Thursday, August 17

Another use for Duct Tape?!

I should have known! After trying several brands, styles and various "ex-small" size ear plugs, I have found nothing that fits. It's the same with trying to find ear buds to my mp3 player. I've eventually given up on that front and returned to headphones. I have now accumulated enough ear buds to run a successful eBay store!

Price doesn't seem to matter as I've gone from expensive to cheap. Recently bought a moderately priced set at a drug store. Like the others, these rubbery ear cones looked like I'd finally found something that might work. These pliable, silicone, disposal doohickies could be rolled small enough (no creases, please) to fit into my microscopic ear canals. Yes!

I followed instructions, held the cones in until they were really in there. They slipped in perfectly. I held them there longer than suggested--because I know my ears. They'd spit these things out as fast as I can take my fingers away. This is where things usually fall apart. These unwelcoming ears need time to accept outsiders.

I released my finger from each ear, nothing... Yes! Then just as I started to breathe, I felt one ear canal squeezing the little bud. I hurriedly put on my helmet and waited...Oh, about a hot minute before I felt that ear muscle out the bud entirely. Both ears closed shop and ejected the foreign intruders! Patooie! --totally spitting them out! I felt one bud thud inside the ear socket of my helmet.

Mean-spirited ears that want me to go deaf for all those times I've stuck Q-tips inside them!

So the results of this newest test didn't really surprise me. I have neither the time nor the $$$ to find an audiologist to be fitted with custom-made ear plugs.

Hmm...Maybe that duct tape everyone tells me to take, will finally serve a very useful purpose!

Eleventh hour changes...

These are the pants I will NOT be taking. Really unhappy about that! They happen to be my favorite...nice fitting, leather hip and knee padding, textile everywhere else...with sharp looking reflective piping and FirstGear logo. Evidently, the pants require a week for cleaning. I have only days. Gear changes required.

Bike security... An article I read said think: "layers." A lock is one layer; add to that a lock with an audible alarm, chain it to a stationary object, garage it at all times...if outside, use a motorcycle cover. These layers do not prevent thief but it might dissuade some amateur. The more layers, the more time needed to pilfer a bike. A professional, hellbent of filching, will find a way to quickly haul away the booty. I just don't want to make it easy for 'em.

I have an audible disc lock and always garage the bike. But day trips mean having to leave the bike on the street, in places where I can't always watch it. Solution? Lug my gear with me, which makes exploring on foot after I've reached my destination, exhausting .

Better solution? Cable my stuff to the bike and shroud it under a motorcycle cover. These covers look bulky but I'm told they fold down well and transported easily. Called and talked to Nate, one of the owners. It dawned on me that a half cover might not be large enough to cover the luggage and my gear. But an X-large might. I wondered if buying the X-large half cover would work. Nate and I went back and forth on the pros and cons. Eventually Nate volunteered to call Nelson-Rigg (N-R). N-R recommended the X-large but cautioned that the cover still might not cover the mound. The reason: the bottom part of the saddlebags might be too wide and too low for even an X-large half cover. Later, the cover sans the luggage and gear will be an ill-fitting potential sail, defeating the whole security thing. Solution? Get the X-large half cover. Use the rain covers that come with N-R luggage to cover the exposed saddlebags if necessary. On the rare occasions when the cover might be used without the luggage, anchor it to the bike with a cable or two. Tacky sounding, I know, but in a pinch you do what you gotta do.

Best solution? Next time: Givi hard luggage!! Lock it up and forgettaboutit!

Now that I'm down to the wire, I know this to be true: the jacket I wanted to take, I cannot because it clips the helmet when I turn my head. I could take its sister jacket but it's leather/textile, which would necessitate having to tote rain gear. The jacket I'm now forced to take was once my favorite and is the most practical. This "system," multi-purpose weather jacket is great for hot, cold and in-between weather. The Kilimanjaro is fully padded, sports enough deep pockets to carry additional luggage, which is both good and bad, has a removable fleece jacket, and windbreaker and is waterproof--no need to carry rain gear. Matching pants zip into the back of the jacket, creating a sharp touring outfit. But the jacket is puffy and makes me look like the character "Fat Albert." Photo NOT forthcoming!