August 2, 2008

Experimental Mishap

There are big adventures and small ones, the other day I had a bit of the latter. It wasn't an intentional experiment but I decided to think of it that way as the consequences were small and I learned a lot. Once again I was very lucky.

So what happened? While riding my motorcycle through Big Horn Sheep Canyon on Highway 50 the rear tire went flat. I was about twenty miles west of Canon City and knew I needed to push on until I reached the small town of Cotopaxi. I had my cell phone with me but I soon found out how useless it was in this remote geographic area. All the more reason why it was a good decision to ride on to the small town before pulling over. Thankfully the tire did not blow out, but slowly lost air pressure so that I noticed it and was able to slow down and ride to Cotopoxi before it became completely useless.

I reached the small general store right before they closed at 6PM and asked if they sold fix-a-flat, and they did so I attempted to restore air pressure to the tire. Almost immediately the hole in the tire became obvious as the foamy contents I had pumped into the tire came shooting right out. Time to call my sister for a ride! Oops, no signal on my cell phone. Maybe if I walk around? Nope. Maybe if I climb up the side of the mountain? Nope. Fortunately, the store owner was still around working in the back and I was able to ask them to use their phone.

The next morning I had to drive back to Cotopaxi in my pickup truck to get the motorcycle. What lessons could I learn from this? First, I should have left my sister a note of where I was going and what time I should be back. She knew I was out riding but not where. Had she known she would have come looking for me and found me. The other lesson is that I need to carry tubeless tire repair kit. I have ordered one along with the new tire. The kit fits in a pocket and uses CO2 cartridges to provide air pressure after plugging any holes a tire may have. Simple and self contained.

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