I should know better. The first sign is that everything seems to be going OK. We are busy with preparations for sure but everything is ticking over best it can. I mounted the pannier racks on Helens bike and then decided to think about how we’d carry the spare tyres. Of course in my mind we had a lot of options. Up front, over the panniers, over the topbox, down the back… wee buns. Unfortunately I had chosen this exact moment in time, a little over a week before we leave, to actually try them on.
When offered up to the bikes the tyres looked cumbersome and awkward, mostly because of the fact that they are. Trying them on different positions was like an unwinnable game of Buckaroo. They didn’t fit over the topbox, and under it meant they covered the lights. At the sides of the panniers made the bike nearly as wide as a car. And up front caught the steering and my knees. Crap.
All this would not be such a big deal if we did not already have the carnet with 2 spare tyres registered for each bike. Leaving them behind means possible expensive shipping and getting charged for changing the Carnet. We could leave them and not change the Carnet, but what happens then? Double crap.
I felt like my head was being slowly squeezed in a vice. Panic was starting to set in and inhibit rational thought. Deciding a problem shared is a problem doubled, I told Helen. She’s very relaxed in these situations which, I get the feeling, will come in useful later on our trip too. We decided the only thing to do was to leave the tyres back where we bought them for a refund and face the charges to change the carnet (and at late notice too). I asked HUBB search and google for answers into the wee hours of the morning before finally going to sleep passing out.
As is often the case the morning brought new light to the situation. I started by looking for the receipt for the tyres which mysteriously has disappeared. It’s probably too late to leave them back now anyhow. This forced me to go have another look at the tyres and the bikes.
This time I discovered that while they didn’t fit up front on Helens F650 they were fine on the Tiger since its a bigger bike. That left the BMW. Over the back still looked best but would never fit with the topbox. Helen suggested making do without it. Then it dawned on me – A smaller topbox would be the best compromise. It keeps at least some storage but also means the tyres can go on without being in the way of lights etc. Happy days, no need to change Carnet and all that stuff after all.
Not sure what the moral to the story is, maybe I’ll figure it out when I’ve caught up on some sleep…