I have been very fortunate over my 57 years of motorcycling to never have a flat tire while traveling. All my previous flats were discovered in my garage. But, this flat happened 35 miles from home while returning from a Kentucky campout with friends.
I was monitoring my fuel. The computer indicated I had 90 miles before requiring fuel, and I was about 60 miles from home. As I traveled north, I decided there was no need to push it, and I pulled into a Kroger fuel station in Mount Orab, Ohio. I was tired and ready to be home.
Fueled up, I lifted the bike off the kickstand and fired it up. Rolling, the bike just felt different. Was it me, tired, or the bike. I looked at the front wheel, and kept going pulling into traffic. Now, I’m in traffic, and I realize it is the bike–most likely a flat, and safety is about 300 yards away. I cross the overpass of Ohio Route 32, see a Tire Discounters store and plenty of parking lot next to it. Stop. Get off the bike. Check the tires, and the rear is definitely flat. Thank god I have my tire repair kit with me.
I empty the tire repair kit onto the ground, and commence to removing the screw and plugging the tire with one of those “mushroom” type pieces. I have used them before, and they work perfectly. Next, plug in the portable air compressor and air up. Unfortunately, this compressor, which has never been used before, failed to inflate. It failed to even start. *(^$(^))^%$%$&$@***
You get the picture. But, wait! I pulled into this parking lot just in case because right next door is the tire store, and they are busy putting new tires on cars. I walk over, and explain my predicament. Will they air me up? “Yes.” So, I walk back to the bike, start it up and gently paddle-walk it next door where I nearly drop the bike. I am so tired, I forgot to put the kickstand down. It was a muscular save, and I haven’t got much of that at age 72.
“How much air?” “41 psi, please.” Filled up, and very thankful. No funds exchanged hands, even though it was offered.
Off I went. Headed home for the final 35 miles. Full tank, and patched tire.
Frankly, even though I had a flat tire on the road, I felt lucky. I was prepared, and saw the possibility of a Plan B. What I should have done was get off the bike back at the gas station, discover the flat right there, and roll it over to the air hose. But, lesson learned, and I am very thankful.
A new air compressor (different brand) was ordered the next day.
Be well. Ride safe. See you on the highway or on the side of the road.