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Published: July 25th 2017
This was supposed to be the boring last post where we just got on the bike and rode the last 300 miles home on the flat, straight, boring Florida roads. Unfortunately, that's NOT what happened. We spent our last hotel night in an Embassy Suites in Savannah - Thanks again, Maureen. Embassy Suites has the best breakfast with made to order omelets. They were delicious! It was about 9:00 when we finally hit the road, the Garmin Lady had us getting home at 3:11 - Perfect!
The first part of the ride was exactly what we expected - flat, straight and boring. The scenery began with typical southern strip mall, and eventually turned to southern rural. The sky started out ominous, but as the morning wore on, it cleared as it warmed. We were about 1.5 hours along, tunes cranked and looking forward to getting home, when all of a sudden the TPMS light on the bike began to blink, indicating minor loss of air. I see this occasionally when the weather is cold, first thing in the morning, but never when fully warmed up. I started to slow down as I knew something was wrong. The blinking TPMS light
quickly became a solid TPMS light which means major loss of air. Luckily there was a good breakdown lane on the highway, so I pulled over quickly and stopped.
The back tire looked a little soft, but it wasn't totally flat., but when I looked at the tread, I could see a HUGH bolt head sticking out of the tire. I knew we weren't going anywhere. I carry AAA on the motorcycle for events such as this, so I called them immediately. It turns out we were on US-301S-Bypass, jut outside of Jesup, GA and luckily we stopped right at a mile marker 19 post. It was a nice safe spot, away from traffic, but no buildings in sight. We were fine, but it was hot. AAA will tow a motorcycle, but doesn't have a series of AAA approved motorcycle repair facilities. She checked around and found there were 2 powersports companies in Jesup, but one was closed on Monday, so she gave me the name and number of the other.
While we were talking a nice man on a Harley pulled up and asked if he could be any help. I told him what was going on,
and he said there was a gas station ahead and he would go there and ask about where to get a tire locally. Meanwhile, AAA called back and said they were having difficulty finding someone to tow the bike. Meanwhile, I was talking to the Bargeron Powersports of Jesup to let them know I was having the bike towed in. He was checking on a tire, as he didn't have one in stock, he had another store in Brunswick that might. While I was talking to the guy from Bargeron on the phone, the Harley guy showed up at the counter there and explained my problem. So we left it at that and Jody and I were waiting at the side of the road waiting to hear from AAA about a tow, and Bargeron about a tire.
The Harley guy reappeared and told us that Bargeron's was actually only 2 miles up the road from where we were, and that 1.5 miles up were a couple of gas stations, a couple of hotels, and a McDonald's. Imagine our luck! By now, the rear tire was flat, but I still had my air compressor from my earlier troubles in Chattanooga,
so I decided to pump up the tire as best as I could and see if I could limp over to Bargeron's myself. The tire would only hold 25 psi, and it took a couple of times of pumping up, ride a little way, stop, pump up some more, ride a little, etc. but eventually we made it into Bargeron's! Along the way, we did get a call from a tow truck driver saying he was on his way, when I explained what I was doing, and that I would call him back if I was unsuccessful. By the time I got to Bargeron's, I also got a call from AAA and let them know I wouldn't need a tow.
The guy at Bargeron's was really nice, he gave us water and told us he still hadn't heard back from Brunswick. He called them back and found out they didn't have one in stock either. So we started talking about options, as it would take him a couple of days to get a tire. So we were trying to figure out if we should wait, pay to have a tire overnighted, or just leave the bike and get a rental car and drive home and pick the bike up in a few days. Before we decided, the Bargeron guy suggested that he would look through their tire inventory and see if he could find one that was close enough in size to be workable. So he headed off to his stockroom and came back in about 15 minutes with a tire. It turns out he had the correct tire in stock, just not on his inventory! We were SO lucky! He told us it would take about an hour to install, so we headed down the road walking to get some lunch at McDonald's while we were waiting.
About an hour later, sure enough, we were ready to go. In fact, his price for the tire and installation was very reasonable. When I started the bike back up, the Garmin showed us reaching home at 6:16. That's just 3 hours and 5 minutes later than we had expected before this whole ordeal! We thanked the guys at Bargeron for all their help and are really grateful to the Harley guy who stopped to help. This could have been really bad!
The rest of the ride home was as boring and uneventful as expected. The sky continued to look ominous, with occasional minor drizzle, but as soon as we crossed the border to Florida, the sun came out and all looked great! Of course, an hour later, the sky opened up on us and we got soaked before we could get under cover to put on rainsuits. We finally made it home at 6:45 and as usual, Jimmy did a great job cleaning up the house. It was hot in the house, as the air conditioner broke a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't want to cut our trip short to get it fixed. Jimmy just moved down to the sunroom which has a separate air conditioner. I checked it out, and it looks like a compressor problem, I'll have to call in for a repair tomorrow. It's 22 years old, probably time for a new system.
We've got all our t-shirt boxes to go through, and a ton of mail - mostly junk. Once things have settled down in a couple of weeks, I will publish an Epilogue with statistics and thoughts about the trip. Thanks to everyone who has been following along, we always appreciate the comments. The trip was awesome!
338.2 Miles Today
9840.7 Miles Total
10.000 Gallons Today
249.054 Gallons Total
Tot: 1.778s; Tpl: 0.036s; cc: 11; qc: 57; dbt: 0.02s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb