Thursday, March 5, 2020

No go - 3.05 #sol20 Story Challenge

I ran out of gas once. Wasn't me really, though, as I was somewhere in my singles digits at the time, on the last leg of a family road trip from Florida. My chief responsibility involved not pestering my younger brother. A backseat captive audience, I remember nighttime and our little Volkswagen sputtering over to the shoulder. The problem got solved with minimal fuss and perhaps my mom giving my dad a mildly hard time. I remember, but I don't remember all that much.

This morning's commute introduced me to a new vehicle fueling problem: not having enough gas to begin with. Gas in this case serves as analogy since what happened starts with me grabbing off the floor the battery for my electric bicycle. After pedaling through a stiff headwind the day before, I knew it was out of juice and needed recharging, so I plugged it in over night. I noticed its LEDs were unlit the next morning, typical when fully charged, but the nearby adapter brick was also dark. Its green LED eye, confirming a full charge, was inexplicably off. I lifted the heavy battery -- not necessarily a sign of it being full -- to check the connector plug. Snug. My hand traced its way to the opposite end where prongs met the surge protector. Turns out they were a fraction away from being fully lodged in the socket. My tank was empty, and I needed another way to work because this fill-up was going to take about six hours.


  1. I love what you did with the SOL emblems! I'm curious, how far can you get with your electric bike? What drew you to the one you own right now?

    Thanks for sharing and answering my questions! :)

  2. The bike is made by Giant and can go ~30 miles on a full battery. I'd been shopping for ebikes for a while, seeking a commuting alternative, and the price in this case was right because it was one of the bike shop's demo models.

  3. Love your description of your dad running out of gas when you were little. Brought me memories of my childhood in a crammed car. How did you get to work anyway? In February I did a 350 miles bikepacking race with my daughter (we did it in 4 days) and I physically felt what was the sensation of literally running out of juice at mile 80. So many ways of running out of gas!

  4. I love the angle you took on this piece. And I'm fascinated by the whole concept of an electric bike. I guess I never thought about having to charge them, although now I think, "Of course you would."