Saturday morning the chicken flew in through the window and broke Levent’s favorite earthenware pot. The chicken duly thrown out, we all had breakfast and the others went back to sleep.
I was awake though, and so convinced Aidan we should ride into town to buy new tires. Yesterday’s research had shown that big-bike off-road tires are not so easily available in Georgia, and since we’d have to race across Turkey, it would be best to buy them now, rather than trying to organise them on the run.
I’d found a likely tire shop called Motolastik in Izmir and had txt them, but gotten no reply. So we rode there on Pippa. At first they seemed closed, but as we parked up, the door opened. Ah, the guys from the text! They dug out three tires. A rear Continental TXC80, a rear Metzler Karoo3 and a Heidenau front. That’s all they had. The former two were the ones we wanted, the latter an option Aidan was willing to accept. I’d just have to find myself a front TKC80 then. They were pricey too, but still not so much more that it would have been worth lugging a spare set all the way from London.
Tires sorted, they shop guys asked if we were hungry and ordered a mountain of Kofte, chicken, kebabs, bulgur, chilli sauce, aubergine sides and bread and one of them went to the corner shop to fetch cola and ayran. Turkish customer service! Tires were piled on the floor and a wooden board was laid across as to form a table. Newspaper served as table cloth and stools and chairs were found somewhere.
The food was yum! Lots of banter and several cigarettes later, we finally decided to make a move and strapped the tires to the bike. Cerrahoglu, the owner (I think), mentioned it should be the man, not the woman, that does the strapping, and if there was a Turkish version of me, he would marry me. If only he knew I’m not the marrying kind 🙂
A few more cigarettes later it was decided we should have a little discount, enough for quite a few beers 🙂 And then we wobbled off, the third tire between us and a huge grin on our faces.
We still needed the fourth tire of course. So I emailed Bora Eris. He’d been recommended on the HUBB and he got back to me straight away. He would deliver to anywhere in Turkey, wherever our trip had taken us and he had the tire I wanted.
I gave him my card details for payment, but none would work. So he said not to worry, he would send the tire anyways and we should just pay into his account when we get a chance! Luckily the last card I had ended up working though.
He gave us the address of a Kargo company and said to collect the tire the next day. So we did and the tire was waiting for us. Just a signature and it was ours. Easy as that. Brilliant! 🙂