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Rated: E · Non-fiction · Biographical · #1955454
What happens when flying into river, without front brake!
      This is a true story. No names but the original inhabitants are mentioned here. It started back in 1983. I was working for this fellow that owned a farm, 
in Centerville, Virginia, outside the D.C. area. I had been working on his place there for a few months, helping with the greenhouse work. One summer, he needed some people to go to this island he had rented, on the Potomac River,
between Maryland and Virginia.  There were about 400 acres on this island,that outside of Leesburg, Virginia. Well,  that sounded pretty good to me! He asked me if I wanted to go and stay on the place and help keep an eye on the irrigation
system there, for the summer months. Of course I wanted to!  We loaded up a bunch of plants to be planted there, onto an old school bus that was chopped
and made into a big yellow truck, and headed off to the island. In order to get to the island, he had borrowed or rented an old ferry, to cross the river. There were actually two busses he had. One for the plants from the farm in Centerville, the other for his equipment and tools. We had to drive the busses,
one at a time, onto the ferry, then pull it across the river, to the other side, up to the old house. This was done by pulling  the ferry along the cable, with both hands.
  One day, I had some free time, to practice my riding skills, on the bike. With four hundred acres to play with, I soon felt like it was time to take the test. I loaded up my bike into my big van and headed into Leesburg. The first time was a failure; so, I practiced some more, until I was confident that I had done enough. The morning I went for the second time, to take the test, I had broken the front brake lever. I got he bie up on the ramp of the ferry by placing a small, narrow board on the edge of the ramp, from the boat landing. I easedthe bike up, onto the ferry, giving it a little gas. That worked fine........except for the front brake lever, which I completely forgot! I didn't think to use the rear brake, either;
sooooo, off the ferry I went, and into over seven feet of water, sitting on my bike.
Here I was, on the bottom of the Potomac River; like a deer, in someone's headlights, frozen, in shock of what just happened. I looked around me, surveying my watery surroundings. I had heard about a union cannon that was
lost in the river, while crossing in retreat, from the confederates. I never saw the cannon, while I was down there. Someone must have beaten me to it!  It was a good thing I had a full face helmet on. I had air to breathe, like an old diver's helmet, the air inside the helmet kept me breathing. fist time I had experienced that!  Swimming to the surface, I grabbed the edge of the ramp, that I had previously dropped into the brink, in the first place! Once on the ferry, I took every wet thing off and slammed it to the deck! Jacket, wallet, gloves, helmet.
I was really ticked off!  (mostly with myself!) I pulled the ferry to the island and went searching for the other guys that were working there, in the field. They all came and helped with hauling the bike onto the deck. Once on board, we pulled it back over to the Virginia side. The mechanic of the group told me to drain the
water out. Unplugging the oil bolt, water and oil poured out of it!  I never did get the thing running again!  I went an bought another Honda 350, rode it down to Florida, very first trip!
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