Opinion

What eight flat tyres in one year will teach you - aside from how to use a jack

By Holly Tregenza

This year I’ve had eight flat tyres.

Eight.

I know what you’re thinking: surely there are not enough nails in the world, sharp curbs and dodgy ditches in the Goulburn Valley for me to pop another.

But the demonic little orange alert warning on my car has lit up again, and I’ll be poking my head back into my local repair shop — where I’ve become quite the regular — for another fun round of Which Tyre Is It This Time?

And while it’s nice for the local barista to learn your name and order — one chai latte, thanks — I have to say the charm is significantly less when it’s rubber.

But I’ve come to appreciate the time I’ve spent crouched in the dirt this year on the many roads of the GV.

As I pack my doomed vehicle to the brim and prepare to move interstate for my next (no doubt pot-hole riddled) gig, there’s something sweet about the memories I have of being rescued and rightly ridiculed for my tyre troubles.

I’d driven a solid 40 minutes without noticing I had my first flat (look away car enthusiasts, the following is not going to please you) and only realised I was low on air when a truck tooted and flashed me to stop.

Just three weeks into the job and new to the area, I had no-one to call and a frantic YouTube search of ‘how to change a tyre’ was not producing results.

My usual rescue operator (Dad) was two and half hours away and rightly told me to suck it up and sort it out myself when I called him for sympathy.

The day was saved by a hero in a Cobram Courier advertising rep disguise, who had literally met me the week before and drove out to appropriately operate the jack.

I’ve never been so grateful for a well-adjusted adult with basic life skills.

And you, the people of the GV, have proved again and again that not only are you wonderfully well-adjusted — you’re also incredibly kind to strangers.

Like the time I locked myself out of my mate's house while she was in Melbourne with the only key, popped another tyre and stubbed my toe for good measure, all within about 13 seconds.

The hero that time was a real estate agent who answered my pitiful call and came out on a Sunday evening to let me back into the house.

Or the numerous times my Kyabram guardian car angels — Nick Ciavarella Auto — saw something wrong while passing my car parked in the street and dropped by the office to let me know.

And while I can’t pack the whole of the GV in the car with me (the weight would almost certainly cause all four tyres to burst simultaneously), you’ve all certainly taught me some lessons that I’ll be tucking into my suitcase.

Looking out for each other might seem pretty obvious to you, but it’s not always guaranteed in the cities and suburbs.

So thanks — for the ‘you’ve got a flat’ toots, the encouraging words and the occasional roadside meltdown that you’ve helped me avoid.

While my tyres remain resolutely deflated, thanks to you, I leave the GV anything but.