I had to make a run to the bank yesterday. This is probably more of an ordeal for me than to ya'll. The bank is about 80 miles away. Well of course I decided to take the vulcan. The first half of the trip is flat straight-a-ways and the second half is hilly twisties. Have I mentioned that I live in paradise? epper: Things start out ok. I had half a tank of gas. I figure no problem...I've been zooming around everywhere on a half tank of gas and it goes forever. I learned many things yesterday. The main one is that the second half of the tank doesn't do the same number of miles as the first half! I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm heading through the huge big bend valley. Unfortunately it is mexican grasshopper season. These things are between 4-6 inches long....and all over the highway. I'm still trying to dig all the grasshopper parts out of my engine! I get through the valley and start into the hills.....BAM!... I took a roadrunner to the chest. Ouch! So now I have grasshopper guts all over me and some assorted feathers. About this time I notice that my gas gauge is reading E. Huh? how did that happen! I decided to pull over at the next little picnic area and put it on reserve. I turn the switch and start out again. By the time I got to the top of the hill my bike died. Sooooo I'm walking along in the middle of NOTHING pushing my bike up a hill hoping that I don't run into a really hungry mountain lion or some deranged human. 20 minutes pass before I see a car. Thanks goodness it's a border patrol officer. We visit for a minute and he looks down at my gas switch. He says...how about you turn the gas on. He turned the switch all the way around the other way. Ya ever wish the earth would just open and swallow ya up? I misread the arrows and turned my gas off rather than to reserve. Sure enough it fired up. I made it into town on fumes. Got gas and made it to the bank with 3 minutes to spare. My bike was running weird. Finally realised that I had left the choke on half way when I was trying to start it. Get everything of a bike related manner straightened out and I'm looking forward to the reverse trip. I get about 10 miles out of town and I'm forcefully reminded that this is the monsoon season. Before I ride again I will possess a good pair of gloves, a rainsuit and some rain-x for my visor! Rain on bare knuckles feels like stings! I decided to tough it out. The bottom dropped out and the wind picked up. There was so much rain that my boots got full of water. I came up to the border patrol checkpoint. Wouldn't ya know it....the same nice young man was there. Ya could tell he was struggling not to die laughing. I'm sure I looked like an unhappy drowned cat. I finally pushed on through 5 more miles of rain before it let up. Then all I had to do was dodge 3 javelina, 2 mule deer and a few thousand more mexican grasshoppers....piece of cake. By the time I got home I looked like I had some sort of exotic leprosy from all the bug splats. I think I have now moved beyond the realm of bare beginner and entered a new level of motorcycle savvy.