Please start here: 8 States, 6 Wheels, 5 Days, 2 Brothers, 1 Adventure
That was a very short night. It was after 0300 when we got to bed & we were up before 0700, getting ready for a few hours at Ural of New England before pointing the Urals west towards home.
The first order of business was to return the rental car and secure a ride to the shop. We had rented from Avis because they had a return desk at the hotel. I asked the lady behind the desk if she could pick the car up from UralNE, and as expected she said no. The hotel staff reluctantly agreed to give us a shuttle ride to UralNE, although it was well outside their normal shuttle range.
We waited about 45 minutes for the shuttle ride, leaving the hotel a bit after 0800, arriving at UralNE around 0830. We went to the garage and Ted was busily working on John’s bike. After a very short time, Ted politely kicked us out of the garage explaining that he couldn’t get anything done with us talking to him while he worked. Ted’s English is a lot better than my Russian, but still not so good – but I think that is what he said. We went out to the showroom to make the final preparations for our trip west: installing our helmet headsets, buying a few spare parts, repacking the bags and ogling Dmitry’s beautiful Urals.
The Bondi was done by 1030 and Ted started on the Yamal, telling us we should be ready to go by 1300. After a short time Dmitry came to deliver some not so good news. Ted had discovered a slight oil seepage around the alternator and they felt it would be best to replace the seals since we were planning a cross-country trip. It would delay us an hour or two, but it was the best choice.
With this unexpected delay we decided we should go to lunch. Dmitry declined to let me borrow one of his bikes – insurance issues – so we took the Bondi, with John riding in the hack. Yes, it is his bike, but he broke his left hand in a motorcycle accident a few weeks ago and wanted to give it a little rest. I didn’t really notice a lot of difference in handling between the empty and the full sidecar. We returned to the shop and patiently waited for the Yamal to be finished.
We had a great time waiting at UralNE, I am pretty sure we sold at least one bike while we were there. Since we have been on the road, I think we have sold at least one other person on buying a Ural and have had strong interest by many more. Especially in New England, our stops were never shorter than 30 minutes and several times we ended up talking to people for an hour or more – John has the gift of gab…
As 1600 approached and still no Yamal, we decided that day’s traveling would be cut pretty short and made hotel reservations in Brattleboro, VT, about 110 miles away. Ted drove up with the Yamal shortly thereafter and we loaded the bikes, said our good-byes and headed down the road.
Our plan for the trip home is to stay off the interstates for several reasons; we need to break-in the bikes properly, we want to see beautiful scenery and the Urals are most comfortable driving less than 65. We began by heading north to Bedford, NH as I had found a sidecar windshield and bench seat for sale on Craigslist at a bargain basement price. John needed the sidecar windshield and I thought it may be nice to have the ability to use the bench seat if I ever wanted to. So we drove to Bedford and loaded them into John’s tub and headed west across New Hampshire to Brattleboro.
The ride was spectacular; the winding two-lane roads keep your speeds well below 50mph, allowing you to soak in the gorgeous scenery, from the beautiful old homes to the brightly colored fall leaves. It was a great ride. We arrived at the hotel about 3 hours after leaving UralNE…yes it took us 3 hours to go 110 miles…we unloaded the bikes, and went to eat the best pizza in Brattleboro and spent at least 30 minutes in the parking lot sharing the Ural story to those drawn to the bikes like a moth to a flame.
On our way back to the hotel, John took a little ride through a grassy meadow to check out how they felt cross-country and it gave him a chance to use two-wheel drive.
…to be continued…
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