Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Jimmy Lewis, God of the Machine: Day 0 - Los Angeles to Pahrump
I slept in on Friday, attached the panniers to Kinky, packed my bags and headed east on the 10. Of course, even at 1pm, Highway 10 was a mess, and then Highway 15 heading north was even worse. I rode in between lanes of traffic and passed, literally, thousands of cars stopped at near stand stills. Everyone and their minority-beating co-workers were on their way to the "Baker to Vegas" rally (aka The Running of the Pigs), which, while not quite as challenging as a 10k race (for each individual), the CBS Los Angeles News refers to as "one of the world's toughest races." I suppose if you take into account that cops are, by and large, morbidly obese diabetics who only get exercise when they are clubbing innocent civilians, and tend to lack will power and judgement, then yes, it is challenging in a special Olympics kind of way.
A brief aside:
In case I seem hostile to law enforcement, it is only because I really hate cops. About a month ago, in a case of mistaken identity, the Culver City police department performed a felony stop on me, with guns drawn, and showed a startling lack of professionalism. I know that it was at night, and probably difficult to see with my gloves and helmet on, but I am white! Not "white" like that Zimmerman guy who couldn't get a sunburn in a toaster oven, I am an Anglo-American with a shit load of German and Polish blood, and I deserve better! I'm not asking for much, just preferential treatment every once in a while, particularly when legal matters are involved. And the right to own slaves.
I digress. I stopped at the Mad Greek for lunch, and is it just me, or has the Baker thermometer not worked for at least ten years which is a sad commentary on America's crumpling infrastructure.
The Baker to Pahrump run along 127 and 176 is a fantastic ride, or at least, as fantastic as a ride can be on asphalt. I love hurtling through the dry desert heat on top of an engine and two wheels. It makes me smile and sing classic rock music.
Upon arriving in Pahrump, I headed directly to "Sheri's Ranch" whorehouse. I booked the Jimmy Lewis Off Road class last minute, and all of the 315 (literally) rooms in Pahrump were already claimed by members of law enforcement. Knowing the city would be full, Jimmy made a few reservations at the whorehouse ahead of time, and per his instructions, I walked into the "Sports Bar" entrance, and tried not to make eye contact with any of the whores milling about. I checked in, and was escorted by security to my room, which was a short walk through the brothels's expansive, beautifully landscaped, and completely empty grounds. The security guard asked me about my stay, and I quickly explained to him that my purpose was to learn to ride a motorcycle off road, and not for whoring. I'm not sure if he believed me.
"You should at least get a tour of the place while you're here. It's really interesting. Also, there are two channels on TV, one with a camera on the sports bar, and the other with this weekend's lineup. Enjoy your stay!"
It was peaceful and quiet. I don't even think anyone else was in the motel. (Whores aren't allowed there). The quality was on par with Motel 6. I organized my things for the next day, scheduled a 7am wake up call, and fell asleep in the warm embrace of a Xanax hug.