging along was Patrick, my oldest son who was quite full of bug bites.  Miles would be spending the night in my tent.

 Although six rigs are pictured, one would not participate in Saturday's ride, it
was apparently having clutch-related issues.  The plan was to ride it home
carefully on Sunday and get it fixed later on.

photo courtesy of Deana and Jay

 Here's Piper, Darrell's wife with their two dogs Schnitzel (brown and white)
and Duncan, their newest addition.

 Julie and Tina
photo courtesy of Julie and Craig

Tina proves a good "Monkey"
photo courtesy of Julie and Craig

The day's ride was a loop that included Taylor Reservoir, the town of Tin Cup, Cumberland Pass, steep mountain trails strewn with large rocks, gravel, dust and did I mention steep inclines?  As a competition, we split into two groups of rides, all trying to find the locales/objects listed in a scavenger hunt list.  

 Miles at the small settlement of Tin Cup, we would find the
Tree Stump Art  and Town Hall scavenger list objectives here.

Taylor Reservoir
photo courtesy of Deana and Jay

 A view of the road up to Cottonwood Pass, it's steep...
photo courtesy of Deana and Jay

 Craig driving his rig towards Cottonwood Pass Summit
onboard are his wife Julie and their dog tina
photo courtesy of Deana and Jay

Striking "Heroic Poses" at the summit
Left to Right: Deana, Tina, Julie and Craig
photo courtesy of Deana and Jay

 After much riding in first gear at high RPMs, all three of the rigs in my group made it 
to the top of Cumberland Pass.  This was Valencia's second time at the pass, neither
she or I remembered how bumpy it was on the way up and down!

 Darrell flagged down the Yamaha rider thinking he was riding a BMW GS motorcycle.
You see, that was one of the scavenger items we were looking for, we would not
end up finding a GS rider till back in town in Gunnison, CO.

The Yamaha rider is from North Carolina and is heading towards Alaska.

Back in Gunnison, after a quick snack and UDF session in Pitkin, CO, we gathered with the other team at the Gunnison Brewery restaurant.  Everyone was ravenous after all that riding and scavenging.  My team won the scavenger hunt by one point!  Apparently, it was the last point, my having to replace the air filter on Valencia due to it being clogged with dust from the trails, that put my team over the top!  :)

 After dinner, most Uralisti riders ended up buying one of the above
sidecar toys that was sold as a Christmas decoration.

 One last view towards Gunnison, its verdant valleys providing a nice
framework for its cinder cone-like hillsides.

 I believe this is the Taylor River, which was next to the Lodgepole
National Forest Campground we were staying at for the rally.

Saturday night was a pretty quiet affair as we were all tired from the day's riding and scavenging.  Miles didn't spend the second night with me in the tent, he opted to ride home in Martha's car.  I guess waking up several times at night with temperatures in the 30-40s wasn't his cup of tea.

Sunday dawned bright and cold.  I was first up again and was packed and ready to go by 7:00 AM or so.  The other folks got their stuff together and I departed along with Darrell and Piper on their rigs by 8:30 AM or so.  Good rally, good times with fellow Uralisti!

I was riding with Darrell and Piper to make sure that Piper's rig, which was being driven by Darrell would make it past the summit of Cottonwood Pass as it was the one that had been experiencing clutch issues on Thursday.  Ironically, the clutch seemed to be working fine this morning!  Oh well, she'll still be taken apart by Darrell to make sure all is well in there.

 Valencia, near the top of Cottonwood pass, on the western side of the pass.  

Descending from the summit of Cottonwood Pass (this is a beautiful
motorcycling road by the way...paved on the eastern half and packed dirt with some 
gravel on the western half)

The three of us made it to Buena Vista with no incident by 11:00 AM and we said our goodbyes after fueling up.

I would motor on, heading back home on US285, Valencia pulling strongly even on the long inclines.  I was fortunate in that I had a tailwind pushing me home.  No mechanical issues to report besides a clogged air filter the day before, luckily I carry a spare.


RichardM said...

Beautiful mountain scenery and not a single high rise in sight. Nice...

Unknown said...


No Issues = Good News

Nice to have a reliable Rig you can trust.

I am not sure I could walk in Camp Boots as walking in riding boots cripples my foot so I always change into sandals. I had a mishap years ago which stretched my achilles tendon and it never really healed, but at least you had shorts on

Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

Glad to hear that your steed is running smoothly. Hope your trust in Valencia is growing again. Beautiful pics, Valencia is at its best with a mountain backdrop.

FATTKAW said...

as always your blog reminds me that I clearly need to move out of Illinois and after seeing you have those clutch issues and reading that one of your friend had to nurse a rig home makes me want to make custom parts for the Urals. the clutch actuator lever would be a start!