Early end of a journey

Well the journey has been cut short and we’ll get to that later but here is a recap of the past two days.

Left Ouray Thursday morning, stopping in at the motel for another quick shower, also called Gunnison Motorsports the verify the tire delivery.  They have arrived! So made the trek back to Gunnison, grabbed some lunch and worked in their back lot to remove the wheels.  The owners wife had a hoot seeing Luna and took a photo to put on their Facebook page.  Owner, Fritz handed me a few decals as well on my way out.

Leaving Ouray

image

Passed the 15k mark

image

New rubber installed!

image

Great guys and very fair prices

image

From then on I was suggested by locals to check out Crested Butte.  Arrived and while it did have a nice downtown it was a bit touristy.  I hung out a bit then went to find a campsite at Lake Irwin.  When arriving at the campsite there was a line of RVs to get in.. RV camp grounds to me are quite lame so I found the host and asked about other camping.  She directed me to stay on the road just before the entrance and ride up into the meadows.  Was very primitive camping but the views were gorgeous, and free camping too! If I were stuck down in RV land I’d have to pay $18.

image

 

Set up camp and went into town for groceries and talked to some locals.  Met a fellow traveler named Andy from the UK who has been on the road for 3 years on his yamaha tenere 600. Awesome guy, he was very intrigued by the Ural and jealous of the cargo capacity.  Basically said in all his travels a Ural could work great as speed is slow when traveling outside the US.

image

image

image

Free campsite for the evening.

image

The kitchen

image

While waiting for dinner to cook went and checked out the wild flowers and scenery.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Slept pretty poorly that night, at 10k elevation it got cold and my pillow just plain was not comfortable so woke up early to hit the road to Glenwood Springs in hopes to find a Walmart for a new pillow and other supplies.  Another local the night before suggested I take Kebler Pass, glad I did.. The Aspen trees were a sight and also spotted some elk.

image

image

image

image

Coke Stoves

image

image

image

Just as I rolled into Glenwood Springs and coming to a red light I heard abnormal sound.. And for those whom never ridden a Ural, these things make all sorts of weird noises.  This was not the normal sewing machine with marbles being tossed around in a glass jar noise, but a knocking thunk noise from inside the engine case.  Not good.  At first I thought maybe the clutch screws coming loose so removed the starter to inspect the freewheel screws.. those were normal but were some chunks missing in the freewheel.. no biggie there. 

image

After that was time to drain the oil to look for matter. Was NOT looking forward to this as my guess at this point were bearings letting go.  Well in the back lot of a Safe Way grocery I drained it and inspected the filter. The results….

image

Crank bearing cage pieces.. This is what came out, so still lots left inside the motor waiting to wreck havoc.

image

Made a post online and amazing help was not far away!  Another Ural owner came to the rescue and trailered my rig to his place just a few towns over. 

image

I’ll have AAA tow it to the dealership in Fort Collins tomorrow or early next week.  In the meantime a previous coworker lives just outside Glenwood Springs so she invited me to stay the night.  Amazing luck in this bad situation.  I unloaded the luggage off the Ural and set up a rental car to get me and Luna home.  We then ordered from a local Hawaiian food place.. Mmm and just hung out overlooking the Eagle River on her back deck. 

image

image

image

Still up in the air the full situation on the bike.. options are to have the dealership repair it ($$$ potential), or have it towed home via uShip and do repairs here.. another option if I get it home is to swap in a BMW R80/7 engine I have out in the barn.. would be time intensive but the reliability and extra power the Ural deserves make the swap an enticing thought.  In the circus of Ural ownership, the show must go on!

Colorado – Ouray & Silverton

image

Had an entire post written up then when I hit the publish it errored out and lost everything even though it was saved 😦 I’ll write this one a bit shorter and more pictures as that’s what people enjoy anyways!

Currently I’m ditching the tent for the hammock tonight, let’s just hope it doesn’t rain. The hammock is very comfortable and I can stretch out in it also. Makes a good place to type up this report too!

Yesterday I woke up early before all the tourist bustle of Ouray to take Luna on a walk. The old mining equipment is pretty neat.
image

Motel we stayed at, Bruce the manager was very accommodating. He even let me use a room the nights I didn’t stay while camping in the area to get my morning showers. Located on the south side of town next to the Elks club.
image

Afterwards checked out of the motel and while trying to decide what to do for the day I spotted another Ural! Billy from Texas on a 2014 efi Patrol T. I asked his plans and he mentioned wanting to try some trails but his wife was too nervous to ride along after their encounters the day before. I suggested we could both take our rigs so it’d be safer and while at it more fun to have a partner along.
image

We hit the road to Yankee Boy Basin just off the first switchback of town. Soon into the ride I could feel my Ural was going to have issues, just a massive lack of power for the steep loose road and really had to slip the clutch to get it up some of the paths. Billy did fine on his efi rig, so that’s an advantage there. I’m running the jets put in near sea level. I made it about 80% of the way until the bike just had no more.. very hard time starting and the engine was very warm. I could smell the hot oil so I turned the bike off to let it cool down while Billy continued. This gave me time for photos as well.
image

image

image

Selfie 🙂
image

image

image

Still some snow left up here
image

image

image

Billy returned saying the path got quite a bit rougher so glad I turned around when I did! On the way back down the slope I saw the Thistlewood campsite and low and behold there was an amazing campsite open! First come first serve so I grabbed it and have been here for 2 nights now.

Just look at this.. has a creek with a mini waterfall running next to it, shaded, fire ring, picnic table, less than 5 miles from town and a outhouse just up the way. Only $10 per night.
image

With camp set up Luna and I set out for Silverton along the Million dollar highway US550. Gorgeous road and well maintained. Not for the faint of heart!
image

image

image

Before I could even pull off my helmet in Silverton a crowd surrounded us! Women and children going crazy for Luna and guys asking about the bike. For the guys out there, don’t buy a Ural thinking it will be a chick magnet, the only thing it attracts is old guys.
image

image

image

image

image

I did some shopping in town picking up some decals and gifts including a $41 Harley Davidson shirt (yeah…) for the step dad. Afterwards rode out to the Old 100 Gold Mine and surrounding area.
image

image

image

image

image

Storm clouds were rolling in so we came back to camp. The sky cleared up so I hung out and played with the pooch until she tuckered out.
image

image

image

Today was basically a relax and maintenance day. Woke up to tighten some loose nuts on the bike, and rode into town for a shower and visited the hardware store to get a rubber stopper as my phone mount broke. These rough road excursions on a weakly suspended bike rattle everything out of place. While in the hardware store a kid about 16 came up and asked me if picked up a hitchhiker a few days ago. I said yeah but that was over 200 miles away. He told me that was his dad. Was a bit of a strange coincidence. I picked up the guy as he was walking down the busy highway 285 about 10 miles out from Morrison, Colorado. I saw a bike parked on the side of the road and about a mile later a guy carrying his jacket, helmet, and backpack. He told me his rear tire blew and he called for a tow but after waiting 4 hours gave up. I gave him a ride to town and wished him luck. His son said his father and the bike (towed) did make it home safely 🙂

After picking up provisions we set back to camp. I cooked up a burger patty that was 50% bacon and topped it with Colby cheese . No bun, still trying to stick with low carb for the most part. After lunch I laid in the hammock and ended up taking a 4 hour nap.. eek.
image

Keeping the pop chilled in the snow water river.
image

After the nap went into town to see what was going on. Another bulldog owner came up to see Luna and share photos of her bulldog Annabel. Her friend said it was on his bucket list to ride in a sidecar so offered him a quick ride thru town. Came back to camp afterwards and now laying underneath the stars in the hammock. Great way to end the evening.

Colorado – Boulder to Ouray

Currently in Ouray.  The past two days have been great, not a lot of miles put in but plenty of things to see.  I left Mark’s late Sunday morning heading to Salida.  Before doing so Mark and his daughter got a ride in the sidecar, they had a blast.  I did a few last minute modifications to the luggage system as the saddle bags were wearing on the rear shocks.  Added on some blocks of wood to use as spacers and so far it is holding up well.

The trip didn’t get far when I smelled a meat smoker from the highway just south of Colorado Springs.  Beef brisket nachos with jalapenos!

image

From then on it was just some random gas station stops.  Before getting to Salida we ran into hail! Before we even knew it, it was just too late to pull over.  Luna got pelted with the hail and tried to crawl up into the nose of the sidecar. It sure did sting even thru my riding gear.

image

It warmed up quickly so I dried off.. during the storm my vents were open so I got soaked.   Made it Salida and sent a message to a fellow friend from ADVRider asking for camping locations.  He responded with GPS coordinates a long with saying he was in the area.  After picking up groceries I headed to camp, and wow what a location.  Ara had his dog Spirit with him so Luna had a playmate for the evening.

Arrived in Salida. A cool little town.

image

image

The camping spot. Very primitive but awesome views of Marshall Mountain.

image

image

image

We awoke in the morning to the sound of free range cattle, I think Luna was hoping for a T-Bone steak…

image

After packing up we explored the area.  The trails went on forever splitting off in all different directions.  Ended up getting onto a path which was quite scary on a sidecar bike.  The path was basically a ledge with a steep drop off, and to make matters worse the ground was soft dirt and many large rocks in the way that fell recently.  Ended up having to turn around.  Had fun though!

image

image

image

After exploring we hit the road for Highway 550, this was a nice ride which took us on US50 through Monarch and Gunnison. Monarch was a bit of a challenge, the Ural was struggling with the elevation.  I’m using the jets put in near the Boston elevation level, so not really designed to run here.  Monarch and US50 is a great scenic route nonetheless.

image

image

While in Gunnison I spotted a bike dealership as my rear tire is getting pretty worn and the spare isn’t much better.  Of course they didn’t have the Ural tires in stock but the owner said he’d have them in a couple days and only $25/wheel to have them installed.  As I’ll be spending time on Ouray and Silverton this works out perfect.  I’ll just swing thru on my way back north to have the tires swapped.

image

image

Heading south from Montrose we made it into Ouray.  The town was bustling.. tried two different campgrounds and both were full.  Temps were high too so splurged a bit on a motel. Nothing fancy but is nice to have air conditioning and WiFi.. which is allowing me to write this post 🙂

After settling in we browsed town and when temps cooled down the manager let me park in the carport so I could swap the sidecar wheel onto the motorcycle rear wheel. This allows me to.have more tread this way until I get the new tires this week.

image

image

image

image

Boulder Day 2

Very fun day exploring Boulder, such a wonderful city.

Started the day off with a nice breakfast.  Luna played in the backyard while Mark’s daughter waited for ballet practice.  Maybe Luna needs a tutu…

image

After breakfast Mark asked if I’d be interested in a photo shoot, sounds fun to me and when else would I get to have a professional photographer/teacher take our photos?? We unloaded my bike to have it look more retro and ride up to the National Center for Atmospheric Research just outside of town.  Weather was really on our side! Can’t wait to see the shots but here is one “behind the scenes” I snapped.  Luna is a bona fide model 😛

image

After the shoot we checked out the museum in side the research station, lots of cool exhibits in there including a tornado simulator.  From then on we relaxed as the heat was building up by grabbing some lunch and watching the World Cup.  Brazil lost to the Netherlands pretty badly.  Some clouds rolled in and a bit of rain, after the rain stopped Luna and I went to the dog park.  Met another ADVRider fellow there and learned about some nice local roads.  Having some time we cruised around Pearl Street and the walking mall.. such cool shops and entertainment there.

Then took the suggested route of Flagstaff Road just west of Boulder.  This would give me a little experience on how the Ural would do in the switchbacks and steep inclines.  We made it to the summit without issue which gave me some more confidence in the rig.. although it was only about 7000 ft, so quite short compared to some other mountains we may go on.

Boulder down below.

image

A cyclist interested in the rig let me know of some roads beyond the Summit so I followed those.. and glad I did! They soon turned into some dirt roads with some nice scenery.  I’ll post these photos in a random order.. just a small fraction of the neat views along the way.

image

image

image

image

image

Here are my tracks, and some other information.

image

image

image

An older man in a Ron Paul sweater gave me directions back to town, talked to him for a little while and he was a good character.  Highway 72 along Coal Creek was a super awesome road twisting through the mountains and great pavement.  Some very nice houses along it as well.  Made it home just before dark and in time for some burgers 🙂  Staying in the guest room/play room, maybe I should trade tents with Mark’s daughter?

image

Boulder

Campsite was next to a fair grounds which was open so as I used their modern facilities Luna slept in.  She must have been having a good dream from all the drool!

image

The ride from Holyoke to Fort Collins was quite scenic but wow it was a heavy industry road.. Many semi trucks and commercial equipment rolling down the road at 65mph.  URAL maintained speed of about 60 but still was being passed frequently.

image

Stopped after running out of fuel, the tiny towns along the road have no service stations but thankfully I had my jerry can full.  That was enough to get me into Fort Collins.

image

She’s a lover not a fighter.

image

In Fort Collins, stopped at Unique Rides and Randy with his family set me up with replacement parts.  I rolled the bike up under a tree for some “shade tree service” and got the new parts in while working over lunch.  Bike does breathe better now, perfect for being up in the higher elevation!

Sidecars galore!

image

After the repairs the temperature was rising into the 90s so made a pit stop at PetSmart to relax in some air conditioning and Luna pick out a treat.  She got some busy bones and a pink harness.  From then it started raining which helped cool the temps, we ride along Pearl Street to check out all the cool little independent shops.. spotted a cured meats shop so I know where I’ll be heading before leaving town!

While out cruising my cousin Mark who lives in Boulder gave me a call so now staying with him and his family for a couple nights.  We went to a nice Thai food restaurant last night. Had the spicy papaya salad. Asked for it to be extra spicy.  Mmm. 

image

Rain cleared up and left behind this great sight.  Mark’s daughter replied after seeing the rainbow about something with rainbow goblins drinking rainbow juice.  I’m lost there.

image

Giddy Up 409

Well bad news was dealer in Lincoln didn’t have the parts needed for a repair, and the other shop is on vacation until next week… called the other dealer in Fort Collins and they do have it, just 500 miles away.. luckily my ugly repair is holding up great.  Today covered 409 miles and not a single stall.  Will make it to Fort Collins 🙂

Today was definitely a long day with the lack of scenery of southern Nebraska.. There were good 50 mile stretches of just flat straight roads.  The heat didn’t help much either.  Oooh, and if you other guys ever buy a Klim jacket, remember which pocket you use!! No joke I literally spent 30 minutes trying to find my keys after getting gas.  Dang Klim Badlands jacket has like 30 pockets!  The UDF (URAL Delay Factor) from strangers asking questions must have caused a short circuit in my brain placing they keys in some random pocket.  For a while I thought someone may have stolen the keys!

Lunch pit stop

image

Brain freeze!

image

Choo Choo!

image

Made it 🙂

image

The lovely campsite.. $25/night!… ouch.

image

At least the view is decent.

image

Couple days on the road now.

Finally have a decent enough signal to upload a post.  In western Iowa right now taking Iowa hwy 2.  First day I left was Tuesday about noon.. off to a late start due to rain.  Made it near Peoria Illinois for camp.  Then yesterday rode to camp in Clarinda, Iowa.  About midday I noticed the bike would die when I would come to a stop, and starting I had to keep the revs high.  When rolling down the road at 4400+ rpm I could see fuel droplets coming out in front of the carb, not good!   Inspect it and both carb boots were cracked.  There is a dealership one hour away in Nebraska so giving them a call once they open up.  Thankfully a local auto parts store opened after hours for me and was able to supply some high temperature gasket goo.  At camp I spent the night mending the boots and so far this morning they seem to be working great.. Bike even idles with no issue and no stalling!

Stopped to say bye to my mother.

image

Luna taking a nap while I work on the Ural.

image

Mmm

image

Pioneer county park in Iowa. Camped here for the 2nd night. Had a shower too!

image

Gasket material on a boot.

image