Last Sunday, 3/7, rode to the Reading woodworking show with Kent. Sticking to the back roads for some enjoyment was probably a mistake - lots of cinders and gravel still out on the roads (especially the back roads, and especially in the curves) and my bald back tire was not wanting to hang on.
New tire ordered. Conti "Trail Attacks" are highly reviewed and won some German tire comparison for wet + dry traction and mileage. A new Dunlop D607 in 150/70 - 17 (a crappier tire) is $50 more than the TA.
Installed the 18T front (45T rear) such that I'm now approximating the golden 17/43 ratio. A few runs up and down the street confirm that it's a much happier bike. 17/41 (stock) was too tall, 17/45 was too short, hopefully 18/45 - 17/43 is the sweet spot.