During my first year on the road I just couldn’t, for the life of me, hold onto my tire dollar. At first I’d keep it in my saddle bag but something always came up that I’d dig into the bag to get that dollar. Sometimes it was a water stop, a lunch stop, or even some ice cream.
Back then I didn’t really now my way around so I tended to ride along the same routes and places. One Friday after work I decided to stop at The Senor’s house which was along my route. It was just a couple miles away from where I started. I knew he’d be home because he worked from home on Fridays and it was late enough that he’d probably be done with work and wanna join me for a ride. I knocked, he opened, and was all crabby. I asked him to join me for a ride and he declined as he was still working. He invited me in but I politely refused saying I must get on with my ride. I asked for a tire dollar and he gave it to me and I was quickly back on my bike.
On the annual Shelter Island ride held by my bike club, we boarded the ferry. They let us on and, as the boat rolled, they collected their pay. I had a $20, a $5, and a $1. The $1 was, of course, my tire dollar. They ask that you use exact change. I gave him my $20. He refused to take it as he had seen what I had on hand. I explained that I needed to save my single in case of something bad happening with my tire. One of the guys told me to use the $20, if I needed, in my tire. I told him that my tire is not a savings account and would never get my $20. The guys got me to give over my single because I wasn’t alone on this ride and one of them would spot me the dollar, if needed, for the tire. My tire was ok and I wound up not needing that dollar.
Eventually the tires got worn down and, after my first winter on the road, I changed those tires. I kept the one that was less worn to use as a spare. The one that was shot was used to make bumpers so I would never again need that damn tire dollar.