JUNE 20, 2021 – PASADENA TO SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
RECORDED NORTH OF BAKERSFIELD, CA
[START OF AUDIO] June 20th. 7:47 PM, somewhere north of Bakersfield. First two hours of the actual trip. My first break to hydrate and reset, stretch myself, whatever. Glorious late afternoon light. Over the course of those two hours, the riding became increasingly effortless. At first of course, I was trepidatious and a little tight, and paying very strict attention. Then I just started to get the feel for it. The bike is very stable and enjoys the highway. Great.
Anyway, I’m here just doing this first stop. I drank orange Gatorade. I’m going to get back on the road. I covered quite a fair amount of ground in two hours and according to my GPS, I am just over two hours away from my destination, so that’s wonderful. I’m going to get gas and be on my way. I will note that I am stopped at a Valero gas station. I think this was Exit 44 or 45 off California Route 99 and I went in, took a piss, bought the Gatorade.
The cashier is a pretty small in stature, elderly Indian guy. I bought the Gatorade and he asked me how much I paid for my helmet. When I answered he said, “Oh, I paid that much for a helmet a long time ago, and I got into a really bad accident in Riverside,” I asked, “What happened?!” He said, “Somebody ran a red light and hit me,” and he said he was airlifted by helicopter, and that he was in a coma for 18 days. “I don’t remember. I don’t remember.”
So that’s pretty… “cool”. Everyone’s reaction to the bike relates to danger and death so far [laughs] which absolutely gets in one’s head, but I am practicing and implementing all of my skills. I am taking my time and being safe and trying not to let something like that get into my head, but boy did I think that was comical, and fateful, and annoying, and hilarious. He’s dumping out soapy mop water now, looking at me from across the tarmac. Yeah, hi dude. Hi. He’s walking back inside. Great sunlight right now.
Anyway, that’s it. I’m here. Goodbye. [END OF AUDIO]