[Somewhere in the middle of Nevada] — Nothing beats riding in Nevada’s high desert country, mountains in the distance, miles and miles of open road unwinding before you, with almost no traffic. On roads like these, you appreciate being on a big touring bike with a 6-gallon gas tank.
There is a downside, however, and here is a little confession, something no biker likes to admit. If you look closely at the gravel next to the bike, you can see where I dropped it and tried to pick it up (and couldn’t!). When I see signs like “Next Gas 80 Miles,” I can’t resist stopping to take a picture; I think it helps tell the story (in this case, I was writing about riding Nevada’s “loneliest roads,” with a jaunt through Death Valley, CA thrown in for good measure. The article will come out in Harley-Davidson’s HOG summer issue).
In any case, as I attempted to position the bike the way I wanted it for the photo (still sitting in the seat), somehow my boots slipped on the gravel, and down it went! There is a proper way to pick up a fallen bike, which involves facing away from it and grasping the handlebar and under the seat and lifting with your legs, not your back (here’s a YouTube video I found which describes the process). Two things worked against me, however: the bike had fallen on a downhill incline, and my feet couldn’t get traction in the gravel when I tried to lift it (you can see the “skid marks” from my feet in the sand).
Defeated, I sat down on the fallen bike and waited for a passing car to stop. Two things worked against me here, also: first, passing traffic was very infrequent — maybe one car every ten minutes or so — and second, being a guy and a “tough” biker (hahaha), I was too embarrassed to wave anyone down — so I just sat and looked miserable, waiting for someone to stop. After a few cars passed, finally someone stopped to ask if I needed help, then another car pulled over at the same time, and both drivers helped me pick up the 900-pound bike. I was extremely grateful, highly embarrassed, and before riding off, I took the photo I’d wanted, after vowing to myself to think twice about stopping on any more soft shoulders!