The bike started to sputter a bit-- peering over Leslie's shoulder, I saw the gas meter flirting with the letter E. The meter twinkled orange amidst the falling sunset. We would have to stop soon: one way, or another.
The hills and valleys of the highway were slight, imperceptibly rolling us up and down, measured less by sight and more by the speedometer's bumps and dips. As we drove up the road, we saw the yellow lights of the petrol stop billboard emerge from the horizon. Simultaneously, the bike began to cacophonize, angrily pleading for another meal.
Tantalizing us, the station seemed to lurch nearer and farther with each sway of the motorbike in the breeze, silhouetted against the sunset. And then--
the bike went silent, crushing the last of the gas in a final gasp. Leslie & I held our breaths too, nervously expecting the bike to grind to a premature halt. It seemed we would have to push it over to the station, or sleep in the fields beside the roadway.
yet, the speedometer held steady-- yes, it was holding! Riding the cool wave of asphalt, our landsurf board carried us one mile, now almost one and a half, now within spitting distance of the exit!
Leslie swung the handlebars around to the right, and we nearly hit perpendicular traffic coming from the left. Not losing momentum amidst the horns and gasps of the pickup behind us, we rolled effortlessly into the parking lot of the station...and took our first deep breath in what felt like hours.