well..... here it is!
As I pulled off the road, I thought I blew a timing belt and engine smashed itself into a lump of metal. As I got onto the shoulder and came to a stop, I noticed my engine was still running. I immediately knew what had then happened, my drive-chain broke. I got off the bike, and sure enough, no chain. I did have a broken rear fender caused by the chain flapping off and demolishing it.
At this point, what was I going to do? Its about 4:30 and I'm 15 miles north of Chattanooga, Tennessee for crying out loud, right in the middle of the Tennessee Mountains, yay…. My first reaction is to look at my bike and assess the damage, then I follow that up with 3-5 minutes of "Shit, Fuck" Sometimes I swapped it around with some "Fuck, Shit"….. You know what I'm talking about.
I called my friend Brian who happened to be in Tallahassee, FL visiting another friend of mine, Crissi-Lyn. I told him what happened, and he told me that they were on their way to get me. After I got off the phone I looked around…. man was I in a bad spot. I was right on a curve, and cars and trucks were flying right by me.
A few minutes later, one of the Tennessee road rangers showed up. I told him what happened and he called me a tow-truck. I then found the chain on the road. This is what I saw:
Then all I could do was wait:
At this point my camera batteries died. So there is a black spot in this part of the story. Basically what happened was the tow truck showed up. Out of the truck came this tall skinny lurch-looking guy. He was so tall and skinny that he had a slightly forward hunch to him. His face was the exact face you expect to find in the backwoods of Tennessee. From the very start this guy creeped me out. He wasn't a road-ranger, he was just a guy from a tow-truck company
We got the bike into the back of the truck, and we got in. As we drove to the next exit he leaned over and told me "by the way, I'm gonna hafta charge you for this". I was a little taken back because in Florida, it's free if a road ranger finds you. "Whatever" I thought to myself and opened up my wallet and pulled out a $50 to hand him.
"oh, its going to be one and a quarter" he said.
"Wha?!" was my reply, "Do you take credit cards?"
"No" said Lurch
"Well you better put me down now because I don't have that cash"
"Too late now" he replied.
As we pulled off the exit he told me he would take me to a hotel, because there was nothing open right now to fix the bike, and that even if my friends did come now, they wouldn't be here until late. I said "fine" and he took me to a hotel.
I noticed as we pulled up to the hotel, that there were 6 other hotels right in the immediate area. He stopped the truck and jumped right out, and sped walked into the hotel. I figured I might as well follow him so I walk into the lobby. They had already been talking a bit, and I paid for the room, and went to walk out. I noticed that he didn't follow, but that he was whispering to the lady behind the counter.
A few moments later he came out and said:
"So, how do you want to pay me?"
"I told you, I don't have that much cash" I replied, frustrated
"I'm going to have to take your bike then, and you wont be able to pick it up tomorrow because we're closed, so you'll have to get it on Monday" was the bastard's reply.
"oh, and we charge $15 a day storage fee as well" he added.
At this point I was weighing my options. I could knock the motherfucker out, and say "Oh god! Somebody call the…" and run off and get my bike down. But that probably wouldn't have gotten me too far in broad daylight, so I called my credit card company to get cash out it. They said it was possible and gave me a PIN# to use, and I was all set to go.
I ran over to the gas station across the street. I put my card and PIN# in the ATM to find out that they put a hold on my account because of fraud. Apparently It was suspicious that I did this out of state. So I called up the card company again, and told them the whole story again, and how the tow-truck driver was now impatient and about to just leave with my bike. They really didn't have too much sympathy, and said they would have to run a few security questions by me.
At this point, I notice a man who was standing beside me and the ATM. I say to him: "you can use the ATM if you need it"
"how much do you need?" he replies
"I have to get another $100 out of the ATM somehow"
He then opened up his wallet and gave me $100. I was floored. Who does that? Who gives a complete stranger that kind of money?! I didn't know what to say for a minute. The credit card lady on the phone was saying "SIR… SIR… SIR!!" and I promptly hung up on the bitch and thanked the man a million times. He said "just send it to me when you get home." At that very moment the tow truck driver walked in, and I spun around with cash in hand, and gave it to the cocksucker. I again thanked the man, and told the tow truck driver how there's still good in the world, and we walked out together. Then I heard this filth from his mouth:
"Oh, I was going to do that too, I was going to pay for the bill with my own money, and when your friends go here, You could have paid me back"
My head snapped towards him, and I squinted my eyes as I looked at him. I didn't say it, but I thought "Fuck you".
Anyways, we walked to the truck, and he took me right in front my room. For some reason, my room was at the back, in the corner, with nobody else at all in the back. He lowered my bike, and I pushed it inside the room. He then left. I sat in the room, and the first thing that came to me was "he'll be back". I remembered him and the lady behind the counter whispering, and I remember him saying how nice the bike was. I had nothing to defend myself with, no knife, no gun and I was in the back of the hotel with nobody around. Fuck this, I thought to myself, I'm not staying here, so I took my bike out of the room, and pushed it to the front desk. I demanded my money back, and you could tell that it stunned her. "uhh… uhhh…. Uhh…. Ok" she replied. I got it back.
I pushed the bike several blocks over, and had to stop to take a breather. Let me tell you, its easier to ride a bike than it is to push one uphill. I stopped at one point and this is what I looked like:
I pushed the bike to a hotel, and pushed it up near the front door so I could watch the bike from the lobby. I asked the foreign guy behind the counter if I could hang out there until my friends showed up, and he waved his hand in a "Shoo" fashion, and told me to scram. Well I wanted to punch him in his ugly ass face, but I just turned around and left.
Shit, it was now 7pm and I had nowhere to go….I then pushed my bike to the hotel next door, and I walked in, and asked the girl behind the counter if I could hang out for a while. She said "Oh sugar, of course you can". I then walked outside and camoflauged my bike. If someone was after my bike, they would be looking for yellow, so I used some of my clothes to break up the outline of the bike, and to cover the yellow:
I walked back into the hotel and me and the girl watched T.V. in the lobby on the couch. I charged up my camera batteries, and my phone. This is what my camera saw:
Hours later, she began to setup the continental breakfast station:
I had only eaten one meal since Thursday night. It was now Saturday night. I was starving. I didn't ask to gobble up the food because I was grateful enough to be able to hang out there and didn't want to ruin the status-quo.
Me and the girl hung out for almost 4hrs before she had to close the lobby down. They closed at 11p.m. So I thanked her, and walked outside to wait. It was 30 degrees, and while that doesn't sound all that cold, it is below freezing, and you are just sitting on the floor not moving. Then again, cold was the theme of this trip, so I just had to accept it. This is what that image looked like:
At this point, the only thing I could do was wait. When will my friends get here?