As of the time I started writing this, I was the first to post a Rally Day RR, but I hope to see more soon! I am home a bit early, so I expect there will be.
For those that don't know, this year is the 70th Anniversary of Ural and a ride has been put together by a guy named Kevo (that's all I know, not sure of his real name). Full details here
. Basically, there aren't a ton of us in the US, so the format is more like you pick what you want to ride, visit some locations along the ride and snap pictures, earn points, and report back. Full point list here
. There's a bonus bonus point list too but I only got one of those, so I'll report on that when I get to it. You have to rack up 350 points to "finish".
Flash back a month or so, I was planning on riding with two other locals, but along the way, both ran into issues and couldn't come. No worries, our local dealer Unique Rides
has a group ride, I'll tag along with them for a bit. Unfortunately, I got an email last night saying they wouldn't have enough people to do it, so that's out too. Oh well, me and Nadia (the name I thought up for my 04 Tourist today) it is
A side note/bitch session, feel free to skip the stuff in blue if you don't want to read it:
I ordered a Lumix TS3 in early August for, among other things, this ride. It arrived promptly (love me my Amazon Prime) and I started playing with it. Unfortunately it had an annoying habit of requiring the power button to be pressed twice to turn it on. I debated just returning to Amazon, but for a couple reasons, I decided to go through Panasonic directly. After about 40 minutes on the phone and some unnecessary negotiation on shipping, I sent it back to them on August 5th. I got a few calls saying it'd be back about 10 days after they received it, but then another about a week later saying they had just ordered parts, so it'd be longer. I grumbled and sucked it up. Another few weeks go by and yesterday, the 9th of September, they call back with essentially the same message. No ETA, no apology, just "we're working on it." They wouldn't even send a replacement (it's a brand new effin camera!). I'm at my wits end, their hours are ridiculous so I have to wait until Monday to talk to someone, which left me with only my iPhone to take pics with for this report. It did ok, but if any are sub-par, that's what I choose to blame :). Onwards.
Back to about 9AM today, game day. Geared up and started my prep. Ride packet?
Check. Pre-ride check (50 points)?
Check. Carb drain (50 more points)?
Why not. Now, to choose a monkey for the day:
"I'm way too big for that puny sidecar!" Damn, next?
"I'm way too liable to tuck and roll at speed!" Ok, next?
"Mom says I'm not old enough." Aww, come on, 3 months is plenty old
. Alright, solo it is.
Packed up the old school Wolfman tank bag with the essentials and hit the road. Pic for Wolfman posterity:
Ready to hit the road:
Scooted out at about 10AM, starting odometer reading of 2089km (second odometer/speedometer, they fail from time to time). Made it precisely one km before someone rolled down the window at a stop light to talk to me. Gave him a quick rundown of the bike and told him to check out the dealer in town. One UDF down (25 points!). I started heading towards Unique Rides and decided to sidetrack a bit to get some pictures and points for historic sites. Two on the way:
Old Fort Collins High School, built in 1924 and used until 1995. The new school is in the southeast part of town (my wife works there) and the old building is now owned and used by CSU. Also about my favorite pic of the day (25 points):
And an Andy Warhol sculpture made in 1981 and signed by the artist himself, full story here
(another 25 points):
As I was taking that shot, a lady cop pulled up across the street, but I couldn't get up the nerve to ask her to jump in the sidecar for a quick ride and picture to get the bonus 200 points. Maybe next time. Continued on towards Unique Rides, pulled in around 10:40 and Tammy, one of the owners, was gracious enough to come out to get in the sidecar for a picture (50 points):
From there I took the backroads down to Loveland. Accidentally flew the car on a high speed right turn (nice pucker moment) but for the most part, pretty low key. Almost immediately lost my rubber band for the rally packet, but jamming it next to the sidecar seat seemed to hold fine. Found a pretty lake, took a pic (no points but pretty):
Headed down to Jax
because I remember they had an old sidecar bike out front. Turns out it was a 1955 (IIRC) KMZ/Dnepr military bike. Cool, but not great, leaking oil, and they're asking like $10k for it. Good luck with that, here's a pic (25 points):
There were some more police officers at a demonstration of sorts, but they were busy, so I was hosed again on my quest for the 200 points. Scooted down 34 towards Estes Park, and while coming up on the south side of Lake Loveland I saw a mini Statue of Liberty go by. Holy crap, forgot about that, flipped a u-turn and pulled up next to it. Story here
and of course a pic (25 points):
Kept heading west on 34 until I got thoroughly confused and semi-lost on N. Glade Rd (was looking for CR 27). A quick stop to check my new Garmin 76CSx (fantastic little unit) put me back on track and I stopped to record mileage for what turned out to be the next 51km of "Carnival" roads from 34 all the way up through Stove Prairie and Rist Canyon to Bellvue. This is a fantastic stretch of road, lots of elevation changes, tight and sweeper corners, just a great place to ride. If anyone wants directions, PM me. Headed north through Masonville, passing a few potential animal points, until I had to flip a quick u-turn to get a picture of this bridge in Masonville (50 points):
No date, but definitely > 50 years old. Ran into a good sized Harley rally in Masonville, decided not to stop, and headed west further into the mountains. Almost immediately ran into this alpaca farm, grabbed an animal bonus pic (25 points):
Continued on, got into a great groove, and just cruised. Fantastic ride, I was really enjoying it, perfect weather, no traffic, bike was running like a top. Couldn't ask for more. Apparently I got a bit too rowdy, because when I looked down my rally papers were just barely hanging on to my clipboard. Snapped a pic while moving the packet to my tank bag:
And I suppose a pic of me would be appropriate. I am a hairy man:
A couple riders passed me while I was reorganizing and waved. I left about 2 minutes after the last bike had passed (two up on a cruiser of some sort), but managed to catch them in less than 10 minutes. I hope the lady gave her husband/boyfriend/whatever crap for being caught by a goober in a sidecar. I was stuck behind them until the intersection with Rist Canyon Rd, at which point I took a quick photo break.
Looking East to the steep climb up to the top of the canyon:
And West towards Old Flowers Road, a fun trail that I've run both in my old TJ Wrangler a few years back and on my DR650 this past Monday:
North towards the Poudre Canyon and Wyoming:
And South with the lovely Nadia posing:
Chugged up the hill, trying to keep speed, and enjoyed the plethora of turns on the other side. Flew the car again on a big right hand sweeper, but for the most part rode very well. Didn't stop until Bellvue, a nice little town NW of Fort Collins. I stopped to grab my second bridge pic (50 points) and write down my "carnival" mileage of 51km (102 points):
This bridge was built in 1957, so it's in the 50+ year old bonus range. Rode back around the north side of Fort Collins and ran into a car show in Laporte. Stopped to grab a picture (25 points) and check out some of the cars. Nothing bad, nothing great:
Riding back into Old Town Fort Collins, I thought why not grab another bridge picture on the large one over the Cache La Poudre. I snapped this quick because there was a helicopter hovering nearby and he looked suspicious (50 points):
Rolled through town to what I thought was the courthouse. The sign out front said Justice Center. What? Is there a difference? No idea, but I've decided I'm counting it (25 points):
As I was putting my helmet back on I heard the unmistakable thump of the Ural 750 and turned around to see another Ural heading back the I came. I packed up quick and chased after him, finally getting his attention with a quick honk on the north side of Old Town. He pulled into a parking spot and I pulled in behind him. We chatted for a bit, I didn't catch his name but he was a nice guy. He didn't know a ton about the bike, but was very nice and I sent him this way (ADV) and to Soviet Steeds
. We'll see if he joins up. Either way, counting it as another UDF (25 points):
Getting hungry now, I tried to find a place to eat. I tried to go down Mountain, but alas, another car show blocked my way. Oh well, I'll take the bonus points (25 points):
Old Town was bananas, so I headed south down College. Didn't feel like a burger, BBQ, or seafood (the bonus categories), but I decided that one of our local specialties is "American" mexican restaurants, so I pulled into one of my favorites, Cafe Mexicali. These style restaurants (Mexicali, Matador, La Luz, Big City, etc.) tend to be very non-traditional, but very tasty, and they're crazy popular in town, so I'm counting it as a local specialty. I got stuck behind 4 old ladies who could not understand their menu choices, so I was a bit grumpy, but this massive smothered barbacoa pork burrito made me a happy camper (75 points):
Back on the road and close to home, I was scooting down Swallow (unfortunate street name) and the bike started to sputter. What? I just filled up 120km ago, was I really getting 30km (18 miles) to the gallon? That can't be. Still, flipped it to reserve and all was well. Ok, well at least I get the Basic Pucker bonus (run the tank to reserve, 50 points). Detoured to the gas station to fill up. Only put 2.25 gallons in, which put me at about 31mpg (about right) but didn't explain the sputter. Dirty petcock filter? Who knows, guess I'll keep an eye on it. Still keeping the points though :). Had two guys come up and ask about the bike too, so another UDF (25 points).
Pulled back in around 2:30 with the odometer reading 2206km. My stats for the day from my Garmin:
All in all a great ride. Came in way
higher than expected on points and had a blast riding the bike I don't get to enjoy enough. Definitely in again for next year, still need to get my cop bonus!
Mileage total: 119km
Point total: 921