It was Murphy's Law in action for Mount Beauty man Peter Panozzo who embarked on a road trip to Melbourne on Monday morning and arrived several pothole bangs, two tyre dealers and 12 hours later.
Mr Panozzo hit a "giant" pothole on the Dederang to Yackandandah Road and couldn't find a replacement tyre at either Myrtleford or Wangaratta, so limped to Melbourne on his "spacesaver" rim to arrive at 7.30pm.
Mr Panozzo said his tale echoed many he had heard since last year's "big wet", stories of pothole-induced woes "that never seemed to end".
"I was travelling at 80 kilometres an hour all the way to Melbourne with my hazard lights on, pulling over whenever a truck wanted to pass, it was a shocker," Mr Panozzo said.
"I wouldn't want to be driving around on 13-inch rims, mine are 18 inch, but it would be even worse for motorcyclists, even more dangerous."
And while tyre dealers in the North East say business might be booming as they tend to pothole-damaged wheels every day, dealing with severely stressed people is taking its toll.
Most said they were taking calls every day from motorists who had slammed into holes on the region's damaged roads, from drivers of large-wheeled utes to smaller European cars.
Some are finding it hard to source replacement tyres for some of the hundreds of damaged wheels coming in.
"Last Saturday week I had them lined up out the gate," said Myrtleford Tyre and Battery Service owner Shane Richardson. "Yes, business is booming but I don't see it as an encouraging thing, it's a disgrace really.
"Most of them have been big, big tyres, 20, 21-inch, unusual sizes that you don't normally stock, so it's been a nightmare. They've been Mercedes, BMWs, Skodas, all this sort of stuff.
"I had a customer come in last Thursday, the pothole had absolutely destroyed the wheel, a big chunk missing out of the 19-inch alloy, it was a Mazda and she had to drive back to Melbourne.
"If something happened between here and there on her spacesaver tyre, she'd be stuck on the side of the road. It's only a matter of time before there's a fatality in my opinion and then the shit will hit the fan."
One dealer said he had been "busier than a blue-arsed fly on a pile of roadkill" in past months.
A1 Tyrepower Wangaratta manager Harrison Coatsworth said many people had hit potholes months earlier and didn't realise they were at risk of accidents, while others had just had a devastating blow and were frightened and stressed by the experience.
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"Some are coming in to change the tyres and we balance them up and find a really bad buckling in one of those rims and they go, oh, yeah, we hit a pothole six months ago," Mr Coatsworth said. "And that's every day, every single day we're seeing that.
"And with stress fractures, these can blow out at any time, it's dangerous.
"So many of them are on a Friday afternoon, they've packed up the family they're counting on the trip and essentially their weekend's ruined, their car is stuck here until we can either get a new rim or source a tyre as quick as we can. These people are incredibly stressed."
Murray Valley Tyre and Auto owner Rochelle Prosser said while many potholes had been fixed since the end of last year after the floods, business caused by damaged roads had been steady in recent weeks.
"Last year was incredibly busy, it's not been as busy as that, but with the recent rains, fixing damage from potholes has been steady," she said.
"We're getting a lot of not only tyres but cracked rims."
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