Friday, October 28, 2005

8/19/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary


Funny story... I'd just ridden from White Sands, New Mexico via a mountain pass through Cloudcroft at about 8700 feet about sea level, ie. very cold, rainy/wet, and not so comfortable ... I arrived in Carlsbad, New Mexico after riding through 3 hrs of rain, wind, etc. and wasn't in the mood. When I rolled into Carlsbad, NM.. some Harley biker with a Banditos vest on and his girlfriend pulled up next to me at a light. They mouthed off something that didn't seem pleasant but I couldn't hear them since my headphones where blasting Interpol. I turned off the vibes to hear something about how I was a [expletive removed] for not riding a Harley and because I was wearing a helmet.

Because I was feelin' like a badass at this point... I followed their asses down the road and turned with them at the next light. Only to find 3 rows of around 150 Harley's! Was I discouraged? Heck no! I spotted a spot right in the freakin' middle and parked my Kawasaki right alongside the Harleys. At first, I got some pretty ugly looks. Then some Harley dude came up and talked to me. He also had a KLX dirt bike and was a huge fan of the KLR even though he also road a Harley for show. After I told him where I'd been... and after he spread the word... I was IN! And, even though I stated I'm a huge NON-fan of Bush, called him a bloody fascist,etc. most of the bikers were anti-bush too! Even though most of them were flyin' American colors with eagles ands stuff. Turned out it was some biker rally with folks from the Hell's Angels, Banditos, Desert Dawgs, Gypsies, etc. And, because of where I'd been, they all wanted to buy me beers! No cover charge for the bike rally, and I took this shot during a "burn out" contest.

When one of the Harley riders asked me where I was staying, I said.. "I hadn't planned on staying, but since it's raining and late... guess I'll stay at Motel 6" He retorted, "Hell no, my brothah! You'll stay at my place... I INSIST!... that is if you don't mind the couch?" His French wife insisted as well and I was treated like a king.

This image is from the rainy burn-out contest. I think these folks are "Banditos". Sorry for the grain, etc. but it was dark and I had to bump up the iso to 3200. I didn't want to use flash and call too much attention to myself... Figured, some of these chaps might not be too keen on gettin' their pictures taken. ;-) Besides... I think it kinda adds to the gritty vibe I was feeling that night. :-)

-Skip Hunt

Carlsbad, New Mexico


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