august 18, 2006 :: day two

as was mentioned in the last post, we woke up late. none of the alarms went off and we started the day a good hour or so later then we really needed to. oh well, can't say we aren't used to being late...hehe.

Packing up outside the Best Western hotel.

out we went and packed up the bike. it was another gorgeous day and i couldn't wait to get on the road. i considered this to be the most challenging day. we would have to ride through Montreal and make sure that we stayed on highway 20. getting lost in Montreal was not on my list of things to do that day. we had it happen while driving the car and it wasn't a pleasant experience.

the hotel was offering breakfast, but due to the fact that we were already behind schedule (and the fact that i can't eat right after i wake up) we hit the road. once we both started to get hungry we would stop for something to eat.

getting out of the town was a heck of a lot easier then expected. once we were out on the main drag we could see a sign for the highway and the direction to Montreal. within minutes we were on the highway and well on our way to Montreal.

we made a quick stop at a Mike's Restaurant for breakfast. they have a great breakfast selection for a decent price, but i find the rest of the menu a little lacking on the servings and abundant on the price.

it was pretty easy to stay on highway 20. after Montreal, highway 20 turned into the 401 which is the highway that leads to the border crossing and our first meet up with people from the only worry that i had was navigating the maze know as Montreal.

we stopped at a Shell gas station a little ways into Montreal, got some gas and sat down to figure out where we needed to go. a very friendly woman, who was just getting into her car, asked if we needed some assistance. we asked her for advice on staying on highway 20 so that we could connect to the 401. she really couldn't have laid it out any simpler for us; stay left until you see signs for Toronto. after that, Montreal was a breeze. i was actually enjoying weaving through traffic and watching for the signs. in no time at all we were seeing signs for Toronto and the 401. my new hero was highway 20. there couldn't be an easier way to get through Montreal and avoid the worst of it's traffic.

with the complicated part of the trip behind us, all we had to do was make our 12 noon meet time at the border. we were cutting it close as it was.

things were working out pretty easy and i thought the signs were pretty much guiding us to where we needed to go. we saw the first sign for a border crossing and i knew that wasn't the one. i figured it would be the next one for sure. we grabbed the exit for the next border crossing and pulled into the parking lot for the duty free shop. no sign of a yellow Honda Shadow though, it seemed like we made it with time to spare.

we started taking our gear off and sucking back water. it was quite warm and we were happy to get a breeze. i asked one of the locals (on a whim) if this was the border crossing near Lansdowne, Ontario. nope. it's about a half hour down the road. on went the gear and off we went again.

that set us back a little bit and we were a little late , but at the duty free shop was the yellow Honda Shadow.

we pulled in and got out of our gear once again.

paul comes up to us, "Black Shadow Sabre, New Brunswick plates...must be jason!"

Paul, Line and Joey.

introductions go around and we have met our first people from the forums, paul and line. great couple and i would easily ride with them again.

we sat around for a while chatting, having a drink and generally relaxing. it was nice to take a long break from the saddle and soak up the beautiful day in good company.

Taking a drink.

after changing up some currency, we headed out to the border crossing and waited...and waited...and waited some more. damn it was hot! joey was dying on the back and my leather was sticking to me like glue. i couldn't have been happier for an easy border crossing.

the crosswinds going through New York state were nuts and it was a fight every time the sides of the highway opened up. when we stopped for gas i realized that i was going to have trouble figuring out my gas use and the amount of money that we spent. the switch over to gallons and american currency was going to throw things off. honestly, i still haven't sat down to calculate it. ;)

we made a few short stops on the way, but were once again pressed for time. we had to meet up with another HS.netter in Rochester and still get to Niagara Falls before 8pm.

we pretty much had smooth sailing all the way to the meeting point. we did, however, push through some of the darkest clouds i've seen. we had a few drops of rain, but managed to get to the other side before it got bad. looking in the review mirrors revealed a really nasty looking sky. a thunder storm for sure.

we stopped at a Chili's restaurant for some drinks while paul gave joe a call and told him that we arrived.

Joey is just scratching her

introductions and stories swapped (joe couldn't believe that we had traveled so far on a stock bike) and we were on the road again.

joe led us the rest of the way to Niagara Falls, or at least to the border. after that, we sorta got lost...hehe. joey knew the way to the hotel, but it was from another bridge, not the one that joe had led us across. with a couple of turns we managed to get a spot where joey could direct us into town and to the hotel. navigating from the back seat, no less.

we stowed our gear once we got our rooms and called a taxi. it was time to meet the rest of the group.

the maniacal taxi driver got us to Boston Pizza in one piece and it only took a minute for joe to track everyone down.

Boston Pizza and the Skywheel.

lots of talking and food and then it was off to visit the falls and then the local karaoke bar! the karaoke bar is a huge out door deck. it has monitors that are out by the street and all over the bar so that everyone can see you on stage (no i didn't get up, yes i'm a chicken ;p). both paul and line got up to do songs and the rest of us made general fools of ourselves. i'm not much of a drinker, so i had my usual one cooler and then switched to Coke.

it was a long night after a long day of driving, but i didn't feel tired until we hit the bed at around three in the morning.

to be continued...

august 17, 2006 :: day one

we tried to get up as early as possible, but that never seems to work out for us regardless of what we are doing. thankfully we packed everything up the night before. we had breakfast (egg sandwiches) tied the pack to the bike, suited up and off we went for gas. we did the usual pre ride check and maxed the pressure in tires.

Start of the trip

we had our first "oops" on our way out of town. i was paying so much attention to the road that i blew past our first exit...hehe. luckily it wasn't the last exit and we managed to take the second one which got us merrily on our way.

the weather was the best that we could ask for. it was warm and slightly breezy which made for a great riding experience. seeing that our riding was all highway, i couldn't be more thankful.

the next "oops" that was made was a minor miscalculation in the amount of gas that the bike would be burning with a load. see, i usually get around 200km or so until i hit the reserve line. after that, i'm looking at around 40 more kilometers until i'm completely out of gas. we were cruising along and about to pass a gas station. i looked at my trip meter and deduced that we have another 40km to go before i had to switch to reserve. that should be enough to make it to the next town, even if i had to touch reserve. 10km later, we hit the reserve line. with the full load on the bike, we lost 30km worth of gas.

now i'm thinking, oh shit. i haven't seen a sign for another town for quite some time. we are already on reserve which means i might have another 25km before we run out of gas completely. what a start to the trip that would be. forget getting lost, running out of gas is about ten times worse and it puts a ridiculous delay on getting anywhere.

i was literally watching the kilometers click by, just waiting for the bike to start sputtering. i could see what looked like a small town in the distance, but it was hard to tell exactly how far away it was.

we rounded a couple more hills and my anxiety disappeared. i could see a bridge leading to the town of Nackawic and just past the bridge was a gas station with a restaurant. we stopped for gas and a bite to eat, two birds with one stone. i vowed that would never happen again, even if i had to stop at every single gas station from there to Niagara Falls.

Springwater, NB

the rest of that day was pretty much uneventful. we made our way to Drummondville, Quebec where we thought it would be easy to find a hotel. it was already dark so navigating a strange town was a little more difficult. after puttering around for a good half hour, we finally found a Best Western to stay at. very comfy spot, but all i could think of was how i was going to find our way out of the town again. day and night can make a world of difference in the look of place.

Gas stop in Quebec

they were doing renovations, but the room was very nice. two beds, nice bathroom, very cozy. i set two alarms to wake us up and we watched TV for a while before slowly drifting off to sleep.

to be continued...

the trip

well tomorrow is the big day. we hit the road at 7am to make our way to Niagara Falls, Ontario. we are both very excited and i hope that at least i can get some sleep tonight. i'm notorious for being like a little boy at times like this. not being able to get to sleep due to the excitement.

the bag is packed and i finished picking up the last couple of things that we needed. i also managed to get in one last ride with the guys from the dealership. their rides are every wednesday evening and this is the last wednesday i have off for another three weeks. that will bring me pretty close to the end of the riding season for this area. ugh, don't even want to think about that.

well, i'm off. wish us luck!

the ordeal

so, before we go on our trip i decide to put the bike in for it's regular maintenance. i thought it would be a good idea to get the shop guys to give Selene a thumbs up and get the 6500 Km maintenance out of the way. i knew they would give me a loaner, so it didn't matter how long it took. i figured i would get a Harley or a Buell. either would have been fine, i just needed something to ride. what follows is my account of yesterday and what has become my hatred of a certain motorcycle made by Honda.

i set up an appointment for friday, august the 11th. i had to do my usual 12 hour shift at work, so i would be dropping it off during a scheduled two hour break and grabbing a loaner. i was kind of excited to get to ride a different bike and also glad to be out of work on a gorgeous day.

so i drop the bike off and get the loaner. well, it wasn't a Harley or a Buell, but a Honda VTX1300. not bad, i thought. i had some regrets about buying the Sabre once i saw the VTX1300. it's a much bigger bike and has a very retro look. i take the key and hop out to showroom floor to wait for Joey. she had to come over to pick up her new bike jacket (review to follow).

she gets there, we get the jacket and hop on the bike to get some food.

well, let's just say it was different. it's obvious that the VTX hadn't been taken care of and that it was rode hard. i found it very awkward to control the bike due to it's swept back handle bars. it also had floorboards (i had been debating about getting floorboards for Selene) which i was definitely not used to.

it was interesting getting to KFC and i had my share of "oops, almost dropped it." we sat by the bike to eat and studied the bike. it was nice looking and had a good sound, but there was a lot i was already not liking. i didn't like the stance of the bike or the riding stance, or the handle bars. there was something about the bike overall that just didn't speak right to me. not to mention the fact that the bike would barely stay going and that every bump rattled something. i know that is because it wasn't taken care of, but it doesn't speak well for the dealership. especially if they use loaners to entice customers.

i drop joey back at the car and take a quick spin before i go back to work. i started appreciating the low stance of the bike. with such a low center of gravity i could come to a complete stop and not worry about having to put my foot down. the problem with the low stance was the floorboards. i was used to the Sabre, taking low sweeping turns with high foward controls. the VTX didn't like that. floorboards make a lot of noise when they strike pavement. not to mention that the floorboards made it feel like i was sitting in a chair and not on a bike. in that moment i vowed that Selene would never have floorboards.

off i went to work.

later, i get my call. Selene was ready and it was only going to cost about 40 bucks. excellent, i couldn't wait to get my baby back. off i went.

about five minutes from work, the bike shut off. great, reserve time. they should really fill these things up...wait, it's already on reserve. my spirits are high and i laugh at myself and the shop for there not being gas in the bike. i call them up and they couldn't believe there was no gas. they said they would send someone by to pick me up. they have a truck and trailer, so i know what to look for.

so i wait, and i wait.

keep in mind that i'm using one of my lunch times (30 minutes) to go get Selene.

45 minutes later, i'm still waiting. i call work and advise them as to what is going on and then call the dealership back. the guy is on his way, he just had to go pick up someone else as well.

no big deal. it's a beautiful day and i'm away from work. just as long as i get my bike back, i'm cool. see? i'm a pretty easy going guy.

30 minutes later, i'm still waiting. i'm hot, i'm thirsty and i just want to go back to work. this is starting to make me look bad. i call them again. apparently, the guy didn't see me. let me translate this for you. i have been sitting by the side of the road watching for a truck and trailer covered with H-D stickers to come pick me up. if couldn't see that, i'm blind. no such truck passed me by, which means that he didn't go to the right spot. the big problem is, they are closing and there is no one around to come get me. i now have to walk to a gas station. i'm very hot. very tired. very thirsty. i'm not happy.

off i go.

joey calls.

"did they come get you?"


"ok, i'll come get you.."

"um, joey. i gave you a ride to work."

" did. let me see what i can do."

ten minutes later an old friend (and supervisor) from where i work drives by and picks me up. he had already checked one station and they didn't have any spare jerry cans. off we go to another.

surprise, no jerry cans there either! i'm loving this day with a passion. i look at the guy and say, "listen, do you have anything? a two litre bottle, anything?"

he fishes an empty windshield washer bottle out of the garbage and fills it with five bucks worth of gas. he also fishes out half of another bottle to use as a funnel. i pay and we are on our way.

back at the bike, we dump the gas in. it's pouring over the gas tank and making a general mess. at this point, i didn't care if the bike actually caught on fire. i start it up and i'm off to work the last two hours of my shift.

i left work at 4:15pm and got back at 7:00pm. i was exhausted, sun burnt and dehydrated. i was not pleased. at this point, the VTX was not a machine to me, but something to be punished.

i rode home that night and found something else annoying. the speedometer is located on the gas tank. i'm not keen on taking my eyes off the road to look all the way down to see my speed. i was also not used to an arc shaped speedometer, so i had some difficulty checking my speed which meant more time not looking at the road. oh, and the high beam indicator light? that's on the tank with the speedometer. that bright blue light shines right in your eyes at night. who designed this damn thing?!

i parked the bike and left it in the ensuing rain storm. there is no way it deserved to be parked in Selene's cubby hole. i was pissed and didn't sleep well.

long winded hey? sorry about that, but i need to get all this out. therapy..ya know?

next morning (today) i go out to the VTX. it's covered in dew and water. off we go to get more gas...just in case.

got gas, off to work.

at 10:30am i run down to pick up joey and we both go to the shop. i gladly park the VTX and head in. at this point, i don't care about anything else, i just want my baby back. i want to ride a real bike again.

we pay and he asks if i like the VTX.


he looks at me wierd.

"man, i hate that thing. i'll never buy one now."

i promptly list off all my complaints about the bike. it's obvious that the Shadow is the last of the good bikes made by Honda. i will be sad to see them go.

he gives us extra punches on the discount card (i see chaps in my future) and we are on our way.

it took me a little while to get used to Selene again. the build of the Sabre compared to the VTX is vastly different. it was great to sweep those turns nice and low though and it was great to get back into a real riding position.

if nothing else, that day made me appreciate my purchase of a Sabre even more. i do not regret my purchase one little bit now and i will never NEVER buy a VTX. the next bike will most likely be a Roadstar or Harley.

oh, here are two things i did like about the VTX. the seat was comfortable for both driver and passenger and i like the shape of the headlight. Selene will have that headlight.

thank you for listening to my long long tirade and i apologize for yapping your ear off.

good journies to you and keep the wind at your back.

first impressions

ok, so my first time out with the new helmet was a crazy new exprience. for every bike i have owned, i have also owned a full face helmet. i have always been fully protected and fully enclosed. there was once or twice where i was able to get on an abandoned dirt road and ride a little with the helmet off, but that's about it.

the day i got the new helmet i honestly wasn't thinking there would be much of a difference. not sure why i thought that, but i did.

i put it on and walk into the bathroom to look in the mirror. all i could do was laugh at myself. i looked downright silly. but once all the gear was on, it wasn't too bad. i just kept reminding myself of what the nice woman at the dealership said, "everyone looks silly in them." i know it's not really true, but it makes me feel better.

well, no better excuse to go for a ride then a new helmet. off i went.

i sat on the bike and started her up. wow, i could hear everything. the hum of the engine, the growl of the pipes, everything around me. it was really odd sitting there knowing that this is what it would be like when i got moving.

clunk, first gear and off i went.

once i got up to speed, all i could think was, wow, i can't hear anything! i could no longer hear the bike, me, or anything around me. i kept thinking; why would anyone wear this? i laughed at the fact that i had been spoiled by full face helmets.

after a bit, i got used to the wind noise and it just seemed very natural. the next thought; how can this be legal? it felt like i was wearing nothing on my head. now i knew why people liked these helmets! it was the closest thing to riding without that you can get.

another little while and i was hooked. my wrap around glasses kept all the wind and flying debris out of my eyes so there was no discomfort at all. it just felt right. now all i can think is how closed in my full face is going to seem. ;)

the next day me and joey decide to go for breakfast and give the helmets a good run. this meant a short jaunt through town and up the highway to a gas/diner spot. it's cloudy and overcast and the weather page isn't forecasting rain. heh, you think i would learn by now.

half way through breakfast, it's starts pouring. so here we are with the new open helmets and no rain gear with a good 15 to 20 minute ride home. we were laughing the whole way home slowly getting more and more wet. and just when i thought we couldn't get more wet, we did.

the glasses did well for keeping the water out of my eyes. still, my brain reaction kept making me squint for protection when i didn't need to. the only bad part was the rain hitting my lips. damn that hurts! like little needles. really can't deny how fun the ride was though.

so i'm hooked on the small helmet. i still won't use it for long distance rides though. not only would i go deaf, but i just wouldn't feel as safe. they will come with us for the upcoming Niagara trip though. they will be great for the group rides. ;)

jafrum helmets

have i ever mentioned how much i love getting packages in the mail? even if i know what it is, i love it. :)

anyway, new package from Jafrum arrived...well actually, i had to go pick it up due to the fact that our mail-person is too damn lazy to buzz our apartment. but i helmets arrived! of course, in my true fashion, pictures and opinions follow.

the box came in really good shape, no holes or punctures. i was actually a little worried about having helmets coming through the mail, but it arrived in better shape then i figured it would.

here is the opened box. inside were the two helmets ordered for me and my wife. each helmet was in it's own "one size fits all" carrying bag (read: too big for the shortie) and it's own white box. no damage done to the inside boxes at all. this would mark my first experience with half helmets/shorties/skid lids/brain buckets/etc. and my thoughts will follow soon after this post.

the helmets are identical, so what i say about one applies to the other. it's flat black with a small sun visor on the front. the visor can be removed by unscrewing three large screws in the front of the helmet. once removed, you will have to put the screws back in to fill up the unseemly holes. i removed mine as i thought the visor looked silly. joey left hers on, which should resolve in any confusion as to who owns what helmet.

the construction seems solid and the fit is good for me (size large). joey says that hers is a little large, but we both have the same sized head. i wear a bandana under mine, so it's pretty snug.

the strap system is my only real complaint. these helmets use a seat buckle type of system. while this should make putting the helmet on nice and easy, it ends up having quite the opposite effect. the buckle is small and rather tedious to snap in place, you often miss the entry point on the receiving end of the buckle. also, the adjustments are made on the part that buckles in. at first glance this seems pretty secure, but after a while of riding around it actually works loose and the helmet becomes somewhat mobile on your head. i have never been a big fan of buckle systems on helmets. in my consideration, the D-ring system should be the only system used.

thankfully, there is another option. they had the foresight to leave the D-ring system on the helmet as well. the only bad part is the fact that you will still have the buckle hanging off the side of your head. i may do a little modifying with my trusty dremel tool.

over all, the helmet is quite comfortable and i am in no way disappointed with my purchase. the padding inside is soft and i have found no pressure points at all. after a ride of several hours, i have found no discomfort at all.

i'll do a final review once i get a full month out of the helmet. that will give me a good idea as to what it will be like in regard to comfort and longevity.

mind you, this has not become my main helmet. this lid is only used for short hops and rides to work. my Icon Alliance full face will be my helmet of choice for any long distance riding.

bestem backrest installation

so, today my new backrest arrived. here-in lies the initial review and installation of the backrest. i almost forgot to continue taking pictures once i started the i apologise for the blurriness of some of the shots. my little digital camera's auto focus is a little willy-nilly.

first off, Cruiser Backrest did a great job of shipping it to me. the box took a beating, but everything was wrapped really well and there was no damage to the actual contents. i expected it to be in worse shape for the distance it travelled (Miami to New Brunswick, Canada).

once unpacked, this is what you have:

upper left, backrest with pad. upper right, brackets sealed in plastic on cardboard. the bolts and nuts needed are sealed in there as well. bottom, the luggage rack. nothing was damaged due to the fact that it was all wrapped in foam and sealed in plastic.

the backrest itself is quite soft and has a really neat feature. the bottom of the pad has three snaps that give access to the interior padding. this would make it really easy to replace it if needed. also, the padding is wrapped in plastic which protects it from the elements.

this leads me to my first irk with this backrest. i'm afraid that those snaps will slowly rust to pieces or rust shut. i live in the maritimes and we get plenty of fog and rain. as a matter of fact, it's raining and foggy right now. my bike is a 2006 and it already has some small rust spots on it. we'll see how long these snaps last.

these are the only tools you will need:

we have one ratchet with a socket adaptor, a 100mm thumb wrench, an 8mm socket and a 12mm socket. that's it, that's all you need...well, aside from your hands and knees. ;)

ok, here is the part where i forgot to take pictures.

guess i was just too i'll just do the explanation here. i had to remove the two rear bolts that hold the chrome brace to the fender. be careful when doing this as there are little washers mounted with these bolts. i'm guessing that they are used to protect the chrome underneath. with that done i mounted the brackets with the longer bolts that came with the kit. first i put the bolt through the bracket, then put the original washer on the bolt. after that, i just used the 12mm socket to tighten them up. here i come across another irk. this one is more aimed at Honda. i'm not keen on mounting the brackets to the outside of the original chrome on the bike. at some point i may turn this bike into a one man cruiser and i won't be happy if the chrome is scratched or marred. that's why i put the washers where i said. hopefully they will protect the chrome...fingers crossed.

i assembled everything piece by piece on the bike. you could just have easily put it all together first and then mounted it. i did it piece by piece because the fully assembled backrest is a rather snug fit and i didn't want to risk scratching the original chrome on the bike, or anything else for that matter.

ok, with the brackets on we now have a choice. they pack two sets of bolts for attaching the backrest and luggage rack. if you only want the backrest, just use the short bolts. if you want the backrest and the luggage rack, use the longer ones.

here is the point where some people would rather assemble it before putting it on the bike. i had to balance the luggage rack on my knees while i straddled the rear fender. then i had to slip the backrest on and put a long bolt in either side. it was a bit of a balancing act, but i like causing myself trouble like the backrest held itself in place pretty easy due to the fact that it is a really tight fit.

here i am putting one of the small nuts on one of the longmounting bolts. as you can see, there isn't a lot of room to play around. you are very close to the fender here and once you get the thumb wrench in, you have no room for slip ups. i've already got on chip on my fender (no idea how) and i wasn't in the mood for another. as you can see, the backrest goes on the inside of the brackets and the luggage rack goes on the outside.

once you have snugged the nuts and bolts by hand, pop out the ratchet, the 8mm socket and the thumb wrench. use the thumb wrench to hold the nut and ratchet those nuts snug.

be very careful when tightening them up. these bolts are quite small and i'm sure that it wouldn't take much to twist the head right off or strip them. once they are nice and tight (careful with that thumb wrench next to the paint!) you can see how well all three pieces flow together.

a little addition here that i wouldn't have thought of normally. i grabbed the top of the backrest and jiggled it to see if anything would move. lo and behold, the pad actually moved. it either worked loose from shipping or it was sent this way. regardless, there are too small bolts that you can snug up right on the back, just use the 8mm socket.

i did a final once over and made sure the rest of the bolts were nice and secure and wiped off the myriad of finger prints. after that, it was gear up time. i hit the road with my ratchet in my pocket. i stopped every now and then to make sure everything stayed tight, which it did.

i was actually wondering if this would look ugly on the bike or take away from it's looks. but now that i look at the pictures, i like it. the luggage rack is solid (rated for 2.7 kg or 6 lbs), the back pad is comfortable (yes i sat up there to test it :)) and over all it's a nice match to the Sabre.

install: easy (with minor acrobatics)
construction: solid
longevity: in testing

embarassing moment #1

okay, let me set this up first...

joey is at work, so i end up bringing supper to her on the bike. i get there and we sit down to eat. we are still hammering out details about the upcoming trip and joey is asking me how far i can go on a tank of gas. i tell her that today i got 200 km racked up before i hit reserve. that also reminded me that i was on reserve and needed to fill up. at that time, i was into reserve by about 38 km.

we finish up and she hands me her debit card so i can get gas. there is a Shell station up the street and across the causeway that i always go to, so i get going.

i'm feeling particularly frisky, so as i'm going up the street i gun it. Selene gets all growlly and we cruise up to the lights just before the causeway. i'm smiling, knowing that the people having a smoke across the street heard me. as i'm sitting at the lights, Selene coughs. i'm thinking, oh didn't. i sit, hoping that it was just a normal cough and try to ignore it. she coughs again, a couple of more times and then dies. i shake my head.

traffic was light, so i managed to get her pushed across the street and onto the sidewalk. i hit the starter a couple of times, knowing full well that she wasn't going to start. i wasn't quite sure what to do. the Shell station is still quite a distance away and pushing her there would be out of the question. i would have to cross four lanes of traffic, go up a steep hill, go through another lighted intersection and across four more lanes of traffic.

then it dawns on me, behind me and down the street is another gas station. i never go there, due to the fact that i hate the company that runs it, but hey...gas is gas right now.

i turn around, give a good hard push and off i go. it's a pretty steep hill, so i'm actually keeping up to the speed limit. i once again pass the smokers, but this time...i'm a little more quiet. i laugh to myself and keep on rolling.

the hill ends just past another intersection (all greens all the way...hehe) so i have to start pushing. Selene is a beautiful thing, but damn she's heavy! with a dry weight of 573.2 lbs, you are not going to push her around without breaking a sweat. and sweating was exactly what i was doing. leather gloves, leather jacket, bulky leather motorcycle boots and a big black helmet...damn i was hot.

i finally pull (read: push) into the gas station and almost drop from exhaustion. i couldn't help but think of the hell i would have gone through if i went to the Shell station. i take off the gloves and the helmet, unzip the jacket and take a deep breath. a guy, just finishing his transaction, says, "i hope you didn't have to go too far."

i look at him and say, "i'm just glad this place is downhill!"

we both laughed and i filled up the bike.

it took a bit to get her started. i guess i had completely drained the lines (or else she was mad at i was actually getting worried about killing the battery, but after a bit of coaxing she started up.

on the way home, all i could do was laugh. i was laughing so hard there were tears rolling down my cheeks.

so there you have it. a lesson well learned and i now know exactly how far i can go on a tank of gas. please feel free to laugh. as a matter of fact, i encourage it! :)