Tag Archives: motorcycle

My First MotoCross

It was a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon in the San Fernando Valley made all the more beautiful because I didn’t have any yard work to do. I had already gone for a good street bike ride and was now sitting in my garage with my ‘a little less than trusty’ Bultaco Pursang wondering what to do. A year ago, almost to the day, I sold my faithful Matador to a fellow enduro rider because he wanted a Bultaco Matador and I wanted a Pursang. Good enough reasons don’t you think. The man that bought my Matador was an interesting story in itself. I first met him during the overnight at the Greenhorn Enduro a couple of years earlier. A buddy of his drove up to Ridgecrest to meet him, help him with anything he needed to do on his bike and drink beer. It was long night for those two.

I woke up the next morning with frost on my sleeping bag, it gets cold in the desert at night! I climbed out of the bed of our truck heading to the porta john and here were these same two guys passed out next to their truck still in the clothes they were wearing yesterday. The rider was still wearing his boots. On the way back I went over and did my best to wake the guy up but after 15 minutes of shaking, yelling, poking and prodding, this guy was still dead to the world so I gave up. And besides, I had to get ready to ride.

Two hours later, this guy on a beat up old CZ pulls up next to me at a checkpoint, asks me if I was the guy trying to wake him up. I said yes, he looked at me and my motorcycle and said, “nice bike, next time try a little harder, thanks” and off he went.I saw him at the end of the Enduro, walking along with a beer in each hand looking for something, or someone. Turns out he was looking for me. He thanked me again for my efforts that morning, handed me a Lucky Lager beer and then asked if I wanted to sell my bike? I told him no, I liked it too much. This little “do you want to sell your bike?” scene happened at almost every Enduro I rode for the next two years.

At the end of a particularly grueling District 37 Enduro, I was sitting on the tailgate of the truck too whooped to take my boots off and here comes Mr. ‘You want to sell your bike yet?’ carrying the usual two Lucky’s. He hands me one and asks the usual question. This time I shocked him, “Sure, how much you give me for it?” “I got three hundred in my truck, I’ll be right back”. Half hour later my step dad and I are driving home with only one bike in the back and three hundred dollars I didn’t have that morning.

So, here I am sitting in the garage staring at the Pursang that the three hundred dollars, along with some help from the guys at Steve’s Bultaco in Van Nuys , California got me. There are no desert races this weekend so maybe I’ll just go trail riding, even though a Pursang is not what you would call an ideal trail bike…I wish I had my old Matador back. I call a couple of friends about going riding but everyone has plans, oh well, I didn’t really want to go trail riding anyway.

Two beers and a bike wash later, my friend Tim wanders into the garage carrying two beers that I swear he got out of my refrigerator, and parks his butt on my BSA. “Whaddya doin’ tomorrow?” he asks. I told him I wanted to go riding either up Angeles Crest on the Beezer or maybe dirt riding somewhere. “You ever ridden Motocross before?” he asks. “No and I don’t have any plans to”. Two more beers and enough badgering by Tim, I’m changing the gearing on my bike for motocross.

Sunday morning as the sun is coming up, Tim and I are heading to Indian Dunes, a cycle park about 30 minutes from home. Indian Dunes is a big place, two motocross tracks, a flat track, and miles of trials in the surrounding hills. I had been to the Dunes a couple of times before to watch motocross and ride the trails but never to race. To say that I was a bit apprehensive would be an understatement. I had been racing in the desert for years, even rode a TT race a couple of times, but the push, shove and knock you off your bike world of motocross was going to be new and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it.

Tim spent the whole time driving to the track telling / convincing me how much fun motocross was and how I was going to do great. On and on he went, giving me tips on the start, the first corner, the jumps, using the berm…etc,etc. After a while I tuned him out and started thinking of ways I could gracefully get out of this. I couldn’t use the old “the bike won’t start’ or, ‘ I think maybe it’s seized’, Tim’s too good a mechanic for those excuses to work. I couldn’t even pull off the ‘I’ve got a hangover’, he’s ridden with me when we were both hungover. I was doomed, I was going to have to race.

After signing up for the race, Tim in the expert class and me in the novice group (Novice??…how humiliating…I’m an Expert in the desert…) we had an hour or so to practice before the official practice sessions started. Off to the ‘easy track we went, and so did everyone else. I got bumped, knocked down, stalled my bike twice coming out of a corner, and run into a tree. If this is what they call practice what’s the race going to be like?? Now, I’m thinking maybe I could go ride off on one of the trails into the hills and come back after the race and say I got lost, or maybe I could crash and break something important so I couldn’t ride like, say, my arm…Ok, that last idea wasn’t such a good one. It looks like I’m still doomed to race.

Back at the truck, Tim starts right in giving me more tips and encouragement. Start in second gear, don’t get caught on the inside of the first turn, take the second jump on the outside and use the berm for the next corner, stay wide on the last turn ‘cuz that’ll give you a good run down the straight and into turn one and watch out for the guy on the Maico he worse than you…Thanks Tim. I’m sure he said a lot more, but after the first five minutes all I could hear was my poor motorcycle saying “I wanna go back to the desert…I’m not having fun…”.

Walking back from the outhouse I heard those dreaded words over the loud speaker…”Novice class to the start, novice class to the start”. As I was getting my helmet on I decided that my only goal in the first moto was to not fall down. Probably easier said than done I thought, but that was the goal.

As the starter was getting everyone lined up in position I couldn’t help but notice the kid next to me had to lean his bike way over just so he could put his foot down. Ok I thought, I can at least beat this kid off the line. The flag dropped and that kid was gone like he was shot out of a gun! And me…I stalled the bike right there on the starting line. Ok, I’m last but I haven’t fallen down…yet. A couple of kicks and the Pursang lights off, so do I. Turn one is littered with bikes from a pile up…uh, guys, there’s only room for two bikes to get through the first turn side by side. After picking my way through the tangled bikes I’ve got clear track in front of me. Let’s see what was it Tim said about the first jump? Too late, it’s behind me now. Hey, guess what, I’m actually catching up to someone!! Here we go, second jump…stay to the outside, use the berm, it worked, I passed the guy like he was standing still…well actually, he was laying still. Who cares, it wasn’t me on the ground. Two more laps, passed two other bikes, they were were still upright, hey this motocross stuff isn’t so bad after all.

After fifteen minutes of this pounding my body was screaming at me. My arms were pumped up, my thighs were burning and I think every filling in my mouth had been bounced out along with the teeth they used to be in. Only five more minutes in the moto, I can make it?

As I rode over to the truck, Tim was standing ready to catch me as I fell off the bike completely beat up. “ Wow…you did great!! Did ya have fun? Motocross is way better than desert racing yeah!?!” I couldn’t even answer. Tim leaned my bike against the side of the truck, handed me a canteen full of cold water and just started laughing . “Man I can’t believe you stalled on the line?!, what gear were you in? Second like I told ya? and you should have seen yourself over that first jump…I thought for sure you were gonna do a ‘flying W’…” Now he was laughing so hard that I couldn’t help but laugh too.

I watched Tim’s first moto to get some ideas on how to do it. I watched the leaders, of which Tim was part of , and, I watched the guys in the back of the pack, figuring that that would be where I would be racing. At the end of his twenty minute moto Tim rode over to the truck, parked his bike against the fender and instantly started planning his next moto. All I wanted to do was wash two aspirin down with a cold beer.

An hour after my first moto was the second one, I had to beat myself up one more time today before I could go home. I was lined up next to the kid that was too short for his motorcycle again but this time he was leaning the other way? I thought he was just trying to psyche me out..it was working, I almost blew the start again. The flag dropped, the kid shot off and I actually got a decent start. Remembering the melee at the beginning the first moto, I backed off just a bit and sure enough, five or six bikes got all tangled up and I went right by..ha ha, I’m getting the hang of this motocross stuff. Or so I thought.

About half way through the moto I was in a heated battle with two other riders including the guy on the Maico that Tim said was worse than me. This battle went on for three more laps before I was getting just too tired to fight. This is a bad time when you’re a racer, your race mentality (read ego) takes over and good sense just goes freewheeling down the track without you. Coming to the second jump I was on the outside (like I was told) planning my attack on the guy in front of me, when out of nowhere comes another racer with the same plan as me but he was going a lot faster.
When I finally opened my eyes and mentally counted all my body parts, there was my buddy Tim looking down at me with a big grin on his face…”man, you should have seen you fly!! I wonder if anybody got a picture of you?” and then as an after thought, “oh hey…you OK?” Without waiting for my answer, he picked up my bike and said “How good of friends are you with those guys at the Bultaco shop?” Not what I wanted to hear at that moment.

Tim went on to place second, I think, in his moto and combined with his first moto finish, gave him third place overall for the day. Not bad considering he spent a lot of his time babysitting a novice motocrosser.

We drove home that evening, me licking my wounds and Tim just going a mile a minute telling me all about how funny I looked flying over the edge of the jump heading right for the tree, legs over my head and still holding onto the bike with one hand. On and on it went and I don’t think Tim stopped laughing all the way home.

When we got to my house Tim headed straight for the fridge and returned with two cold beers, “beer before unloading, that’s the motocross way”. When we finished our beers we unloaded my beat up Bultaco, dumped my riding gear in the corner and opened up a couple more beers. We didn’t talk much during that second beer, I was too beat up and I think tiredness finally hit my friend.

Tim hauled himself out of the chair and made his way to his truck. I stayed in my chair because I couldn’t move. As Tim drove away, waving his trophy out the window, he yelled out, “I’ll call you later this week about going again next Sunday!!” Fortunately when Tim called on Thursday, the broken parts of my motorcycle were on back order, as in I hadn’t ordered them yet back order, but I didn’t tell him that.

When my parts did come in, I promised my Pursang that there would be no more motocross for us, the desert was our home. And there friends is the story of my first, and last, motocross race.

One note here, I don’t have any pictures of Tim and I from that day as a matter of fact I don’t have any pictures of Indian Dunes Cycle Park so I got these from Elrod Racing at www.elrodracing.com. Thank you.

The Church of Speed

Welcome to Sunday morning at the Church of Speed. Everyone is dressed in their Sunday best; racers in their finest leathers, photographers with their cameras hanging around their neck like jewelry, journalists writing sermons, and spectators holding their beers like Holy Water. It’s a perfect Sunday for church in Utah; sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and no wind. All in all a perfect day if you have to spend all of it in church.

The riders are running their practice session right now, the pits are in a flurry and the sound of engines warming up is like the cacophony of a thousand church bells ringing at once. The riders go out for a few laps then dive back into the pits, talk with the mechanics, a few quick adjustments are made and the rider heads back out. Four or five laps later this communal ritual will be repeated. The mechanics are like the brothers in a monastery of exotic high speed machinery, the crew chief is the priest who controls all that happens in his church, and the rider is a mere minion. The congregation is starting to file into the church now.

The congregation, the faithful, will receive their reward in the form of ‘Superpole’. This a sacred ritual that determines which riders sit in the front pews and which listen to the sermon from the back of the church. The faithful watch this ritual with great anticipation knowing that the rider who can read the passages the fastest will gain favor with the monsignor and recieve his blessing, pole position for the race.

Today is the Sunday school before the Mass. This weekend Mass is actually going to be held tomorrow, Monday, because of Memorial Day. Often times though, Sunday school is more exciting.

The trials and tribulations of a cub photojournalist

The MotoWorld’s staff photographer, Heather, got a new toy a couple of weeks ago, a new camera. This is no ordinary camera, it’s basically a computer that happens to take pictures. I’m still using an Instamatic. A few pictures at home for some practice and they all turned out great. Bedtime reading for two weeks was the two thousand page manual, well, at least it looked that thick. But the true test is coming all too soon.

Photographing dogs and roses isn’t quite the same as a motorcycle going by at well over 100 miles per hour. Don’t worry honey there is no stress. During our eleven hour sojourn up here to the racetrack more manual reading was in order. New discoveries of what this marvel will do, and new panics. Really, no stress, our friend Dan from Cornerspeed Photo will be there to help.

The first test session was actually at the local Friday night motocross and the results were quite impressive. This morning is the real test flight. CSpeed Dan took Heather on her maiden voyage to the track, an hour so later she’s downloading over a thousand pictures, don’t you just love four frames per second speed. Then came the daunting task,editing. Every few minutes I hear a heavy sigh.

So after some serious eliminations she has come up with some pretty terrific pictures for a cub photojournalist don’t you think.

The Ride In Movies

The last Motoworld blog post was all about getting friends together to watch the season opener MotoGP, do some bench racing, eat, drink and plan our spring road trip. While everyone was arriving with pots and plates of food, boxes of beers and good munchies we had a great motorcycle movie on in the background. The movie going was ‘Riding Solo To The Top Of The World’ by my friend Gaurav Jani from India. Riding Solo is a wonderful travelogue that I believe every traveling motorcyclist should watch, it really put’s ‘Long Way Around’ to shame.While waiting for racing to start, enjoying all the good food and visiting with friends, more and more friends became captivated by the movie to the point of ” hey, record the race, let’s watch the movie, then the race”. After watching the races, we finished the movie. After the movie was over and everybody headed home a new idea was hatched…a way to get motorcycling friends together, and another good reason to consume mass quantities of food and beer, wait, who ‘needs‘ a reason for the last two?

Most readers of this blog are probably old enough to remember Drive-In’s and most of us who did go to Drive-In’s can’t remember the movie we ‘watched’…because the windows were too steamed up. The Drive-In in my town was $5.00 a carload… including Steve and Artie in the trunk along with a couple of six packs. So I got to thinking, with Drive-Ins extinct how can we motorcyclists recreate that wonderful piece of Americana, but on motorcycles? Welcome to the Ride-In Theater.

Here are the rules, you have to ride your motorcycle, no cars. Admission is cold refreshing beverages and your company. The Fillmore Ride-In Theater has popcorn, hot dogs and lawn chairs. But now, what to show? I went through my collection of motorcycle movies and came up with a selection that I’m sure will please everyone. We can’t show all of these on one evening so it gives us a nice summertime of motorcycling entertainment.

We start the Ride-In season with the best of all time motorcycle movie, ‘On Any Sunday’. If this movie doesn’t stir your soul, you should trade in your motorcycle for a minivan and call it quits. Next would be Peter Starr’s ‘Take it to the Limit’, truly the greatest motorcycle racing movie made. From Trials riding to Roadracing to Drag Racing, Desert racing and MotoCross, this movie is nothing but pure excitement and a great Saturday night Ride-In movie date.

About mid July, we bring out ‘The Worlds Fastest Indian’. A great feel good movie about a real legend in Land Speed Record Racing. Having been to Bonneville with a race team, ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ brings back a lot of good memories and feelings. You have to watch this movie every once and awhile…just because.

August brings to the big screen…actually my barn door…Robert Redford and Michael J.Pollard, also known as ‘Little Fauss and Big Halsy’. There’s just something about this movie that just plain works. You’ve got Robert Redford at his hunkiest, Michael J. Pollard at his quirkiest, throw in some good racing…you can’t go wrong on a warm summer evening at the Ride-in. Oh, and Lauren Hutton doesn’t hurt the movie either.

Labor Day weekend we wind up The Ride-In Theater season with ‘Faster’. A good look at the inside of MotoGP racing. Excellent racing footage along with some great behind the scenes filming, interviews and commentary. Just in time for the end of the MotoGP season.

So, come on all you motorcycle movie fans out there, drive-in ‘s may be extinct, but Ride-In’s are alive and well. Oh and by the way, that little screen in the picture above isn’t what we’ll be using, I just couldn’t find a big ‘ol white sheet to cover the whole door for the photo, but I promise I’ll find one before Ride-In Theater season starts, but you get the idea anyway.

Steaming up the windscreen on my BMW could be a bit challenging but a lot of fun. I think I smell popcorn…see you at the movies.

Superbikes return to Utah…and so do we.

Well, it was a year ago that we started down the path motojournalism and what road it it has become. The MotoWorld Podcast has more than tripled in listeners, magazine articles being published and more traveling, which brings us back to Utah, more specifically Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UtahCIMG5854

Last year we arrived after midnight, the campground gate was closed and we ended up sleeping in the back of the truck on a windy night. When we got up in the morning to get our credentials we looked like something the cat dragged, at least I did. I’m surprised they let us in. We vowed right then and there the next year would be different. The rest of the weekend went great, we were motojournalists.

This year the preparations were better, equipment better and the trip up much better. A little less than twelve hours drive and we arrive at camp in daylight!!! Woohoo. We caught up with a couple old friends, made plans for a get together, had an evening libation and crawled into nice warm sleeping bags.

This is the U.S round of the Superbike World Championships and really excited about it. This year we know where to go, what to do, how to do it and who to see. The media center here at Miller Motorsports is full of the “Rock Stars” of motorcycle journalism from all over the world. Looking over the shoulders of the best phographers in Moto Sports ia awe inspiring.

Today is Friday, mostly practice and setup for the race teams and the energy level is so high it’s catching. A couple of American ‘Wild Card’ racers including the first woman in World Supersport racing.There are new race teams, new bikes and a great race series going on right now.There is nothing like the World Championships coming to your backyardCIMG5852

Planning for a crash…really (Part Deux)

Part Five

In these times of increased security and the occasional need to show others that you are who you say you are you carry your driver’s license.  Along with that have your registration and proof of insurance.  Good start, but wait there’s more.

Do you have any medical issues or take prescription medications? Do you have any allergies to specific medications? If you couldn’t communicate this to a first responder or doctor your treatment could be delayed and you don’t want that. Read on my friend.
motorcycle-crash-740712
Make a list of all your medications and carry that list in your wallet.  Some of the newer outerwear have special pockets for that so put a copy in there too. There are also items that can be attached to your helmet for medical info.  For the majority of us that’ll be enough but for some of us there’s need for more.

If you have any type of medical condition, be sure to do the above and take an extra precaution to protect yourself.  Get one of those dog tags or other bracelets that lead a caregiver to your medical issues quickly and clearly.  I use RoadID on a bracelet which when turned over will give access to my particular info either by computer or 800 number.  There are lots of different systems in place.  Look them over and choose one.  Your local dealer might have it.  Check out running and triathlon shops/magazines for a good selection as well. Do it before you need it.

Helpful hint: If you ride with the same passenger, person or group, tell them where to find your ID or if you’re carrying medication, where that is too.  On your cellphone, program an Emergency Contact Information telephone number.  That is, ECI for name and your family and/or physician telephone numbers. It is also known as ICE, In Case of Emergency.

Take a first aid course.  It can’t hurt and you never know when you’ll need it.  Courses are available from the Red Cross, local hospitals and other sources.  Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it.  If your first aid course doesn’t include it, take a CPR course.  Everyone, rider or not, should take one.

Sign up to be an organ donor.  Help someone else live after you’re done with your parts.  Ask your friends to do the same.  Check your local DMV for details.

Part Six

Ready to crash?  Not yet. Whether you’re a new rider, an experienced rider or returning to the sport, take a riding course.  Starting with the basics is a great way to build your skills.  For experienced riders, there are refreshers and more advanced courses available around the world. You can find school info in the MotoMags, the internet and talking to your friends that have been to riding schools. It’s never too late to learn and continue learning.  Think of it as a tune-up for the rider. Another benefit of taking a rider course, it could lower your insurance rate. Nice.
And… practice, practice, practice until your riding and survival skills are second nature.  Heck of a time to bring out the book when you’re recovering from a case of stupid.

Part Seven

So now you’ve learned that planning for a crash is a good idea and actually it’s pretty easy. So lets go one step further, you just crashed. Let me give you a few thoughts for what to do now.

First, if you’re not conscious, all of the precautions you’ve taken so far will help minimize the hurt and speed your emergency care and recovery.

Second First (If you’re alone.), if you’re conscious, assess where you are and how you feel. Fingers and toes are moving? Do you know where you are? Take your time in getting up. All crashes are traumatic to your body. Give it a moment.

Third First (If there’s a crash and it’s not you.), look around; what’s in the immediate area; traffic, water, etc.  What do you see that can become a secondary danger to the injured rider and you? If necessary and if you can, move the downed rider away from danger being very careful. Once out of danger call 911. Very important here, DO NOT REMOVE THE RIDERS HELMET, leave that to the medical personnel.

These are the basics of planning for a crash. If you do all these things your chances of avoiding a crash or surviving one are much greater. If you do find yourself on the pavement one day I wish you and your motorcycle a speedy recovery. Wise old Chinese saying…” keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down”

These guys are sick

We here at Motoworld Central are not prejudiced at all. Got a motor in or on it? We love it. Gas, diesel, electric, we don’t care as long as it powers something fun. Over the course of time I have gone from a lawnmower engine powered mini-bike to a barn packed with thirteen motorcycles. A couple of boats along the way…a hole in the water you pour money into…electric trains all over the place, slot cars and I still have a ’63 Ford Fairlane hot rod parked in the driveway. But yesterday I met a group of guys who have a sickness worse than any of those I have…model airplane flyers.img_9692

My good friend and traveling partner Jeff is one of these guys. Jeff loves building, making, fixing, tinkering with any and everything. No wonder he’s high school shop teacher and handyman. Anyway…a couple of years ago he got into flying model airplanes. At first it was pretty innocent ” oh, I remember I had one of these when I was a kid and I thought it would be fun to do with Amy” . Reality check here…Amy, his daughter, has nothing to do with this, Jeff is a ‘gadget, gizmo, widget, what can I tinker with next’ junkie. Now, his shop is floor to ceiling airplanes and yesterday I learned that other motorcycling friends of mine have that same disease. I wore a necklace of garlic so I woudn’t catch the sickness.

The Channel Islands img_0012Condors Flying Club put on a classic old school style ‘all you can eat breakfast’ to raise money for some good cause or another and I volunteered to help cook. Yeah, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing and besides, I haven’t been around model airplanes at all since I was a kid and it sounded like fun. My how things have changed. It was quiet.

It was too quiet. Where are the planes flying? “Look up dummy and welcome to the 21st Century”. Model airplanes powered by electric motors. OK.  But wait, whats missing? There is something about the sound of a plane climbing and climbing and climbing then starting to spiral down, dead engine, and then at the last minute the engine starts again and the plane avoids a close encounter with the ground. That’s what’s missing, the ethereal experience of the sound of a motor.  img_9623 The planes were beautiful,the flying skills were wonderful to watch and it was just like sitting around at any motorcycle hangout and listening to riders talk about their motorcycles. There are guys having a great time flying their $200 airplane and guys crashing their $30,000 airplane. Just like a Sunday at the Rock Store, but with wings instead of wheels.

A small story

Ed's BonnevilleAs Ed traveled along through the Arizona desert he started to think about why he took this trip in the first place. The vastness of the desert, the heat that rose up from the road and the sound of the motor lulled him away, back into his own memories. Ellen had left him and he simply wanted to escape.

Taking time off work was easy, getting his mom to watch the kids was even easier. Since Ellen left Ed wasn’t much fun to be around so the kid’s enjoyed being at Grandma’s a lot.

Car, train, plane, boat or motorcycle? Motorcycle. Out of the back corner of the garage came the ’69 Bonneville. Ed and the Bonnie had been together since she rolled out of the Triumph dealer brand new.

Whenever life seemed to get tough, time on the Bonnie cured everything. Ed had solved the world’s problems from the seat of that motorcycle. The Vietnam War? Ended somewhere between Lake Tahoe and L.A.. Over population in India? Easily fixed outside Steamboat Springs. Starving kids in Africa? Cured in Montana. Ginger or MaryAnne? That’s easy, MaryAnne. Now, deep in the Arizona desert, Ed had a new problem to solve.

The ride had been pretty uneventful so far. In the time between Reseda and Palm Springs, Ed had figured out that either his trusty old leather jacket had shrunk or married life had put a few pounds on him. He opted for the jacket shrinking. A short but expensive stop at Madman’s Motorcycle Mall and Ed was much more comfortable.

Tucson seemed to be a good goal for the first day, but a dinner stop would come sooner. Nyland, California. This is where you set your watch back, About twenty years. “Home Cookin’ and Cold Beer” said the sign outside Tiny’s Diner. Ed trusted the large number of eighteen wheelers and pickup trucks outside more than Tiny’s sign. Inside Tiny’s, the noise level was at last five times louder than Ed’s Bonneville. Truckers talking with each other as if they were on their CB radios, farmers talking loud enough to be heard over their tractors, cooks and waitresses yelling orders at each other and over all this was Johnny Paycheck sing “Take this job and shove it” on the jukebox. The smell inside Tiny’s Diner ranged from dirt to diesel to fried onions, except for Polly the waitress, she wore perfume that smelled like Gardenias.

The sun had already set when Ed left Tiny’s. Fill up the tank, put on the new jacket and head for Tucson. In the dark, the desert is even more vast and desolate. Distances between towns seem to grow and the number of cars and trucks gets smaller. At one point Ed just pulled over and stopped. He shut off the Bonneville’s motor. The dark and stillness of the desert night covered ed completely. No matter how many stars there were in the sky his world was totally dark. Why did she leave?