Sheldon's 1998 Ural Deco - Week 22
"The Garden of
Day 130, Sunday June 13 1999... Another beautiful day today. Low 70's, mostly sunny. I have been working in the yard all morning and now have to do some more planting and weeding in my garden, then I am going to saddle up and go for a ride.
First took the Deco for a nice long ride, then came home and jumped right on the Sportsman. They both ran flawlessly and I did about 80km (50 miles) on each one.
Day 131, Monday June 14 1999... Took the Sportsman to work this morning. It was another almost perfect morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I saw a deer on the side of the road just starting at me as I passed. I have noticed one thing that seems different on these bikes than on any other bikes I have ever ridden. I believe I might have mentioned this in the Sportsman Diary, but it bears repeating here. Critters seem to view these bikes as a complete curiosity. In the past, if I were riding down a country road and a dear jumped out of the woods, it would try to commit suicide by jumping right in front of me. I have had enough angels watching over me to prevent me from ever actually hitting one, but skunks, deer, dogs, cats, and innumerable other little furry things all have tried to disrupt my riding and end their lives under the wheels of my bikes.
But, on the Urals, they come out of the woods and just stand there staring at the bike as I go safely by. The deer this morning just ambled out of the woods, stopped on the side of the road, and stared as I approached. I slowed to almost a crawl as I went by her, and she just followed me with her eyes, making no effort to jump in front of my. I looked by after I passed and she was still standing there staring at my back as I rode away. I was waiting for her to shake her head and utter, "What the heck was that", but it never came. Or maybe she just said it under her breath.
Now, this is not a new phenomena. I have been noticing this for over a year. But then I do get the same response from many of the two legged folks who see me go by. The only difference is that they usually wave.
Day 132, Tuesday June 15 1999... Today was Deco day. Had UDF (Ural Delay Factor) at the gas station when I filled up, at the grocery store that I stopped at along the way, at lunch I had a whole family groping the bike, and on the way home I stopped at the bank and someone had to come up and ask what it was. All-in-all it was a UDF kind of day.
Got home, checked the mail, jumped back on the bike and went for another ride. A very pleasant evening with the smells of new mown lawns scattered throughout the neighborhood. Just had a nice pleasant put around the whole area. Even did about 10-15 miles on dirt roads.
Day 133, Wednesday June 16 1999... I know it sounds ridiculous but I drove the car in today. I was running late and we were going to Minneapolis for a software demo and I wasn't sure what time we would be getting back. So... No bike today.
We did have a pleasant ride though. I managed to get a bit of napping in on the way down. There were four of us and we borrowed the company President's Cadillac Escalade. A very nice vehicle, with leather this and wood that. Beth drove so I got to ride in the back seat. I am certainly not impressed with the back seat room on these things. There was barely room for my legs and Beth is only a little over five feet tall. But the conversation was good and the weather was excellent. I made it home a little after 8:00 p.m. and did some web site work before hitting the bed. I did feel a bit of withdrawal though for not having ridden all day.
Day 134, Thursday June 17 1999... Today dawned fresh and clear, and crisp, and just downright cold. I sure hope that my gardens survived as I had 32 f. (0 c.) this morning at my house. It was one of those mornings that is so very perfect though. The sun was up and I waited an extra half hour before heading out to work. By then the temperature had warmed to 35 f. and with a winter coat on it was certainly bearable. Fired up the Sportsman and headed out.
It was incredible when I came over the top of Spirit Mountain and the whole city, bay, river and the world was laid out below me, with the type of clear weather that allows one to see for 60 miles or so. The temperature changed as I topped the crest also. A very noticeable change to about 50 f. (10 c.) which felt absolutely balmy after the first part of my ride. Got on the freeway and cruised the rest of the way to work at 50 mph with traffic passing me like I was standing still. That portion of the freeway ride is set at 55 mph speed limit, but few folks go that. Mostly the traffic flows at a very respectable 60 with a few folks cruising at 70 or so. At 50 I am the slowest vehicle on the road but it does give more opportunity for people to wave at me as they all have to pass me. I could run it up a bit faster but 50 mph on the sportsman seems very comfortable.
Christal invited me over to her house for lunch with her and her sons. They were working on putting a new deck on the back of their house. Besides getting a good meal it was also an excuse to go for a ride. By lunch time it was about 70 f. and it felt wonderful.
When I got home from work I took one look at my gardens and I thought it was time to go to Wal-Mart and buy a trailer for the garden tractor. For about two minutes I stared at the car and thought, "what for?", then hopped back on the Sportsman. Luckily the trailer that I bought had removable sides, back and front, and I pulled them off and stuffed them into the hack. Then I bungeed the rest of the trailer to the spare tire rack. It was quite big and I had to put it sideways on the bike but it worked just fine. I am sure I made quite a sight riding down the road with a trailer on the top of the bike, but I did make it home without incident.
Took a couple of photos then unloaded the trailer, set it up and took off to move piles of rocks around the yard.
Day 135, Friday June 18 1999... Worked, mowed the front yard, then worked on web sites. Rode the Sportsman to work this morning and on the way home I happened to be alongside our company Controller on the highway. I pointed at my speedometer, then made weird hand motions to get him to mark my speed. I figured I was running about 55 to 57 mph because the bike was running in its "sweet spot". That is where it seem to smooth out, 50 mph it just is the normal jumble of sounds and vibrations, at 60 the front end seems to start to shake, so 55-57 is where I used to run. He indicated to me that I was running at 57-60 mph which kind of surprised me. That would indicate either of two things. Either the sweet spot has moved up now that the bike has over 5000 km on it, or the speedometer was always off by a couple mile per hour. I would guess the second.
Day 136, Saturday June 19 1999... Saturday was a great day for working around the house. Got a bunch of things done that I have been neglecting. Did manage to get in some nice rides on both the Sportsman and the Deco though. Saturday night we went to a birthday party for a friend and didn't get home until after midnight.
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