Saturday, April 26, 2014

Uraling at Arches National Park, Tusher Wash and in Moab, UT


Some sunrise shots for your viewing enjoyment (hopefully)

Above shots were taken at Arches National Park

The Uralisti who were joining the group ride gathered near Dana's cabin starting about 9:00, and I think we were on the road by 9:30AM.  We left Arch View Resort Campground and headed north on UT191 for a short bit, turning onto dirt roads paralleling the highway soon after.

The road was pretty easy for the most part, most dirt/gravel and one had to take it easy on the curves but nothing major.  The way soon turned to loose deep sandy spots called "whoop dee doos" because that's what one wants to shout out as the rig is slewn about on the loose sand.  There were roller coaster sections of sand as well, parts with high banked sides which made life interesting while traversing them.

To all this fun, there's the added attraction of slick rocky stretches which test the limits of a rig's shock absorbers and one's knees ability to take repeated shocks; and as a bonus, I believe we were following a small creek bed with small little water crossings.  What more could you ask, right?

Well, it turns out you get more fun.

Dana led us to this sandy area, with a nearby hill climbing steeply perhaps 100 feet.  He and his rig roared up the hill, sand flying everywhere but he made it up there!

Next came Walt and Spat, but neither of them made it to the top.  Enthusiasm amongst the rest of us waned at this point for our tries for the top.  However, there we were, Scarlett and I, a new 2014 rig with the EFI, there was no turning back.

 Above is Dana's run up the hill
photo courtesy of Spat

Yours truly, powering up to the top.....the EFI and rig did great, much
commentary ensued amongst the peanut gallery.  As Scarlett was sporting
street tires you see, not knobbies.
photo courtesy of Spat

Very Temporary King of the Hill?
photo courtesy of Spat

Sand Hill play done with, we motored on, enjoying the sandy spots, not really enjoying the rocky spots with small ledges that had to be negotiated carefully.  We spent a lot of time in 2WD, especially in the sand portions but had to get back to 1WD on the rocky portions as steering became quite important.

I learned this after I was unable to dodge a big rock and a large bush while climbing a particularly steep rocky set of flat rocks.  The left side muffler became dislodged from the catalyst converter and Scarlett's engine sounded much louder at this point.  I reversed Scarlett out of the bush obstacle and made it to to the top of the trail, broke out the tools and hammered the muffer back onto the catalyst converter pipe.

 Scheduled break near Determination Towers

 Several rocky ledges, sandy trails and a few more whoop dee doos later,
a short respite before the "nasty spot"

We were now in the area of the Monitor and Merrimac Stone monuments.  Large rock formations poised opposite each others as their namesakes were back in the Civil War.  There was a spot, where we had to have a monkey hanging off the side of the tub, as the route was on slick rock that was deeply slopping off to the left.  Dana did demonstrate it could be done without one but no one decided to try it alone, and actually Dana made it mandatory so no face was lost by anyone.

 Yours truly being Paul's monkey for his transit of the "nasty spot"
photo courtesy of Spat

 Dana demonstrates proper monkey "hanging off" as Milo drives
his rig through the steep spot.
photo courtesy of Spat

Switching roles, Paul is now the monkey as I pilot Scarlett
photo courtesy of Spat

Everyone rig made it through the steeply sloping spot just fine, no problem with a monkey hanging off the side.  I sure wouldn't try it by myself.

To kind of underline the above point, though quite unitentionally, Paul rig's got into a badly sloping spot just a bit further up the trail and overturned!  Paul jumped clear and the rig fell onto its left side, not completely rolling over due to the metal windshield the rig had mounted.

photo courtesy Paul S.

Several of us parked our rigs, rushed over to help Paul.  Pictures were taken of course, and then we righted his rig and examined the damage.  Thankfully, Paul was fine.  The windshield's metal frame was bowed in but not creased.  The clutch lever was broken off, and the rear left turn signal was crushed and bent.  All in all, not too bad.

Some Jeepers came along and one of them, Darren, helped Paul and others pull the rig back onto flat rocky ground to do repairs.  

 Temporary spot for repairs to the clutch lever on Paul's rig

 Sights during lunch, as repairs were done on Paul's rig

Much head scratching and trial and error later, Mr Cob aka Dave, with Paul's tire irons and my vise grip and a bunch of wire ties produced this:

Truly a WWID moment.

The repairs done, we were able to move as a group to a large flat rock section to regroup.  We didn't have much faith that the temporary repairs would make it the roughly 12  kilometers of rough trail back to pavement.  So, most of the group went back to camp, following Scott who'd gone to get his FJ Cruiser truck and a trailer.

Mr Cob and I stayed with Paul for the couple of hours it took for the rescue vehicle to return for Paul's rig.  The weather was nice and warm if a bit windy at times.  I took the time to re-align my muffler from it's earlier disconnection, Mr Cob re-aligned his on his 2014 rig which he'd knocked off three times the day before.

Paul's rescue trailer arrived a bit before 3:00 PM and by 3:10PM we were set for the long, slow and somewhat perilous ride back to camp.  Kudos to Scott and his driving of the FJ Cruiser, with a dinky trailer with a large URAL mounted on top.

 Near where we waited for rescue.

 Check out that really small trailer, the rig barely fit ....

 Monitor and Merrimac?

 The rescue FJ, near the end of the perilous tow out of the badlands

 This shot should give you an idea of some of the slick rock 
ledges we had to deal with...

Scarlett's view of the pavement as the above shot of the FJ was done.

Around 4:00 PM, the pavement was in sight, I broke off from the rescue crew and too the Seven Mile Road back to camp.

Back at camp, everyone got cleaned up and the plan now was a formation ride through downtown Moab where folks were beginning to line main street to view the hotrods and classic cars that were scheduled to cruise the street in the evening.

Dana led us to a food truck in a parking lot where Quesadillas were being sold, good food by the way.  

 Our rigs at the Food Truck

 We also got UDF'ed by the local police

 Here's Dana talking one of the food truck employees about a sidecar ride.
photo courtesy of Spat

 There were three ladies there, two who worked in the food truck and one
who worked in the Pagan Mountaineering shop next door; all got taken out for sidecar rides.
photo courtesy of Spat

 Rusell took the boss lady out
photo courtesy of Spat

 Here's Dana, flying the chair upon his return with his "monkey", 
much to her delight.
photo courtesy of Spat

Here's Scott, with the lady who works at Pagan Mountaineering.
Looks like they had fun doesn't it?
photo courtesy of Spat

Paul, managed to hook up with the owner of a local moto-shop and he scored a replacement clutch lever so he is good to go for his ride back to Wyoming; I even got my vise grip back from him.  :)

A great day of riding, all rigs came home, no one got hurt, much fun was had.

Here's a link to the writeup and pics done by Tim L. on, good stuff, it was all the riding and events that happened before I arrived in Moab: LINK

Update: The next day was windy and rainy, not good for riding in Moab, ended up hanging at the campground, swapping stories and lies with what few remaining riders were there.

Pictures from this blog posting made it to the 
May 2014 Edition of the Irbit Informer.
Click the logo above.

An excellent video made by one of the riders at Moab: Mundo Bravo

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Uralisti Gathering in Moab, Utah

The invasion of the tourist town of Moab, Utah began this past Sunday with the arrival of the first contingent of Ural Sidecar Rig riders and support vehicles.  Several rides had been done by the time I arrive today, from Denver, trailering Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol.

Here's a link to Tim L's ride report of the riding that was done prior to my arrival to Moab: LINK  Very much worth your time, he's got great pics and a great write up.

Martha let me take the X5 as Scarlett's tow vehicle

I got in around 3:30 PM, in time to see my fellow Uralista Tim L. buttoning up his rig.  He'd experienced a sheared u-joint on his rig's main drive shaft but had fortunately been able to obtain a replacement.  How, you are probably asking, was he able to do this?  Well, on Monday another Uralista from Denver, Scott had experienced a final drive failure on his 2010 Gear UP.

photo courtesy Tim L.

Scott  coordinated with Randy of Unique Rides who was also here earlier this week; and together they called Jason of Ural who overnighted a replacement final drive (not warrantied, sadly).  The final drive came with the u-joint part that Tim had to get replaced!  As Scott didn't need that part, he gave it to Tim and both rigs were up and running by the time I arrived.  How's that for great happenstance and support?

I counted at least sixteen Ural sidecar rigs scattered about the Arch View Resort Campground area.  There's rumors there's at least 20 but we shall see during tomorrow's riding.

 Fellow Uralista, Spat, volunteered once again to do the main cooking.

 Tim L and Dave, aka Mr COB discuss the day's riding

 Mike's Gobi with the old style camo paint scheme

 An old BMW Sidecar Rig?  Nope, a Dneper.

 Can you guess which state this rig came from?

Byron, with his two sons, with his rig from Northern Alberta

photo courtesy of Tim L.

There were a lot more Uralisti and friends meandering about the pot luck dinner that was put out today by Spat and Dana and others.  More pictures to come of course over the next two days that I am here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Airhead Tech Day

I rode Scarlett to where Dick Paschen once again hosted a great tech day get together at his home in Centennial, CO today. There was quite the turnout of airhead motorcycles, from models from the 60's to mid-90s. Most folks came to socialize but all who came with mechanical issues got helped and most would ride home with better running motorcycles.

Airheads is the nickname given to the motorcycles which have air-cooled Boxer engines.  These engines are the common element shared by Airheads along with the simplicity of their design and the always willing helpfulness of their owners to help out fellow riders.

It was good to see younger riders show up on their vintage motorcycles, learning from the older riders, the tips and tricks to keeping these wonderfully simple yet soul-satisfying machines running.

Matt Parkhouse, former Colorado Air Marshall for the Airheads Motorcycle Club showed up on his trusty R75/5 and proceeded to dive in where needed with his expertise and advise. There were other gurus in the mix, to include our host. There were drinks to keeps us hydrated and good chili to keep hunger away as wrenches and tools were used to tweak/repair and otherwise maintain the airheads which needed it.

My thanks to Dick Paschen for hosting this event again, he runs a good tech day, providing a welcoming atmosphere and never strangers for long during events such as these. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

 Rider Chris of Redstone, CO. Brought his new to him '94 R100 GSPD

 Sporting motorcycle plate #7 from Wyoming, this gentleman successfully changed out his front fork oils.

 Dick Paschen, our great host and airhead guru

 If we'd had a prize for most unusual airhead, Pokie would have won it with his sidecar rig. 
The engine is from a '67 R60 Airhead but most everything else he fabricated! 
The tub started as a fuel drop tan and then a carnival ride before he made it his rig's tub.

 A side view of Pokie's hand made motorcycle sidecar rig, he must be quite the machinist.
He made the motorcycle's frame, headlight, fuel tank....salvaged parts from Beemers, Indian and 
who knows what other marques to create the above unique ride.

 Fellow rider Eron T's '67 R50 /2. Quite the restoration he's got going on it, and its ready for a sidecar someday as well. Very nice.

 One of the airhead gurus, helps out a new rider with his Airhead's electrical issues. 

 A very nice looking R90S with the distinctive paint job and fairing 
which made such models an instant hit in the 70's.

 Some of the many models of BMW Airheads which showed up for the tech day.

 This airhead's fairing caught my eye, she's for sale folks and is quite clean.

 Quite the turnout this year, Dick's driveway was full at times and the streets near his home were lined with BMW motorcycles of yesteryear....along with one URAL Sidecar rig and Dick's Vintage Fiat 500. 

Cool little car eh?

Matt Parkhouse works with the airhead's owner to diagnose a faulty charging circuit on the motorcycle.

 Matt Parkhouse demonstrates the shorting plug method of synchronizing the carburetors 
on Chris' GS PD Airhead.