Wednesday January 13th, 2010

Greetings and welcome!

Not much changed on Tuesday. The day was mixed clouds and sun and it stayed in the low 20s.

Looking ahead is scary. My view from here is that we will be ok for the weekend, but then it is not so good.

There is some very warm air coming for today and Thursday. At the 850MB level (~3,000′) the NAM is showing +10C, or 50F air. In theory the atmosphere is somewhat stratified, so we won’t have a lot of mixing between levels, and hopefully the bulk of the 10C air won’t find it’s way to the surface.

The NWS forecast discussion brings up an interesting point that might save our weekend. They suggest that since we will have surface winds from the south and there is snow cover all of the way to Tulsa, the surface winds might not be quite as warm as they would otherwise be.

Also in our favor is the relatively short length of day. We are less than a month off of the winter solstice, giving us both a shorter peak thaw time and a shallower sun angle than happens in late season thaws.

If it all works out in our favor, the next four days will stay within a couple of degrees of freezing. The NWS forecast does not go over the mid-30s until Tuesday. If that holds true we should be fine to ride the weekend. Having it hit 35 for a few hours a day is hardly a disaster.  We have a good base and decent conditions in most areas, it should be able to handle that.

Next week looks less than ideal. The temps look to stay above 32 most of the week, and there is rain possible about Thursday and Saturday-Tuesday. The weekend storm could end as snow, and there is another storm behind that one that could start wet and end white.

At the moment we are in pretty good shape. There is a good ice base almost  system wide, and most trails are in good shape. Some spots have snirty snow, thin spots, or icy spots, but generally conditions are good considering that we have seen little snow since Christmas.

The only reason that I won’t burn two tanks of gas today is work. Conditions aren’t perfect, but they are good enough. I had a ball running to Athelstane and back Monday, and Townsend Lakewood looked good and was freshly groomed.

My ride to Athelstane and back was pretty fun. Some of the trail was rough, but a lot wasn’t. The bunny trails were in decent shape, but the club to the east hadn’t groomed after the weekend yet. That is a nice ride anyway, especially the part between Fox Lake Rd and Tower where the trail is cut into the hills.

I came away madly in love with my new 9″ carbides. They carve like you are on ice skates, and it is just absolute control no matter the conditions. If I was a wealthy man I’d go buy two more sets, one for RXL #2 and one for for RXL #1 for next year.

The sled ran good on my ride with the exception of a really minor mid range bog. It was barely noticeable and intermittent, but it seemed like it was missing 2-3% sometimes.  I spent about 20 miles wondering  if I wasn’t being a little fussy. I will be  swapping out spark plug boots, and changing the one non-resistor plug to a resistor. Apparently non-resistor plugs create noise that can bother the EFI computer.

I was reminded that I still had the oiler set up for the new engine break in when it guzzled almost a whole tank of oil on my 50 mile ride. No big deal, it was supposed to do that. Now that I have a few hundred miles on it, the oiler  can be reset to normal, and that will give me a chance to look at a few other things.

RXL #1 runs pretty good, so it is about time to start on RXL #2. That is a really pretty 93 that I got for $300 this summer with a blown motor. I have a motor for it, and it needs a check over too. Some of the EFI wiring got smoked when the last guy ran it hot enough to make the motor weld itself together. I am looking forward to the failure analysis on that one. My bet is that he ran it lean with pipes and partially clogged injectors. Whatever the case there is some work to do there.

My plans to put an Xtra 12 under #2 were dashed when I found out that the RXL is 1.5″ wider than the 96 XLT that I was going to cannibalize for the X12. The back can be done, but the front is all different. Drat foiled again. No big deal, the RXLs also had an early long travel suspension similar to the xc100 series, except 96, which had the Xtra 12. Those are hard to come by, at least on the cheap.

I do have my work cut out for me, but it will be great having two RXLs in good shape.

Once that happens, the XLT will ride into the sunset, either in parts on E-Bay or as a unit to someone I don’t know. It is a good sled with some very minor work, but it is an old mod rat and not for everyone. I have changed jets at 5º at sunset enough, and the plan is to turn it over and put the $$ into a 500 EFI, if I can bring myself to sell it. That is the problem. It really is a fun light little sled and all rebuilt. I can’t let it go for pennies. It is not a new struggle.

Well, I will keep you up to date on the week’s temps. At the moment it does not look like anything to panic about. That could change, but let’s keep the glass half full for now.

Have a good Wednesday and thank you for visiting!