Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Motorcycle Story

As much as I enjoy what I do... every now and again, it's good to escape.  For me that usually involves motorcycles.  Every once in a while, cameras and motorcycles.
The most recent journey included both, as well as an old friend from "across the pond".  As I expected, there was far more riding than photography.  The trip covered something close to 2000 miles, which is quite a distance to cover on a couple of vintage BMW's... both over 30 years old and not set up for comfort.

We had no real destination, no expectations, just an appetite for winding asphalt and cold beer served in remote places.  We left Phoenix and explored the roads of Southern Arizona before dropping down into Mexico in search of good taco stands, chilled beer and an ocean view.  It was December and we found that the beer would not be the only thing chilled.
By day the temperature was wonderfully comfortable, but more often than not, we'd be climbing in altitude while the sun lost altitude.  As the sun faded temperatures dropped to unbearable levels.  Our faces and finger tips got the worst of it.  At 80 and 90 mph, the cold was even penetrating our leathers.

We shot down the mountains through Tecate, in search of Tijuana, where we would rest for the night.  This is where we suffered our first casualty.  As we raced through the darkness, down the winding mountain roads, Timm lost his headlight... and I lost Timm.  With some difficulty, we found each other, Timm's headlight was shattered and his gas tank emptied.  I drained some of my fuel into Timm's tank and we sought refuge in Tijuana.

The next morning we found our way back into the States.  We crossed into San Deigo, found a used headlight at a local bike shop, and grabbed a drink.  On the ride back to Phoenix, we raced to stay ahead of black storm clouds.  It was our fifth day on the cafe bikes, and I was aching in all the expected places.  We made it home with little fanfare, poured a drink and planned the next trip.

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