Day 1, Part Two: Ode to Tires
Everyone is OK. That’s the important part. Unfortunately, my bike Sarah (remember her?) took a hit to the jugular yesterday morning. Something had to happen on day one, right?
Just after I’d posted my previous update, a lady waved us off the freeway because of something about the bikes—naturally we pulled over and took a tour around the TQ to be sure everything was OK. Turns out, our bike rack was about two minutes from total failure. It’s one of those models that goes into the trailer hitch and holds four bikes, and has two pins—one to keep the rack on the trailer hitch, and one to hold the hitch upright. The pin that holds the rack upright had blown off the security “clip” that keeps it from slipping through, and the pin was just about all the way out and nearly bent in half. The bikes had been dragging on the ground for about two miles—scratch that: My bike had been dragging for two miles, and my back tire was nowhere to be found. We did a lap of the freeway where it supposedly came off and never found it, but thankfully, there weren’t any cars pulled off with broken windshields or anything.
Brittany and Sean, surveying the damage with Russ hammering a screwdriver into the pin-hole for a temporary fix:
The spot where my back tire used to be:
After I was convinced no one was hurt, I took a chance to actually consider the fact that my two tires were completely shot. Like, done. Tubes, tires, rims, the whole deal. I was happy no one else’s bikes were harmed during the incident, but sad that mine—the one I need to ride 105 miles on this October—needed a major makeover. The dollar signs started flashing in front of my eyes as a tallied up a $500+ fix.
After taking some deep breaths and beating back tears, I was overcome with a sense of calm. A situation that should have brought me to my knees with sadness had me looking on the bright side. The universe will come through for me, I thought. It always does. Life could be much, much worse.
And perhaps the universe wanted to reward me for my positive attitude, because it didn’t take but 20 minutes before we were at an REI (a stop we were making regardless of the tire saga—but now for a new pin as well) and the incredibly kind bike-shop man was giving me the deal of a lifetime on a set of gently used tires. Matt—we owe you one. No, scratch that: We owe you TWO big ones.
Me, with my new set:
See? There’s something to be said for considering that life could always be worse. Thanks, Universe.
A few hours down the road, after watching the bikes wobble back and forth, we completely scrapped the bike rack from the back and gave it to a nice lady at an auto parts store in Idaho Falls. Two bikes are now strapped to the top and the other two are crammed in the shower. We will deal with that bridge when we come to it. Problem—solved, Karma points—up.
Then, another 45 minutes down the road, another sort of tire gave us trouble:
Yep: Flat tire. The front, drivers’ side tire blew and we were left to the mercy of Good Sam Roadside Assistance. And let me just throw Good Sam Roadside Assistance under the bus here—it took SIX HOURS for them to get someone out there on the side of a major highway to help us. Do the math—we stopped at 8:45pm or so, and at 2:30, a tow truck finally pulled us 10 miles down the road to St. Anthony, Idaho and parked us in the parking lot of a Les Schwab Tires, where we slept—BECAUSE WE CAN DO THAT. Not sure how much better AAA would have been, but at the time, it sucked.
In the process of blowing, a hose that connects our two alternative fuel tanks got severed—that will take about $.30 to fix, so we’re cool with that.
On the upside (there’s always one, right?), being in a motorhome with a flat tire is way more fun than being in a car with a flat tire. You have a whole fridge full of snacks and beverages—we could have cooked a four course meal if we wanted to. Tired? Take a nap… in your bed. Hungry? Eat a snack. Thirsty? Drink a beer.
Motorhome living is the way to go… and think: Those were just the tales of day ONE!