Monday, September 15, 2014

Farewell, Bobskoot....

Martha and I just found out today that one of the pioneers of moto-blogging, Bobskoot of Riding the Wet Coast fame, had passed away in his sleep, in Nashville, TN.  He'd been driving his beloved Corvette in some kind of National Rally, along with his lovely wife Yvonne; his last post being published August 30.

It'd been quite some time since that post and I'd sent emails and texts to Bob asking what was up....for he was a frequent poster of great content and pictures.  Now we know, so long afterwards, that he was gone.

Martha and I will sorely miss Bob and extend our heartfelt condolences to Yvonne. 

We first met Bob through the usual way of moto-bloggers, exchanging comments on each other's blog postings.  After quite some time of this, we finally got a chance to meet Bob along with fellow moto-blogger Bluekat and her husband Ron during a road trip to Montana.

The trip was in July of 2011 and we all spent a few days in a rustic cabin site getting to know each other, doing some rides which culminated with a glorious day riding the "Going to the Sun" Highway in Glacier National Park.  LINK

Bob, Ron and Kari in Montana

That trip was truly a memorable one, even more so for affording me the chance to meet fellow moto-bloggers like Kari and Bob.  Bob turned out to be quite the character and his companionship made the trip so much more enjoyable.

Bob was in his element when talking motorcycle riding, photography, cameras of all types and function and of course, in his signature Pink Crocs!  Generous almost to a fault, you only had to but hint that you needed something and he'd be right there offering to get it for you.  

I would later go visit Bob in Vancouver, as I rode towards Alaska back in the Spring of 2013, he graciously let me stay at his home and we had a chance to get together with a fellow moto-blogger, SonjaM and her husband Roland for dinner:

Roland, Yvonne, Bob, Sonja and yours truly

We would next met up with Bob as my family was spending a family vacation in Wisconsin helping Martha's dad celebrate his 80th birthday.  Bob was doing a cross-country ride from Vancouver to the East Coast of the USA and detoured out of this way to come spend some time with us in Wisconsin!  LINK



 We would once again have the pleasure of Bob's company the following month as Bob was making his way back towards his home in Vancouver, Canada.  Again detouring away from of the optimal route, he came and visited us for a bit and I had a chance to ride with him once again.



Martha and I consider ourselves fortunate to have met and spent time with Bobskoot!  The blogosphere and our lives are a sadder place without his presence.  You will be missed Bob, you now ride where we can only wonder for now,  you will be remembered fondly.  

Hail Fellow well met!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Young Riders (and one Goose) on a Two Year URAL Adventure...

Stumbled upon this blog via a posting on sovietsteeds.com.  Five young riders (they look like they're in their mid-20s at most!), on five 650cc URAL Sidecar Rigs;  riding a planned 30,000 Km route from Europe all the way through Asia, across the Bering Strait (by boat I am sure), and into North America all the way to our eastern coast.

Check out their blog for more details about the riders, the route and their plans:  LINK

From their blog:

Five with a zest for action
We are friends and together we have already implemented several projects in recent years, which include artistic collaboration, joint exhibition projects and publication of a book, as well as several field trips to various countries.

What makes us different is our zest for action. There are so many challenges that we want to deal with, causing us many long sleepless nights until we have finally mastered them. Not only as a group but also on the basis of our experience we feel strong enough to accomplish this.

The message from all of our projects that we want to transmit to the people is: Do something! Start! Give yourself a shake and all is possible!


The Five Riders

The expedition's aerial photographer: Blockbuster.
Apparently, trained to fly about the riders with a GoPro 
Camera attached!



Think about it, artistic types with no professional mechanic experience/training, in fact there's a stated "lack of knowledge" on their blog, expecting to learn to fix things as they go.  No support vehicles and crews, riding old URAL sidecar rigs with the old 650cc engines and a seemingly "let's see what happens and see who we meet" plan for the journey.

They've also got a Facebook page where most of the updates on the trip so far have appeared, my guess is the blog might not be updated as often as their Facebook page.

I am looking forward to reading of their adventures, ah to be young again.....(though I was never this easy going)



Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11

One World Trade Center stands today where the Twin Towers stood 13 years ago before the cowards flew hijacked airliners into them.

I sometimes think Americans have forgotten about this as they move about their lives.

Never Forget, Never Forgive.  

src: AP via Google

Saturday, September 06, 2014

URAL National Rally Day 2014

Today was the now annual URAL Rally Day.

Here's a brief description from URAL: So, what the heck is this rally? Well, it’s like a scavenger hunt. You roll your own route, take in the sights, eat some lunch, maybe even do some wrenching. When you’re done you tote up your points and come back here to record your results. When it’s all over we’ll post up a rally report and let folks know the results. IMWA is providing a prize package again this year – so we’ll be awarding prizes for the top finishers  – as well as 25 lucky riders who we’ll pick in the prize drawing from all the rally finishers.

The rally is world-wide, you can do it on your own as I did, or with a group of fellow Uralisti if you are so inclined.

My rally day started with a flat pusher tire.  I'd been gone all week to Atlanta, GA for work and hadn't looked at the rig yesterday evening after coming home from the airport.

The rules do say that one must swap the tire on the roadside but I think I'll still claim the points for doing a tire swap.  Along with the easy 75 points for doing pre-ride checks of lights, fluids and tires, the swapping of the spare tire for the flat pusher tire had me starting out with 175 points!

Here's the nail, found it after airing up the pusher tire to see if I could
hear any air leaking out.....no air noise heard.  The nail was sealing the hole but
of course, it was a slow leak.

 Ready for the spare tire.

Had to use the pliers to remove the damn nail, air leaked out 
quite nicely once I removed it!

I didn't want to go riding with no working spare tire so I removed the old inner tube, and put in a new one, re-using the old pusher tire as it was fine and with plenty of thread.  I guess that's one advantage of tubed tires.  Now I had a working spare tire, got geared up and got going by 10:15 AM.

Starting odometer reading: 9730.

I rode down to Parker Road which I took through the town of Parker and south on now CO83 all the way to Colorado Springs.  You get 1 point for every kilometer ridden so I elected to ride Scarlett down to Fort Carson near Colorado Springs and stopped near the main gate or Gate #1.

My choice for vehicular wonder
A plane, car, truck, tank - any vehicular wonder - get 50 
extra points if it’s on a pole. 

I don't think there's a stout enough pole to support the weight of an Abrams Tank so I settled for the 25 points the above picture garnered for me.

Views of nearby Pikes Peak were obscured by low lying clouds today so no using the great mountain as a scenic wonder I'm sad to report.

I headed back onto Colorado Springs, taking the exit for the Garden of the Gods in order to get a pic of Scarlett next to the "Scenic Wonders" of this great natural park just west of Colorado Springs:

First scenic wonder:  25 points

 Balanced Rock
Second scenic wonder:50 points

Third Scenic Wonder
100 points 

Exiting the Garden of the Gods, I spent a short time on northbound I-25 in fairly heavy traffic until I reached the exist for Greenland.  Here I would get some extra road points by taking the dirt road from the settlement of Greenland back to CO83, a total of 13 Kilometers x 5 which garnered me an extra 52 points to the eventual total of kilometers ridden.

Think I can claim this tractor on a pole?  :)

Now back on northbound CO83, it was straight up riding back towards Parker and from there back towards my home neighborhoods.  Scarlett's odometer was approaching the 10,000 KM mark so I decided to keep riding about the home neighborhoods to reach the 10,000 km mark so I could do a quick oil change along the side of the road, and also run the rig out of gas.

As you probably guess, both these actions would garner me bonus points for the rally.

 Doing a field oil change in the elementary school parking lot: 200 points

Scarlett and I then headed out on Quincy Road, heading East until we arrived at a dirt county road that headed towards the south.  More dirt road points here as we covered 12 kilometers before getting back on pavement , an extra 48 points!

As I approached the Blackstone Country Club, Scarlett exhibited the signs of gas starvation right at the 300 kilometer mark on the trip meter!  I coasted to a stop on the side of the road and took this picture for proof:

100 points for running the gas tank dry

I removed the Kolpin Gas Can from the left side of the tub and put in about 1.5 gallons of fuel into Scarlett's gas tank.  No real issues except that the "safety spout" that came with the Kolpin can basically fell apart afterwards and became unusable.  Oh well.

I got the my usual gas station and filled Scarlett's tank to the brim and reset the trip meter.  The new low fuel level light which I'd recently replaced, under warranty, works fine so far.

Got home with no further issues, ending odometer reading was 10,050 so a total of 320 points for kilometers ridden.  You get 2 points for every picture taken, I took a total of 23, so that's an addition 46 points for that category.

Lastly, 15 points for the three times I kick-started the rig to life.  I'd forgotten about these bonus points earlier in the rally unfortunately, oh well.

So, I claimed 836 points for today's rally.  Much better than last year's 432 points.

On a totally different topic, just heard that Valencia, my 2011 Patrol, has been sold by Unique Rides to a lady from Washington State!  So begins a new adventure for Valencia.