So, we didn’t make it to WonderCon today. We got out later than planned, and ended up hitting rush hour traffic in San Jose, which cleared up after a while, but dropped back to parking lot status as we approached Downtown San Francisco. By then it was raining pretty steadily as well.
Then I made the mistake of relying on Google Maps for directions to the hotel. One way streets, poorly labeled streets, streets where cars have to share with cable cars, trolleys and pedestrians… We missed our turn at one point & had to go around a few blocks to get back on track, then got stuck on Market Street where we could only move one carlength at a time.
Somewhere in all this, I drove over a bump. I didn’t think anything of it, since the car wasn’t moving fast enough to notice any change in how it handled. The low tire pressure light came on, but I see that in cold weather sometimes. It was only after we’d reached the hotel (on the left side of a one-way street) — and been handed a flyer with directions to the parking entrance — that someone in another car told us that the front right tire was flat.
Great. Flat tire, San Francisco, rush hour traffic, rain, and no parking. I decided it was better not to drive around 4 more blocks on the dead tire, and pulled over into a loading zone to change it. Still on the left side, of course.
I spent the next 20 minutes squatting or kneeling in a puddle, changing a tire in the rain while cars whizzed by two feet away. That was “fun.” Add in the fact that it was my first flat in this car, and it’s been long enough since I looked at everything when it was new that I had to look for everything, and the fact that the provided lugnut wrench doesn’t give me enough leverage…(Note to self: hang onto that ancient 4-pronged tire wrench. It works a lot better than the tool that comes with the car.)
The adrenalin rush was wearing off as we finally checked into the hotel, to the point that the clerk actually asked me if I was OK. Some boxed juice, a snack, and a hot shower later, I was ready to do things like discuss what we were going to do tonight and looking for a place to eat dinner.
As it turns out, I’m sitting in a hotel laundromat washing the street puddle out of my jeans, while Katie watches Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. Not my first choice, but what can you do?
Next: finding a nearby place to get the tire fixed or replaced before get back on the road.
See Also: Convention Photos & Write-Ups