June 17, 2012


Well, my ride with my brothers on the Queen's Birthday Monday didn't quite go as planned.

The first inkling that trouble was brewing was a text from Ali saying that he was having electrical problems with his bike.  Ouch.  The hope was that he would be able to get that sorted and still join us.  So off I set, on what was a very brisk cold morning, to make my way over to the initial rendezvous point at Romsey.

Well, the road was clear, it was a nice enough ride over, but the thick frost on the paddocks highlighted that my choice of leather jacket over textile might have been suspect.  Arrival at Romsey saw me changing the Hellfire's, as I was definitely needing the heavier winter gloves.

Then, with Ross arriving it was off to Whittlesea, where, the plan was, we would meet up with Ali and have a coffee.

Hmmm.  Fog.  Where the heck did that come from???  And not just any fog, but london-style pea soup fog.  Wipe your visor frequently and repeatedly fog.  Lovely road out towards Wallan, and it would have been fantastic if we could see far enough ahead to actually enjoy all those glorious bends.  Ah well...

Rightio, into Whittlesea, stop for coffee.  And notice my rear tyre has a puncture.  Crap.  Ali's electrical issues were still ongpoing.  Double crap.  Oh, and Ali had the puncture repair kit.  You get the picture...  The culprit; a 4" masonry nail of all things.  Thanks a lot to whoever thoughtfully left that lying on the road.  There were a group of cyclists at the same cafe who had also had a member get a puncture, so I guess I wasn't alone.

Enter stage left a pair of guys on cruisers who came to the rescue and helped me get the rear type plugged.  This is probably one of the most endearing thing about the biker community, they really do stick together a bit and help out in situations like this, and I deeply appreciated their help.  I'll be paying that forward any and every time I can.

Another rider had a comressor in his truck, so the tire was re-inflated, and we were good to go, although now the plan was modified to be a quick return back home again alas.

So, return journey, the fog has lifted (mostly) and back we head, only for me to notice the rear felt pretty slushy over the recent roadworks we'd passed without incident on our way in.  Ross confirmed a few seconds later that 'I don't like the look of that rear tyre again mate'.  Double crap.  So, find a place we can pull off safely and yep, tire flat again.

Oh, and Ross also starting to succumb to a gastric upset.  I guess that was our third unlucky thing.  About 5 mins out of Romsey, spotty phone reception and a flat.  My folks came to the rescue with a trailer, and a repair kit.  Re-patched the puncture and found a staple (from a staple gun type staple) in the tyre as well.  Patched that too.  Pumped it up again, and continued homw under escort in case it deflated again...

Finally made it home.

It was an interesting ride, and pretty educational, if not the unalloyed fun I had been anticipating....  I guess that is just the joys of motorcycling.  :)

So, tyre repair kit very much on my to-get list now, as well as an angle adapter given my wheels make may attachments damn difficult to fit to the valve.  Some sort of bike friendly compressor would be an awesome find too I suspect.

C'est la vie.

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