went silent

The motorcycle ran towards the outside of the four-lane sweeper and hit 90 mph when the motor finally gave out. "Damn it," I screamed into the helmet, thinking I ran out of gas. The bike surged to life allowing me to avoid a Toyota Camry and I attempt to ride the bike towards my exit; 1 1/4 miles away. "I just filled the tank 50 miles ago,” I reminded myself as all the electricals flashed and the bike shook violently before falling silent.

I kept giving the bike gas hoping to clear out the bike's throat and keep her running until my exit, all to no avail. Coasting at 75 mph, I decided to take an earlier exit and finally parked the bike on top of a curb. Removing the passenger seat exposed a broken lug on the positive battery's cable. I wedged the broken cable into the battery terminal in the hopes that it could last one more freeway exit. Taking an illegal left hand turn I reentered the highway and soon found out the bike wouldn’t last another exit.

Being gentle with the throttle, I merged into traffic; narrowly avoiding a truck speeding past when the electrics went out again. Coasting the bike through my off ramp's s-turns began and onto the curb on Hawthorne Blvd. I began pushing the bike to the nearest car audio store/mechanics-any place that would have some random tools. After 5 blocks I arrived at an AM PM gas station. Removing the seat I thought about the problem before going inside and asking if I could borrow some tools.

"What about a box knife," I ask. "Nope," he replied leaning back against a display of cigarettes. "I used this letter opener to open boxes.” "Alright, then let me borrow that," I say and he hands me the plastic letter opener with recessed razor blade. Outside I begin clawing at the heat shrink tubing around the lug until I expose some copper wire between the lug and the sheathing.

The lug is crimped too tight to be pulled off by hand and tighten around the battery terminal so I devise another plan to secure the cable to the terminal. Using the letter opener I cut the trickle charger-cord that is hardwired to the battery and began trimming away at the plastic until the wire is exposed. Wrapping the strand of wire in between the sheathing and lug, I twist the wire taut and return the letter opener. "Thanks, any tape?" I ask. He hands me a roll of making tape, which I grab to finish the job.

Tapping the whole thing together provided enough of a connection to allow the bike to run, at least on highway streets. “Rob, I had some motorcycle issues.” I said before mounting the bike and continuing to work. “I’ll be 15- minutes late.”