Day 3: The final push!

Background: on April 18, just before heading to Oakville to get the boat ready, I came down with a cold. That cold got progressively worse for the next 3 weeks. Day 3 it was really bad. Among the newer symptoms , I lost hearing in my good ear. I couldn’t hear much at all. First born got good at yelling at me. Yes, I finally went to a Dr.

Day 3: Let’s get up early and do the final 75 Nm to Kingston. 14 to 16 hours of travel.

Check the weather. Predict Wind looks great, light winds picking up to 10 knots from the SW as we round Prince Edward Point. A bit of rain for 3-4 hours in the morning with a chance of rain later in the day. Transport Canada site says no advisories. Wx forecast is good as well. Seems good. Let’s go!

Up at 03:40, we pushed off the dock on time at 04:00. Circled the Harbour in the dark while we got the boat ready for the open water.

By 05:20 there was enough light to see safely.

At around 08:00 the rain hit. Today was a motoring day as we had a schedule and you can’t sail to a schedule. We were running the auto helm and keeping on the course we had set on Navionics.

At some point in the later morning, I went down below for nap #1. Calm water with light wind, it was good nap!

Rain stopped just after noon. About 4 hours in total.

Around noon I checked Predict Wind again. Hmmm, 15 Knot trailing winds as we hit Prince Edward Point and turn NE. Well, that’s not ideal.

The wind increase and we had to do some hand steering as the auto helm struggled with the trailing wind/ waves.

Now came decision time. Navionics had suggested to cut through the shallows east of Prince Edward Point and then cut NE to the east side of Amherst Island. Being pretty tired I made the wrong decision to avoid the shallows and went east of False Duck Island. That put us on a true run with the wind and waves at our back. Apparent wind hovered at 12 knots with us going 6 knots. Waves were about 1 meter with a variable period which resulted is some higher peaks as the waves combined. Hand steering it was. All the way home.

What should I have done? Gone through the narrows and cut across Prince Edward Bay heading North until close to land. Then follow the land into the north channel on the north side of Amherst island. That would have kept us in calmer waters (less fetch) and given us the easy option of stopping at Waupoos.

Never really felt in danger, there were a few large waves that hit and really wanted to broach the boat, but we steered through it. Thankful for that rough weather training in Grenada!

We got to Collins Bay Marina and it was time to pull into the slip. That went OK but we had 10 knot headwinds the the bay and the bow of the boat got away. Fortunately we did not have a neighbor boat. A nice guy come to help and we got it back in order pretty quickly. Lock it up and head home.

We got home around 20:40. Quick chat (put the hearing aids in so I can hear). Slept for 10 hours straight. Another 6 hours during the day Wednesday. Off to Dr Thursday. Lungs, sinuses, ears, all infected. Yay.

Great trip, wish I were healthier. First born did really well and had had to take on extra stuff given my state.

Boat was awesome!

There are a lot of balloons on lake Ontario

Children, don’t let your balloons float away, they end up on / in Lake Ontario.

Short post today.  We made it to Cobourg. We had decent winds for a few hours so we sailed on a broad / beam reach. But alas, the winds died down so we motored for 8 of the 10 hours.

Plan is to get up and be underway by 04:00 tomorrow and go all the way to Kingston. Low winds forecast, and some rain. But the longer range forecast isn’t great.

We can abandon that plan and divert to either Waupoos or Main Duck island. But hey, 16 hours should be easy, right?

Oh, I bought some Solarcane tonight. Not going to say why.

Mans this damn cold persists. Child number one has to yell everything at me as my good ear has gone bad.

Child number one was at the helm for most of the sailing time.

That 12 volt USB adapter I got on Amazon  seemed fine until the sparks and smoke  No fire extinguisher required fortunately

 

Who’s your captain now?

Boom!  That just happened. The boat made it to Scarborough with us on it.

Wait, the most critical news. I FORGOT PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!!!!

Highlights.

  • Light swirly winds so no sailing so just motoring
  • Motoring past the CN tower pretty much an entire day
  • a lot of loons, ducks, swans
  • a bloated dead raccoon floating by (about 1 Nm offshore)
  • we docked twice (fuel dock and visitor dock) like champs!

Other stuff

  • had a shower at the yacht club. Just like in Grenada when we got off the boat, close your eyes in the shower and the world starts wobbling
  • Boat is performing well. 5.8 Kn at 2500 RPM
  • lots of practice with dock lines
  • we ate supper on board soup and freeze dried food

Nice Yacht Club here. But no easy access to town.

Tomorrow: Cobourg. Twice the distance twice the fun. Maybe get some sailing in.

Everyone says to go straight from Cobourg to Kingston. Looks like we will probably have to do that to stay ahead of the weather.

Day 1 Big Success

May 4, 2019

We made it!  Drive, Uber, train, train, Uber and then we were at the boat.

Good news, the docks now have power and water so we are juicing up and we added some water to the tanks.

Today was about getting the boat ready. We did a bunch of  stuff. Most importantly we added the reffing lines to the mainsail. This turned out to be a critical step for a number of reasons.

  1. We got to coordinate raising the main
  2. one of the cars was backwards and was binding
  3. there was only one of the reefing lines in place and it was wrong

Fortunately we had almost no wind at the marina so we were able to do this docked rather than out on the lake.

Tomorrow we are on the move.  Motor or sail to Bluffers Park

I don’t ever want to go to Whole Foods again. I hope we have enough food.

Me: “Do you have any normal whole wheat bread”

Kid that works there: “This is our bread section”

So, I hope I got edible bread  no Norwegians were harmed in making the bread. Not sure about the Glutens

 

It’s time to move the boat

Shit.  Bravado is not always enough to overcome a lack of skill.  But let’s give it a go.  Hoping for great weather.  Prefer no wind to too much wind.  Need some background?  Click here: [Kiss my ass I bought a boat, I’m heading out to sea

The plan:
Just me and child #1.  Did I mention we have both had bad colds for the last 15 days or so??
May 4:  Drive to the Marina in Kingston.  Uber to the via station. Catch train to Oakville.  Grab some groceries at Whole Foods (aren’t we special) and Uber to the Marina.   Go over boat safety, and make sure it is ready to set sail.  Sleep (please, pretty please).

May 5:  Panic.  Check PredictWind and other weather sources.  If favorable, head to Bluffers Park in Scarborough.  Hopefully not crash into docks.  Get some diesel.  Either cry myself to sleep or rejoice.

After that??? Depends on weather.  We are hoping the next stop is Cobourg. We do need to be home by May 12 to get back to work and to call Dendog on his B-day.  So let’s hope for decent weather!!!

You can track us on Spot or Spotwalla (delayed updates for first few days).  Note that the spot page will only show data for the last 7 days.

We will be tweeting on @milddogs.  Might update with some blog posts here.

Kiss my ass I bought a boat, I’m heading out to sea


Part of that is true.  We did buy a boat. Several boats, but not all are staying.  We are not heading out to sea (yet). And please, no kisses on the ass.

Serial hobbyist? Planning for the next stage of life? Pursuing a dream? A bit foolish?

It kind of started back in the RV days. We enjoyed getting out to different places and spending time with friends but really found that we always wanted to be right on the water. The RV phase ended with the ill-fated summer at Skycroft campground. By mid-summer we had purchased a cottage and had been kicked out of the campground (attempting to sell the RV on campground without permission).  Around that time, one of the RV YouTube channels we watched, Gone with The Wynn’s had decided to convert from RV life to live-aboard cruiser catamaran life. Watching the Wynn’s was pretty much my thing, but once they hit the water, Mrs. Milddogs joined in. That started us on other channels like Delos and SLV and more. To the point where all we really watched was people living on and sailing boats in warm parts of the earth.

In 2017 we (at least I) celebrated 25 years of marriage. My MIL provided a generous gift which we put towards taking ASA sailing courses in Grenada with Nautilus Sailing in February 2018. We got our ASA 101, 103, 104, 114 certifications. We met a really fantastic couple that were our fellow students. Here is a great short YouTube video they put together. 

Once we returned from the course, we picked up a small aluminum boat with a Yamaha 9.9 (currently for sale) so we could practice on our lake. Then we picked up a Hobie Bravo to practice sailing on the lake. The Bravo is a perfect boat for our needs. Easy to rig, forgiving, but still a ton of fun. As a motorcyclist, I’ve always enjoyed just puttering along and mild cornering more than flat out speed and being on the edge. On the Bravo, I work to get every bit of speed I can. How close can I get to the wind? How fast can I tack?  Can I jibe while losing minimal speed? The feeling I get going 10.5 knots on a beam reach is far better than just riding a motorcycle. Of course, the trip to Alaska was not not a normal motorcycle ride. 

By mid summer I had sold my Super Tenere (insert sobbing) and was full on obsessed with sailing the Hobie. I shot GoPro video and GPS tracked almost every sail. By the end of the summer I had sailed 254 Nm around our small lake.  That is a lot of tacking and jibing. I could count them all, but I am not that obsessed. Here is a short video of me setting my maximum speed (aforementioned 10.5 knots or ~19 km/h).

While this was going on we were looking at ways to get back onto the blue water to get some more experience and enjoy some sailing together. We were pretty close to booking a bareboat charter in Grenada but we out that on hold for a number of reasons.

Next option considered was buying a well used boat in Florida and using it as our winter vacation home.  Imagining trips over to the Bahamas and plenty of day sales. But that would mean we would have access to the boat for only a few weeks per winter.

The winning option was to purchase a well used boat on Lake Ontario and dock it in Kingston. That gives us access to the boat for about 5 months of the year. More boat time, more practice, a low entry price, but no escape in winter. And, competing summer activities with the house, cottage and boat.  At the back of our minds is the notion that if we can handle the motions of a monohull, we could get far more boat for way less money when we search for our blue water boat.

We purchased a 1990 Catalina 30 in Oakville, Ontario in December, 2018.  It is in amazing shape for its age. The previous owner, and those before him, clearly cared for this boat.  We haven’t sailed it yet as it was on the hard (dry docked) when we purchased. I will be spending a few days in Oakville prior to launch to get the boat ready for the summer. Our launch date is April 25, 2019.  On or about May 5, 2019 our first born and I will be sailing it back from Oakville to Kingston. It will be an adventure. 

The boat

About those classmates we mentioned, they have purchased a 40 ft catamaran in the Bahamas. We are really happy for them and just a little bit / lot envious. That gives our instructor a 100% success rate for our course. Well done, Kevin!

Stay tuned for more. Nothing ever goes perfectly with boats, not sure how that matches up with my personality 🙂

 

Killarney Provincial Park in November?

Yes, we went to Killarney Provincial Park in November. November 1st to be exact.
This trip was to be the sequel to our canoe trip two years ago. But, this one was a bit different. First of all, Mr. Gossamer Gear could not attend due to illness. We were sad. Second difference was that we were going to home base at a yurt. Then, possibly do an overnight in the back country.
We set out Nov 1 from Ottawa. On the road, on schedule at 7:30 a.m. (Yay us!). Mr. Rogaine was traveling down from Timmins so he got to sleep in. By the time we got to Pembroke, there was snow, but the roads were bare. Drive up was uneventful. I was in my truck with Mr. Clark, while Mr. Syrup was in his Jeep.
This is what it looked like on the road to the Park.

Arriving at Killarney

Arriving at Killarney

We arrived at around 2:30, checked in and unloaded to the yurt. I busily set up my hammock (Warbonnet Ridge Runner) while the other guys went for a hike (intending to get to Acid Lake).

Hammock setup

Hammock setup

Hammock setup

Hammock setup

The first day saw heated debate about the agenda for the next few days. In the end we decided to do two distinct paddle / hike days. This turned out to be a good call.

November 2, 2014: The Crack
The overnight temp on the 1st was -5.7 C (See my gear list below). I was the only one that slept outside.

Frosty Tarp

Frosty Tarp

Frosty Tarp

Frosty Tarp

My frozen iPhone said it needed to cool down.

My frozen iPhone said it needed to cool down.

We got up, had breakfast and got a later than expected start on the day’s adventure. By the time we left, it was above 0 C. It was an easy paddle across George Lake to the portage to Freeland Lake. There was an unpleasant surprise on Freeland Lake. ICE! It was pretty thin at the put in. Mr. Syrup and I were in his Kevlar canoe so we went around the ice while Mr. Rogaine and Mr. Clark plowed through as best they could in Mr. R.’s Royalite canoe.
At the end of Freeland we hoped to be able to paddle Kakakise Creek. But nope. Couldn’t get close to the portage as the ice was about an inch thick. We managed to make a path through the ice to shore, but nowhere near the portage. We set out through the bush from there. Note: I forgot my SPOT, so I don’t have a trace of the route. If you look at Jeff’s Map, we basically did the Freeland Lake to Kakakise Lake Portage and then the hike to The Crack with an extra chunk at the beginning.

We (at least Mr. Syrup and I) had agreed that our turnaround time was 2:00. Just before 2:00 my knees told me to stop climbing so I turned back to the gear drop site. Mr. Syrup was a few minutes behind me. He and I never made “The Crack”. Mr. Clark had my camera and took some pictures. Mr. Syrup and I arrive back at the canoes at ~3:30. We had agreed that the others would be back by 4:00 or we would head out. At around 3:45 we could hear Mr. Clark’s encouraging words through the woods so we loaded into the canoe and set course into the wind back to the George Lake. We completed the 5.5 km paddle with mini portage just before sunset. The other team arrived back at the beach a little later.

Evening Meal was some awesome Chili Mr. Syrup had made. Lovely night in my hammock with a low temp just above freezing.

IMG_2818

George Lake looking like glass

George Lake looking like glass

IMG_1401

Hiking along Kakakise Creek (frozen)

Approaching Sealey Lake

Approaching Sealey Lake

Sealey Lake

Sealey Lake

IMG_1407

Near the top of The Crack

IMG_1408

The Crack

The Crack

The Crack

View from The Crack

View from The Crack

View from The Crack

View from The Crack

IMG_1432

Hiking back from The Crack

Mr. Clarke paddling into the sunset

Mr. Clark paddling into the sunset

Mr. Clarke paddling into the sunset

Mr. Clark paddling into the sunset

Paddling at sunset makes for pretty pictures.

Paddling at sunset makes for pretty pictures.

More sunset

More sunset

The ice was THIS thick

The ice was THIS thick

IMG_1440

This is where we left the boats on Freeland Lake

This is where we left the boats on Freeland Lake

Ice at the east end of Freeland Lake

Ice at the east end of Freeland Lake

George Lake

George Lake

Looking back at George Lake

Looking back at George Lake

IMG_1470

It doesn’t look warm back there

At the end of George Lake

At the east end of George Lake

IMG_1390

Paddling on George Lake

Breaking through the ice

Breaking through the ice

Ice on Freeland Lake

Ice on Freeland Lake. The portage is about mid frame (near the snow).

Beach at George Lake

Beach at George Lake

November 3, 2014: The unsanctioned portage to OSA Lake
Some of the guys at work had told me that OSA Lake is a must see. There was a problem. The traditional route would take us back through frozen Freeland Lake. Because we used Jeff’s Maps and even bought some, we knew of the unsanctioned portage from George Lake to OSA. Our mission became try that portage. It was a traditional tardy start after a big breakfast. The paddle across George Lake was beautiful and uneventful. We mixed up the canoe pairings. I was with Mr. Clark and Mr. Syrup and Mr. Rogaine were in the other boat. We found the portage. Someone had kindly left marking tape for most of the portage. We agreed that we would leave the canoes at George Lake and hike the portage first. If it was easy, and we felt so inclined (pun) we would head back and get the canoes. We never made it to OSA. At the summit of the portage there was a really neat rock fall. Mr. Clark and Mr. Rogaine scampered up the rock fall and beckoned us to join them. Glad they did. The GoPro video (unpublished) confirms that it took me less than 5 minutes to climb up the rock fall. It was an amazing view. We had a lovely picnic while some of us (not me) explored the higher elevations of the outcrop. Mr. Clark had a hammock and he set it up for a brief relax. Dang, I had a newly crafted gear hammock / hammock chair that I should have brought. After about 1.5 hours of R&R we started the return journey to the campsite. We switched canoe partners again and I was re-united with Mr. Syrup. It was a beautiful paddle into the wind followed by complete calm in the George Lake bay. I took this picture.

Because it was supposed to rain significantly and was not going straight home after the trip, I decided to pack up my hammock and move into the yurt. I missed my hammock that night.

Evening meal was incredible again. Pasta with Tomato sauce, onions, garlic and leftover steak. I must say, Mr. Syrup plans and executes an awesome meal plan!

On the first two nights all of the yurts were occupied. On the last night, it was just us. It’s pretty cool to be the only people in a provincial park.

We packed up all of the non-essential gear to make the departure easier the next morning.

Hiking the unsanctioned portage

Hiking the unsanctioned portage

Hiking the unsanctioned portage.  The rockfall is on the right.

Hiking the unsanctioned portage. The rockfall is on the right.

View of OSA from the rockfall

View of OSA from the rockfall

OSA from the rockfall

OSA from the rockfall

Selfie on the rockfall.  Because the world needs more selfies.

Selfie on the rockfall. Because the world needs more selfies.

Relax time on the rockfall

Relax time on the rockfall

Hammock on the rockfall

Hammock on the rockfall

My new hiking boots

My new hiking boots

Beach at George Lake as sunset approaches

Beach at George Lake as sunset approaches

Chikanishing River

Chikanishing River

I must go back to Killarney. Maybe not quite so late in the year 🙂

Partial Gear List:

  • Hammock Related
    • Warbonnet RidgeRunner (no net)
    • Warbonnet SpinDrift hammock sock (always installed on this WBRR)
    • Warbonnet Lynx full length 3 season underquilt  (brand new!)
    • HammockGear Burrow 20 Top Quilt
    • Warbonnet Cloudburst Tarp
      • home made Lash-it self tensioning lines
  • Sleeping Warm on the coldest night
    • IceBreaker 260 weight Merino wool LJ’s
    • Minus 33 Merino wool shirt
    • IceBreaker Merino wool socks (need heavier socks)
    • Chemical hand warmers in the socks
    • MEC 200 weight polar fleece
    • Fleece balaclava from Coscto
    • Home made down beanie
    • Down sleeves from a JC Penny puffer jacket
    • Thermalite Reactor +8
  • Other new / noteworthy gear
    • Solomon Quest 4D GTX hiking boots

Endorsements (not paid):

I use and love all things Warbonnet Outdoors, Dutchware Gear.  I only have one item from Hammock Gear but it is perfect.  Those Soloman Quest boots were totally awesome (note, I bought mine at Bushtakah as MEC did not have my size – and it took 45 minutes to get assistance at MEC).  Not a single blister nor hot spot. Jeff’s Map was wow. Just buy the maps!  They are now carried by MEC now too.

Milddogs Ride Again!

Yup, it happened. But how did it happen? Where did they go? What did they ride?

Hasn’t been much of a riding year for me. I’ve only put about 2000 km on the Super Tenere. Mostly because I was commuting with another person to work for the summer. Weather didn’t help motivate us to plan any weekend adventures. I’ve seen Dendog a bunch this summer, but we usually travel with our families and that means: No motorcycle trips!

But that all changed Sept 19, 2014. The culminating weekend of the 2.5 year preparations and celebrations for my birthday. The preparations began in earnest when I purchased my Super Tenere with the goal of riding to Alaska.

A few weeks ago I read this post on the Super Tenere Forums: Wife buys dude a Grom. I thought, “hey, that’s really cool”. I had been watching Honda Grom Youtube videos during the rainy summer and thought, “hey, that’s really cool”. A little bike to fart around on. Cool. I had mentioned them to my son and wife and Dendog.

On Sept 18th, Dendog, Mrs. Dendog and our mommy arrived at my house in my dad’s truck. With a Honda Grom in the bed of the truck! It was for me! My wife had purchased a Grom for me! Dendog did the procuring at Hully Gully in London, ON.

Friday Morning, Dendog and I unloaded it, laughed at the tiny battery, put some gas in it and fired it up. We rode up and down the street a bit, adjusted the clutch and then suited up for the maiden ride. Dendog rode the Super Tenere for the first time and I rode the Grom. It was a blast. Had to stop for fuel and filled it up with $4.60 of gas. Dudes at the gas station were staring. I was in my full gear, riding this tiny bike and taking with Dendog on the intercoms while I fueled up. He was out of sight so it probably looked like I was talking to myself. A bit like the old days of Bluetooth headsets.

We did about 50 km around the back roads. Up hills it was a struggle to maintain speed. The little Grom isn’t broken in yet. Can’t see anything out of the mirrors. One of the neat features is that with a full face helmet, you can’t see the bike at all as you are riding.

I have to think about what mods I am going to do. Would be nice to get a few more km/h to make the commute to work viable (almost all 80 km/h roads). Most popular performance mods seem to be
-taking out the restricting tube in the air intake (I already did this)
-new exhaust
-Power Commander
-big bore kit (any size up to 181 CC)

I was joking with my wife that I could spend $400 and get an exhaust system that cuts the bikes weight by 5 lbs. Or, for free, I could lose 5 lbs 🙂

Now that I have two bikes again, Dendog and I can ride when he is in town. Next summer we hope to do the east coast and finish the provinces. I’ll take the Tenere 🙂

I think I need racing leathers to go with the Grom!

We went out for dinner Friday night. We went to Kelsey’s. It wasn’t great, but it was better than Smitty’s!

Peace out!

Some pictures:

Dave's Grom

Dave’s Grom

Blue and Red

Blue and Red

600lbs vs 225lbs

600lbs vs 225lbs

Big and Little

Big and Little

Big and Little

Big and Little

After a ride in the country, returned home with exactly 100km on the ODO

After a ride in the country, returned home with exactly 100km on the ODO

Dendog on the Grom

Dendog on the Grom

Otis and I, a riding went

Gorilla Pod selfie at Calebogie Lake

Gorilla Pod selfie at Calebogie Lake

Cousin Otis and I chose to ignore the world and go for a lovely ride May 31, 2014. Nope, we didn’t join the “Ride for Dad” (which is a great charity event), we went our own way.  I’m not big on group rides.

Nature gave us an absolutely wonderful day.

Some background first

Otis an I last rode together in 1988 (or so). Despite the fact that we only live about 50km apart, we don’t get together very often. Between 1988 and a few years ago, we both took a hiatus from riding but are now both firmly back in the saddle. On one of our last rides together, Otis’s Harley had a malfunction so we rode two up on my Yamaha Maxim 400 with Otis on the seat usually reserved for the rider’s female companion. We were significantly over the weight limit of the Maxim and it could barely make it up any hills. We weren’t quite this bad.  We gave up at the next significant town (Smith’s Falls, ON, for the record) and called our uncle Claude.  He jumped in his van, drove the hour to meet us, picked up Otis, went back and got Otis’ bike and delivered them both safely home.  I carried on with the rhythm of my Maxim’s engine going “thank you, thank you, thank you”.

Otis and I have very different bikes.  He has an wonderful classic BMW K100 circa 1988 (I might be off a year), while I have my Alaska proven Yamaha Super Tenere with all the mod cons.

Back to May 31, 2014

We didn’t have firm plans other than to ride the 511 from Perth, ON to Calebogie, ON, then re-plan once we got there.  I had never ridden the 511.  It was nice.  Very little traffic (most of it bikes), lovely corners and hills.

The Spotwalla track isn’t super exciting, but here it is.

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=9cca537bf388bfb25

The Sena SMH10 intercoms were awesome (again).  We left them open the entire trip and had some great laughs and conversations.

We saw many other motorcyclists heading in the other direction on the Ride for Dad tour. When I got home, I got a text from a dude I work with (Mr. Street Triple) stating that he saw us.  I now have to go through my GoPro video to try and find him! That sounds easier than it is.

We stopped fairly frequently because we weren’t really in a rush and because I have to pee every 8 minutes and 17 seconds.

At Calebogie, we decided the best choice for us was to just head back down the 511 to my place and catch some pool time.

Overall, a great ride.  We came home intact, had a swim and a cold beverage.  Our thoughts were with Dendog and his peeps. Hopefully we can ride with him soon for a short Milddogs 2014.

New Gear Reviews

I am no longer acquiring new farkles nor gear for riding.  I pretty well bought everything anyone would ever need leading up to the Alaska trip.  For this trip I only had two minor additions.

GoPro Mounting:  I salvaged one of my broken Hero 3 cases and mounted it hard wired to the mounting bar on my Madstad bracket.  This placed the camera behind the windscreen and allows me to record continuously for about 8 hours at 720p 60fps.  To make this mount I affixed one of the sticky mounts to the back of the case.  Drilled through the side to plug in a USB cable semi-sealing with a rubber gasket. I then had to make two short aluminum bars to perform the equivalent of a gender bender.  I’ll post some video shot with this mount later.

Rescued GoPro case.

Rescued GoPro case.

Arai Pro Shade System: I just got this Friday when Mrs. Milddogs picked it up at the UPS Store in Ogdensburg. Not available yet in Canada – I tried, but available at Revzilla at the time.  This is an interesting way to get a sun shade / peak without compromising the integrity of helmet.  Despite what the instructions say, I added a light smoke pinlock.  At first I did not think much of this device.  But, out on the road, I really liked the combo.  No sunglasses needed.  As Anthony says in his review, it could provide more coverage.  The only weakness I encountered was glare from my instrument panel coming up under the coverage provided by the pro shade in the down position.  But, it doesn’t cost much more than a regular visor and seems to be worth the difference in price.

New Arai Pro Shade

New Arai Pro Shade

Some Pictures

Stick Selfie at Calabogie Lake

Stick Selfie at Calabogie Lake

Gorilla Pod shot at Clyde River dam near Lanark.

Gorilla Pod shot at Clyde River dam near Lanark.

Otis at the Dam

Otis at the Dam

Damn, we found a dam on the Clyde river. We did not get the whole dam tour.

Damn, we found a dam on the Clyde river. We did not get the whole dam tour.

Remember to love your people, call your cousin and thank your Uncle Claude (if you are lucky enough to have one).

Motorcycle Specific Gear for Alaska Trip

I’ve covered off the things that were more or less attached to the bike. This post covers the gear that was more or less attached to me. Mostly it covers the outer shell parts.
The inner layers consisted of various combinations of:

  • Under Armour T-shirts (just brought 2)
  • ExOfficio underware (3)
  • Columbia zip off pants (2)
  • 2 different weights of Merino wool base layer
  • Icebreaker wool socks (3)
  • MEC 200 weight fleece jacket

And now for the outer gear.  The important point here is that my jacket and pants never let any water in.  The boots did a bit during the driving rain from Tok to Whitehorse but in all fairness, the dirty roads had done a number on the leading edge of the toes of the boots. The Summit H20 gloves leaked.  Rev’IT has offered replacement but I really like them and I figure the next set will likely leak too.  Reviews seem to indicate that waterproof gloves are rarely waterproof for very long.

I would only change two things with the items listed below.

  • Klim did not have Hi-Viz colors in the Badlands Pro jacket when I bought mine. There were two choices; Black and Grey.  Since grey was not available anywhere, I went with black.  Black is not visible enough (hence the Hi-Viz CamelBak I got).
  • My Klim gloves are a bit too small for me.  I should have bought a larger size.  Even stretching attempts have not yielded comfort.

I am very much an ATGATT (all the gear, all the time) person.  I wear the same outer layer in all weather.  It works well.  On really hot days you don’t really want to be at a standstill even thought the Klim gear vents amazingly well.

To aid in cooling on the really hot days we had “Heat Busters” that we got at Mark’s Work Warehouse.  They are a neckerchief that has water absorbing stuff in it.  I also had a Frogg Togg’s Chilly Pad.  We would put these in the cooler for a refresh when we stopped. The Chilly Pad gives up its cold water more readily but they tend to mold.  The Heat Busters cool your neck for a bit.

I did not buy the bike shorts until the trip home.  I wish I had watched this video before we left. You can fast forward to 3:36 or so.  Or, just accept that Tracy says something like “Bicycle shorts, for any kind of long distance riding, they are gold. Trust me.”

Here is the list of gear with links.  No money has changed hands. But hey, Klim, if you are reading this, I’d love to swap my jacket for the Hi-Viz version.  I’d take that sponsorship.

Item Manufacturer Category Purchased At Link
Badlands Pro Jacket Klim Shell http://www.dualsportplus.com/ http://www.klim.com/
Traverse Pants Klim Shell http://www.dualsportplus.com/ http://www.klim.com/
Armor For Traverse Pants Klim Safety http://www.dualsportplus.com/ http://www.klim.com/
Suspenders Klim Comfort http://www.dualsportplus.com/ http://www.klim.com/
Rev’IT Alaksa Gloves Rev’IT Gloves http://www.revzilla.com/adv-sport-touring-gear http://www.revit.eu/en/#/home
Rev’IT Summit H20 Gloves Rev’IT Gloves http://www.ottawagoodtime.com/ http://www.revit.eu/en/#/home
Adventure Gloves Klim Gloves http://www.dualsportplus.com/ http://www.klim.com/
Adventure Gore-Tex Sidi Boots http://www.dualsportplus.com/ http://www.sidisport.com/scheda.php?macro=2&id=14&lng_riv=
Arai Signet-Q Arai Helmet http://www.revzilla.com/adv-sport-touring-gear http://www.araiamericas.com/#/home
Light Smoke Pinlock Visor Arai Helmet http://www.revzilla.com/adv-sport-touring-gear http://www.araiamericas.com/#/home
Balaclava Klim Insulation http://www.revzilla.com/adv-sport-touring-gear http://www.klim.com/
Buff Buff Many http://www.buyabuff.com/ http://www.buyabuff.com/
Camelbak Hi-Viz Camelbak Hydration / Safety http://www.copsplus.com/ http://shop.camelbak.com/hiviz/d/1135
Sena SMH-10 Intercom Sena Communication http://www.revzilla.com/adv-sport-touring-gear
Lance Armstrong Bicycle Shorts Nike Comfort Sports Experts
Ear-Plugs (disposable on a string)