Thursday, February 18, 2010

Uraling & Scooting Around

World's Largest Walleye

The weather has been warm the last couple days. Yesterday was 40F on the way home and today was 36F. The blue skies and warmer temps really made me want to ride, so after work today I just pointed the Ural north and started riding. After a while, I ended up on I-35 and followed that for a bit. I didn’t have a destination in mind. I was just enjoying the blue sky, brown trees, and white snow. It really looked great.

After a bit, I pulled off the interstate for some gas and to look around. I saw this giant Walleye (above), so I had to go take a look. The sign says it’s the world’s largest walleye (1999 lbs and 15 1/2 oz) caught by Paul Bunyan in Rush Lake using a 35lb tiger Muskie for bait on a line made of one inch manila rope. The rod was a 62 foot white pine with a three ton loggers winch for a reel.

Ural in front of Largest Walleye

of course I had to park the Ural in front of it… I was very tempted to ride onto the muddy grass to get a shot parked in front of it. While I was contemplating shifting into 2WD and riding in front of it, two snowmobiles pulled up and parked there instead. I took that as my cue and set off again.

Just down the road from the giant walleye is the Dennis Kirk Scratch and Dent store. I had to stop and check out the deals. In the parking lot, I got into a discussion with a guy in a station wagon who followed me from the giant fish. Apparently, he has a 850 moto guzzi sidecar rig. He’s too scared to ride it in the snow. Crazy. I told him to get it out and enjoy it.

There were a lot of deals to be had inside. I tried on some roost protectors, but I didn’t like how they fit. At 1/2 off, I really wish they fit better. They also had some decent cheap boots and helmets. I didn’t buy anything and headed out.

On the way home, I had a couple people wave and give me the thumbs up. The Ural just seems to make people smile like no other bike I’ve ridden.

Reflections in Ural

A self portrait in the Ural’s green gas tank. It reflects the sky quite nicely.

After I got home, I couldn’t help but think of the fun Bobskoot and Charlie6 have recently had on their two-wheelers. The roads were mostly clear. Thinking I’d be a bit rusty with the whole counter-steering, leaning thing, I grabbed the Super9.

It really didn’t want to start. The Super9 doesn’t like the cold, which is anything under 45F. It eventually fired up, and I gingerly road onto the street with both feet hovering above the ground expecting to crash.

 Super9 in the snow!

It was just as much fun as I remembered it. I went to a nearby parking lot and practiced some figure eights and braking. I was happy I remembered to put my feet down when I stopped. I put a few miles on riding around the side streets. I got a few looks, but almost everyone ignored me. It was nice being invisible. Sometimes the Ural attracts too much attention.


  1. Chris:

    I stopped off and picked up my new GoPRO 1080HD camera on the way home from work. It is the motorsport model, has suction base and waterproof plastic housing with two backs and other mounting stuff. I want to mount it on my crash bar, or over the windshield.
    Group buys are necessary in Canada. the units MSRP for $299. us. We have to pay shipping plus another 12% taxes and US foreign exchange. So not a lot of savings but more convenient to let someone else make all the arrangements

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. Charlie6: Pentax Optio A30

    Bobskoot: Nice! That is the exact one I'm planning on getting: GoPro Hero HD Motosports I expect to see some high quality video soon!

  3. Chris:

    YES, that's the one. Have to figure out where to mount it. I think I am going to be using the TimeLapse mode often. The unit will take a photo every 2 seconds (selectable to other increments). You can turn a long ride into minutes.
    One major design flaw I noticed. You cannot tell if it is recording when viewed from the rear. Also you cannot run from bike power as there is no opening in the waterproof case to plug the USB power cable. There is a new LCD screen attachment coming out soon which will correct this. Also I wished there was a wired remote option so I could mount it low and trigger from the handlebars.
    Wonder why they don't ask riders to offer input into their design.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  4. Chris:

    I got it from our local sportbike forum here in Vancouver

    I use "bESS" on other forums. Pronounced as Bee ESS = BS short for bobskoot

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Dear Chris:

    I am not surprised that you get smiles and "thumbs-up" when you pass folkls on the Ural. If you looked carefully in your rear-view mirror, you would also have noticed people dropping to their knees and praying for you, or others pointing at their own heads (using a circular motion) to define your mental state.

    I started organizing my gear today, in preparation for that first great ride that must come soon in March. I took a run out to the country to size up the status of the melting snow, and found it in retreat 65 miles out. But the average depth on the ground is still over a foot.

    Spring is only 28 days away.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  6. Dear Jack,

    Thanks for reading. The mirrors are a bit fuzzy, so I couldn't seem their actions behind me. Thanks for clearing that up. I've usually seen that behavior in snow storms and less than 0F. One guy in particular, made a little gun with his hand and shot himself with it. I thought he was just depressed, but now, thanks to you, it's all clear. :)

    I also need to start organizing my warm weather gear. I need to get a new liner for my Arai and put my SV650 back together. I just need to finish putting in the HID. I only have one to your 27, so I'll just be a mini fireball.