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MODERATOR X
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Mike Simeon was once my road dog, best dirt bike buddy, and one hell of a rider. Mike was the type of guy who'd give you the shirt off his back. If you broke down far from home, a call to Mike would have him there with his roll-a-way, under your car fixing things pronto. At midnight.

Once my girlfreind hurt her foot trying to start my CZ400, and Mike tended to her all day, with icebags and ace bandages. Mike was a certified structural welder, and had a gig earthquake retro-fitting masonary buildings in downtown LA. He was way cool, and a better friend you could never ask for.

He also had a fatal attraction to speed, and we're not talking about the going fast on a bike type of speed, but the manufactured kind. The stuff you shoot in a vein, snort or smoke.

Mike was the fastest rider in our small circle dirt bikers, and could smoke all of us with ease. We knew Mike had a bad drug habit, but looked away or ignored it when Mike would arrive to ride all geezed up, or wired out. Hell, that's Mike, we'd tell ourselves. He'll snap out of it. Sure.

The last time we rode with Mike was at Lucerne Valley, by the power lines. Since my Dodge had a clogged up radiator, we hooked my trailer up to Mike's 1969 396 El Camino and made the early morning run from Glendale to Lucerne Valley. On the way we stopped at Denny's to grab some breakfast, where Mike made a trip to the bathroom, and shot up a whole lot of crystal meth. Things went downhill from there.

We were caravanning with two other riders, Bruce in his Power Wagon, and Joe in his Ranchero. After Denny's, they both had a real difficult time keeping up with Mike, who kept the hammer down pretty much all the way to Lucerne. Mike's ElCo was anything but slow.

When we finally made it to Lucerne without being arrested or thrown in jail for speeding, the two other trucks finally caught up, and we parked by the power lines, about a mile from the Slash X bar & grill. It was 90 degrees by seven in the morning, and was going to be one hot sum*****.

While we were getting our riding gear on, Mike was sitting in the cab of his El Camino with the windows rolled up, shooting more speed. We all looked at each other and shook our heads, dumbfounded. He was at it again. What a madman. Mike finally stumbled out of the ElCo and started putting on his gear, real quick like. Before anyone could react, Mike booted his CR480 to life, and was gone. A cloud of dust trailed over a hill far away, signaling Mike's departure. That was 7:30 AM on a hot Sunday morning. Mike had no water, and was loaded on meth. Not a good combo.

We searched every inch of Lucerne Valley that day, looking for any trace of Mike and his 480. It was getting around 4:30 in the afternoon when we decided to contact search & rescue, who met us on the outskirts of Lucerne Valley, about 20 miles from camp. The CHP helicopter was called in, and even they couldn't find any sign of Mike. He was gone. We decided to meet up at the Slash X after searching a few more desolate areas around Lucerne, to call his folks and tell them Mike was lost. It was getting dark.

On the way to the Slash X, I stopped on a high hill overlooking the valley. There, at the edge of the valley almost out of sight was a large dust cloud moving at high speed across the open desert. At first I thought it was a dune buggy, or trophy truck, until I recognized the bike trailer flailing along behind the baby blue El Camino. It was Mike, headed at top speed for the Slash X.

Of course, Mike beat us all to the bar, and we found him sitting in a booth, nursing a pitcher of Bud. "Where'd you guys go? Mike slurred. "You pu$$ys couldn't keep up eh?"

Jeezus, we wanted to beat the crap out of him. My trailer was missing both fenders, the taillights and license plate. The loading ramp was missing too. Search & Rescue was not amused, and said someone would be getting a big bill for this one. We coaxed the car keys from Mike, and loaded up his 480, and my 490 in what was left of my trailer. Mike insisted that he drive back, since it was his vehicle. At this point, we were not taking any more crap from Mike, and the three of us tackled him, bound his hands and feet with duct tape, and threw him in the bed of the El Camino.

Mike yelled all the way home, screaming that he was being kidnapped, raped or robbed. It's amazing he didn't fall out of the El Camino's bed, but we had him bound tight with a couple of spare tie downs. Trussed up like a Christmas goose he was.

That was Mike's last ride, as he OD'd behind the wheel of his beloved El Camino a few days later, on a combo of speed and heroin. Every now and then I wheel myself up the small hill at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills where he's buried, a grave marker giving only his name, date of birth and date of death. And I look back at all the good and bad times we had, and I miss my friend, however messed up he might have been.

Rest in peace Mike. I hope we'll meet again someday, where the trail never ends, and we never grow old or crippled. Where the coolers are full of cold beer, and the campfire never dies.
 

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MODERATOR X
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Slash X

"On a lighter note, we may have met. I used to frequent the Slash X for years. 1987-1993. That was one of our regular haunts. That and the Lost Hawg on old Rte 66 in Oro Grande. Killed many a brain cell in both places."

Yeah, might have. We (my close circle of dirt bike buddys) started riding Lucerne in '88 for the Toys-for-Tots Poker run every year, and when El Mirage got infested with gun toting BLM rangers around '94, we made the extra hour long trek to Lucerne. It was great, you could ride anywhere and not see ONE BLM NAZI. If you want a trip back in time, rent Hare & Hound by Bruce Brown, it shows some great Checkers runs at Lucerne back in the middle 60's. I can identify place that still look the same 30 years later.

Your right about counting true friends on one hand, most of mine are planted. And it's just by the grace of God I'm not with 'em.
 
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