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The Squaw Magnet in New Mexico



A first for the Squaw Magnet. No, not riding through New Mexico. I've done that before. What happened to me today was something that, until now, I have not experienced in 6 round trip cross-country rides. I got a flat tire. It happened on I-40, about halfway between Tucumcari and Albuquerque. In other words, 80 miles from anywhere. I was fighting a really stiff headwind when a semi passed on my left and I heard a really loud explosion. But, the bike kept riding just fine so I thought, maybe, it was a backfire from the semi. 10 miles later, I discovered that it had been the inner tube on my rear tire and the tread had carried me another 10 miles before coming apart. I had just checked the rear tire for tread and air pressure this morning so I know it was OK. Sometimes, these things just happen. So, there I am on the side of I-40 and, of course, my cell phone is not picking up a signal. Tons of traffic, though, on the interstate so I'm sure somebody will stop and give me a hand. An hour and a half later, somebody does. Luckily, his cell phone is working so I call the towing service which puts me on hold for another 45 minutes. Took them that long because nobody they called wanted to go that far out for a motorcycle. They finally found one that said he'd be out in an hour and a half. Two and a half hours later, he shows up. I was starting to sweat it as there was only about a half hour of sun left, no way to contact the tower, and no desire to spend the night on the side of the interstate. Anyway, we get the bike loaded up and head for Albuquerque. The tower starts calling bike shops and finds a Harley dealership with the tire and a custom shop willing to put it on. Then, it occurs to me that it's just as far to Santa Fe, which is where I was headed, as it is to Albuquerque so the tower calls the Harley dealership there and, not only do they have the tire, they say they'll put it on the bike as well. Of course, they don't know I have a sidecar but that's their problem. Anyway, we make a last minute decision to head for Santa Fe and it turns out that it was a good thing we did. After we drop the bike off in the parking lot of the closed Harley dealership, I go to get a motel room. The first two places I try are full up. Turns out that the hot air balloon festival is going on in Albuquerque and there isn't a single motel room available in the entire city. They're actually filling up the motels in Santa Fe, over 50 miles away. Got one of the last rooms at the Super 8 down the street from the Harley dealership. They open at 9 so I'll be there bright and early to say hi. What a crazy day!


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