Sheldon's 1998 Ural Sportsman - Weeks 21

narma_join.gif (33549 bytes)9/12/98 Saturday Day 141...  This morning I was able to sleep in for the first time since the Guzzi Rally in July and that was the only other time since Memorial day.  My Tours of Old Duluth are done for the year, and I was replaced by a Gold Wing for the North Shore In-Line Skate Marathon, so the sleep felt very good.  I worked on the North American Russian Motorcycle Association web site for a while then my friend Shellie came over.  We went to see the movie Armageddon, which was wonderful, than came home and barbecued 1.5 inch thick butterflied pork chops, corn on the cob, and had potato salad.   A great movie, great meal and great company.  Shellie is very young, very attractive and a good friend.  I know it could never be more than that because:   When I asked her if we should take the Ural or the Pickup to the movie, she looked very scared and said, "I think we better take the truck."  Nice lady, good friend, but definitely not the bike riding kind of person...  <grin>

9/13/98 Sunday Day 142...  It started to rain late last night and we had a gentle drizzle all night and morning.  It is almost 1:00 p.m. and the rain has quit and the roads are starting to dry out.  This morning I let the air out of the hack tire, broke the bead and rotated the tire a half inch.   The air filler stem on the tube had turned just a bit and was no longer perpendicular to the wheel.  It was being pinched by the edge of the hole in the rim.   I'm told that if that gets too bad it can cut through and cause a blow out.   Better to fix it now than to be changing tires along side the road. 

Started watching the Vikings/Rams game and when halftime hit it was out to the garage to check fluids, adjust idle, check for missing bolts and then taking it for a test ride.   Thought I would just take it around the block and come back and watch the rest of the Vikings game.  120km later I finally returned home.  The bike was running so sweet that I thought I should take it out on the highway to wind it up a bit and see how it ran at 55, and when I found it running perfectly I decided to go just a bit further.   Maybe into Cloquet and some stop and go running at 30 to test it?  Worked perfectly.  Well, Cloquet is only nine miles from the campground where we will be holding the first ever North American Russian Motorcycle Association Rally in 1999 so I thought I would drop by and get a closer look at the campground.  Just before the campground there is a dirt road that goes over a hill and has been beckoning to me for years.  The Ural just dragged me off on that road, which turned to pavement, then to twisty, hilly road on the back side of the lake with the campground.  The Ural led me through those roads wonderfully, pacing itself remarkably well.  The off on a road to the Northwest and the real long way around the block through the Fon du Lac Chippewa reservation and back to highway 210, the major artery between Duluth and Fargo North Dakota.  For a moment there I thought she was going to drag me off to the Dakotas.  But then she must have smelled Lake Superior and started heading back that way.  Along the way we passed the road leading to the campground and I realized that we hadn't checked it out yet.  I politely asked her if she would mind if we went out or route for a few miles to check out the campground.   She asked if there would be dirt roads and mud.  I told her yes and she got all excited and off we went.  That darn bike likes mud and dirt a lot more than I do.

Oh my goodness, I am starting to give human characteristics to a machine again.  I hate how she makes me think like that. <grin>  Campground is going to work wonderfully.  There are plenty of fields around for games or overflow camping.   We could probably put several hundred tents up there if we ever grew to that size.   I also noticed that under the large gazebo were a pig roasting rotisserie and a barrel pit for cooking other stuff.   The barrel pit was on legs, off the ground and about 15 feet long.  You could cook a lot of corn and other stuff on that.   It is going to work great for our Saturday night feed.  There is a swimming area, boat launch, camper hook ups and the place even has showers... 

Then off we went back to highway 210 and through Carlton and the backroads home.   Got home, put her away, and went in to find out that the Vikings had pulled out a squeaker when the Rams ran out of steam in the last second on the one yard line.  I am not a big fan of football but it is always fun to see your state team win.

The Ural ran beautifully.  I certainly hope that we finally have her sorted out.   The only problem I still have is that it occasionally will pop out of third gear.   I hope that holds out and doesn't get worse.  Winter is almost here and Marlow said that when winter comes I will have to leave it with him for a bit and he will disassemble the transmission and check or replace the gears as needed.  A bit of a bigger problem that will require some time to fix and I certainly don't want the bike down again now.  I will baby third gear and maybe it will hold out.  Otherwise I think we now have the engine and suspension sorted out.  Gosh it felt good to run it up to 62 for a mile or so and have it running smooth and little vibration from the front end.

I am going to take it to work in the morning so there will probably be another report tomorrow.

9/14/98 Monday Day 143...   Rode the bike to work and it ran wonderfully.  Had a nice lunch in the park but it was empty so there was no one to ask me questions... darn.  Summer is over and fall is in wind, school is back in session and folks start forgetting about spending time in the park.

9/15/98 Tuesday Day 144...   144 days, a gross of days.  Twelve dozen days.  Seems like I have had the bike forever.   Took it into work again and it ran great, still.  I knock on wood every time I say or write that statement.  I'm not the least bit superstitious but sometimes there is no sense taking chances.

9/16/98 Wednesday Day 145... Took the truck to work today.  I have to spend part of my day in court.  There is a huge construction project starting here in Duluth and they plan on tearing down some of the buildings in the district where I give my tours.   I have tried to stay out of it but was subpoenaed as an expert witness on the historical significance of the buildings.  Never thought I would ever be considered an expert on anything, so that was surprising in itself.  Spent a good portion of the day in court but was never called.  Looks like they are going to call me during the trial next week.  Argh...

But, I did get to see the court system in action.  And I was sickened.  It appears that winning or losing is affected more by the thickness of ones wallet than the facts of the case.  Who can afford the better lawyer has more bearing on it than anything else.  At least that is my perception after this day in court.  We shall have to see what I think when the process is over.

When I arrived home I wanted to pull the Ural out and hit the streets.  I wanted that very much, but the need to pay the bills crept in and I ended up working on web sites.

9/17/98 Thursday Day 146...  Today I had bunches of errands to run, including picking up clothes at the cleaners.  No place to hang suits on the Ural so I took the truck.  I am leaving town Friday to go to St. Louis MO until next Tuesday.  Probably won't be much posting from me as I am going to be very busy playing tourist.  I am going for a legitimate business purpose but because of high air fares it makes more sense to stay the weekend so I will be taking a bus tour of the city on Saturday, and on Sunday evening I will be going on a Riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River.  I will have my laptop with so I may get the opportunity to post here but you may not hear from me until Wednesday.  All depends on how active I am while I am there.

Got a call this morning about the law suit I am being dragged into.  It appears that now the Federal Government and the State of Minnesota may also enter the suit.   I was told that City, State and Feds are all trying to find me to be the first to issue me a subpoena.  Isn't it nice to be so popular? Not.  I've been at work today and just about every one in Duluth knows where I work so it is a wonder that no one has shown up on my doorstep.  I guess hiding in the most obvious place must work the best.  Hehe, let them try to find me in St. Louis...  Don't tell them where I went, please...  Hush now....

stlouis.jpg (11297 bytes)9/18/98 Friday Day 147...  Flew to St. Louis Missiouri on Northwest Airlines.  Nice flight but a glass of Diet Pepsi wasn't enough to satisfy me.   Took a cab to the Adam's Mark Hotel and settled in before going off for a hike with Scott Anderson and Steve Kovala who both work for the Owens Forest Products Direct Sales division.  We ended up at the museaum under the Arch.  A wonderful place where I flet I could stay for many hours and never get bored.  Sure wish the Ural would have been small enough to pack though.  I really wanted to go out to a Guzzi dealer in the area but cab fares are killers.  Our fare from the airport to the hotel was $30 USD and the Guzzi dealer was near the airport.  A $60 trip to just visit a dealer just didn't seem very practical.  Friday night and off to Tony's restaurant for dinner.   Four stars, waiters by the dozens and food to die for.

Tried to log onto the internet to check my mail and couldn't get my regular account to work so I had to resort to my back-up AOL account to get connected.  Couldn't get my mail but sent some from there.  No e-mail for five days?  That would kill me...

Week: Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

You can e-mail Sheldon at

Check out the "European Motorcycle Universe" at

And Sheldon's Deco Diary at:

Copyright 1989-2010, Sheldon T. Aubut, all rights reserved
Last modified: March 22, 2011

Hit Counter