“Foomph!” Never a sound you want to hear.


Fire sprang up inches from my already much abused crotch.  Well then, today is looking up already!

I’d initially missed the piddling dribble of fuel leaking around a cracked cap on my gas can as I fueled in the grey haze of early morning.  Ever sharp-eyed, I took notice of it just as the stream sizzled against the hot header pipe.

A frantic string of well-crafted  curses, a moment of panic, and I threw the bike to the ground, kicking sand on the flames and quickly averting tragedy.  No one in camp even stirred.

Moments later, I kicked the 450 back to life and roared off into the endless sands, fighting the loss of depth perception and contrast in the gloom, pinned in 3rd gear to climb the big dune we call the Mountain of Madness.  Two hundred meters up, I found the top and the red pre-dawn glow of a sun ready to burn through the layer of dust hanging over the desert.   From a bike on fire to a sky on fire, in the space of a few moments.  Alone, I took in the silence and watched the red orb climb through the haze.


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