we started out in utah and made our way to rt 15. this highway was pretty much our only option for getting to vegas from southwest utah. there were other routes, but we weren’t sure about gas stations and the last place we wanted to run out of gas or have any kind of issue was out in the desert. the speed limit was 75, but we can call that the speed minimum because everyone was driving 90+.
we changed our oil behind the autozone in st george as we were due and it seemed like a good idea before hitting the desert. it was 123 miles to las vegas. doable, but it still seemed prudent for me to tell alex “it was nice knowing you” as we set out.
the highway was very fast, very windy, and very hot. this did not add up to fun. if you go too fast the bikes are going to fail, too slow and you will probably die. it was 125 degrees outside. my eyes wouldn’t stop watering (sunscreen + sweat combo). we made it to the first gas station but alex’s bike was leaking a lot of oil. he was already low on the dipstick after just filling up. every time we stopped we added more oil to his bike. eventually the inevitable happened, there was a loud clang from alex’s bike and a puff of smoke.
we pulled over to diagnose the situation. alex’s bike wouldn’t start. we were still 40 miles from city limits. awesome. i think we waited a bit and then he could start the bike but it wouldn’t idle and was running on only one cylinder. we found a side highway (this was very lucky) and slowly made it the rest of the way to phil’s house, on the far side of vegas. going through that city during rush hour with a bike that wouldn’t idle was the icing on the cake.
we parked the bikes and got in the pool.
neither of us knew it then, but that was as far as we would get.