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Motorcycle Side of the Road

helping a motorcyclist on the side of the road

Camaraderie is one of the best things about motorcycling. We’ve all found ourselves travelling down the road and coming across a motorcyclist pulled over. We ask ourselves the same familiar questions: Should I pull over and check on this person? Is he or she in trouble or just stretching legs?

There a million reasons why we shouldn’t stop. A million reasons why you and I should just keep going. We’ve got things to do, places to be, mouths to feed, people waiting for us, and people counting on you.

But…

There’s one reason why you should stop: That motorcyclist is just like you. For every reason you have not to pull over and see if you can lend a hand, that motorcyclist has as many reasons why he or she shouldn’t be on the side of the road to begin with.

Getting Raila Rolling

That’s how I met Raila, a motorcyclist on the side of the road. She had taken off her helmet but was still wearing the rest of her motorcycle gear and talking on her cell phone when I rolled up behind her. From what I understood her motorcycle had begun sputtering and was acting as if it had ran out of gas.

I’d worked in the motorcycle biz for two years. In my experience, when a motorcycle starts acting like it’s out of gas, 9 out of 10 times, it is. Ask a mechanic what makes more mistakes, a motorcycle, or a motorcyclist. Generally our favorite machines are pretty reliable.

We took a look down the gas tank. Bone dry. Raila pointed out some gas way down there, but she had to use a flashlight to see it. If you need to look that far down, it’s time to hit the station.

Raila’s husband was going to drive from across town through 5:00 traffic to get her. What a waste of time. There was a gas station about a 10 minute ride away. I rode to the gas station, bought a jerry can, put a gallon or two in it, and rode back to Raila. I poured the gas in to her tank, spilling gas all over it in the process, because you can never just help someone without ******** something up.

In hindsight I was an idiot:

I left Raila without even trying to see if her motorcycle would start after we gassed up. I just assumed it was magically fixed. Oh well.

Raila, if you’re out there, many safe trips!

Adrian

About Adrian S

2 comments

  1. hi
    two thoughts: in the old days (ha!) (that is, when I learned to ride in the late 60s early 70s) if you broke down on the side of the road and needed and wanted help, all riders knew that you would take off your helmet, walk back behind your bike several car lengths and put the helmet down on the shoulder of the road….this not only told oncoming riders you needed help, but gave them time to slow and stop.
    and it’s really easy to carry a length of siphoning tubing taped to the underside of your seat or the inside of a side cover. who needs a gas can when you can just transfer a pint from one bike tank to the other…

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