Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Moab, the gathering and the first ride

Sunday 24 April, my fellow Uralisti riders started gathering around the Archview Resort campground.  Some trailered their rigs behind trucks and RVs, some rode their rigs from their home destinations.  All gathered to meet new and old friends, talk about our quirky rigs and share news.

 An old "acquaintance", I won't call him friend since he's definitely
reported to be a saboteur of rigs, WTF Chuck showed up  with 
Warcat from Washington state.  Tracy, his current "owner" is trying
for foist, I mean, introduce him to some other lucky rider.

 Left to right:  COB (Crabby Old Bastard) aka Dave Hooker, Dana
the informal leader of this event, Tamara of Canada and Tracey of WA

Enough folks had gathered on Sunday afternoon that wanted to get a quick ride in.  So four rigs left the campground to do the backdoor loop into Arches National Park.  Dana led and got us to this nice view of nearby mountain peaks:

Not any pictures of the rest of the ride, I was too busy trying to not get myself killed or worse, damage Fiona as we traversed steep rocky inclines, really deep sand in dried up river beds and a little bit of water fun where the river actually had a bit of water in puddles.  I definitely wouldn't have tried that route on my own, and Dana threw in some bonus "technical" riding points on the way home that at one point had Fiona stuck on a big rock.  No damage worth reporting however and all four rigs got back safe and sound.

The next Morning, Monday, I managed to get myself out and about before Sunrise:

At the gathering that morning, as folks got themselves organized, I walked about and found this "monkey" ready to go.  That's Newt, COB's buddy:

I also met Troy who writes for a newspaper back in Bangor, ME.  I've read his stuff and admired his photos and videos.  Here is is standing to the right of Randy, our stalwart and supportive URAL dealer in Fort Collins, CO

The route included bumpy rock outcroppings, deep sand whoop-de-doos (where I got stuck once when Fiona's 2WD disengaged suddenly, but I was pushed out by Walt and Troy with only minor issues).  Of course, a few of us hit rocks just right with our outboard muffler and they had to be banged back into place:

 The first of six muffler "re-engagements", Milo was first.
I was second, and so on.

 One of the founding members of this group, Walt, with
the Monitor and Merrimac Stone formations behind him.

Fiona and I on the trail
photo courtesy John S. aka Spat

We got to the Monitor and Merrimac rock formations with no major issues, and parked the rigs after negotiating the steeply inclined slope which basically marks the furthest point manageable by URAL rigs.  We had a lunch break there:

 Randy and Tammy of Unique Rides, Colorado

 Walt, John aka Spat and Milo try and solve the problems of the world

 Tammy's beautifully painted rig

Fiona rests besides Troy's rig.

That's it for photos however, we left soon after the above photo as clouds were getting grayer by the minute and Dana didn't want the group to be in the wash areas just in case of flash flooding.

He and I had electrical issues with our rigs in that the batteries were not charging so there were multiple trouble shooting stops to delay us.  We determined Fiona's alternator wasn't charging the battery so after the last jump using my portable jump starter, I just keep the throttle high and charged out the wilderness back into camp.

Trying to get Fiona re-started.
photo courtesy John S. aka Spat

Dana's rig had to be towed in by COB's rig, much to his "dismay".  So, all the rigs that went out, came back, no one hurt.

Dan, Spat and I, rode into town later to get new batteries for our rigs.  They're both now operational.

Great day of riding with many challenging spots.


Bob and Sharon said...

Really enjoyed your writeup


redlegsrides said...

Thanks Bob!

RichardM said...

Nice write up. I like the paint job on Tammy's rig. Definitely one of a kind.

Time for a bungee cord on the 2WD shifter? I'm thinking that the problem I had wit the worn sidecar spline may have been caused by the rig going in/out of 2WD on its own. Now I have the shift lever locked to prevent it from happening. BTW, even though the new sidecar u-joint was greased regularly, it's showing wear already. Only about 6k km.

Glad to see that the new rig is working fine. Time for a skid plate and a 2 into 1 exhaust with a high muffler. It's only (your) $$$.

By the way, when is then next European sidecar trip?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM, Tammy really knows how to drive that rig with skill and elan as well.

I'd been giving it some thought, wish I could fab up something similar to the bracket used on the newer rigs that prevent the FD from changing from 1WD to 2WD and vice versa without manual intervention.

I may look for a bungie cord solution for now.

Yeah, lots of $$$ to go two-into-one and a skid plate. Not to mention, that skid plate would have to come off each time I changed the oil filter since the R80 engine's oil filter cover is blocked by the ural frame.

European sidecar trip, it's coming, stay tuned in June!

Oz said...

What a trip. Great post and photos.

redlegsrides said...

thank you Thomas Osburn

redlegsrides said...

Post updated with a couple of new pics from fellow rider John S. aka Spat.