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Headin’ back from the ‘Ham

July 26, 2009

It was warm and muggy at 8:45 am. Time to check on the GTS.

Last night Canadian Rich and I plugged the rear tire. I put 30 psi of air in it and left it in Jeff’s workshop on the center stand. How well the plug worked will be revealed by this morning’s reading.

28 psi.

A tire in good order should not lose 2 psi overnight, no matter what kind of tire it is. I decide to pump it up to 39 psi, which is the recommended pressure for carrying a passenger. I should be able to get home and still have enough air in the tire to be safe. If not, I have AAA.

And I realized after being awakened by a wrong number at 2:08 am that Scooter Barn is open today. I’d thought about trying Kenda tires, which are significantly less expensive than most other brands, receiving excellent reviews as well. “The way you’ve been going through them, you may as well get cheap tires,” said Jeff R. only partially in jest.

Jeff, Mary and I rode down to the morning meetup at Sorella’s, in the Alaska Ferry terminal building. I’d decided to skip the final ride, even though it’s going down Chuckanut Drive. I wanted to get going as quickly as possible, to make sure of getting to Scooter Barn before they closed.

I enjoy riding with a good group, but not having to be conscious of other bikes close by makes life that much easier when you’re trying to make time. You can use the whole road, and take the fastest line through the corner.

Before I knew it, I was in Conway. Doing the speed limit (and yeah, a bit more) helps that way. Our friend Chuck said he, Mr. Robert, Chewy and Jeanne de Parc du Madison would be riding together on the same route, so if things turned to poo-poo, they’d be along shortly.

Having drunk my Windex-colored Mountain Dew (other choices were Prestone regular anti-freeze color and Prestone long-life anti-freeze color), I pointed the GTS south. There was little traffic, mostly motorcycles.

Almost before I knew it, I was at Scooter Barn. Yes, they have the tire, no, they can’t mount it ’til Tuesday at the earliest, and the service department is booked up so it might be later in the week. Of course, if we were talking about a car, the tire store would take care of it immediately, but car and light truck tires sell in far higher volumes (and at higher profit margins) than scooter and motorcycle tires. It costs money to keep the lights on and have employees at the counter, and you have to bring in enough to make it worthwhile. Scooter tires aren’t there yet.

Not much to be done, so I buy the tire and bungee it on top of the duffle and sleeping bags. Whatever did we do before bungee cords?

Heading south on 99, it occurs to me the trip down from Bellingham has seemed like a commute. There were crosswinds, there were boneheaded drivers, there were obstacles, and yet none of it felt like a big deal. A steady 50-60 mph felt normal and comfortable. I guess that’s what seat time does for you.

I knew Scoot About would also be open. I could ask Susan if  her mechanic would be okay with mounting the Kenda. Some places won’t mount a tire unless you buy it from them, others charge exorbitant prices.

Susan says no problem, it can definitely be done on Tuesday. I’m relieved. The subject of price never came up, but Susan knows you don’t build a business by gouging pe0ple, so the price will be fair. If the price is fair enough, I might go ahead and replace the front Sava as well.

Home at last, I realize a nap would be a good idea. It hasn’t felt like a long trip, but it was. Favicon

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2 Comments
  1. July 26, 2009 6:57 pm

    Here’s hoping you had a great time at the rally in spite of tire problems. From the looks of the pictures it had to be quite an event. My patience would have been a bit worn with the tire issues, but hopefully it will all work out.

  2. Canadian Rich permalink
    July 27, 2009 8:56 pm

    Good to know it at least got you home at a reasonable speed. I think that’s honestly the intent of that kit – and who knows, with the crazy ass weather that night, 2PSI may not have been much. Sucks riding scared, though. Hope the new tires last you a little longer 🙂

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