So the next morning I go outside to ride off and hike to the falls as well as see where the water exits the plant at Tailrace. However, my bike had other plans. The rear tire was completely flat! Crap… this is the adventure part I guess! Ok, no big deal… I have spare tires for this exact thing and although I have never changed a tire on this bike, I changed a ton of them in my youth! Be that as it may, I still decided to take a quick look at a tire changing video I had on my PC… just in case there was something special about changing a large tubeless tire. TUBELESS… did I say tubeless? Crap… all my experience has been with tubed tires but you’ve got to figure tubeless must be simpler yeah? Ahhh… maybe 🙂
So good thing I watched the video cause the whole breaking the bead thing was new to me and I had to learn how to use the “bead-breaker” tool. Good tool once you know how to use it 🙂 Feeling sufficiently knowledgeable, I proceeded to remove the back tire and got a good look at the surface of it. Despite scouring every inch of that tire, I couldn’t find a hole or much of anything. Hmmmm…. strange. So, feeling smart, I cranked up my tire pump and put 35psi in the tire. Then I got a bucket of soapy water and proceeded to douse the tire and look for the leak. So here I am in the middle of the supermarket parking lot with tires, tools and soapy water spread all around. No dice though… I still couldn’t find the leak. So, then I thought someone must have been busting my balls and let the air out so I put the tire back on and took a spin down to Tailrace to see the water exiting the plant.
Now, I’m halfway to Tailrace and I realize 2 things. One, my tire is slowly losing air and, two, I am driving down a remote road to a place I’ve never been but it is close to the dump… and BEARS! No-one knows where I am and I have no GPS locator, cell phone or bear spray. Instantly a news headline runs through my mind… BIG BEAR BITES BRETT BAD!
I make it to the bottom and snap a few quick pictures before jumping on my rapidly deflating tire and speeding back to town… bears can’t run faster than 25pmh 🙂
Back in town, I break out the tools again and this time I take the tire completely off the rim. I look at it again inside and out and can’t find any defect. Screw it, I’m lubing up my spare tire about to put it on when over saunters this Argentinian mechanic who happens to be stranded in town waiting for a new fuel pump. He looks at the old tire and can’t find anything wrong either except a lot of dust around the bead. He surmises that somehow dust has worked itself into the bead and is causing a slow leak. Clean up the tire, re-bead it and put it back on and it will be fine he says. Ok, so I do it and by the time all this is over the entire day is over! What a waste of a day.
Off I go to my room for bed because I am leaving town tomorrow morning after the hydro tour.