My son finally got an extended leave from the Navy as he transfers from Pensacola to Norfolk to begin his next training sequence. Cathy and I picked him up in Boston late last night. We waited in the cell phone lot until his flight came in around midnight. It was a warm, breezy night, so we had the windows down in the Scion xD. When we pulled out to pick him up, I noticed a right tire was making a racket. Cathy said "it's just a stone, new tires always pick up stones." Yeah, but this sounded different, and when I sped up to 50+, the tire didn't spit the stone out. It was dark and there wasn't a decent, well lit place to check it out.
I could hear the ticking all the way home. It was past 1:30am when we pulled into the garage, thanks to night time construction on I-93. The tire would have to wait until Saturday.
Saturday morning - Aaron sleeps in, a luxury he's not enjoyed in quite some time. Earlier in the week before I knew which day Aaron was coming home, I toyed with going up to ride the Kingdom Trails. That wasn't going to happen now, so something closer would have to do. I quickly scanned the xD tires and didn't see anything unusual. I threw my dualie in the back of the Matrix, which has more bike room, and headed for FOMBA. I nearly stalled the Matrix backing out of the garage. It moved a little bit and made a funny crunching sound, like I ran over something. WTF. I get out, and what do I find? The left, rear tire is flat! The teenage neighbors across the street surely wondered what my problem was. Cathy didn't have any immediate plans, so I transferred the bike to the xD. Just in case, I backed out into daylight to verify the tires were clean.
Well SOB! There was a screw in the right, rear tire! It was still holding air, but this could not be trusted. What are the odds that both cars we own with new tires puncture the same day? I can't even remember the last time I flatted. It might have been 8yrs ago on my Ford Ranger when I found a flat tire in the garage.
Horseshoe nail on left is about 2" long
Even though car tire flats are rare, I always keep a radial tire plug kit on hand. It was going to pay off big today. I pulled the tire off the xD and pulled the screw out with a long nosed pliers. Yep, it went all the way through alright. Took a few minutes to plug, air back up, and remount. I figured I might as well do the Matrix while all the stuff was out. I found it to have a horseshoe nail in the tread, over 2" long. There's only one area I could have picked this up, Great Poop Farm State Park, er, I mean Great Brook Farm State Park. Seems the parking lot is always full of horse trailers and the trails full of poop when I go there these days. The hoof nail was much bigger than the screw. Hope the plug holds. It is a $150 tire. I don't buy tire hazard insurance. It's a total rip-off. Maybe once in 32 years of driving did I damage a tire when I hit a curb one time. Hazard insurance over all those years could have purchased at least a couple sets of tires by now.
So anyway, in about 45 minutes I plugged both tires, in less time than it would have taken just to drive to and from a tire center. I did still mange to get a good ride in, a fury fueled ride. Nothing gets my blood boiling quicker than misbehaving cars. Since I cannot do the VT50 this year, I rode 50 miles on mix of singletrack and logging roads in 4.6 hours, linking up sweet bits of FOMBA and Bear Brook via Trail 15.