Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Flat Tire

Today's ride (7/17/12)  was, in a word, HOT!  After last year's California ride, I swore I'd not do another hot ride.  And that was my intent.  But, dadgum it, they schedule the good rallys right in the middle of the summer, so what are you going to do?  Ride and be hot, I guess.

Left home at 6:22am, before sunrise!  It was already warm; 76 degrees and very humid, but not too uncomfortable.  I had promised Tony that I'd meet him at exit 90 on I-40 at 10am.  And with it being 223 miles from my house, I had a ways to go to get there.

Fortunately, traffic moved through RTP freely and even through Greensboro.  Unfortunately, it stopped just east of Winston Salem.  A wreck had all lanes blocked for a little while.  But it cleared before too long and I was moving again.

A bathroom stop and a gas stop later, I pulled into our meeting spot at 10:03; not bad for all the distance covered.

We jumped on the bikes and sailed west on I-40, through Asheville and Knoxville.  In Knoxville, we took I-75 North.  Again, traffic was moving along pretty well and the ride was fine except HOT.  We did go through a couple of rain showers, and they helped cool things off quite a bit without getting us more than a little damp.

About 40 miles north of Knoxville, we got off the Interstate and took TN 63 west.  It was a fun road, with a lot of elevation changes and nice sweeping curves.  It was the most enjoyable road of the day.  At TN 27, we turned north.  In about 10 miles, we were in Oneida, TN, when I felt something weird either in a tire or in the road.  It was a definite bump, bump, bump for just a little, and then it got more and more faint to the point that I could no longer feel it.

Just about the time I decided it was some imperfections in the road, I glanced at my tire pressure monitor and noted that the rear tire pressure had dropped from 44 to 37 within a few blocks.  Damn; that bump, bump, bump was something in the tire!!  So, I stopped in a parking lot, put the bike on the centerstand and rotated the rear wheel.  There was some metal stuff sticking out of the tire,.  Not a nail or screw, but a combination of pieces of metal that had penetrated the tire just off-center from the middle of the tread.  Picture is of the metal thingey that gave me a flat tire. 

So, I moved the bike to some shade, unloaded it, got out my tire plugs and air compressor.  The metal came out of the tire ok; I reamed out the hole in the tire and inserted the black stringey plug into the hole.  It appears to be holding.  I kept checking as we rode another 100 miles or so, and the pressure did not drop any at all.  But I'll know more tomorrow morning when I go out to check the bike.

It was a new tire; $180, including installation.  I'm going to try to ride it with the plug.  It's safe; it just might leak.  If it leaks tonight or tomorrow, I'll get a new tire installed at the rally.  I seem to have way too many flat tires!!

The remainder of the ride went well.  Did I mention that it was hot?  Otherwise a good day.  I did 585 miles for the day.  We are staying in Cave City, KY tonight.  Had a good Mexican Dinner here in town.

Tomorrow, on towards Sedalia.

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