Day 10: The End

On the last day I left Ontario with destination San Francisco. It was hot, but otherwise pretty uneventful at first – just freeway riding, some gas and water stops, the usual. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Until freeway 580 in San Leandro. I suddenly started feeling some vibration – I initially thought that it was due to the uneven road. Then it got stronger, and suddenly the bike started fishtailing a little. That’s when I realized that I had a flat rear tire. I changed to the right lane, and since an exit just came up, I took it.

I stopped at a nearby parking lot in front of a hospital, and tried pumping up the tire again. I was less than 30 minutes from home, so I thought I might be able to make it if it was a slow leak. But the inner tube was in shreds, so there was no way to fix it without taking the tire off.

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I had tire spoons and a spare inner tube, but without a motorbike stand and a tire changing stand, this would likely take 2 hours to complete. So I decided to call AAA. They said it would take up to an hour and a half, but I was ok with that. An hour and a half later the tow truck went to the wrong place and took off again. Another call to AAA, and another hour later the truck finally came. The hospital security came down a couple of times to ask what I was doing, but they didn’t send me away.

The driver was a biker too, so we had something to talk about and it was quite a pleasant ride home. I finally came home shortly before midnight.

The rear tire is about 2/3 gone, so I would have done another 1000-2000 km on it, but if I have to take it off I’m going to replace it with a new one. I’ll just ride to motoshop on the flat tire and do it there – I have to do an oil change and some other maintenance anyway.

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