On Memorial Day weekend, I finally had the 13 year old, hard as a rock Yokohama AVS tires replaced on my Europa Special. The dearth of choices available for 13 inch rims these days pretty much meant settling on the Sumitomo HTR tires. It was the only street tire available in both 185/60 (front) & 205160 (rear) sizes, and reasonably close to resembling a performance tire.
Fast forward to August 7th. We had driven the Europa to check out The Village Squire as a dinner spot to meet at after the Elgin National Road Races Car Show. Returning to the car, something on the right rear tire caught my eye, and looking more closely, I was horrified to find it was the head of a nail in my new tire! Carefully pulling the offender out, it turned out to be an aluminum spike from a nail gun, just over an inch long. It had entered the tire sideways, going into the tread at a very shallow angle, but miraculously without puncturing the carcass. I have since added it to my rogues gallery of highway hazards.
In this case I was “spared” the task of changing and repairing a flat tire, but at least I had a spare if it had come down to that. But what about those folks whose cars are not so equipped? Sadly, you never know when some roadside shrapnel will ruin your tire and your day. There is a reason why since the earliest days of motoring, automobiles have always carried a spare.