Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guess What I Did Today?

The day before yesterday while I was riding home from work my bike started sputtering and then stalled when I was stopped at a red light. After about two seconds I realized I was probably low on fuel so I switched over to my reserve. No biggie, I was actually pretty excited that I figured it out so quickly.
This morning I wanted to ride to work, but I wasn't really sure how far I could go on reserve. I looked in my owner's manual to see if it said, but I couldn't find anything about it. So, I knew I should just go get gas. Now for the crazy part. I've had my bike for 5 months and I've never put gas in it by myself. Sounds stupid, but every time I've gotten gas Dave has been with me, and being the gentleman that he is, he always pumped the gas for me.
Since Dave was at work, and I really wanted to ride, I figured today was a good day to grow up and pump my own gas. I rode over to the gas station, and thankfully it wasn't busy. I pulled right up and put some fuel in my baby. It really isn't a big deal, I know, but I was worried I would end up spilling gas all over the place. I didn't, not one single drop.
Since I made the gas detour I had to take a different route to work, which is always exciting. I was driving past the police station which has parking stalls in front, and I see this big black SUV with her reverse lights on, and she starts backing out right as I'm getting next to her bumper. In one movement, I honked my horn and swerved to avoid her. As I pull by she looks at me like she can't figure out why I'm honking at her. I just shake my head and ride away. Normally I would've saluted her and cursed loud enough for her to get my point. But today it just didn't seem important. She didn't see me, I was able to avoid her, and it was all good.
I have been riding to work every day and I'm so happy. I almost feel guilty because I actually live close enough that I could walk, but I'd rather ride my bike. Besides, I walk enough at work. When I ride to work, I get there feeling happy and accomplished. It's just the perfect way to start and finish the work day.
Anyways, that's all. I just wanted to share my little accomplishment of the day. I hope that all of you who are able to ride these days are enjoying it as much as I am, and for those of you who can't ride right now, I hope you are all enjoying the other pleasures in your life.

18 comments:

fasthair said...

Ms. BB: Another lesson learned. Now you need to learn this very important lesson, how far you can go on reserve. You need to start checking your mileage when you fill up. Then the next time you hit reserve get gas just as soon as possible and take note of the gallons it took to fill it up. Once you know this you will know how much reserve holds and how far you can go on reserve. Trust me you need to know this. It can mean the difference between motor hiking (pushing it to the next gas station… yes I’ve done it more then once) and making it to the next station.

For example my bike like clock work hits reserve with .8th of a gallon left. I can go and easy 25 miles and have pushed the mileage as far as just over 30. My tanks holds 5 gallons even and one that trip I put 5.1 in it. To say I was close is an understatement, too close for comfort.

Start waiting until you hit reserve before you get gas. This way you can get a good idea of when your bike will hit reserve. Re-set your trip odometer ever fill up and use it as your gas gauge. Then you will be able to tell if you have to get gas before you take off on a ride. Even though my bike has a gas gauge I still use my trip odometer to tell how much farther I can go. I feel this is important for everyone who rides. I even know what my friends’ bikes can do on a tank of gas from traveling with them so much. That way I can plan gas stops accordingly.

fasthair

"Joker" said...

BB: Congrats on fueling up without spilling! Fasthair has offered excellent advice. There's only one thing he left out that I would like to add. MAKE SURE you turn your petcock BACK to your primary "fuel on" position! If you leave it on "Reserve," the next time you run out, you won't have any reserve. That's the worst! I remember it happened to a guy coming back from Maine last year. When I asked him, "Why didn't you just go on reserve?" his answer was, "I was on reserve." Doh!!!

We ended up having to siphon gas out of another guy's bike to get him to the next gas station. Don't let that happen to you. The last thing you want is to get crowned with the Road Name "Reserve." ;)

Ann said...

BB: glad you had a successful ride! And didn't run out or spill any gas!

As to Joker's comment: I know someone who did this once! No names being mentioned here, though. :)

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Good advise from both Fasthair and Joker.

Last time I had ended up helping a fellow biker in need was for the same reason as Joker. Except she was a new rider, and her boyfriend used the bike last, hit reserve, and never told her. Boy was she pissed.

I've also hit reserve on my way home, and forgotten about it. Lucky for me, I know how many miles I can get on my tank, and fueled up before I needed a reserve that I wouldn't have had. That's when I caught my mistake. Now when ever I hit reserve on my way home first thing I do is attach a note to my keys that says get gas!

Lady Ridesalot said...

Yep! Great advice from all. I'm proud of you for your first "all by yourself" gas stop. I know, even something as simple as that, is still a big deal.
As the others said, set your trip every time you fill up. I never look at my gas gauge. I go by what the trip says I've done. I can get 185 on a full tank (depending how I've been riding) and then another 25 miles on reserve. Once you've got all that figured out, you'll never run out of gas.

You doing great! Way to go!

FLHX_Dave said...

I was waiting for the time when this happened, the whole stroking the petcock to reserve position. I was just hoping that I was there to tell you what to do when it happened. I left you in the dust so I was there...but then again I wasn't

Good job babe!

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Another lesson learned on the way to independence. Dave better be careful with all that you are learning.

fasthair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"Joker" said...

Fasthair: My pleasure, anytime. I'd like to think we all have each other's backs, which is why I enjoy doing this so much. The warmth of acceptance, the brother/sisterhood we all share as riders is unequaled by any other group of people I've ever known in my life - and I swear I'm sober right now.

fasthair said...

Joker I had that in my mind to tell Ms. BB but then forgot to write it. Thanks for bringing up that very important point! Nice to know someone has my back.

Others have mentioned that they goofed this up. There is one thing I always do in the morning as I'm getting ready to fire my bike. After I set the chock my hand moves to the fuel lever to make sure it is on. It's just a natural habit that I don't even think of. More then once I've reached down, and to my surprise, found it on reserve from the night before and forgot. That reminds me I need to get gas NOW.

One other little tip. Get in the habit while riding of just reaching down and feel for your fuel petcock. This is make it automatic to find when you need to grab it in a hurry going down the road.

fasthair

mrs rc said...

Can't say as I have ever even had to go to reserve...Jay won't let me get down that far. If I had gone anywhere near 100 miles on my Sporty, he'd insist on filling up. (And since he does the pumping AND pays for it, I am not going to argue! Though I did think it was kinda silly to act like I was gonna run out then barely put a gallon & a half in the tank!)

In the spring when I started riding my bike to work and rode 343 miles on Million Mile Monday while Jay was working, I started pushing it to see how far I could go. Keeping track of how much gas I put in too, I would recalculate my fuel economy every other day. I figured that I was getting 70 mpg and should be able to get over 200 miles out of a tankful!

Congrats on your milestone. And as funny as it may seem, I rarely pump my own gas either.

Webster World said...

This sounds great. BB dear have you started your old new job yet?

B.B. said...

Thanks for the good tips everybody! I always reset my trip when I fill up. I thought I had it figured out pretty good how far I could go, but I think because it's been colder and I've had to let my bike warm up longer I didn't take that into account. And yes I did remember to switch my petcock back, Dave has instilled that in my brain.
Webster- yes, I did start my new old job, and I'm loving it. I forgot how much fun it was!

Baron's Life said...

Another day lived another lesson learned. A good read and certainly good advice from everyone.
You need to be more careful riding, you coulda got hurt...

Webster World said...

How is the new old job?

Webster World said...

Wow I must have brain freeze! It has been cold here north of Motown. Did not realise I asked you twice about the job. Or maybe it was the Crown on the rocks?

Open Road Biker said...

Glad that it turned out okay, the end result could have been much worse. Quick thinking and good reflexes were on your side.

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