Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bikes: Adventures.

I got to ride to work yesterday after all.

Just before we closed, one of the crew asked me "So, what are you doing tonight?"
To which I responded "Oh, I'm just going to ride home and do the usual: Sit on the porch, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette, read a book."

What I should have said is:

"I'm going to ride home through evening air that's going to feel like I'm riding through a stalled conex trailer full of wet towels in the middle of the Mojave in July. I'm going to take a little detour to top off the gas tank and discover that the lock on the cap is a mite dry and rusty, so it won't operate. So, I'll set off for home, only to discover that I already had the fuel tap set on 'reserve', so that when the bike sputters to a halt on Bluegrass, it is well and truly out of gas. Then, not having my cell phone with me, I'll hike 2.5 miles home in the muggy summer night air, wearing an armored leather Joe Rocket jacket and lugging a helmet, because I'm afraid to take the jacket with its reflective patches off, since Bluegrass is narrow, hilly, twisty, poorly lit, and has no shoulders. When the first nice couple stops to help, only a hundred yards down the road, childhood instincts about getting in cars with strangers will make me say "No, thanks, I'm almost home" before realizing that no, I'm not almost home, and armed bikers really don't have much to fear from young couples in Chevy Cavaliers. So, I'll watch them drive off while I keep stumbling through the ditches at the side of the road. Staggering down the home stretch, having sweated off fifty pounds, I'll note that with the lack of moonlight under the trees it is darker than three feet up a well-digger's arse at midnight and I don't have one of the fifty-seven flashlights I own with me. Thankfully my neighbours will rescue me and drive me to get my bike, which despite gobs of CLP being squirted into its lock, still twists the only key to the bike almost to the point of breaking. Then we'll use the flat scales of my pocket knife to try and press the twisted key flat against a handy brick subdivision entrance, since we'll realize that neither of us has our Leatherman tool on our person at the moment. Neither will the friendly K-9 officer who will just happen to show up at that point. I'll finally get the key straightened enough to get the bike started, and my neighbours will follow me home.

Then I'll sit on the porch, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette, and read a book."

And that's just exactly what I did. :)


Anonymous said...

The weather gods are giggling.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason I replaced the keylock-only gas cover with a push-button one... I can still lock it to prevent unwanted access, but 99% of the time it only needs a push to open.

(PS: How coincidental is it that the word verification jumble has "CBR" in it???)

Steve Skubinna said...

Yeah, ya wanna watch out for those cigarettes. They can be bad for you.

Dan said...

Yeah, those childhood instincts go out the window when I'm stranded many miles from home trying to get a dead bike running. Luckily, that has only happened a few times (knock-knock-knock on wood).

Keep your bike outside, huh? You will learn to always keep some spray lube on the bike somewhere you can get to at all times. Even if it's duct taped to the bottom of your seat or a frame tube. It will really save you out in the boonies, or just 2 miles from home.

I feel bad because I didn't stop for 2 broke down riders this past weekend. After being stranded, I always try and stop to see if I can help.

Shane said...

Years ago I ran out of gas on the side of the freeway, reserve gone. I was about five miles from the nearest exit. I could still hear a little sloshing sound, though. The petcock was on the left side of the tank and there was a little gas left on the right side. I leaned the bike over as far as I could and still be able to stand it back up. Enough gas went over to the left so I was able to ride to the gas station. I checked it out later, the crossover tube was plugged. I left it that way.

Jeffro said...

Heh. Just remember, it's a hell of a life if ya don't weaken.

BobG said...

Only one beer? After all that?

phlegmfatale said...

awww, if only I'd been in the neighborhood. These days my leatherman Juice is always in my handbag. By the way, I've used the phillips screwdriver 3-1 over all the other tools combined. I never would have imagined.

Anyway, I'll bet the beer, book and cigarette were all the sweeter for the effort it took to get home, weren't they?

NotClauswitz said...

It's fun also when you're twelve miles up a bit of single-track. Not that I've ever done that, I've been the tanker though - as long as they like premix, and four-strokes don't care, the hussies.