Here's another ride report I wrote but never posted. Similar theme methinks. An unusual thread, following the adventure of a long lost nephew, A new bike with unexplained maladies, the dry and hot desert and finally culminating in some almost mystical revelations on man and machine. First, Addy Love, the Nephew. 10 years my younger, living the dream in New York City as an industrial designer, musician and generally regarded as a hard working, hard livin layabout with a smart mouth and some great ideas to boot. Charming as they come. He flew in to decompress from being witness to his sisters long and painful c-section.She ended up with a bouncy baby, He flew in for R&R. Addy had recently acquired a DR650 to doodle the hills of his upstate cabin and there became afflicted with motorcycle fever. Of course, first words out of him at the airport,”Never done any real touring, Let’s take the bikes and find the desert Jakes.” Music to my overworked, underpaid and these days downtrodden ears. The Bikes now, Two of them, Addy’s riding my 2000 VFR 800, Yellow, Sorted, reliable and deeply loved by yours truly prior to my completely incomprehensible Futura purchase. Still deeply loved. My Bike, the 2001 Futura. Silver. Lovely. Bought for a song after sitting in a field for 2 years. The previous owner, a harley guy had inherited the steed and a basket containing all the pieces required for a resurrection,New Tires, Hot shot Rectifiers, Quick connects and the like. With no interest and direction, he was happy to swap it out for a new Vegimix juicer for his better half. New battery, Long distance Clutch seals, a new 05 Map and some plumbing from a resident expert and Bob’s your uncle, ready to fly! Well almost. Cut to Friday afternoon, the eve of our great adventure. Riding back from a biz meeting, suddenly no controls to be seen. Nada. Bike behaves perfectly but control panel staring blankly back at me. Quick shout out to the wise and crafty ones and a possible solution emerges. Yes, a frayed wire is found and fixed. New fuse inserted and blinky comes back to life. Perfecto. The problem re-emerges 10 Miles into our trek, right over the altamont pass where the escape velocity is too great for any possible return. On we go. no controls, no lights, no indicators. Nada. Addy rides behind me, acting as my brake light in his yellow spaceship. High on 91 octane, Into the valley we ride. Highway 5 cuts like a meat cleaver through the vegetable basket of America, Hot, 105 Degrees in the shade. Mexican market at the side of the road, a fistful of marinated bbq steak, some corn a mango and a small 5th of Jamesons should see us through wethinks. Off the highway and into the desert, we come to Mercy hot springs, Middle of nowhere, stretched out along a dry riverbed. we check in with the Polish overlords, settle in a grove of trees and pitch camp. A quick dip in the pool, and we’re right as rain. The full moon emerges and we soak in a cloud of sulfurous steam. Bats fly around while the desert night stretches out before us. A meteor shower comes and goes. As does the Jamesons . finally peaceful sleep under the stars. Sunday morning and another Addy proclamation, “Jakes, we gotta swim in the ocean before I fly back east, we gotta!” Packing up and off we go. 100 miles of deserted road through hardscrabble twists and turns, no cars. from potholes at the edge of counties to perfectly cambered pork barrel roads we fly. Addy, Jakes, the two bikes one set of controls and a remaining bottle of Red Stripe. like wisdom passed from another desert mountain I realized that riding this machine without controls was one of the most liberating thing I had ever done, no rev counter to tell me that I was stretching things thin, No speedo to inform me of my need for limits, never looking down to see where or who I was, Just straight ahead with only my inner voice to guide me. I meditated over the hills and through the corners free as a bird. I felt light, I felt Free. The Salt water of the ocean washed the dust away and Santa Cruz, the tourist RV’s and the Arterial clogs of pleasure seekers stood before us. Never fear, a quick turn into the mountains and the skyline pass, Alice’s restaurant and the cool redwood forests of the coast followed us back over the bay and safely home. Another weekend, lessons learned and a Short circuit to find and fix.