6. Second Attempt
followed my cycling route back to Sacramento then followed highway
50. Freeway riding in
gusty winds on a lightweight bike was nerve wracking and I was
pleased to get into the mountains where the traffic thinned and
the road wound through the glistening peaks and down to Tahoe,
truly one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the world.
I went to a national parks campsite and at the gate met
another motorbike rider Jim.
“From Australia, huh?” he said, “What’s this
I hear about you folks having to hand in your guns?”
most common subject mentioned when people found out I was from
Australia was not the Olympics or Crocodile Dundee (though he came
close) but the gun buy back.
Most people here thought that all guns had to be given up
and crime had increased sharply as a result.
The debate is being intensified by the upcoming
presidential election with George W. Bush perceived as being
strongly pro gun rights and Al Gore as against.
and his friend Cliff invited me to share their campsite and asked
me about my plans. I
wanted to ride the original route across Nevada and Utah most of
which remains very basic paths far from habitation described in
parts of my guide book as “For high-wheel base 4WD ONLY!. “ and “You’ll wish
you had a horse here an not a vehicle.”
They were horrified at my inexperience and lack of
preparation for such a journey and checked over the bike, giving
me a list of spares to buy and telling me how to make survival
repairs so that I wouldn’t have to abandon the bike in the
desert. They were
riding large, powerful 1,200cc BMW’s and the little Honda looked
small and puny lined up next to them.
Yes guys, in the world of bikers having a weedy motorcycle
is like being poorly endowed at a nudist colony.