Saturday, March 29, 2014

Riding Scarlett to Loveland Pass

Well, with 54% of the votes, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig is officially named Scarlett.  Thanks to all of you who voted.

I left a bit after 9:30 AM, after a "baconey" breakfast by my loving wife, riding Scarlett into a sunny morning with temperatures in the high 30s and with a forecast of even warmer temperatures by the afternoon.

Less than two hours later, Scarlett and I had moseyed to the Continental Divide via mostly frontage roads and brief sprints on the I-70 Super Slab.  In keeping with published engine break-in procedures, we never exceeded 55 MPH, not that I think Scarlett had a chance to surpass that, given the inclines we faces and the stiff head winds!

US6, which one rides to go to the summit of Loveland Pass, is the Hazmat road required by CDOT for use for trucks with hazardous cargo.  Can't be having an accident which might involve hazardous chemical spills within the Eisenhower Tunnel can we?

Scarlett and I motored up US6 with no issues, rolling on top of icy and snow-covered patches of pavement with no issues. Traffic was not very heavy and I was able to pick and choose among the available stopping spots that weren't covered in deep snow.

 On the way to the summit from the eastern end of Loveland Pass Road,
just past the first major hairpin turn.

 A view of I-70, looking west, you can see the tunnel entrances
to the Eisenhower Tunnel which goes under the 
Continental Divide.

 Still heading towards the summit of Loveland Pass, 
the light was causing Scarlett's red paint to take on orange-like hues.

 Almost looks like Valencia's orange color doesn't it?

 Here's Scarlett almost at the summit of Loveland Pass

 Coming back from the western side of the Continental Divide, 
here's Scarlett with snowy mountains behind her.

 As you can see, there's been quite the large amount of snowfall this Winter

Scarlett and I left Loveland Pass around 1:00 PM or so, we rode on the I-70 Slab eastbound back towards the Denver Metro area.  As we were heading downhill from a peak altitude of almost 12,000 feet, Scarlett had no issues achieving and holding 55 MPH all the way back to the Buffalo Overlook exit.  We then took the same frontage road that is US40, all the way back to Red Rocks Park.

It was so warm now, that I stopped in the Creation Rock parking lot to shed a couple of layers.  I left the park quickly as it was swarming with bicyclists, hikers, cagers; all enjoying the warm weather and sunny conditions.

Home by 2:30 PM or so, a quick wash of Scarlett to get rid of the snow scum and mag chloride which had splashed onto her while riding to and from Loveland Pass.  Scarlett went over 800Km today, soon it'll be time for her first service.

Scarlett did great, by the way.  I did experience a stuck rear brake light switch before we headed out this morning while I was doing the usual safety checks.  It's a known issue with URALs, I remove the actuating spring and since the brake lever switch worked, it was all good.  I always use both brakes when slowing down and stopping, so the tailgating cagers behind me knew I was slowing....I'll be asking Randy for a replacement switch, under warranty of course.  :)


Richard M said...

Still nice and shiny. And even getting washed after the trip to the mountains! She's looking pretty good and the red shows up well against the snow.

You really have a lot of snow. Is this a normal year?

Charlie6 said...

Its more snow that last year for sure....I don't know the stats though.

jerrywolff said...

I bet Scarlett didn't appreciate the cold early wake up! How long before she ran smoothly?

Charlie6 said...

Hi Jerry, takes about 1/2 mile or a minute of above idle riding to smooth things out....then its fine. I wouldn't call 9am an early wake up call!

Spat said...

frankly my dear Dom I don't give a damn,,,
Come on some one had to say it.
I like it, stick with the classy female name theme. The red is pretty maybe prettier than the orange against the snow and your not wasting any time getting her to come to know what she is in for.

Charlie6 said...

Yep, someone indeed had to say it! Thanks Spat.

SonjaM said...

What a brilliant contrast, and your new rig fits right into it (the red indeed looking a bit orange depending on the light).
And it even gets a wash after? Now, that is love.

Trobairitz said...

She lives up to her name in those pictures. So vivid against the snow.

GlennandSun said...

Great photos Dom. Brings back great memories of Beautiful Colorado, and makes me miss being there.

The name Scarlett always makes me think of Gone With The Wind....we hope your Scarlett always takes you off into the wind with her over endless trouble free miles! Thanks for sharing. GlennandSun

Charlie6 said...

Thanks SonjaM, at times, the light made Scarlett look like Valencia in the photos....had to tweak those a bit ....

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Trobairitz

Charlie6 said...

Thanks to you both GlennandSun, I must see the movie again soon.

Richard M said...

So I shouldn't have voted 87 times in the poll?

I'm really liking the way the two white stripes show up on the front. I'd say it adds to your visibility.

bob skoot said...


Scarlett looks right at home in the snow. That photo with the Eisenhower Tunnel, I still remember coming up to the entrance in heavy traffic. Wished I could have taken your road instead of I-70 . Now I have an idea of where you where.

I just didn't have time to take any more detours. I am sure that with the FI you are getting more power in the mountains

A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, the white stripes on red background kind of evoke a fire truck's colors doesn't it?

Bobskoot, the detour from I-70's Eisenhower tunnel to Loveland Pass would have cost you an additional two hours I think.