Sunday, June 8, 2008

Runnin on Empty

This weekend I competed in the MinuteMan1000 24 rally. (this might be a separate post). I am in Whitney Point, NY about 30 miles east of Cornell University my last rally bonii of the day. It is 224 miles according to my Garmin from Whitney to Northampton, the finish line. I can make it without having to stop for gas..Woo Hoo. Fast forward to I91 between exits 17 and 18. Only a few miles left. Bike begins to sputter, I switch to reserve, the bike fires back to life, I check in a rally HQ at precisely 6:12. On the Connie, reserve always comes on at the 225 mile mark.

The next couple of hours is spent talking about our experiences, just walking around to get the stiffness out from sitting on our bikes for the last 24 hours. Finally breakfast is served right around 10:30 with the award ceremony that follows. Award and certificates are handed out, I run into a fellow NP Touring member that I have never meet before from Fredericksburg, VA. We chat about chasin stuff, and how we file things and stuff like that. We say our goodbyes and its off to the bike to go home.

I am riding down I91, exit right to the Mass Pike, had to interpret which way to go East or West (after all I have been up for nearly 30 hours at this point), choose the right way and heading for home. Push the Garmin and see it is 20 more miles to the exit. Ride abit, boy I am tired, maybe I should pull over into the Service Plaza and rest. No point finishing a good run at the rally with a crash because I am tired. Pull in. Go to McDonalds and get one of their $1 sweet teas, proceed to the picnic tables across the parking lot, bike is in eyesight of me and proceed to doze off. (Why is it important that the bike be visible if I am going to fall asleep)

There's this jumble at the table. Someone else has sat down at the picnic table and wakes me up. Time to go anyways. Walk to the bike, take glasses of, put helmet on, put glasses back on, put riding jacket on, start bike up, mount up and we are good to go. Now don't forget where I am. Ride around the parking lot, make a right turn toward the entrance ramp, ride past the 20 or so gas pumps at the service plaza, accelerate a bit and make my way onto the Mass Pike.

Riding along, thinking what a smart rider I was for pulling over to rest rather than fall asleep on the bike. Sppp Sppput SSpit. Ah the bike is sputtering, reach down to turn to Reserve, What's this, it's already on Reserve, look at the tripometer that I was set at each gas fillup. It reads 283 miles, aw FUCK, I am running out of gas.

So here I am, out of gas and watching the trucks and cars zoom past me on the Mass Pike. It felt like be on one of the corners of a NASCAR race. Yeah I ran out of gas on a curve. Hey I have RVRoadHelp and I get to finally see how this works (always try to find a silver lining in the clouds) . I call, go thru their menu, which they ask me if I want it in Spanish or English (in spanish they ask me this), and get...

"all of our agents are busy assisting other customers right now, you are important to us and we will answer you call in the order it was received"...

"all of our agents are busy assisting other customers right now, you are important to us and we will answer you call in the order it was received"...

"all of our agents are busy assisting other customers right now, you are important to us and we will answer you call in the order it was received"

you get the point,

Jerome: Hi my name is Jerome (i might be making the name up), Can you tell me your name and membership number"

Me: blah blah blah, ME Thought Bubble, we do they ask for this when you had to plug it in before you even got a chance to get to the point to wait for someone to take your call, Do they really need it or is it because it has been so long they forgot the number I plugged in. ME Make Note to Myself lie the next time they ask about your membership number.

Jerome: What kind of vehicle to do you have

Me blah blah blah

Jerome: How can I assist you today

Me: I have run out of gas

Between Jerome and Me we establish I am right by Exit 10 on the Mass Pike, in Auburn, MA.

Jerome: You will have to call the Mass Turnpike Authority, you are on a limited access road.

ME: You can't help Me ?

Jerome: I have the number here. No I am sorry we are not authorized to go on the Mass Pike.

ME: So you can't help me.

Jerome: I am sorry

Me Thought Bubble I really don't believe Jerome gives a rat ass about me, being stuck on the Mass Pike, out of gas. The price you pay for stupidity. Drats

Well I call Tavana, she is home and is more than willing to come to her Dads rescue. We establish she and Jeff (her boyfriend) has to head west a bit so they are coming East on the Mass Pike. I am waiting, realizing it is really hot out here, wondering when the next vehicle will swing wide and take me and my bike out. I say to myself, I sure hope they come in Jeff's truck so it it visible for the oncoming traffic.

So down the road comes this huge truck and pulls over. Well aren't they nice, maybe it is one of the highway guys, but the truck is not yellow. Hey hey hey, Its Jeff and Tavana in a dump truck. Now this thing is huge and sure is visible on the highway and if anything hits it other than an 18 wheeler we are safe.

The rest of the story is anti-climatic other than Tavana bringing a bottle of water, which was really nice of her. She is always thinking!! So thank ya T, I love ya.

Moral of the story: Running out of gas is stupid. There is no moral to this story !

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Hey Bill, that's definitely NOT the time you want to run out of gas. At least you were fairly close to home and you have a daughter that is thoughtful enough to bring you water on such an extremely hot day.