Death Valley '07 Pre-trip
Eugene missed a big one

[Tuesday, March 13, 2007]

I'm sitting in my office at work reading emails flying back and forth between the guys, among a lot of busy work that I'm responsible for, and what did I see?  An email from Eugene with a subject, "Not so good news".  Uh oh.  This can't be good.  Sure enough I open the email and there it is.  The dreaded "I think I caught something".  Even worse yet, it's the three letter word season ... FLU!  This year's flu is a nasty one.  Most of the guys that contracted it were out for a week trying to get rid of the thing.  As for the doctors, forget it.  There's no help there.  The only thing they can do is prescribe some strong drugs to make you sleep it off.  That's about it.  If you're thinking of the flu shot, go for it.  As for me, I don't feel the need to artificially injecting myself with a bunch of so called "dead flu virus".  No thank you.  I did catch the flu early on in the year so by this time I was immuned.

Eugene said he might have to back out if he doesn't get better within the next couple of days.  So we all wait.  In the meanwhile we threaten to kick Eugene out of the club unless he treats us all to a large seafood luncheon.  This is his third strike from bailing out of ride for one reason or another.  Admittedly, this is a really good excuse (e.g. being sick and all), but we don't care.  We want our seafood!

[Wednesday, March 14, 2007]

The hope is Eugene will report in that it was allergies or something like that, and not news that he is really sick and is getting worse.  High hopes dashed!  His condition is getting worse.  All I know is he mentioned head aches and coughing.  Definitely not good.  I hate to say this Eugene, but it suck to be you.  Especially when you're the other instigator of this DV trip.  Even my wife said that you must be really pissed as it's forcing you to bail out.  Especially when you've been waiting for so long.  I myself have been trying my best to avoid any possibilities of contracting anything.

This night, I went home and started the packing.  In packing I'm really talking about charging all batteries for all the electronics I'm bringing on this trip.  I have my Canon EOS D30 digital camera, my Canon Elura 100 for off bike videos, The VIO Sport helmet cam, and my trusty Sony Digital 8 Handycam.  In a sense it's a pain to worry about all this equipment.  I have to pack so much support equipment (e.g. chargers and extra batteries) that it's a mild pain.  However, I know it's all worth it in the end.

[Thursday, March 15, 2007]

The final word from Eugene is, "I'm out sick today".  That's it, it's final.  Minh and several of us verified with Eugene that he definitely can't make it and the final answer is, "Yes, I'm going to have to pass on this."  It's unfortunate but Eugene will have to wait until next year.  However, he's jealous that we're all going and he's not.  Instead he has to stay home in bed trying to get rid of a bug.  Bad way to spend a weekend I say.

The four of us (Minh, Russell, Kevin, and myself) kept on waffling as to what time is a good time to start.  Minh and I anticipated it's going to take about 10-12 hours for the 370 mile trip to Beatty Nevada.  The original time was set for 8:30 AM for kickstands up and pounding the pavement.  Considering the length of the ride, Minh ask for an alteration of the start time to 7:30am.  I was fine with the new time but Russell was hesitant.  This means he has to get up much earlier to get ready.  However, being the cool customer that he is, he was willing to do it if everybody agreed to the new time.  Kevin didn't care.  However, I can see hesitation in Russell.  He was concerned about the early time.  So I compromised by setting the start time to 8:00AM.  I can see the gleam in Russ' eyes and a sigh of relief in Russ' words, "I'm not a morning person."  I notify and confirmed with everybody the start time is set for 8:00AM.  Now let's see if everybody gets to the meeting point in time.

Russ and Kevin had never done a 10+ hour ride before and were a bit concerned.  It does sound extremely long for a bike ride.  I reassured them that it's nothing to be concerned about.  I told them once you're on the ride, you don't even think about it,  "Just be sure to enjoy yourself and not worry about it".

It's about 10:00pm and I'm exhausted.  I have just finished packing all the necessary items for this trip.  This year I'm a little more organized.  Charging all of the video and photo equipment batteries the night before was a really good decision. The only thing I didn't get a chance to finish is my Sony Handycam.  I've been using the camera to record my commutes to and from work.  The perfect way to explain this behavior is best summed up by Leighton from Brown Motor Works, "It's the litigator!".  Yes folks, the camera is used for legal reasons in the event of an accident in addition to providing fond memories of pass biking trips.  Anyway, I'm recharging the second Energizer L battery and packing away the long life Sony L battery.  Almost everything is on the bike.  Originally there were plans to hike the dunes at Stovepipe Wells (end of the second day), but at this point I'm sure we won't have the time.  As a result, I decided not to pack the four hiking staffs I have.  This helps as it's one less thing I have to worry about.

Navigation course plotted and verified.  Blank Hi8 tapes, blank Mini DV video tapes, empty compact flash cards, and clothing loaded into the panniers.  Chargers and extra batteries for the camcorders, helmet cam, camera also loaded into the panniers.  I also grabbed 30 packets of Bausch & Lomb Sight Savers for myself and the guys.

Great stuff: Anti-static & Anti-fog.

I'm all ready.  I just have to load up the toiletries and the Handycam tomorrow morning.

The bright red gas can is really not for myself.  It's for Russ and Primo since
their sport bikes don't have the range.  Still, it's a good precausionary measure.

Day 1 [March 16]
Day 2 [March 17]
Day 3 [March 18]

Written on: March 18, 2007
Last modified: March 19, 2007