There’s a point at which you become so overconfident in your own abilities that you stop thinking about what you’re doing. And that’s when the trouble begins.
Getting the Honda Ascot ready for the riding season involves a trip to a dealer to have it safety inspected so it can be plated. But first it needed new rubber. The mag wheels are intended to be tubeless, but with a 29-year-old bike that will be mostly ridden by the missus I’d rather be safe and put a tube in. So that’s what I did. New tubes. New tires.
After a major battle to get the old rubber off the wheels I was worried about what it would take to get the new tires mounted. But they went back together easily and so I thought I was home free. And I was, until I filled the rear tire only to hear that dreaded hsssssssssssssss. Crap.
Pull it all apart again and sure enough, I’d pinched the tube with the irons when reinstalling the tire. I haven’t done that in years and years, but because I’d done so many before and everything was going so well with the other wheel, I stopped paying attention and pfft – another trip to the dealer. A rookie mistake to be sure, but fortunately the only cost was time, a few bucks, and the embarrassment of explaining to the parts guy why I needed another tube.
But there was value there too (this is the silver lining bit). This experience served as a timely reminder at the start of another riding season that while I may have lots of miles under my belt I mustn’t allow myself to be too confident for the first few rides lest I make another, much more costly, rookie mistake out there.