Dust in the wind…

Lots of miles today. Pushing hard. Cobwebs scattered. Roads reminded of their purpose.

Time to fly…time to ponder. Lots of plans…lots of problems…work to do…lots to think about.

Needed some time. Still recovering from the cold a couple weeks back…that and lots of work at the job thing. The accompanying calls at night/weekends don’t allow much of that soothing uninterrupted sleep. And I think I mentioned all those things to think about.

So. Off today. I can work tomorrow. Or not…as I feel.

Today was a great day for riding. High 70’s. Blue skies. Balmy breezes from the south. The salty, slightly bitter taste of Magnesium Chloride gritting between my teeth.

Wait, what?

Oh, yeah, that. There’s plenty of dust, sand, and gravel left over from the ice storm, helpfully scattered through the intersections where you might need some traction.

Treacherous conditions for riders, but manageable as long as you stay aware.

Well, mostly.

The taste though…like all senses, taste is enhanced and expanded by the riding experience. My city has a taste. Your’s does too. If I’ve been there before I might even recognize it.

But today, my city is different. Its taste has changed. Salty, maybe bitter. Usually much more metallic and with more than a little hint of corruption.

During and immediately after the storm TX Dot used several hundred tons of liquid deicer, consisting mostly of magnesium chloride, sometimes mixed in with the sand and gravel but often just sprayed on the ice.

All that junk remains on the roads after the ice is long gone to help us riders with our stylish slides though random intersections, but more to the point, some of it is kicked up by the thousands of passing cars.

Now airborne, it manifests as a slightly foreboding looking cloud hanging around the roadways on this otherwise clear day.

I’m pretty sure it’s not made for inhalation. Definitely not good for asthma sufferers.


Huh. A deicer AND a drug. Nice! Definitely NOT intended for inhalation, though it’s not specific in whether mixing it with sand, dust, and exhaust fumes makes a difference.

It DOES appear to be a treatment for depression though…

Seems to work too…after riding around most of the day breathing the stuff I’m not depressed at all!

Daniel Meyer

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3 Responses to Dust in the wind…

  1. FatPappy says:

    Are you tryin to make me get smarter? I had to Google the Magnesium Chloride part just to see what you were talking about.

  2. RaineWalker says:

    This is why cowboys wore bandannas over their face :). You never want to taste Gary, Indiana. Trust me on that.

  3. Chuck says:

    The mid winter road surface in and around Denver where there is at least a few breif spring like riding periods has always been a challenge. Back in the day when I rode dual sport (we erroneously called them “enduro”) bikes only (cheap transpo and entertainment) CDOT and the various municipalities would dump literally inches of coarse sand/rock salt everywhere – intersections would look like dirt roads. Kind of job perpetuation for plow drivers who also ran the street cleaners.
    This was generally a lot of fun to play in with a dirt-ish scoot – during the day when you could see the difference between soft piles or ball bearings on glass.
    As traffic pulverized this stuff and tossed it into the atmosphere the city would get shrouded with an amazingly opaque brown cloud – almost like a stationary dust storm. This was an acceptable disgrace until the Feds threatened to withhold highway bucks if it didn’t get cleaned up – so began the mag chloride treatment.
    Definitely cleared the air, and actually cuts the ice under typical conditions, but it sure has a nasty side too. Besides the taste, smell, and severe corrosiveness on naked metal, when it’s re-wetted after the storm it turns slippery as snot on a doorknob! Dirt bike experience is minimal training when you get hurried into a corner by tailgaters and find yourself leaned over on a puddle of crisco!

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