The first time the men in black pulled me over, I had no idea who they were. The locals I stayed with that night told me that they are the drug police. I don’t remember them asking about drugs, but my bike created a sensation with all of them. They would grab the throttle and rev it. They would ask to ride it. I always said no. They would reply, “El Jefe, he gay, HE WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU!!” (Laughter all around.) “You better let him ride it.”
That night I checked into a small village hotel. The owner looked at my bike and said I could bring it in my room. She told me I should never leave it out at night. So every night in Mexico I parked it beside my bed. In Mexico City, I splurged for a night and stayed in a 4-star hotel on the 12th floor. They let me wheel my bike into the elevator and take it upstairs as if it was no big deal.
The first night across the border, I looked myself in the mirror and shaved my head bald. I don’t know why. A 40-something midlife crisis? My hair had been thinning and I wanted to look badass? Whatever. It was a look. When I emailed the family, my sons thought it was the coolest thing ever. They called me Baldy. My wife thought I’d lost my mind. I found a pay phone to try to persuade her I was sane. As I spoke I realized I too was afraid I might be losing it.
The shaved head thing—like the trip—wasn’t well thought out. The skin under my hair was porcelain white and there was no way to get a tan under my helmet. When I’d remove my helmet to walk into a store, I’d see my reflection in the window and get a shock. For 11 days in Mexico, I never saw another man with a shaved head. The men in black at the drug inspection stops would ask me to remove my helmet and I could see their shock. One screamed, “OH!! LEX LUTHOR!!” And he, like everyone else, would call his buddies over to see my lilly-white cueball and laugh.