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OPEN ROAD: Gas Station Etiquette

It never fails…every time we stop for gas on a group ride this scenario will take place at the gas pump. MOST motorcyclists will fill up their tank and then will ride their bike away from the gas pump so that another bike (or a car or truck) can fill up. However, it seems that in every group ride there will be one or more riders that have lost their manners. One or two motorcyclists will leave their bikes parked in front of the pump and walk away. You will watch them meander inside to buy water, drink it and/or light up a cigarette for a smoke, re-pack their bike or whatever - all the while their bike is blocking the gas pump. No one else is able to get gas and be on the way again.

Honestly to be fair, I do see a lot of motorists doing the EXTACT same thing! I don’t know about you – but it drives me crazy in general that people are so oblivious to the others around them. Often, I have observed cars pulling in and getting frustrated with being held up waiting and wasting precious time for someone who does not give a rip as they casually drink their soda and smoke a cigarette. Am I the only one who is bothered by this behavior? Do people just not care about others around them? If that is the case then we are in a sad state. Or is it they are so wrapped up in the moment that they just do not realize how rude and disrespectful this is to others around them and the business they are at?

Recently, I saw four guys pull up, block access to the gas pumps and then casually wander into the bar next door. Now I realize that the sun is hot and the awning over the gas pumps provides shade. This shade is for customers to utilize their service in relative comfort on a hot sunny day - not to save your tender asses from having to sit on a hot seat! It’s frustrating to see this type of behavior driving a wedge further between the non-riding public and those who ride. In this type of scenario, I have witnessed drivers pulling away in frustration waiting for their turn at the gas pump. In this situation, trust me when I say that this business owner will not ‘side in the favor of a motorcyclist’ that is there to pump 3 gallons of gas and then blocking a gas pump rather than the truck that also rolled behind the motorcyclist to pump 25 gallons, then leave in frustration to the station on other corner to his competition!!

Remember it only takes a second to be considerate and not be the cause of adding further stress to someone’s already stressful life. We ALL hate to waste time, so let’s all remember what it is like to have some rude SOB waste OUR time. BE the considerate guy or gal and BE the example that moves your scoot away from the gas pump as soon as you’re finished pumping gas making room for the next person – doing this can go a long way in changing the opinion of the non-riders about bikers.

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