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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


December 03, 1997

FLAT TIRES

I got on the road around 8:00 a.m. out of Ft. Stockton, Texas. The sky was overcast but the wind was going the right direction to push me along as a tailwind. The shoulder along the interstate was smooth for about five miles out before it got rough. While riding the smooth newly repaved shoulder, I was able to zip along around forty miles an hour.

Right after the smooth shoulder ended, I started to ride over rough dark macadam again. I was able to go about forty miles east of Ft. Stockton before both wheels went flat. When I checked out the tubes, I found that they had been punctured by mesquite thorns.

There were mesquite thorn bushes along the interstate. When the road crew mowed along the interstate the thorns were blown onto the shoulder. The thorns were black so they blended in with the macadam shoulder. These thorns went easily went through my tires to puncture the tubes.

I was able to get the front tire up because I had a new tube. Its too bad that I didn't have an extra tube for the rear tire. Trying to fix the rear tube wasn't going to be easy. I accidentally blown out a hole near the valve stem. A truck driver pulled over and tried to help me. We were able to repair it but it blew out about two miles more down the road.

I tried to get the tube up again but this time I blew out the valve stem. This was really upsetting me because I was on my way to Johnson City so that I could speak at a church this Sunday. The invitation happened about a week ago.

For about five hours, I tried to get somebody else to stop. Around four in the afternoon, a hunter stopped by to try and help. He tried to use a can of tire sealer and a portable compressor but he blew out the tire even worse. Sealant went every where.

Before the hunter left, he told me that he would try to get hold of a highway patrolman who lived in nearby Iraan. I hadn't seen a highway patrolman all day. After about a half hour, a highway patrolman did stop by. He arranged for me to have a ride back into Fort Stockton.

I finally got back into Ft. Stockton around 6:00 p.m. I was dropped off at the Wal-mart store and get a couple of tubes. It was good to have the bike up and running again. I quickly made my way back to the First Baptist church for the prayer service. Afterwards, somebody from the church offered to get me a room at one of the local motels.




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