07 August 2011

Motorcycle Adventures

I have now put over 500 miles on my motorcycle in the two months I've had her. And they have certainly been filled with adventure. Take, for example, the two times I ran out of gas on the highway. Just last Friday I was coming home from work when I rolled the throttle to accelerate and the bike wouldn't respond. I figured something was up so I quickly headed to the right and coasted into the shoulder (which was about as wide as the shoulder on a stick figure). From there I had to wave cars around me as I switched the petcock to the reserve tank. I am generally a pretty good planner and on top of things, but it's hard on a motorcycle when there's no fuel gauge. But now I know, I can go exactly 154 miles on one tank of gas.
A second adventure came when I went to get my rear tire fixed. I looked up a place online that appeared to be friendly enough so I booked an appointment. The location was more than sketchy. Tucked away in the back of a strip mall of car repair shops, the space was tiny. I don't think they are used to people waiting for their repairs. When I walked in there was a man at the computer looking at some questionable pictures of the fairer sex, and when he turned around to gruffly ask me what I wanted I could see his shaved head and braided goatee. Just then another man walked in, this one with tats all down hit arms- visible because he wore a wife beater- and a cigarette behind his ear. He pulled up in a Crown Vic and the original man asked him, "Whose grandma did you steal that ^$&#(@ from?" I asked them to look at my rear tire so they went and got the mechanic. He walked in with a mohawk. At this point I wondered to myself if I could run out to Stella and escape with her in time to avoid the gunshots that were sure to ensue. Internally I opted to stay, feeling safe with my mace and my work polo shirt. People with polo shirts don't get beat up, right? The story actually has a nice ending. While waiting for my bike to be fixed I had a pleasant conversation about the best kind of cigarettes to smoke with the tattooed man and the braided goatee man. They fixed my bike in a short amount of time for a very reasonable price and taught me some things about cigs. I would go back again, but I think I'll grow my beard out a little more and get some fake earrings before setting foot in the 'lobby.'
The longer I have my motorcycle the deeper I realize the riding culture runs. Motorcycle riders come in all shapes and sizes and it's only a matter of time before I discover what type of rider I will be.