Short story #3: GO



Frank stole a glance at the fuel and temperature gauges to his right. The temperature gauge has just reached the midpoint, the cool night air helping keep the heat at bay. Above it, the fuel gauge was pegged at the top, confirming Frank’s suspicion that he had topped off the 20 liter tank the night before.

‘Not that I would have had time to fill it now” He thought to himself as he wheeled the bike towards the highway. He ran the bike though the full sweep of the tach, letting the rear tire dig and propel him into the night.

Frank Noted the time, a few minutes after midnight. Traffic was slow, but there were still some cars on the main roads. He picked his way between them, trying to minimize the time he spent on the road. He made the choice to head to the toll road, banking on the fact that no one would want to head a few more miles north to avoid the few cars there were. Passing several green lights, and swearing at the red he got caught at, Frank made it to the tolled highway.

Running down the on-ramp, the vast expanse of the 7 lane road opened up before him. Normally Frank would avoid the toll road unless there was traffic, but given the circumstances, he chose to use it.

Hunkering down behind the windscreen, rolling on the throttle as the bike gained speed. Under him, the 4 mikuni carbs started sucking down more and more air, feeding the hungry V-four sitting below it. Rarely did the old VFR get to have the exercise it was getting now, but it was the first bike at the door of the garage when Frank opened it, and time was of the essence. The 20 year old sports tourer was no slouch back in its hey-day. True, she was a hefty machine. Frank’s modern super sport was almost 70lbs lighter than the old gal. But a slightly longer wheel basement the VFR had the upper hand in term of stability at high speed, which was exactly what the task at hand called for.

Bombing down the road, Frank thought about when he would do these mid night bombing runs with his friends.


He shook his head. The clock on the dash ticked to 1am.

The still night air was shattered by the sound of the rumbling V-4 as Frank sped by. He recognized the long, lit stretch of highway as his favourite place to test the top speed of whatever he happened to be riding that night.

Adjusting his position in the seat, he slammed the throttle to the stops. The Ram air system cramming cold air down the throat of the howling motor, Frank let it dig deep.

230. 240. The motor briefly skipped a beat as it ran headlong into the limiter, just as Frank grabbed the final gear in the gearbox, urging the 550lbs missile to every greater speeds. Half way down the straight, noted the bright orange needle sweep past the 270 tick on the speedometer, marking a new top speed for the old bike. “not bad” he mused. He pressed on, eager to make to the hospital on time. After all, it wasn’t every day one would become an uncle.

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