Under two weeks

The current ticker shows departure at less than two weeks!

Counting down, counting down...

Latest trip projects include scrubbing the new tires and bug proofing the gear.  Let me explain.

When new tires are made during their casting, the manufacturer cakes them with a slippery substance with what is affectionately known as “mold release”.  No, this doesn’t release that harmful to the health fungus that grows underneath your leaky kitchen sink.  Instead, rubber mold release allows the tire to release itself from the casting.

Some tire designs use very little mold release…these newly installed Mitas Dakar E07 dual sport tires comes with tons of it.  Running one’s hand over their rubber, you can actually feel the chemical residue.  It makes the tire very slippery which can make it very hard to control on wet roads.  The easiest way to remove the residue is to ride one’s motorcycle on a gravel road which effectively removes any retained chemical.

The issue I had yesterday was that the county I live in has been aggressively spending taxpayer dollars to gravel every road they can find.  Of course, this makes those living on these streets very happy and makes them much easier to plow the snow in the winter months here.  I spent nearly ninety minutes searching the county for a road of rock…nearly impossible to find nowadays.  In fact, when I finally found a road, the county has signs up that the road will be paved next week.  Future gravel road scrubbing of new tires will become even harder to make happen.  I may have to just stop by a country business parking lot and use their area in the future.

Riding on gravel is a experience if you’ve never been on two wheels.  Hard packed gravel is easy to ride on…especially when the tire tracks from countless prior vehicles have made easy to navigate pathways.  When the road has been recently graveled but not compacted down, then it’s like running through a lane of marbles.  Yesterday’s journey was among white dusted marbles it would seem.  The gravel section was no more than a quarter-mile long, so at the ends I simply donuted and went back the way I just came.  Each successive pass was easier as I got used to the rock underneath the tires.  Mission accomplished.  Tires on the riding part of the tread do not feel very slick any longer.

Get a good look...gravel roads are slowly disappearing...
Today’s project was spraying permethrin on all clothing and gear that would be going north with me in a couple of weeks.  This chemical keeps the bugs away and kills the ticks and stuff within one minute of their getting onto the clothing.  A camper’s dream, this stuff is toxic when wet and sprayed on and requires safety gear such as protective glasses, gloves, and a filter mask.  Once it dries though, it’s very safe, lasts a long time, and is even good for six or more washes of the clothing in the washing machine.  And it’s odorless when dried, so the raccoon and bears should not be inclined to check out my tent any more than usual.
Works wonders to kill the bugs dead.

The tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothing, boots, riding gear and anything else made of fabric that will be worn or used in the woods or outdoors got the treatment today.  Do some research on this…you’ll never go into the woods again without it.

So, the preps of doing the “small stuff” continues.  There is plenty to do before heading to Alaska but everything is easily manageable at this time.  The days continue to fly by…

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