|03-12-2012, 10:17 PM||#11|
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bend, Oregon
Chapter One: Getting There
Early summer 2011 finds me fresh out of grad school, barely employed, and fresh out of a relationship. That last part felt pretty tragic, that first part had a pretty good balance. Working on-call shifts in the psychiatric emergency department in a local hospital meant I had a little money…but not enough. I did, however, have great schedule flexibility.
oh...where's the gratuitous debauchery pics? Wait for it, it's worth listening to the old man ramble...
So back in the winter when Burning Man tickets went on sale I decided to wait. It used to be that you could pick them up later. I didn’t have the money and I wasn’t sure my rocky romance would hold up to a week of often topless party time. So I figured I’d wait. And then Burning Man sold out for the first time ever.
By the time I knew it was time for me to go, that these are my people and this is a home away from home…well scalper tickets were over $500. I entered a few contests, let everyone I know I was looking…and the clock ticked. Meanwhile, I wasn’t even sure I could pull it off economically.
Enter the marvelous world of Craig’s List and motorcycles. I was trying to sell a 1972 VW bus but after getting a bunch of low low low ball offers from some hippies, I decided to trade it for a KLR.
So I drove the bus up to PDX and rode home on the KLR. Then I sold the KLR. It worked out well. Suddenly I could buy a ticket…maybe…if I could stomach the scalper prices.
Then came the miracle.
This guy on the right is known as “The Gimp’s Gimp” because he was invited by a guy known as “The Gimp” who got that nick name because he broke his leg falling off our mutant vehicle and spent the rest of the burn on crutches with a cast. Here's the cast which hangs in a place of honor on the front of the Surly Bird...this pic is from a year or two ago...check out all the people climbing on that sculpture thing in the background. Yes, people get hurt and Burning Man and sometimes they die. Its that much fun...
The Gimp’s Gimp doesn’t walk anymore, his legs don't work, and he came his first year with a modified Segway. Badass ride, wish I had pictures. Oh, the pretty girl in the back? Yeah, she’s one of the Mermaids. Sorry, married with a kid... I’ll show you the other mermaid later. And the guy on the left is me…a few years ago. Anyway, The Gimp’s Gimp reads one of my essay answers for a contest and decides to hook me up with a miracle ticket. Bam…I’m going. I told TGG that I'd take lots of pics of tits for him...and have scandalous tales to tell. You get neither of those. Thanks to Baldy's rules and some consideration for the models...booty only in this RR...well pasties are ok right?
You've been good readers, here's the other mermaid.
They are known as The Mermaids after a particularly beautiful photo was taken of them early one morning in a hot tub outside of Reno...you will never see it. It would ruin your life...
A few weeks later, I’m packing up. And packing for a ride like this is a little different. First, Burning Man in an experiment in radical self sufficiency, they say, and a leave no trace event, for certain. The event leaves behind next to know crap...less than many yahoo family outings. You can buy two things: coffee type drinks and ice. There are no vendors of food, t-shirts, boozy dranks, refrigerator magnets, or glow sticks. You gotta bring it yourself or hope someone else has it and wants to give it to you. That last one isn’t so far fetched. A number of years ago a dude walked in with a ticket buck naked and made a movie about how everyone helped him out. He even got laid on the night of the burn. I’m not taking chance quite like that… So getting a weeks worth of water, booze, food, and faux fur down there is not something you can really pull off on two wheels.
This guy helps me out.
I know...it just hurts to look at. Oh but wait, look in the background, one of The Mermiads hoolahooping...what you can't hear is a small dance clubs worth of sound bumping off the Surly Bird.
Oh...He also drives when he isn’t napping.
He works hard.
Where were again? Bicycles! You gotta have a bicycle and putting that on the KLR is possible...but seriously, once someone is bringing down a tub of booze for you, why strap a bike to your...bike. Once on the playa you can’t just drive around. Only specific vehicles with Department of Mutant Vehicle permits can operate during the event. There is a whole back story here that for the first year in maybe ten, our vehicle was not pre-approved…but I digress.
So this is what goes on the KLR:
Everything to survive up to 72hrs of the burn...or the whole week if people feed me, give me booze, and loan me a fur coat...oh wait...I packed the fur on the KLR! Damn I was good this year...
And this is what goes in the tub for the ride down...
Maybe the fur is under all that booze and mixers? I cant remember now...
And here it is waiting for Guinsu T Bunny to pick it up the day after I leave.
Which means I’ll be camping in a tent again. But I'm an ADV rider now...I'm a badass...not some lazy hippie...
Yes, once, in years past I camped in the luxury of a VW Bus. I deleted that picture...just too NSFW...not safe for wife...yours.
Where were we? Oh yes. Riding. And bikes. Bikes are essential in a crowded city of 45-55000 people that is about three miles across. You’ll see bikes everywhere in these pics including hanging off the back of the Surly Bird…the big red mutant vehicle/art car.
Other gear considerations? Mesh gear. Thanks to the VW turned KLR turned cash…I bought mesh pants…ahhhhhhh.
And Now We Ride!
Warmed up, out of town, bored and sleepy already...a short stop in Silver Lake…where is the lake? Rock star, a pouch of tobacco, and an emergency beer.
See this IS a ride report!
The problem with the ride to Burning Man is there is always a week of frantic silliness and packing leading up to it that usually results in not enough sleep. So staying awake on the might vibrating KLR was a challenge. So I threw in a quick dip at Silver Lake Hot Springs which is one of my favorite places on the planet.
Somehow hot water makes a man cool. Pull on my already stinky socks, put on the gear and motor on. Quick stop for gas in Alturas then backtrack over the pass to Eagleville. This was a nice ride, up into the cool mountains, twisty, alone, now worries about some janky rig I'm no overheating and breaking down... Back in the day when I drove a VW bus through Eagleville on the way to the Burn it was definitely like being in early 1970’s movie. Hard working ranch folk stopped and stared at the hippies. Now they sell burners bbq and beans. Unfortunately, not on a Tuesday. I had to eat a stale deli sandwich with another rock star. And then on to the bleak out in the middle of no where leg. Between Eagleville and Gerlach there is NOTHING. Seriously, if you want to train for Mongolia…this is a good start. Did I take pictures? NO. the soak put me behind and riding out here on the open range full of cows, antelope, deer, and suicide bunnies is a bad bad bad idea at night even with the KLR’s amazing headlights. So it was haul ass. But I love that section of road...as long as it isn't dark. Desolate beauty.
And then the fun part…arriving. Just a hint of a picture for you.
Just in time for sunset. From the two lane highway there is a nasty giant size gravel ramp down to the playa and then literally miles of washboard ancient sea bed. With traffic. I kid you not. Burning Man was sold out right? 50,000 people. It takes days to fill up. So I had to lane split through the dust to get to the gate proper. I’ll not lie…I took off my helmet and took a beer break. I was home. And let me tell you, I already feel like a badass when I get to the playa, but riding in standing up on a loaded KLR as you work your way into and through the city to find your camp…effing priceless. Hello Ladies!!!
Next up: "Hey Baby, Wanna Ride in My Truck?"
She said yes.
Glad you got to see her again?
Maybe one more time?
AWWWW MAN! That guy again! At least he isn't wearing a onsie!
She was too young...we had to let her go. And she had just arrived and needed to find her camp still...
Give me a few days and I will show you a small Sparkle Pony Round Up and a wedding...
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame. But I know. It's my own damn fault.
JayhooRay screwed with this post 03-30-2012 at 03:16 PM Reason: just too naughty...trying to be nice
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