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A Towing Tale

A Towing Tale

This story took place years ago in Germany as well. Some of my fondest memories of riding are there so far. And it took place with my little honda as well. It took place before I met Don (my hubby), during the first few months I had bought it for a few hundred dollars or marks, which ever you prefer.
As some of you know and I stated in my previous story, I was the only girl in our little town named Gersfeld, that rode a bike at that time. And I rode with about 10-12 boys (if you will) around my age including my cousin. He happend to have the same honda as I did.
Well anyways, one night we decided we were going to ride over to a town that was about 10 miles from our town, just to see what was going on in the local Disco there and have a few drinks on a saturday night. Dancing, having a few drinks ( not to many now, mind you) we had fun and hung out. We had this habbit of going outside now and then to check on the bikes and make sure they were ok. It was my turn to check on things and I headed outside that night for our hourly check. I went down the stairs. In the dark it was hard to see at first, but I soon discovered that there was a puddle under one of the bikes. After checking a bit closer I found my bike's gas hose disconnected and all the gas from my tank on the street. In alarm I went inside to report my finding to my buddies who came out and took a look with me.
What to do that late at night with all the gas stations closed for the night ? We had no way of getting any gas from anywhere. We talked for quite a while and decided IF we left the bike there for the night, we'd be lucky to find a bolt left of it the next day. And how were we going to get the bike back home in the middle of the night at 1 Am, 10 miles away from home ?
After back and forth discussing things for some time, we decided we would have to try and tow the bike somehow. The 4 foot shawl one of my buddies had around his neck to keep warm was the only thing we had. What other choice was there ? Nothing else seemed to jump into our heads.
We hooked the shawl around the handlebars of my bike and attached the other end to the rack of my cousins honda. I was scared to death and shaking. To think I had to ride like that for 10 miles in the pitch dark ? You have got to be kidding !! I pictured myself losing control and ending up in the ditch or road pizza !!
Slowly my cousin pulled out of the parking lot, with me in tow. Not being used to be pulled and jerked every time he gave it gas, I tried to stay at least a bit in control. Riding ever so slowly, my cousin turned his head now and then to check how I was doing. One of my other buddies rode behind me to give me at least a bit of light with his headlight so I could see where I was going. Braking was very stressfull being towed with a only 4 foot shawl. I really had to try hard not to run into him.
I swear that night was the scariest night of my life riding my bike. No moon at all, just deep blackness through all the trees and woodsy areas. It was cold and damp and I was shivering from the cold on top of being towed with a shawl for almost 10 miles. No lights, no power and being hooked to someone elses bike and dependend on them. God help us if we had to stop for a deer or a car. And what if a cop saw us ?? Good grief, what a fat ticket that would be for all of us.
Every now and then my cousin would stop to take a break in a dark area. I appreciated the breakes. My arms and shoulders were screaming with stress and getting sore. We'd talk about how easy it would be getting a ticket. We were the perfect target for a hidden cop. Going through town was very nerving. The lights where on everywhere. We were holding our breath.
When the last turn close to home came into sight, I could hardly believe we really had made it that far. My arms and shoulders were almost numb by now from the stress of being towed. I could hardley wait to pull into my driveway 1/2 mile away and get off this thing.
Just as we gave it gas about 100 feet after the turn, lights cut through the darkness of the night. Flashing lights ! "Oh god" I thought " A cop !" Sure enough. He had spotted us after all. We had come ALL this way, 1/4 of a mile away from my house and he had to catch up with us now ? I could hardly believe it.
We had no choice but to stop, he almost cut us off with his cruiser.

Getting out of his car he was far from calm.He was yelling at us what in the heck we thought we were doing, towing with a shawl instead of a rope. My cousin was trying to explain to him what had happen, but the cop didn't want to hear about it. Getting the famous writing block out, he wrote him a fat ticket.
We ducked as he kept going on and on about how stupid he thought we were.
Finally after he had pulled away, still mumbling as he shut the cruiser door, I allowed myself to take a deep breath. We talked for quite a while after the cop left and decided we were all going to share and pitch in for the ticket. After all, we all had been involved.
And finally after all that had happen that night, I pulled into the driveway at my house. I gave the guys a big hug. Was I ever grateful to be home safe and sound. And we had stretched the 4 foot shawl to about 6 feet during our tow.
As I walked through the door my eye fell on the clock on the wall. It was almost 3:30 Am !! It had almost taken us 2 1/2 hours for 10 miles of towing.
Laying in bed the evening went through my head and everything that had happend. It took me a while to go to sleep that night.
Now that I think about it, we WERE crazy to tow my bike with a shawl back then. But we had no choice, we had no other option. I would never leave my bike in another town by itself. And I think most of you would agree.
I'm also very grateful and lucky to have had buddies that cared about me and helped me out when I needed it. They put themselfs into a great deal of danger that night for me. Would I do it again if I had to ? Probably, yes. If I was put into a situation like that again, there is no doubt in my mind.

Having good friends by your side and looking out for each other is what bike riding is all about.
No matter what we ride.

Ride safe

" Written in June 1999"

Pictures and copyright: Carmen Adams

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