We bought tickets for the Presley's show, since it was right across the road from our motel. Rain was in the forecast, and we figured we could walk that far, even if it rained. We took a little nap and awoke feeling up to another ride: so away we went once more, on a road we hadn't been on, this trip... the Shepherd Of The Hills Expressway.
Nice scenery, not so much traffic. Great road. Then Cliff stopped behind a line of traffic at a light, and when he started to take off... the bike died. And refused to start again. Cars behind us waited paitently, and we tried to wave them on around us. Folks, we were in the middle of a four-lane road with cars coming from all directions. What could we do?
I got off and went to the other side of the bridge where there was a raised sidewalk; no sense in both of us being in harm's way. And if Cliff was going to push that 800-pound motorcycle anywhere, I had to be off of it.
There was enough of a break in the traffic to let him turn the beast around and push it on the other side. Because we were on a bridge, he really couldn't get it off the road. But he got it as close to the railing as possible.
I saw my chance and joined him, so we could consider our options.
I suggested he call 911, since he had his cell phone. We found out you have to be injured or dead for 911 to help; they told him to call information.
He did that, and the operator was very helpful. When Cliff told her he couldn't hear the number she gave him for a tow service, she put the call through herself.
The man on the other end told Cliff it would be thirty to forty-five minutes until he could get there, because it was shift change. Great. Here we are on a bridge, no way to get off, and traffic is picking up rapidly. Most cars sped by as though we weren't even there.
Two people stopped to see if they could be of assistance: The first was a man who had a Gold Wing at home; Cliff explained our problem, and they agreed there must be some problem with the battery (although it was practically new). The second person who offered help was a young man riding a motorcycle. We told him we'd called a wrecker, and he went on his way.
Cliff and I then crossed the busy road to the sidewalk to wait, because that was the safest place to be.
When the wrecker arrived, Cliff went to the motorcycle. It started, but wouldn't keep running. The man agreed the battery was dead, and applied jumper cables. Once again, the bike started, but would not keep running. The only thing left to do was let him load up our new toy and take it.... where?
It was the weekend, so no motorcycle shops were open. If we waited until Monday, we'd be spending another night in the motel, and maybe more, if we couldn't get the problem fixed right away. We were over two hundred miles from home, stranded. Finally Cliff told the wrecker man to take it to the motel and we'd figure out what to do later.
The wrecker fee was only $74, and he spent almost an hour with us, not to mention the miles he had driven. I consider that very reasonable. But then, when you've been stuck in the middle of a busy road watching cars whiz by at a blur mere inches away, any rescue sounds cheap.
Cliff put the poor, dead Gold Wing to bed in the parking lot and we started discussing ways to get home.
1. We could see about renting some sort of moving van truck we could load the motorcycle on, and drive home. That sounded difficult and expensive.
2. We could call Cliff's brother, Phil, and have him bring our pickup and trailor down. Cliff's rescued Phil before, and we had no doubt he'd come to our rescue. It's just rather humiliating, in such a fix, to pull your brother away from his family for a mission like this.
3. We could call our daughter, Rachel, and ask either her or her husband to come after us. Rachel's son was having a birthday party, and her mother-in-law and her mom were visiting. Not a good time to inconvenience someone who works ten hours a day, six days a week. However, this was the logical choice. By this time, Cliff had figured out he could get the motorcycle in the bed of the pickup, so a trailer wouldn't be necessary.
We made a few calls to our daughter: what could she say? Of course she and Kevin agreed to help us out; Kevin would stay home and supervise the party while Rachel came to our rescue. That settled, we went to the music show across the road. The rain in the forecast, by the way, never materialized.