Been on the road for three days, plus a couple. It's good that I'm behind, as it's going to take me a while to figure out where I'm at. :)
On to Vegas!
Vegas (and this R/R) all starts with a project I had called Six Six Twelve. When I originally got divorced, my plan was: Live in 6 states in 6 months, then go to Europe and live in 6 countries in 6 months. As I neared just as I was about to put my house up for sale, the economic meltdown hit. So I kept the house, went to Death Valley and came up with a new plan: train for and run my first marathon there--and if I didn't die--train for Ironman. (Lesson being: if one door slams in your face, go kick open another.)
We know what happens next: compete, tumor, breakup. But in between those last two I put a deposit down on the Panigale. My house was in escrow and I figured, fuck it--I'm going to Europe. Booked a flight to London a month after the house was supposed to close and then I met this guy online who just ordered a Panigale, but was now last in line for one. Seeing as though it would be a while before I needed mine, he and I swapped spots. Right around the time he picked up his (my) bike, I the house sale started to fall through (fraud or something or other on the buyers part). Fucking nothing just goes right for me. Ended up finally closing on the house, which happened literally 2 hours before my flight to Europe.
End result: now I had no bike and was not in Europe. Fast forward a few weeks and Newport Beach Ducati got in a huge shipment of Panigales and off I went. The dude I originally swapped bikes with seemed like a pretty awesome guy, though--and was not afraid of putting long miles on the Duc. We tried to meet up several times, but we never managed to make it work. So on my way back to CA I had to stop in Vegas. I had no idea what kind of ride awaited me, though. Holy SHIT! (*Legal disclaimer: everything I'm about to say is fictitious.)
We met up outside of Vegas and (I'll call him Ghost Rider for now) brought some friends with some very fast bikes (ZX-14s, an R1 (R6?) and an S1000RR). As I parked/got off my bike I spun around, caught my leg on the back of his 200 rear tire and fell right there in the parking lot in front of all him and all his buddies. If I had been standing there I'd have thought--fuck this guy! I'm not riding with a total klutz--if he can't even walk how the hell is he supposed to ride in a group?
"My" actual bike. I kind of feel sorry for her--she didn't get to see the US and got to star in only a chapter of this R/R instead of the whole thing. Consolation, though, is the pristine condition she's still in:
We get onto the road and it must have been a minute or two before we were out in the middle of nowhere closer to the rev limiter in sixth than the posted speed limit. Now, when I've put my license (and life) in jeopardy, it's typically been in very remote places on deserted roads and I've only stayed there long enough to get up to a certain point before backing the fuck off. But these guys didn't know that limit. We were on relatively deserted roads in the middle of nowhere, but it was as if we were all being chased by the apocalypse and propelled by desmo demons from hell. Full throttle for what seemed like an hour. It was fucking nuts. Legal disclaimer and all, I'm not even going to discuss the actual speeds or the location. Nuts.
Get back to Ghost Rider's house and I'll say someone has been paying attention to my vices:
Around this time of the trip I occasionally try to imagine settling down in a house. And I just can't. The 'state' of being a nomad is too much a part of me at this point...or so I thought. Yet another gorgeous and beautiful house to stay at for a couple nights: