Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Beauty and Evilness of Being Only 290 Miles Away from Las Vegas

Welcome to Nevada!

A few weeks ago my buddy Adam from Twisted Throttle stopped by to spend a few days here in LA.  He was finishing up a trip on a loaned BMW F800GS that he rode down from Oregon.  He got here on a Monday afternoon and that night at dinner we tried to plan out his itinerary for the next two days that he was going to be here.

His original plan was to head down to San Diego to visit family and friends and then be back on Wednesday afternoon before flying back to Rhode Island.  I was giving him route suggestions and where to go on his bike, and at one point, he asked me to ditch work on Tuesday and ride out to Vegas with him instead.

The thing with Vegas is that it's only 290 miles from me.  When I was in my 20's, there were plenty of spur of the moment Vegas trips.  All of them were memorable, for sure, but unfortunately, some of them were all too memorable for the wrong reasons, or right reasons depending on how you look at them.

The amount of impromptu Vegas trips have dwindled as I've gotten wiser (meaning older), and these days, last minute Vegas trip pretty much only happens once in a blue moon.

When Adam suggested the Vegas trip, the first thing that went through my mind was "hmmm, I haven't been there in a while," which was a bad (or good) sign as I knew instantly that I'm game for the trip.  But I had just gotten back from MotoGP the previous week and there were still about 500 emails (okay, maybe not 500, but still a lot of emails) in my inbox that I needed to get through.  But Vegas was calling, so I brilliantly came up with a compromise: instead of ditching work on Tuesday to go to Vegas, why don't we leave Vegas on Tuesday afternoon and come back on Wednesday morning so that way I can still get some office time on Tuesday.

I think Adam threw out the Vegas idea without really think that I would take up on it and was surprised when I gave him my counter offer, and now begins to find reasons trying to get out of it, but after a few whiskeys he came to his senses and the Vegas trip was on!

Our original plan was to leave LA around 4PM.  We didn't actually leave my office's parking lot until 5:30PM.  Bad idea as it meant that we'll be fighting traffic out of LA, but it won't be too bad as we could split lanes.  For someone not used to splitting lanes and being on a bike with hard case on both sides, Adam was still able to split lanes at a decent pace, and once out of the LA proper, we pretty much had the entire I-15 to ourselves.

It was decided before the trip that since my bike was equipped with the TPX Detector and the TPX Laser Jammer, I was going to lead the entire way, which I did for the most part.  Adam would leap frog me a few times but I would always end up leading again.  On the last time where Adam got in front of me, we were going around 85ish when all of a sudden I see a vehicle approaching us at a pretty good pace from behind in my mirrors.  My detector stayed silent and I didn't think much of it, until I was able to make out the vehicle and it looked like a Ford Crown Victoria... yikes!  I let go of the throttle immediately and tried to warn Adam by flashing my lights but he didn't see me.  I dropped my speed while Adam was still maintaining 85, and I was hoping that the Crown Victoria wouldn't be a cop.

Sure enough, it was a CHP.  However, the CHP zoomed by me and went by Adam as well.  Lucky for us, the CHP was not after us and both Adam and I dodged a bullet as in a situation as such, no radar detector can save you from a ticket.  We were just lucky that the CHP had better thing to tend to, or just thought that going 15mph over the posted speed limit on a bike on a clear day and open road didn't warrant a ticket.

We were on good behavior for a bit, then we opened back up again and Adam made sure not to leap frog me any more.  As we got close to Vegas, my trusty TPX Detector started to pick up a weak Ka band.  We were doing about 90 and knowing that Nevada cops like to hang around just outside of Vegas catching speedsters, I knew immediately that there's got to be a cop fishing for speedsters somewhere so I dropped the speed to down to 70.  Sure enough, about 3/4 of a mile down the road, in the median, a Nevada cop cruiser was aiming his radar gun in our direction.  There was no way that we could've seen the cop in advance as it was dark and the cop was parked behind a bend, but thankfully we had the TPX Detector and it definitely saved us from a ticket in that situation.

We rolled into Vegas around 10:30PM, a few hours later than we had planned.  We proceeded to get dinner and drinks and gambled until 4 in the morning, and four hours later, at 8AM, we were back on our bikes back to LA.

We made it back to LA under 3 hours and 50 minutes and that was including a gas stop and an agriculture check stop.  Needless to say, we were able to book along with the confidence of the TPX Detector keeping us out of trouble.

I did return to the office on Wednesday afternoon and was somewhat paying for it, but all in all, it was a fun trip and I had forgotten how nice it is to have Vegas to be only 290 miles away.  I'm just not sure if I want to make this a habit again!