These are the days…

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by neduro, May 26, 2009.

  1. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
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    8,063
    Location:
    Riding the US in search of writing manuals
    :scratch Neduro's doing a Ride Report? :dunno

    Might just have to read up. :nod

    :lurk




    :yikes The guy can <s>ride</s> write like a nympho in heat. :knary

    :clap :clap :clap
    #81
  2. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,162
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    There will be no sandals worn in the shower tonight. Authentic, traditional, adventurous, quaint, historic; none of these adjectives will apply. Air conditioning, a swim-up bar, and all the fresh towels I care for are the menu.

    [​IMG]

    I spend the day chasing apexes through the mountains down to the coast, and I know that when I arrive, I&#8217;m going somewhere that takes plastic.

    No one comes this way any more, there are faster roads both North and South of here. I park in the middle of a bridge for half an hour as I fiddle with the camera and watch my piss arc down to the valley floor.

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    Later, I watch a family play as they wash their clothes in the creek, the children splashing the mother and she laughing and splashing back. I am unable to put a camera between myself and them. I recognize a logo on one of the shirts, and think about the mad, mad world we live in where people who grow their food in the back yard, and count their wealth in goats, buy low-tech things made in China because it&#8217;s cheaper to transport crap halfway around the world than it is to make something good here. I attempt to file this experience under the folder marked &#8220;gains from trade&#8221; but I cannot reconcile myself to it. I move on.

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    I pass through these lives like a ghost. I don&#8217;t belong, but riding the motorcycle means I&#8217;m part of it, not above or outside it. People see me and wave, accepting and dismissing with ease.

    I&#8217;m in the zone. I&#8217;ve been traveling long enough that packing comes easily, the saddle feels like home, and my gear has passed from clean to dirty and then back to stasis at &#8220;worn&#8221;.

    [​IMG]
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    The GPS shows a road near here, but the map is so imprecise (wrong?) that every 10 minutes or so it throws up it&#8217;s hands and says &#8220;No road near destination&#8221;. I put it out of its misery. There is more moisture here, so I must be getting close to the coast.

    I stop at a small pass and realize the road ahead is visible for some kilometers. I have already ridden 250km since gas, so I decide to coast. I make it 25 klicks before I&#8217;m impatient to go faster.

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    I ride faster than I should but slower than I wish. I know there is risk, but I balance it against skill and luck and that act is a big part of why I ride motorcycles and why I bother with a trip like this.

    I arrive at the coast road and turn South. It is humid and hot, and I savor it because I know that my house is cold and dry right now, and I&#8217;m going to save some of these BTUs up for when I return.

    It&#8217;s time to try my Visa card for the first time in weeks. I am looking forward to not struggling with my clumsy Spanish, to eating food that costs too much, to swimming in a pool that smells like chlorine and coppertone. I am looking forward to not being the foreigner in the room, but instead being just another guest.

    I ask for a room over the ocean, they ask for $300. I offer $50. We settle on $75. I haven&#8217;t paid this much for a room in weeks, but I&#8217;m sure it will be worth it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    As I walk into the lobby carrying my saddlebags, I realize I&#8217;m not going to get what I wanted. Guests fly here. Guests are pasty white and double check exchange rates. Guests ask for bottled water and worry about produce. Guests see &#8220;us&#8221; and &#8220;them&#8221;, and I&#8217;m neither. I&#8217;m still a ghost, still passing through these lives in a way that they can&#8217;t reconcile, except that dad looks jealous and mom looks worried.

    I drop my bags in the room and grab a free margarita. I disguise myself as a touron with a swimsuit and a button down. I&#8217;ve been carrying this damn thing for 5000 miles, I may as well put it on.

    [​IMG]

    More margaritas follow. I experiment, and decide the correct ratio is one swim in the ocean, one margarita, one swim in the hot tub, one margarita, rinse, repeat. By the time nightfall comes, I&#8217;m ready for trouble.

    I walk up the beach to discover the gringo bars are nearly empty, devoid of the daughters I&#8217;d been hoping for. I&#8217;m not ready for bed, so I start touring the hotels on the beach. No one questions why I&#8217;m here, my tourist disguise is working. I wander into an all-expenses-paid place, and find myself in a big casino. People are laughing and gambling, I find a group that looks friendly and introduce myself. I ask about the casino, and learn that the chips are included in the package and the winnings aren&#8217;t worth anything.

    And there it is, all wrapped up in a neat little package with a bow on top. There couldn&#8217;t be a better metaphor for this whole experience. I excuse myself, disgusted. I can&#8217;t decide if the smiles I see are fake, plastered on because that&#8217;s what you&#8217;re supposed to do when you&#8217;re here, or real, the product of willful ignorance, and I&#8217;m the sucker who is making this all too complicated.

    One thing is for sure. I don&#8217;t belong here. I go back to my room and lie there, puzzling over the problem and deciding that I&#8217;m sure of only one thing: the smile that I wear when I&#8217;m leaned over, tires biting and engine pulling, is very real, and that&#8217;s enough.
    #82
  3. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,078
    Location:
    Colorado
    You've neatly summed up what I've been struggling with for the last 3 years of my career. "...the winnings aren't worth anything" and "I don't belong here".

    thanks for sharing your experience
    #83
  4. AntWare

    AntWare Lost In Translation

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    16,483
    :brow

    How'd that work out for you? :rofl
    #84
  5. mommer

    mommer bring on the world!!!!

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,993
    Location:
    on the road with my wifey!
    man ned, you should write a book or something :lurk
    #85
  6. ian408

    ian408 Oh? Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
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    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Talented rider. Talented writer. Very nice.
    #86
  7. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
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    88,161
    Location:
    Paradise Valley, AZ
    Gracias Ned. :bow
    #87
  8. Treadless

    Treadless The Panel Beater

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
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    Location:
    Santa Barbara Ca
    Agreed! :thumb
    #88
  9. trailuser

    trailuser take the backroads

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,391
    Location:
    Illinois
    thanks for the enlightenment:deal
    #89
  10. Rellik

    Rellik o-KAY!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    589
    Location:
    Calgary
    I certainly hope you were "golden arcing" on the downstream side! :rofl
    #90
  11. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,071
    Location:
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Dood... This is a sweet report, "introspective" to say the least! Keep it coming.

    I'm really enjoying DSR II, btw.

    Thanks NEDURO!!!
    #91
  12. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
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    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    Awesome. I nominate this one to the Hall of Fame. :deal Do we have a second?

    PS: is that Al Gore? :scratch

    #92
  13. edgy

    edgy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    494
    Location:
    Gtown,SA
    Love your "ode" to the SE!!!
    Yours sure is sweet,nearly as sweet as mine!:D
    #93
  14. BRZ

    BRZ Insider

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Brazil
    Excellent! I'm really enjoying this!
    #94
  15. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
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    2,087
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Nicer RR and bike! steve
    #95
  16. Johnny Dakar

    Johnny Dakar Fuckin' Smartass

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    Location:
    Just 3 Short Miles North of Baja
    Shit Ned, isn't there something you're bad at?
    #96
  17. bpeterson

    bpeterson no other way to say it

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
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    NJ
    speechless.

    great flow and passion, Ned.

    :clap
    #97
  18. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
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    1,678
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Hemingway couldn't have said it better. Thanks for spillin' yer guts ned. Keep it comin' :thumb

    BMW was winning the Dakar sponsored by Marlboro and Playboy?!:huh And it was stylin' to rock the 'stache? :ymca

    Man, sh*t used to be cool...:D
    #98
  19. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Vancouver BC / Reno NV
    hello mr. ned!!! Now I know what you were scribling in your diary: brilliant prose.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #99
  20. Motor 1

    Motor 1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    545
    Location:
    9 miles from the start of the Gap
    WOW! You have the words, I don't. Thanks for bringing us along:D