A full tank of gas promises unlimited adventure. An empty tank promises another kind of adventure. A kind that is more like orienteering your way through an alligator infested swamp than meandering through museums in Manhattan.
The gas gauge on my scooter isn’t always real accurate. Much like the speedometer. To know how much fuel I have takes a little bit of mental math. How many trips have I made since I filled up, and how long were they? It’s generally not too hard and I pretty much know how to interpret the gauge. And how far I can push my luck. If I open the cap of the tank and look in only to see that it’s bone dry, I put gas in it. On the other hand, if I can see even a drop I know I’m good for a few miles. Hadn’t thought about it much until the other day.
It was Tuesday and my regular day to go to my antique shop. Nice day, I’ll take the scooter. I looked at the gauge and it read full. I knew I’d made a trip or two. Short ones. I wasn’t worried. In a rush to get there I rode with the throttle wide open all the way. Burning fuel like there was no tomorrow. It was one of those rides where I pretend I’m riding a space ship.
Driving along I watched as the fuel gauge moved. Fast, and a lot. Dang. How far had those two trips been? Oh. Two round trips to work. Gulp.
By the time I got to the shop the gauge was looking like a quarter tank. That will get me home. It better. There are no gas stations between here and there. I poked around at the shop and finally got ready to ride home. I looked into the tank. A drop was visible. But I couldn’t remember going this far on that drop before.
All the way I took my time. A leisurely ride, more like a slow boat to China. You get a different feel for the road at a slower speed. And you can spend more time looking around at the scenery. I seemed to be the only one on the road so going slow was ok.
The gauge dropped into the red zone when I was still about ten miles out. This is where I knew I could go five miles. But what about ten? The traffic was picking up. I was having visions of running out of gas and having to push the bike to the house or a gas station. Even worse, I had visions of running out of gas and getting run over by a car as the scooter came to a sudden dead stop. Pushing was a better vision, but not up hill.
Finally I arrived at an intersection with two gas stations. Getting to one required a left turn across a busy intersection. The other was on my right. If I ran out of gas in the intersection making the left turn it could get messy. I took the chance and rolled into the station and up to a pump. When I opened the cap of the tank, yeah, right, bone dry.
Gassed up and ready to roll I was off on a new adventure. The rocket ride! That’s part of my story. What’s yours?