I’ve always wondered what’s like to have a tire blowout. And now I know. It’s kind of scary.
I was heading South on the 5, just North of the 14. The front left tire started making some really weird noises, and then it exploded, sending bits of black tread spraying everywhere. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what had just happened. Hmm… what part of my car is made of black plastic? In a mild panic, I carefully steered Gypsy to the shoulder and immediately called AAA. I told the kind lady on the phone that it might be a tire blowout, but I wasn’t sure. At that point all I knew was that I was parked on a curve, mere inches from traffic flying by at 60-80 mph, the car wasn’t drivable, and I needed their help.
While I waited for my AAA hero I hurriedly grabbed the important stuff (Sake and my computer backpack) and set them on the other side of the concrete barricade. I was fairly certain that some distracted driver was going to veer 3 inches out of their lane and crash into Gypsy. Despite harboring this very rational fear, I eventually worked up the nerve to walk around to Gypsy’s front, stick my head between her and the traffic whizzing by, and investigate the damage. Yup, tire blowout. That’s the tread lying right in front of Gypsy. After snapping this photo I quickly skittered back to the other side of the concrete barricade to relative safety.
The daredevil AAA guy showed up within 20 minutes, and swiftly swapped my tattered tire with my spare. It’s hard to believe that these people do this sort of thing every single day. Maybe I’m overestimating how dangerous it is to stand 12 inches from a big rig moving at 65 mph, but I was pretty nervous that the AAA guy was going to get smooshed while changing my tire. He wasn’t fazed at all.