Saturday Day 2-Iron Butt Saddle Sore, the hard way
We had to have witnesses sign the Iron Butt Saddle Sore Start of Trip paperwork so we asked the hotel owners as we checked out and they obliged us. At 1005 Eastern time, we gassed up at the BP station accross the street (exit 55 just east of Asheville) and headed out. Our plan was to start at 1000 so we would be able to catch some overnight shuteye if necessary and ride some more in the morning before our 24 hours expired. You never know what might happen ... All was well through the western edge of NC and into TN, the locals' inability to change lanes notwithstanding. They do not understand the concept of a passing lane. After 600 miles and an assult on Arkansas we noticed something disturbing in Arkansas (perhaps not that unusual in itsself). About a third of the knobs in the center of my rear tire were torn in half, and each missing half had taken a chunk of the tire surface with it. One crater had unearthed the first nylon belt. Not good.
After much pondering and several calls for information from the internet (thanks Russell and Bob, Rick, et al!) we formulated a plan. Ride to Little Rock and wait until Monday to searh for a dealer to install a new tire, probably overnited from SWMoto tires or someone of their ilk.
We headed out limiting speed to 60mph to reduce shear force and heat in the (brand New!) Duro rear tire. After 60 miles we stopped at a hotel and re-inspected the tire. No additional dammage. Hmmm. We have 11 1/2 hrs to cover 370 more miles. We could do that at 60. Back out we go.
Don's tire of the same brand and size is showing the cracks around the knobs, but no chunking so far, perhaps due to his 38psi vs. my 36psi and his, ahem, lower load. Also, Don's tire had 1700 miles on it, shortening the knobs a bit and perhaps reducing the shearing torque arm(?).
60 is slow. but, we pulled into our last gas stop of the day in Calumet, OK. About 1020 miles so far. A little frustration ensued when the pumps failed to print the required Iron Butt receipts. Receipts from the cashier inside required a store adress stamp, as no address was printed. But we got it all in order and headed out to do the 15 or 24 miles to the next hotel, according to the clerk. Five miles later at 6:37AM Eastern, we came upon a new Microtel hotel. Sold!