A winter ride-out with a puncture!!!

Here we are in one of the mildest December’s in the UK in living memory, no salt on the roads and the sun’s out, what better way to spend a Sunday than on a motorcycle ride-out….. well that was our thought process at the start of the day at least 🙂

We have been so busy touring all year that we have not blogged in a long while and taking a ride out on the bikes just ahead of the shortest day of the year was going to give us some great material to bring you bang up to date with what’s been happening in DragonMotoTours this year and looking ahead to 2016 – little did we know that what we would end up writing up about was a puncture!

The ride started well with several other motorcyclists out and about enjoying the winter sunshine and temperatures nudging double figures (this time last year we were riding in temps of -3 degrees!).  We took ownership of a new Kawasaki Versys 1000 a couple of months ago and that needed a few extra miles putting on it ahead of its first service so we headed into Wales and ended up at The Ponderosa cafe near Llangollen for a cuppa and a bacon sandwich.  For a few miles we had been followed by a rider on his Honda CrossTourer and as we pulled up into the car park he came across to introduce himself as someone who has booked on our tour of the Mountains of the Jura & Vosges in July next year, what do they say about it being a small world 🙂  It was good to meet Gordon and put a face to the name, we certainly look forward to riding with him next year.

Catching up with Andy at the Ponderosa

Catching up with Andy at the Ponderosa

As we go into the cafe we bump into Andy who regularly joins us on Sunday ride-outs and has toured with us in the past.  He was out with two of his mates doing the same as us and enjoying some winter motorcycling.  We introduced him to Gordon and that’s the beauty of riding bikes, there is always a common theme to chat about and in this case we started talking tyres………..  little did we know that within 5 miles of the Ponderosa we would be in a car park in Llangollen plugging one 🙂

It’s never good when the back end of a bike seems to be stepping out and particularly when the roads are a bit damp and mucky after all the heavy rain of the last few days, but as we slowed to come into the town of Llangollen Jan’s Versys started handling wrong and there it was – a flat back tyre!

Geraint plugging the tyre

Geraint plugging the tyre

We managed to pull over and luckily always carry  puncture repair kits and a foot pump and Geraint got on with the job in hand, removed the offending bolt and promptly plugged it.  Not every attempt at plugging a tyre is successful as we found out on our Shropshire & Herefordshire tour back in July 2015 when we had to call out “a very nice man in his yellow van” but luckily today the

The offending bolt

The offending bolt

bolt came out cleanly, the new plug went in well and after a good work out pumping up the tyre we were good to go.

We took it steady on our return ride home of about 30 miles and did pull over on one occasion to check to see if the tyre pressure was holding up which thankfully it was and we got back in good time to wash the bikes off and appreciate the fact that we had been carrying the appropriate gear to carry out the repair and that the plug had done it’s job……… just need to sort a new tyre now though – so that will be Jan’s Christmas present sorted then!! 🙂