We rode together a lot, as a young couple. But later, when we were married and beginning to build a family, Julie found she wasn’t as interested in motorcycles. As our children grew into adulthood, she became interested again, but with caveats involving comfort: The ride mustn’t be too hot, or too cold, or last more than a couple of hours at a stretch.
I rode in the desert for the first time in the spring of 1969. I was fourteen, and I owned a 100cc Bridgestone. Although I had spent some time on a friend’s Hodaka and had done some trail riding on a 50cc Suzuki, I wasn’t prepared for the experience. On the wrong bike, with the wrong tires, wearing the wrong gear, I fell and then fell some more, and hurt myself in places where I didn’t even know I had places.