Despite my worries of a hangover from the unknown chemicals we’d ingested the night before, I awoke feeling well rested and alert. We had 5 hours left on the buffet pass, and also needed to replace my tire today. We hurried through our morning bowl and went to go get in line at La Village buffet at Paris. This turned out to be the longest, slowest moving line yet. We spent over an hour in line, and ended up missing the breakfast this buffet is famous for. Food was still overall pretty good(nothing to write home about), and after we had eaten as much as we possibly could, it was time to get the bike to the shop.
Though the tire had seemingly taken no more damage on the ride from Orderville to Vegas, I still thought it best to get it replaced, and hopefully someone at the shop could clue me in to what caused the mysterious damage. The venture of course took us off the strip, where the true nature of Vegas is more apparent. It is dirty, flat, and crowded, a continuously evolving caricature of itself. We eventually made our way across the city to one of two or three shops in town that carried any parts for my bike. Fucking BMW. So hard to get them worked on.
The tire came out to $220 or so, but more importantly, I discovered the cause of the damage. My rear shock had finally given into age and abuse, and had failed pretty completely. As a result, a small bolt on the underside of the wheel well would dig into the tire on bumps and dips in the road. This was not going to be cheap to fix, and I did not want to stay in this horrible city long enough to deal with it. Our friend Amy lived in Los Angeles, and had offered us a place to stay while we dealt with the bike nonsense, as long as we could make it that far.
We returned to the hotel a bit apprehensive about the prospects for our trip. I began to worry that repair costs might cut our adventure short. We spent the remainder of the day smoking in the hotel room, watching tv, or rather advertisements broken up by short clips of tv shows. I don’t understand how people still pay for cable. You’re literally just paying to be advertised at. Cable TV initially came about as a way to avoid commercials, instead paying up front for the creation of new programs through cable subscription fees. Now, it actually had more ads than broadcast tv, and you still have to pay for it. What a scam. I pay for internet, and download all my tv shows with the ads cut out already. It’s great. The few times I find myself somewhere still using cable tv, I find myself quickly annoyed with how often they break up the show I’m trying to watch with more inane adverts, each one stupider than the last.
Los Angeles was further away than I really wanted to do in one day’s ride, but Joshua Tree National Park was in the middle somewhere, and would be a great stopping point. I had been through once before, but we’d shown up late at night, and left pretty early in the morning. This time, we would stay at least a full day. I went to sleep excited about my return to Joshua Tree, and even more excited to get to share another of my favorite places with Gianna. Gravy: we’d be getting the fuck out of Las Vegas. This place can be fun for a maximum of 36 hours, and only if you’re equipped with a huge stack of money that means nothing to you. Still, it had been 3 days of cheap air conditioning and easy living, even though we didn’t gamble or even drink.