Dad: You Ran It Out Of Gas

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that a week ago last Monday I did something pretty stupid.

Since I had recently received my motorcycle license, I decided I was going to ride my Honda CX500 to Halstead, Kan., where I produce The Ledger, which of course serves Inman and Moundridge, Kan.

The distance from Moundridge to Halstead is a mere 15 miles, but I didn’t make it.

Halfway there the engine started to cut out, and being a novice rider, I didn’t know what to do except allow the bike to coast to a stop along the side of the road.

I shook the bike and could hear gas sloshing around inside, so I was more than confused.

I took off my helmet and promptly called home.

Mom answered and I told her the bike quit and I wasn’t sure why. She sent dad to my rescue right away.

As I waited, I Tweeted about what was going on, and I was quite thankful it was a nice day out.

Several cars drove by, but every time I saw one coming, I put my cell phone to my ear so it looked like I had just pulled over to make a call rather than being a stranded motorist.

I figured since dad was on his way, I didn’t want to bother anyone else.

When dad arrived, we loaded the bike up on a trailer, and we went home.

From the onset dad had his suspicions about the problem, but he kindly kept them to himself.

He dropped me off at my car in Moundridge so I could go produce the paper, and he took my bike home.

A week later, after check filters and everything else, he had officially diagnosed the problem.

His son is an incompetent boob.

I ran the bike out of gas.

Sure, had I been brighter, I probably could have been able to make it further if I had known about the “reserve” function on the gas tank.

Dad was kind enough to say he would tell people he had to rebuild the carburetor, but my brother didn’t think that was OK and took it upon himself to tell everyone he ran into about how his big brother had ran out of gas as he rode his motorcycle down the highway.

Thanks, Troy.

I did learn a valuable lesson: when gas sloshes around in a steel tank, it sounds like there is more than there really is.

From now on, I will fill up every time I leave town.

Either that or I will just have dad follow me everywhere I go, but I don’t think he would go for that.

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About toddvogts 806 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, MJE, is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, among others. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at

1 Comment

  1. You are not too nuts. I had a bike once where the gas toggle was too close to the seat, and if I moved just wrong it would close the petcock. It took me hours to figure out why the bike was sputtering down and shutting off every couple of blocks. What an idiot.

    Dan Close

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