Day 21

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Monday, May 4, 2009 - Warm and Sunny with a few clouds
- Start: Greenwood, IN
- ATW: Mooresville, Stilesville
- End: Greencastle, IN
- Day Miles: 50.7 Ride Time: 4hr, 58min Total Trip Miles: 560

The Day of the flats...

First off... not having to fix a flat in three years of owning the bike means we were a little inexperienced with getting the tire on and off. In fact, with the original tube and tire with over 2500 miles on both we'd only taken the tire off halfway once to fix a broken spoke. We didn't realize there was an easy way to help get the tire off. Anyway...

Flat 1: Five miles down the road from our friends we had our first flat tire. We struggled for ten minutes to get the tire off and while Heather was patching the tube a gentleman walked over. Turns out we broke down right next to a auto shop. The owner let us use his air hose to pressurize the tube so we could save wear and tear on our shoulders. Another gem was the use of silicon spray to help ease the tire on and off. We went from breaking plastic tire irons to using one to pop it off and replacing the tire by hand. (However there was a draw back... more soon)

Flat 2: Halfway to pressure the fixed tire it sprung another leak. What we thought was a sliver in the tire was actually a bur on the rim. With the help of the mechanic and his crafty way of making a tool specific to the job, we were able to fix the problem and had a great time chatting while we did the work.

Flat 3: Dave was airing up the patched tube that Heather had repaired and it started leaking again. Some of the silicon spray had gotten on the tube and the patch didn't stick. No problem, we'll just use a spare tube.

Flat 4: We had the new tube in and Dave had used the air hose to do most of the filling but was using the hand pump for a controlled pressurizing to 100 PSI. The hand pump is new and sticks to the valve stem and while pulling off the pump Dave stressed the valve stem and ripped it from the tube. With another new tube, and a little silicone on the valve stem, we were back on the road after a few hours of delay.

Falt 5: 10 miles or so down the road at a grocery store stop I saw the rear wheel was a little low but didn't think much of it... maybe that's what it looks like when it's loaded down. A few miles more we were pushing hard up a hill and on the down side the rear was fish tailing. We stopped with a flat. The original tire of over 3 years had developed a weak spot in the tread which pinched the new tube and caused the flat. We patched the tube and replaced the tire with our spare and kept on riding until it was too late...

That evening we turned down a quiet country lane and found a house with a large backyard. We asked the owners if we could camp out back and were granted permission. A little later we were offered the luxury of a hot shower before bed which we had no problem accepting. After a shower we enjoyed a talk with our hosts and then it was time for sleep.