Go West Young Man!

32 Days and 5,536 Miles On My Vintage Motorcycle

Exit 217. This is where Jordan's trip ends.

8 miles from the center of the desert I notice Gord has vanished from my rearview. I pull off exit 217 and wait. I try calling. About five minutes later I spot him, chugging down the shoulder of i-10 at a brisk walks pace. We exit together and pull into a cutaway in the desert. He tells me the bike has hit a wall and just won't accelerate beyond 2k rpms. Idles beautifully, then death bogs with any throttle applied.

We see a road sign in the distance but can't quite make it out. Gord zooms in for us with his Nikon:

Desert Center - 8
Indio - 57
Los Angeles - 184

This is the last photo on Jordan's camera.

We go through the bike check procedure that has become so familiar with no success. For the second time a tow truck hauls the CX in. His insurance covers a ride to Motorcycles Plus in Indio. A guy on a Gold Wing stops and gives us some water while we wait for the tow and I feel bad for the joke Gord and I had been telling on the trip, "Nice Gold Wing, you should get a motorcycle".

The next two days are spent at the Palm Tree Inn. We go through the bike from top to bottom with surgical precision and cannot get it. The owner of the hotel offers to store the bike for us in an abandoned restuarant they own. Justy, our buddy in Glendale comes to gather our corpses. I ride the 120 miles to LA behind them. Slipping past the city limits is bittersweet. I did it, but didn't keep my promise to Jordan that I could fix anything mechanical that could possibly go wrong as long as we could get the parts.


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