Joined: Jul 2007
That bit of blue light excitement behind me, and I was across the bridge into Chowan County, still a ways from Edenton, couldn’t be but a few drops of fuel left, and I was running the speed limit, or less, my lot for all those earlier miles of 25 over. Worse, my impromptu navigating failed me, missed a turn, but not too long a backtrack, and I wasted a few more ounces of fuel. I didn’t even want to think about how many fuel light miles I’d traveled, the bright side was that I was somehow still rolling.
I’d been through Edenton previously, thought I remembered a gas station on the way up to NC17, so I turned right at the T intersection in town, whew, made it, except that my right turn decision took me out of town, no fuel stop to be seen, damn. I made a U turn in the middle of the road, back through town, saw a quick mart sign on my right, and at that exact instant the motor hiccupped. I grabbed the clutch, hit the kill switch, and coasted the last 100yds to the pumps, completely out of fuel, engine dead.
There were two cars on the opposite side of the pumps, the first a beat ricer, the driver a twenty something with a big black ink B2TB neck tat, yeah, look it up, that skinny weak chinned dude was about as bad as a freakin’ jelly donut. He was proud of that tat though, it could have been -50 and he wouldn’t have been wearing anything to cover it up. Tat or no tat, his street cred would never rise above zero, and his description would always contain the words “loopy” and “needy”.
The other driver was older, fueling a new Civic, buzz cut, I’d have been safe betting he was retired military, plenty in the area, and he had a quizzical look when I arrived whisper quiet, no motor. I pumped 5.46 gallons into my 5 gallon tank, and some day when I want to waste some time, I’ll try to get a handle on how far I had ridden with the fuel light on, a good long ways, for sure.
The Civic guy was curious, and said “Broke down?”
I went on to explain what had happened, and when I mentioned where I was headed, he had a damn good approximation of that location too. The guy had genuine concern for my well being, can’t be faked, and bottom line, that’s retired military, and that’s also Carolina…some fine people found thereabouts. He wished me well before driving off, and I tugged the cinches, checked the snaps and Velcro one last time.
I was inbound, fueled back up, no reason for slow any longer, and as quick as I could run through the gears, I was past the NC17 intersection, nerves jangled after a close call with a left turning SUV, a mystery how a driver can’t immediately see all those bright lights on the bike. Blind or impaired, one way or another.
A shot north now, in a deepening cold, and I could see frost forming on the grass. The speed limit was 70 on this much constructed and reconstructed road, and I didn’t feel bad about 80 again as I ran for the Virginia state line. I could see the prison lights on the horizon near ElizabethCity, then I was back in the Commonwealth, a step closer. I took the cutoff at Deep Creek, the same way I had come down, except now I used I664, crossing the James River again, and up to I64, the cold ride a blur as I clicked off the milestones.
The first real stop since fuel was the toll booth at the York River bridge, where I shut down to take my gloves off and fumble around in the tank bag for some toll money. The toll booth lady was patient, but finally said “You look a little cold”, y’all wouldn’t be funnin’ me now would ya? Every puddle and ditch was frozen over, the grass and roofs white with frost. My hands were cold and I dropped my change under the bike, forget it, and I was buttoned back up, gone outta there.
I found all the yard lights on, a welcome home sign, hot food, a scalding hot toddy, light on the tea, heavy on the whiskey, and a roaring oak fire going on the hearth. When my wife said “You’re home late, any problems?”, I just relied “No Darlin’, pretty routine”.
Now, before anyone says I just told a big fat fib, it was a routine day…for me, the time passing in a high velocity dream, if those dreams were all wired, filled with craziness, the soundtrack a soaring redlined motor.
(THAT DOES IT FOR 2012.)
jdrocks screwed with this post 02-18-2013 at 01:43 PM