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What to do and not to do in baja

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I'm looking to do some riding down in baja, it's been years since I've ridden down there.   I'm sure things have changed since then. Is there anything I should be aware of safety wise?   

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My List:

 

Don't drive/ride at night

Don't engage in any illegal activity

Don't loiter in/near the border towns, the good stuff is S anyway

Take your time, you will likely blow your schedule on day one. Baja is and you will not be not at it's best if you are in a hurry

Don't bite off more then you can chew having to ride @ 10/10ths is a recipe for disaster

Carry a decent paper map (Baja Almanac or Nat Geo)

 

 

I like to carry a Spot tracker, GPS with decent maps and some form of basic radio coms between riders can be helpfull.

We also set ourselves up with at least 1 cell phone which works well in Baja, in the past this has meant one (AT&T GoPhone) which can use the TelCel towers.

 

Remember you are a guest in their country, play by their rules and customs:

 

I always carry Mexican insurance, obtain the necessary visa at the border, use Pesos when able and though I don't speak the language I try.

 

Despite having very little it always amazes how easily the Mexican people smile and laugh, a little humor goes a long way braking the ice, give it a try.

 

Bruce 

Edited by BDM
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Just have to jump in in this one wile riding tecate to the tip I went down near a ranch past el arco got help from the nicest people got me all the way to Guerrero Negro without asking for nothing in return again in G N the kid at the TerraSal hotel also went out of his way to help me get to medical help, my friend who is American comented that he never felt threaten and enjoyed the cut short trip I'm Mexican and Mex is my home still, so be smart lock bike obay street signs and watch the topes you will be fine.

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these two gents have hit all the big points in my opinion. the only thing that i would add is throw down a nice tip when ever you can, when your buying meals,beers. or jerky and water for the trails in the tienda's on your way out of town in the mornings. It's a couple of dollars to you, but to them it is a significant amount of money gotten/earned of their monthly income.People respond  favourably  to what they see as someone or some thing that helps their immediate needs. Pay with pesos as it shows them you are trying to fit in ( and you are!) smile lots, and learn as much of their language as you can and use it as often as you can when speaking with the locals. they will laugh and smile with/at you, and help you with the words that you can not quite get your lips  around.

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The hardest part for me was letting any type of schedule or hustle and bustle slip away. "Manana" doesn't always mean tomorrow. It just means not today. Lol. Relax and enjoy the culture.

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Never ride at 100% of your ability... back it down to 70-75% max

 

I was prerunning down there and was stuck behind a well-built

truck that was dusting me out. I got impatient and had to ride

extremely fast through some deep sand whoops to get around

him. The dust was so bad I didn't see watermellon-sized rock

which threw me over the bars and on to my head.

 

What I'm getting at is be patient and ride smart.

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All info the guys give is great.I would do one more,thing.Buy Mex cell phone 20$ comes with 7$ credit.It will get out better then Us phone,with Mex plan.Get one for you traveling buddy as well.Write both numbers on phones.Take it easy down here,have a great time.

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All info the guys give is great.I would do one more,thing.Buy Mex cell phone 20$ comes with 7$ credit.It will get out better then Us phone,with Mex plan.Get one for you traveling buddy as well.Write both numbers on phones.Take it easy down here,have a great time.

And had my mexican telcel and bougt a second one for my boddy to have and shoure enugh it came handy on my little accident great advice BTR can you post the emergency #s if I'm wrong 66 and 78 are the numbers to have handy.

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 I believe those are the numbers.I dont know if they are correct numbers for all Baja. On My phone,I have programmed.Armando Policia Riding partner. He knows how to send help.

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I believe those are the numbers.I dont know if they are correct numbers for all Baja. On My phone,I have programmed.Armando Policia Riding partner. He knows how to send help.

I now have the facts 066 for Emergencias, 078 tourist assistance

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Thank you for posting this.Tourist assistance is a very important,if ever you feel a official.In baja has done you wrong,They fear these people.They have the power to have them locked up.

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Another thing what to do and not to do.Today business in Ensanada. It took all day,forced me to drive back at Night.That is a No No,but had to drive home.Here is a pickup,in front of us towing a large 5th wheel trailer.Ca plates, but I know its mexicanos driving.Sparks are coming from under trailer big time.So I hit my emergency flashers,keep hitting him with my hi beams to pull over. Then I think,he is like me,he wont let anybody pull him over at night.10 more miles,Road work dirt. Everybody slows to walking speed.We roar up to driver window,point to rear trailer.Co pilot yells in Spanish,chains dragging.( it was more then that) they pull over.Now he feels safe,because we did not stop and we do to.Never let someone unknown,pull you over.

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Cows seem to love to stand in the hiway right at dark for a couple hours

When they're not busy burning in some quality singletrack for us  :thumbsup:

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Back to the list at the top.  I never plan to ride at night, but it always just seems to happen ( it's called having too much of a good time I guess).  I would not go down there without a decent headlight despite what you think your plan is and how you are positive that you will be sitting at the bar having cocktails while the sun is still up.  Stuff just happens.  

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