Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 Moab Trip - Day 1 and 2

Ah yes, the annual gathering of the Urals and their riders here in what I see as the off-road riding capital of Utah.

I left early Saturday morning and after cruising some some of this scenery in the high country:

The high country in Colorado....the other "high country"
would be in Denver.

Umarang, the URRV with Scarlett in tow and I would end up in Moab at the Archview RV Campground at 3:00PM, a bit over 6 hours later.

Met up with Tim L and we set off to go scout possible locations for the night's/early morning shooting of the Milky Way.  Little did I realize that not much sleep would be achieved that day.

We rode into Arches NP and he found the planned location of the Double Arch near Balanced Rock to be quite suitable for the early morning's shooting.

The arch we'd shoot the Milky Way through...

The arch we'd sit next to....

photo courtesy Tim L.

We then rode over to the Dead Horse Point State Park and found ourselves some nice spots to shot the views as the sun set.  The sunset itself was nothing to write home about but quite a few folks showed up in the last 30 minutes or so to enjoy the sights anyways.
 That flat spot around which the river curves is
called Gooseneck Point.

 That is Potash Road making its way through
the canyon below.

 Tim L.

photo courtesy Tim L.



Tim L. enjoying the view as the sun sets.

Some gorgeous pics from Tim L:




We returned home in the dark after a rather disappointing sunset and just had dinner and chatted until it was time to gear up and head out for the Milky Way shoot.

At 0100 in the morning we rode out, and into the nearby Arches NP.  We reached the previously scouted location and proceeded to walk in seemingly long distance to our planned photo perches.  You see, we were trying to establish and conserve our night vision and so were limited to the use of Tim L.'s red led headlamp.

So we stumbled our way to the spots after a bit and shot away for the next 90 minutes or so.  My shots, didn't really come out at all.  Tim's camera is quite a bit more capable:



At 3:30AM we called it quits and headed back to the campground where we incoherently (so tired) said goodbye to each other and crashed.

Sunday:

Woke up less than 5 hours of sleep later, tired.  Go figure.  Sunday was a easygoing day, with lunch in downtown Moab as we waited for fellow Uralisti to show up and setup camp.

As evening approached, both Tim and I had seen that SunsetWX was predicting a nice sunset for the area of Utah that we were in.  So a quick plan was made and a destination picked, the top end of Mineral Springs Road.

As everyone who'd shown up were still resting or setting up camp, it was just Tim L. and I riding out and about 45 minutes later we found a nice spot at the top of the canyon wall trail that leads down to Mineral Springs.

Before we got to shooting pics though, along comes this articulated off road truck with the friendly German couple who stopped to get info/UDF and pics with us.

 Gunther and his wife.

 The rigs and Gunther's offroad home

 photo courtesy Tim L.

Tim L. then had the inspiration to instead pose the rigs along the edge of the canyon wall with the setting sun illuminating the rocky walls and road nicely:

 A view of the Mineral Springs Valley way below where we stood.

photo courtesy of Tim L.

 The lovely winding road leading down to the valley.

 photo courtesy Tim L.

 Just to give you an idea of the road and canyon walls.

 photo courtesy Tim L.

A very much boosted (in terms of colors) view of the
meager sunset we got on Sunday.

We got home as it really turned dark, chatted with fellow Uralisti for a bit and then hit the sack.  More to follow.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Weekend

Hope everyone had, amongst those of you who celebrate it, a good Easter weekend.

Thursday's Sunset proved to be a good prelude to Friday's Sunset.


I had Good Friday off and after only a modicum of work that couldn't wait till Monday, got some chores done around the garage and got a short set of rides in while running errands.  Sunset that day worked out pretty good:


Saturday was the day for the longer riding.  The day was in the low 60s in terms of temperatures, so a light jacket was required under my riding jacket but the sun was out so all good.  It was very windy however, which I think led to the poor 24 MPG results while riding Fiona.

Still, I found a new spot with a good view of Pikes Peak, near the junction of Colorado Hwy 83 and Douglas County Road 11:


The Sunset that Saturday evening came out pretty well:

 Denver Skyline


Sunday of course was Easter Sunday, didn't get a ride in but there was the annual hosting of friends at our house.  Martha my loving wife pulled off yet another successful gathering full of food, drink and friends.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Improving Fiona's MPG Results

Ever since I got Fiona in working condition, she's exhibited very poor MPG results with each tank full of gas.  There having been other more major things to fix on her, it wasn't until very recently I started troubleshooting why she was getting such poor gas mileage.  I'm talking the low 20s!

Several phone discussions with Richard Winter, who's proven a veritable fount of knowledge, led to the theory that fuel was being lost out the overflow hole on the Bing Carburetors.

This, was after I'd verified no sooty spark plugs or exhaust pipes.  We also eliminated the air filter being too restrictive by putting the muffin top air filters Fiona came with, back on.

So today, Richard had me measure the fuel level remaining in the carburetor fuel bowls and they proved to be to high.  It was 15/32nds on the left bowl and 8/32nds on the right bowl, way too high!  As comparison, the fuel level on Brigitta's fuel bowls (same carburetors as Fiona) was 20/32nds from fuel level to top edge of the fuel bowl!

So I adjusted the tang that the fuel needle rests against on each carburetor float assembly and got it to be 18/32nds between the top edge of the fuel bowl and the fuel level itself,  on both of Fiona's carburetor fuel bowls.

Took Fiona out for a test run and she performed well all the way to 65 mph.  It was now time do run her for a few miles to see if the MPG result was better.

I ran her out to past the Town of Parker and used CO Hwy 83 to get to Castlewood Canyon State Park.  I parked Fiona just south of the entrance and got this pic:

Pikes Peak

Fiona and I proceeded onwards for a few more miles, eventually going past the junction of CO Hwy 83 and Lorraine Road where Pikes Peak provides a great background for photos:




For the above three similar shots, which one do you prefer?  Please let me know in the comments section.

Fiona and I then returned towards Franktown and gassed up.  MPG was 24.98!  Much better than the 21.9 she'd achieved in the previous tank full of gas.  Now, of the kilometers accumulated, 50 km had been done before I made the changes this morning.  Oh, and strong headwinds on the way down to the above shooting location too.

After Franktown, I cruised through the Town of Parker and stopped to check out this "modern art" exhibit near the town center:



We then rode over to the ranching neighborhood where I like to pose my motorcycles with Mount Evans in the background:


The day was so nice and warm, I decided to try for a couple of time lapse videos of the clouds above Mount Evans.  Here they are, spliced together into one video:


After finishing the time-lapse videos, we rode on home.  I stopped for gas even though Fiona had only accumulated 30.5 km since the last fill up.  It took .642 gallons to fill the tank which works out to 31.1 MPG.  So a definite improvement!

More tweaking to be done of course, I hope to get the MPG up into the high 30s, low 40s like Richard Winter's Bural rig.

Update: 15APR17.  Next tankful, which comprised city/dirt/highway driving: 23.98 MPG.  

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Snowy Morning and a Good Sunset

Yesterday we woke to a little bit of snow in the Metro Denver area of the Colorado Front Range this morning.  The area around my home had perhaps an inch on the grassy areas, but the roads were clear by the time Scarlett and I headed out for pictures.

Temperatures were just north of freezing so I didn't even bother turning on the heated grips until about 30 minutes into the ride.

 Mount Evans in the distance

Pikes Peak was showing up nicely agaisnt
the clear blue skies

After work, Scarlett and I headed out to the usual Sunset watching spot near Quincy Avenue.  The clouds were promising, but I ended up shooting mostly in Sunset Mode on the Sony A5000 camera to bring out the colors more.

Sunset Mode pushes the reds and yellows more within the camera, the actual sunset colors weren't as rich.





The layers created by the clouds reminded me of Tiramisu...