With the warmer weather the tires seem to be grabbing the road surface differently. I noticed the rear wheel slipping a week ago but thought it was just imperfections in the road surface or those tar snakes (asphalt road repairs) . Also when cornering I could hear some tire noise but attributed it to the sidewalls flexing more due to the higher temperatures
About a month ago I checked all the tires and topped them up where necessary. When your safety depends upon two small contact patches of tire rolling on asphalt, your tires should command more attention.
This morning I set off towards my Dentist appointment. I like to bring my scoot or bike because parking is severely restricted down in the West End of Vancouver. There are few parking spots and they are mostly reserved for those with “Resident” parking stickers.
I left my carport and headed down my un-paved (dirt and gravel) lane. Everything seemed normal. I came to Oak Street made my right turn and headed down the slight downgrade towards 33rd Avenue. The rear of the scoot didn’t seem to be tracking as positively as I am used to but I think it is just the ruts in the road. I fling the scoot from side to side and think to myself that all is well. I missed the light at 33rd and by the time the light turned green, the traffic had caught up with me. I was now in the front of the pack.
All of a sudden, I hear a roaring sound but can’t seem to notice which direction it was coming from. I noticed an older Jeep beside me and think that the driver just doesn’t know how to change gears and was revving his engine. The noise gets louder. I rev my engine and the noise remains constant. I begin to suspect that something is seriously wrong with my scoot. As I am in the middle lane (closest to opposing traffic), I slow down, let the traffic pass, and aim for the slow lane (3 lanes over). I am only 1 block from 25th Avenue where there is a service station. As I approach the driveway entrance, I feel my rim scrapping the pavement but I have to give a bit of throttle to get out of the traffic flow.
My tire is flat, and has become separated from the rim, probably from riding that extra block or two to get out of harms way, so now I do not have the option of filling with air and limping home. I am stranded and my tire is probably ruined from the rim riding the sidewall.
As I was approaching the service station the rear started swaying, but I managed to slow to almost a dead stop to keep it from dropping. I don’t need another ergonomic brake lever, nor new plastic panels. With a flat tire and nearly 550 lbs of dead weight, my scooter is very difficult to move. I cannot get it up on the centre stand.
I get permission to leave it here and will deal with it later.