Planes, Trains and Motorcycles

MotoQuest asked me to work another motorcycle show. This one was in Sacramento. I could either ride through wind and rain with minimal regard for my health and safety, or I could take a cheap flight, pick up a loaner bike and have a couple of days to slack off. I took option 2. My flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco was on a minimalist airline where you pay for yourself and a personal item. Carry-on and checked luggage cost extra. I crammed my essentials into a bag that could fit under the seat, wore my riding suit, and if the airline attendants gave me any guff, planned to put on the helmet and pretend to be terrified of flying.

All The Gear, All The Time. Even on a bus.

My itinerary:

2:30pm: Drop off motorcycle and luggage at Major Powersports in Las Vegas.

3pm: Take public transit while wearing riding gear to the airport. Included one bus transfer.

4:30pm: Run around the wrong terminal looking for Frontier Airlines. Ask for help while looking like a sweaty maniac.

4:42pm: Ask for help. Get laughed at by airport personnel. Learn that I need to take a shuttle bus to another terminal. Do that.

5pm: Get through TSA. Miraculously not get searched.

5:15pm: Rack up a $35 tab at an airport bar eating a cheeseburger and drinking two whiskey drinks.

6:30pm: Get lots of weird looks from other passengers. Board my flight.

8:35pm: Take a BART train into the Mission, transfer to a bus. Watch Muni security deal with a doped up and dozing off passenger.

9:55pm: Finally make it to Moto Guild just as everyone working there was about to go home. Cram my stuff into boxes on a tall BMW G 650 GS Sertao and ask for help getting it upright from the far-leaning kick stand. (My exact words may have been “I need an adult!”)

10:20pm: Arrive at a friend’s home in Berkeley to eat a very late dinner and spend the night.

The ride up to Sacramento the next day on the Sertao was typical of California: A traffic accident slowed down drivers, but motorcycles could safely split lanes , and most drivers left room or got out of the way. One or two were oblivious, but no one was maliciously trying to cut me off. The bike is much zippier than my NC700x, and that results in more handlebar and seat vibration. It’s probably much more fun than mine is off-road, but this weekend I was pounding pavement and wouldn’t have time to find out.

Behold! The Sertao in front of my friends' home in Sacramento.
Behold! The Sertao in front of my friends’ home in Sacramento.

Our booth at the Cal Expo Center was directly across from the Christian Motorcyclist Association which played the same minute-long video over and over and over and over. Since Phil and I were the only two people in the world actually watching it, I feel compelled to tell you they’ve distributed  over 5,000 motorcycles, three horse and buggies, two snow mobiles, a camel and 2,519,112 bibles. We lost our minds a little, started counting the number of riders in their video without helmets (12). At one point, I started yelling at passers-by “Heads up!” and tossed candy into their promotional bags or into their hands. Sometimes it got folks to come over and check out our booth.

Shirt of the day!
Shirt of the day obstructing my view of the CMA display.

It was great to spend time in Sacramento with more friends made through Moped Army. One couple housed and fed me all weekend, and another friend dropped by the show and met up for a drink later that night.

After my weekend of working, I had an evening and afternoon with a lovely friend named Laura, her husband, and a friend involving a slumberparty, a morning trip to Laura’s midwife to hear her baby’s heartbeat, a french pastry breakfast and eventually it was time to return to Las Vegas and my motorcycle.

2015-11-13 07.50.08
ATGATT on a plane.

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