Mabels first flat, plus another one

T – I was up nice and early this morning. It’s funny how after a few months of sleeping on the ground that sleeping in a soft bed becomes really uncomfortable! We tucked into the free breakfast, which is where I get our moneys worth, before strapping our gear onto the girls and hooning off.

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We made good time along the dual lane road leading us westwards. Most of the traffic seemed to be heading east which was nice. We were soon pulling up to the line that waited for the ferry to cross over to Port Townsend and the beginning of the 101.

We hadn’t made a reservation though, and all the signs were telling us that perhaps we should have! Uh oh.

Thankfully Mabel and Rosie would fit into a cupboard under the kitchen sink though and they put us on with no problems at all.

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We met a lovely fella on the ferry by the name of Ed and ex Vietnam Vet pilot who was on his way to fly his own plane today. He told us of a great place for lunch that we should try when we got off of the ferry. In fact when we got there he offered to buy us lunch! Thanks Ed!

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We had a great chat and enjoyed our fish tacos before saying goodbye to him.

We jumped on the west bound road and then we were off. Into a massive stream of traffic.

We basically ended up stuck on the shoulder for kilometre after kilometre. Hundreds of cars whizzing by. My idea of hell.

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Eventually it happened. It had to happen. Riding on the shoulder through all the broken bits of car and tyre and who knows what else, Mabel got a puncture in her rear tyre. We were stuck on a narrow strip of shoulder, with a constant stream of cars pouring by and now I had to perform surgery. Sigh.

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Poor Mabel. She had picked up a large staple and a massive nail. Her tube was shredded and took a massive bit of patching. For some reason we have had no luck with patching our rear tubes. The patches seem to ‘melt’ around the edges and leak again. I’m not sure if the weight over the rear is creating too much heat or if we are doing it wrong.

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Anyway, eventually the tyre was full of air and ready to bolt back on. But. Damn it.

I was missing a crucial axel spacer. It was gone. Without it there was no way I could ride her. In all the scurrying about I must have kicked it either out into the traffic or down into the ditch. Neither one was promising to be an easy place to find it.

I was on my hands and knees in the dirt searching for this bloody thing for ages. Not knowing what to do if we couldn’t find it. I combed the area a good meter from the bike and 3 meters along the ditch. Nothing.

There was nothing on the road. It seemed to be gone. Shit.

Sitting in the dirt in the ditch, Mabels rear end spread all over the shoulder I must admit I felt ready to admit defeat. We watched cars and bikes zip past. Hoping that maybe one might stop and perhaps offer to take one of us to town to see if we could get something made up. Not one single biker stopped. Just glancing at us and then looking forward again.

Then a car pulled in. Chucked his hazard lights on and came running over. Wanting to know if he could help. He ended up down in the dirt, on his hands and knees looking for this stupid little spacer. And we found it!

He was out on a day trip with his family to see the coast and by taking 5 minutes to help out a stranger meant that we were again on our way! I never did get his name but we shook dirty hands and then just like that, he was gone. Back into the sea of traffic.  Thankyou!

We continued on down the road of death. Until finally the traffic all seemed to zoom off down an exit ramp and to who knows where.

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I was exhausted from riding like this and was ready to camp. We followed a lakes edge for a while before I eventually spied a sign for a National Forest Camp. We turned in and followed the muddy road into a massive gorgeous section of forest. I peeled off to one side to check out some camp sites while Chantelle went to see how much it would cost for the night. I fell off. Straight into the mud. Mabel laid there, her belly exposed to the world. I’m sorry Mabe’s.

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Chantelle came back with some great news! Two other bikers were camping and had offered to let us share their site for the night!

We ended up having a great night with lots of laughs and a few cups of red wine with Lance and Dave who were on a whirlwind tour up the coast before heading east a little ways.

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Eventually though I could no longer keep my eyes  open and it was time to go to bed.

Oh and Mabels rear tyre was flat again.

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