Tag Archives: flat

Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT

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Lethbridge, AB to Billings, MT ride map

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Leaving Lethbridge, AB Canada early morning.

Today is day  11 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we are riding to Billings, 404 miles of just riding. There are no planned stops except for the occasional photo, gas and food. For the most part, the trip was miles and miles of Great Plains farm and ranch land… Some may consider this boring but I actually liked it. Having grown up on a farm in Texas I do appreciate this type of living and do see beauty in this landscape. You can see for miles and miles with the occasional view of the mountains in the distance to the west. Cattle and crops all along the way. These people work hard and do provide the good food that we enjoy on our tables all across the Canada and the U.S.. If you are riding out this way it is a good ride… maybe not as spectacular as the mountains we just rode through but beautiful in its own right…

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Visitor’s Center at Milk River, AB Canada

At Milk River, AB we made a pit stop at the visitor information center and visited a bit with the young attendant who answered several of our questions. Larry asked about the town of Milk River’s  namesake. He figured it to be a big dairy area… When  The Lewis and Clark’s Expedition passed through here they described the river as appearing to be the color of a cup of tea with milk.  Apparently it looks like more milk than tea…  She also answered our curiosity about what the many fields of yellow we had seen since leaving Banff. She said they are most likely Canola. Now we know where all the Canola oil’s source comes from…

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Queued up at customs head back to U.S.A.

At the border crossing it was a bit busier at this crossing than when we entered Canada. There were several cars in front of us but the line moved fairly smoothly and quick. I was wondering if all the customs agents were so matter-of-fact with no sign of personality as this one was… It seemed Larry was taking a bit longer to be processed through. I asked him what took so long and if Mr. Personality was as personable with him. Larry said the agent was until he finished with the questions… then the agent loosened up a bit when he asked about Larry’s Victory Vision. That’s what took so long… 🙂


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More farm and ranch land on our way to Billings, MT

Our route today took us through another of the larger cities in Montana. Great Falls is the third largest City in the state with a population estimated to be 58,950 according to the 2011 census. Great Falls takes its name from the series of five waterfalls along the upper Missouri River basin.

Through out our National Park motorcycle ride we have crossed paths of The Lewis and Clark’s Expedition and Great Falls is another place they have been. We may need to retrace their expedition as a motorcycle ride someday. I will look into that when I return.

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Billings, Montana from cliffs over the city

We rode into Billings from the cliffs that border the city to the north and east. The cliffs to the north being 500 feet (150 m) tall and to the east of downtown, the face rises 800 feet (240 m). The views from the cliffs give good views of Montana’s largest city, which had a 2012 population of 151,882. The GPS routed us through the older part of the city to our motel. It had a quaint and inviting air to it that made me want to explore Billings’ history a bit more and check out some of the many sites in and around Billings. We will have to leave that to another time on a return trip.

Today was another good ride with more great scenery and good weather, a bit warmer today but still a good ride…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also, please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow will be a leisurely ride to Gillette, WY via Little Bighorn Battleground. So until then, we will get a good night’s rest. Ride safe and I hope we will see you somewhere on the road…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

I Had a Flat On My Motorcycle… Miles From Anywhere…


One big screw in my tire… Not a good thing…

I had a flat on my motorcycle… Well sort of.

I was returning from New Mexico and I was about 500 miles from home. I pulled into the picnic area to have lunch. I ran over something that made a loud pop. I looked on the road to see if something was there but I didn’t find anything. I checked my rear tire to see if I had damaged the tire but I didn’t find anything. So after lunch I packed up everything again and headed down the highway. As I pulled on to the highway I could hear a clicking sound that increased in frequency as I sped up. Then I knew I had picked up something in my tire. I stopped on the shoulder and checked the tire more closely, rolling the bike forward until I found a very large screw sticking in the center of the tire.

Rest stop with town in the distance…

Because the size of the screw was very large, I was afraid that the plug wouldn’t do the job. The tire wasn’t leaking air so I opted to ride to the next town which is about 6 or 7 miles ahead. I could see the town from the picnic area. The first business I saw when I got to town was a small tire shop. I stopped and the owner was a biker and he plugged the tire. The screw looked even bigger once it was pulled from the tire. I wasn’t sure if the plug would hold. Now I had to decide if I should ride back to Lubbock or ride on to Abilene. It was Monday and bike shops are always closed on Mondays so either way I could not get the tire replaced until the following day. I decided to ride on to Abilene. The tire shop owner told me to call him if I had any problems and he would come get me. Hearing that made me feel good. When I got to Sweetwater I stopped for gas and checked the tire pressure and it was good so I decided to ride on. I stopped a second time about 150 miles further and the tire was still OK. The GPS was estimating my arrival in Georgetown at 7:30 PM so I thought I would try to make it on home. The last time I stopped for gas I called Janet to let her know my ETA. I got home at 7:44. It was good to be home. I missed my riding buddy that I left at home.

If you don’t have a tire repair kit that you carry I hope this story makes you realize that a tire problem can happen to you. Sometimes in places that would put you between a rock and a hard place. There are a lot of tire repair kits out there. Which kit is the best has yet to be determined by me. I have spoken to several people in motorcycle shops and they all have various opinions but they all seemed to be saying they are all good if you have a flat. Some are easier to use than others. It comes down to your preference and space you have available on your bike.

“Slime” air compressor stowed in the Goldwings right saddlebag.

Progressive Suspension tire repair kit stowed in the Goldwing’s left saddlebag.

My tire repair kit is made by Progressive Suspension.  It is contained in a small case so it doesn’t take up much room. The kit has 2 CO2 cylinders , 3 tire plugs, insertion tool, cement and small hose to air tire with CO2 cylinders. A friend suggested I get a small air compressor also because if the patch leaks you can add air and it is easier than using the CO2 cylinders. The air compressor is made by Slime the folks who make the tire sealant. It too is very small and stores away easily. The sides of the Goldwing’s saddlebags are not flat and have indentions where I have velcroed the patch kit and air compressor. So they use space that would normally be wasted.

Gryyp tire plug

There is another patch kit I plan to get. It’s the Gryyp tire plug. I have found them as a kit with CO2 cylinders but I want just the plugs and haven’t found where I can buy them separately. I like these because you screw them in and snap of the top part and go. The reason I think this will work well is I know a rancher who patches his 4 wheeler tires with metal screws. The tires have many screws in them. He picks up thorns daily on his ranch. He says he would go broke fixing and buying tires if he didn’t use the screws. So when I saw this product I thought why not… If any of you have experience using this product please share your thoughts in a comment.

Don’t leave home without your tire repair kit…

I hope we see you down the road somewhere.

Ride safe…