Taking Action

 

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Teddy Roosevelt

There is great power in simply doing something in order to get you moving in the right direction.

On day 2, I got a flat tire. It was not fun. But it was a great example of the importance of taking action.

I first realized something was wrong when one of my warning lights came on and I felt a strange dragging coming from the back of my bike. I stopped off the side of the road and inspected the motorcycle, only to find that my back tire was totally flat. Not exactly what I would have hoped for day 2. My first reaction was to slightly panic. I had no idea what to do if I got a flat tire. I knew that I needed to figure out what caused the leak and then patch the hole with the patch kit I had (which I had obviously purchased for peace of mind but no real intention of actually using), but apart from that I was pretty lost.

I went about finding the cause — a nail right through the tread — and got the hole patched.

Next, I had to get air back in the tire, but of course the pump I had wasn’t working.

Around this time, a man across the street yelled over and asked if I needed any help. I told him that I needed to get air in the tire and was thinking of riding the two miles back to the gas station at the edge of Garden City, Kansas. I learned from this guy that the gas station didn’t have any air, but that he had a compressor at his house. I agreed to follow him back to his house, which was only about a mile away.

Of course, he took off and I wasn’t able to keep up, so now I was rolling down the side of the highway at about 10 miles an hour while waving trucks around me and trying not to get run over. About a quarter mile down the road, there happened to be a tire shop, and I went in and got air put back in the tire. My patch was actually keeping air in, but now I needed a new tire.

Motorcycles have either tubed or tubeless tires. Tubeless tires are exactly as they sound, they don’t have a tube inside. I was under the impression I had tubeless tires, which meant that a hole in the tire necessitated a completely new tire. After calling every place in town, as well as the only other shop within 50 miles, I learned that the 17 inch tires I have are relatively rare and no one has them in stock. Great. The only advice I got was to put some fix-a-flat in the tube, get a small air compressor for periodic inflation, and pray I could make it 200 miles to Wichita, Kansas to find a new tire.

Figuring this was my only option, I stopped by one of the motorcycle shops in town to buy some fix-a-flat and get some advice on what I should do. After talking to the owner of the shop and showing him the tire, he agreed to take it apart and see if I could potentially run a tube inside my tubeless tire. He takes apart the tire, learns that I actually have tubed tires, not tubeless tires, and proceeds to replace the tube, clean out my patch, and send me on my way within half an hour.

When I first realized I had a flat tire, I actually started doing something that was completely wrong. I didn’t have tubeless tires, so putting a patch on the tire itself wouldn’t have had any lasting effect. But by taking action, I was offered help, which led to further actions, and ultimately a positive outcome.

Taking action, even the wrong action, can lead you where you need to go.

 

 

  • Jens Husted

    Amen to that!

  • kris

    Great story…reminds me of my first motorcycle. ought it. Went out riding East of town and ran out of gas. Damn, out in the middle of no where. Had to walk, hitch hike back to Bolder. Proceeded to wine to the motorcycle shop…they reminded me of the second gas tank switch I could have used. Oh well. Learn something important every day. I recommend to go way North while it’s warm. Upper Maine, East Kingdom of Vermont, Upper New York. Cooler, less humidity

    • ianhusted

      Thanks Kris! That’s my plan. I’ll be headed up the East coast over the next few weeks.