Saturday, September 12, 2015

Uraling in the 5th Annual URAL National Rally Day

Today was the fifth annual URAL National Rally Day.  An event sponsored by URAL to promote the brand, get riders to ride and have some fun while racking up points in a very low-key, no pressure, just have fun contest.  It's called the National but riders from all over the world participate in this event.

Kind of like a scavenger hunt, you plan your own route to collect points based on objects/deeds/landmarks and just riding!  Here's a link to the information on the rally site:  LINK

It's called a National Rally but there's no central gathering point as with most motorcycle rallies.  Everyone rides their rig along planned/unplanned routes and see how many points they can accumulate.

Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig and I motored away from the house at 7:40 AM and returned home after racking up 489 kilometers at 5:20 PM or 9 hrs and 40 minutes.  Those kilometers logged were from a start odometer reading of 22592 and an ending reading of 23081.  That's 489 points right there!

URAL even rewards being a safe rider, awarding 75 total points for doing your pre-flight checks: air in tires, lights and oils.

Scarlett and I rode on I-25 (Five points for riding a road with the number 5 in it) towards Fort Collins and then took Colorado State Road 14 west towards Walden.  Objective: Cameron Pass and the Nohku Crags.

CO14 is also known as the Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway, it had been a long time since I'd ridden this road initially back in November of 2007.  That was a 350 mile ride day on board Maria, my 2004 BMW R1150RT.  That motorcycle was a continent-crusher when it came to riding long distances!

This scenic byway traverses the Cache La Poudre Canyon whose massive rocky walls tower over one as you ride the twisty sections bordering the Poudre river.  It was this river that experienced a "100 year flood" event about two years ago, completely washing out the road in several sections.

Just before the junction of CO14 and the Stovepipe Valley road to Mansonville, one encounters a short tunnel cut through the rock.  I always stop here for pictures:

 The above is what you see as you round a curve along this scenic canyon road.

 First "Scenic Wonder" = 25 points

The other side of the tunnel.

Scarlett and I continued on CO14 past the turn for Mansonville.

An attempt to silhouette Scarlett with the rocky formations as
a backdrop.

From the tunnel, it's about 37 miles to Cameron Pass and the Nohku Crags rock formations.  The going is pretty easy, the roads are less twisty as you've left Poudre Canyon behind by now.  It was sad to see that there's vast swaths of pine forest infected and dead from the pine beetle infestation.

Here's my first view of the Nohku Crags:

approaching the Nohku Crags on CO14 from the east.

The Nohku Crags and Cameron Pass (you cross the Continental Divide here) are pretty close together and present some great photo opportunities.

 Nohku Crags again. (Second "scenic wonder: 50 points)

Looking east along CO14

Scarlett and I explored the forest roads alongside CO14 near the Nohku Crags, finding them to lead to campgrounds run by the State Park agency.  I tried going up the steep road leading to Agnes Lake but bogged down quickly.  Today was not the day to burn out a clutch so I gave up easily and returned to pavement after traversing 7 kilometers of dirt road (7 x 5 =35 points).

Now heading back east towards Fort Collins, it was easy riding with only one stop, the light was bad for pictures of both Profile Rock and Sleeping Elephant Mountain I'm afraid.

 These two pictures should give you an idea of the rocky canyon
walls one enjoys as one rides this scenic byway.
Third "scenic wonder"=100 points

After a slight detour due to missing my turn once back in Fort Collins, I made it to Unique Rides, the premier URAL dealer (IMHO) for Colorado.  I was picking up a warranty part from Randy and also racking up points for the rally with a dealer visit.  You got 20 points for every URAL that was at the dealer including your own so there were a total of 10 rigs on site!  An easy 200 points!

Part of the ten URAL rigs that were on site.

Besides URAL sidecars, Trikes, British Enfield motorcycles, Scooters of varied brands, there was also a "Vehicular Wonder" on sale by Randy:

 25 points!

After chatting with Randy and Tammy for a bit, I motored on home in 88 degree heat under sunny skies and heavy traffic on I-25.  To get the extra five points, I turned off onto I-225 to the Parker Road exit.  No issues in spite of several momentary slowdowns on the highways, it was just very heavy traffic conditions.

You also get 2 points for every picture you take, I only claimed the points for the pictures in this posting. (17 x 2 points = 34 points)

I kept forgetting to use the kick start to start the engine darn it.  That would have been an easy 5 points for each kick start!  Oh well.

So, a grand total of 1043 points for Scarlett and I, better than the 836 points we racked up in the 2014 National Rally last year.


RichardM said...

Or you could've taken a suggestion posted last year and set the GoPro on time lapse and take a picture a second for all 489 km for 34,800 photos.

What you needed was some snow...

redlegsrides said...

I only counted the pics I used in the posting, it was a total of 64 pics taken today.

I could have used some snow, it was hot, damn hot, once I got out of the moutains! :)

Unknown said...

It sounds like a fun way to rally. Were there any fall colors, Dom, specifically in quaking aspens?

redlegsrides said...

The fall colors were definitely almost in full display near the visitor center west of Cameron Pass and you could see patches of golden yellow on some of the higher peaks.

VStar Lady said...

What an awesome excuse for a ride!

SonjaM said...

Stunning pics, Dom. And the weather still plays along nicely. (Not so much in the Maritimes).

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, the weather was hot and sunny.....I'd trade you for yours!

Trobairitz said...

What a beautiful day to do the contest. Great photos too.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you Trobairitz, it got a bit warm towards the end of the ride but no surprise there since I was out of the mountains by then.

Unknown said...

We wanted to get to Colorado this summer, but 14 days was not enough to get through Utah. So next summer for sure, your photos are screaming, "come see this." Thanks so much.


redlegsrides said...

Thanks VStar Lady!

redlegsrides said...

Don Hamon, when you guys make plans to ride Colorado, let me know!