Motörhead Trip

Originally posted on August 24, 2016 at 7:00 am

Words and photo: Chris “Bama” Milucky
From “On the Road With Bama,” originally published in Issue #191

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 11.26.03 AMMoab. Orange waves of sand, frozen in time, almost like me. I’ve been here six weeks—which is about five too long. Moab’s a great place to live, but I’m getting stir crazy. I’m beginning to feel like I’ve lost the edge.

I miss the humid, greasy truck stops of the Midwest, whose parking lots lie covered in a blanket woven from the threads of 18-wheeler reefer trucks hell-bound for a supermarket near you. I miss the search for cheap gas. I miss cranking out thousand-mile days, one after another, hoping to find fresh flush toilets but settling for grocery sacks and public trash cans.

I’m ready to roll over grassy, green Southern trails marked by washing-machine cairns and lined with mobile homes so derelict, it’s hard to imagine if anyone actually resides in such filth. I’m ready to traverse the barren, brown border of Nevada, traveling beyond, traveling westward, and ride the fern-infested mountainous descents of Oregon and Washington. I want to spend the Fourth of July eating fresh lobster in Maine. I want to smell burnt motor oil—evidence of an overdue ring job.

Sigh …

I promised a local shuttle outfit I’d hang ten another month, driving vacationers into the La Sals till summer hits hard like a face shot in a fast section and triple digits dot the weather report like an SOS code, beseeching an imaginary bartender to blend bottomless margaritas whilst UV rays burn harsher than an Orwellian nuclear experience.

Wisdom asks me to cherish the cash tips, but habit calls for an emergency escape, leaving by moonlight and following the Colorado River through Castle Valley until reaching my riptide: Interstate 70. I call it El Camino del Mal, because surviving the rock slides, avalanches, weather and traffic means you’ll wind up in a deep abyss of small-town highways, mercilessly rolling out mile after billboarded mile, until sleep deprivation wins the fight against caffeine and sunflower seeds, and when you finally come to, your eyes will rise in an unrecognizable town festooned by Chamber of Commerce signs begging for you to “Come Again.”

I feel dissatisfied, yet my heart feels full. I’m charged up and rested. I’m limber from nights in a normal bed. I’m ready to load my bike onto my motorcycle, turn the key and … “P-fissst!” I smell a burnt fuse. Damn it! I’m stuck here! And stuck in my mind is writing my own Motörhead song …

A set of tires to replace,
A claim, a boast, no more disgrace,
A roof rack, fee, I hate to race.
I drink too much, I’m gettin’ rad,
A tent, a leaky thermal pad,
My tank’s on low, my food is bad.
But I was born a rolling stone,
Another berm I’ve gotta own,
Another day that both knees moan,
Road trip is overdue.
My fork is leaking everywhere,
The demo guy—too smug to care,
My tube is fl at; I have no spare,
Another unmarked place to ride,
The ranger’s near, we have to hide,
The camber’s off, and my tires slide.
We’re shredding like an angry teen,
The trail is steep, it’s really mean,
If I don’t die, I’ll ride it clean.
Road trip is overdue.
The second shuttle I want to catch,
Slam a coffee, light a match,
Don’t sweat a carbon-fi ber scratch.
The weather changed, I have a plan,
We have to make it to the van,
Just try to pass me, doubt you can.
My bars are wide, won’t cut ’em down,
I like ’em wide, it’s what I’ve found,
Cased that jump, my wheel ain’t round.
Road trip is overdue.

Chris Milucky (better known as “Bama”), his wife, Tanesha, and their dog, Larry, once logged more than 50,000 miles a year driving across the country. They are now building a new home in Colorado. All they ask is that you keep singletrack single and support your local bike shop. Read some of his other writings here.


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