Last Friday, February 16th I was driving my Honda Fit (TOAD) southbound on I-75 through Ohio, and Kentucky back to Tennessee. The road surface in Ohio was starting to show some winter wear. The asphalt does not do well with the seasonal extremes of freezing and thawing. There were a few potholes that I could either avoid or periodically face a momentary bump. It was nothing too jarring.
Kentucky was another matter. Around mile marker 170 the road was pocked with large segments of missing asphalt. I ran the slalom successfully until I encountered a crater at mile marker 165 that had been copied from the dark side of the moon. There was no avoiding the yard long truck tire wide caldera. My front driver’s side tire slammed it at seventy miles per hour sending a jarring sensation through the steering wheel into my arms and translating through the floor up my spine. I checked the dash indicators for a low tire warning but the indicator remained unlit.
I thought I felt a minor vibration but could not be certain if it was the road condition or a problem with the steering. I pushed on running the slalom more carefully. The right hand berm was dotted with a few abandoned cars each sporting a flat front tire. It made me nervous to see them and I grew even more curious about the vibration. The road conditions improved after ten miles but continued to be dotted with shallow potholes.
By the time I reached Lexington, Kentucky the vibration had become more pronounced I pulled off at US 60 at mile 110. Much to my chagrin the drivers side front tire had a sidewall separation. In layman terms, a big bubble on the side of the tire. I took a room at the Holiday Inn at the exit. It was 3:30 PM. I called around and found S & S tire. They had the exact matching tire for the Fit. I drove to their location about four miles from the hotel. An hour and a half later and $121.00 lighter I drove off with the smooth sensation of good tires.
I had inquired at the hotel front desk where a good local restaurant was. I did not want the usual available brands. I was looking for something unique. Ramsey’s Diner was the answer. The food was great. I had a lemon yogurt blackened chicken with mashed potatoes and a side of garlic butter lima beans. The garlic butter masked the lima beans flavor, and washed it all down with a local IPA from Country Boy Brewing. It all tasted amazing. I also sampled a piece of Missy’s pie, their own pie brand. There were seventeen types of pie available. I decided on the Combination Pie. It is a peanut butter, brownie amalgam. If you ever get to Lexington and need a place to eat, I highly recommend Ramsey’s. There are multiple locations. I ate at the one on MaOWar Blvd. near the hotel. It is situated in a strip mall and is very plain from the outside. The interior is low key too. It was packed with families as well as adults meeting to start their nights. Don’t be put off by the bar. It is a family friendly place. A worthwhile spot.
After the costly road hazard and the expense of the hotel, Ramsey’s was a a welcome oasis.