Hello America Bicycle Tour

Twice Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #2

92 days, 6,700 miles, Mar-Jun 2004

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Day 3 2004-03-03Arizona page 3 of 86

Rising early, we found the front tire again flat. Removing the tube, we found a small hole. We patched that, but while pumping the tire back up, it exploded with a huge bang that left our ears ringing. Right away I stepped outside to reassure any worried motel guests that it had not been a gunshot. The tube now had a 5" gaping split, and was ruined. Apparently it had been pinched between rim and tire when I inflated it. Slowly we are learning. But also I found two small cuts in the tire itself, probably from yesterday's grind up the hill in the no-man's land of a narrow, debris-strewn highway shoulder. The back tire also had a small split and a corresponding nick in the wheel where we had obviously hit something exceptionally bad. We had no spare tire, and were down to only one spare tube.

Globe had no bike shop that we could discover, and with bike shops galore in not-so-distant Phoenix it seemed imprudent to peddle ahead on tires perhaps not up to the task. So we rented a car for a quick trip into the big city to buy new tires.

At the bike shop, the fellow explained that our present tires, Continental Ultra 2000, were excellent for racing, but not meant for long-distance road touring. This may be why yesterday's grind had damaged them. Instead, he recommended Continental Top Touring 2000, so these we bought, along with tubes.

The rental car also allowed us a quick detour home where we made adjustments to our clothing, shoes, and gear bags, and pick up the camera's firewire which we had forgotten. Also I had received a jury summons, so after a few phone calls we changed into city clothes and made a quick trip to the local court house to explain ourselves. Hopefully this got me off the hook, though we were not quite sure.

Back on the highway we drove to Globe, arriving at our motel well after dark. Right away we switched the tires and tubes, just to verify they fit.

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