Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

BAJA......... A NOOBS point of view

Recommended Posts

BAJA 1000......A NOOBs Point of view


I originally wrote this on ADVrider but wanted to share here also:

I'm no good at ride/race reports so I'm shooting from the hip on this.

This may become a novel before its done so please be patient!

I have been chomping at the bit to go to Baja for the several years and was even considering racing it. However, a chain of events that began on Jan 3rd 2009 nixxed that plan.

I'm a frequent reader of ADVrider as well as RDC and TT. Sometime in early September I saw a post on RDC that THR Motorsports was fielding a bike with KTM Support and was looking for pit crew helpfor the upcoming B1K.

I sent a reply stating my interest in helping and a few emails and phone calls later I was in.

Since this would be my first time to Baja since I was a pup I was originally

wanting to fly out and hook up with and help on another pit crew. Mikey stated he would rather have me as a pit captain with my own crew instead.

I told him I would make a few calls and see what i could work out. I talked to a few friends and now we have a pit crew.

Keep in mind that this is OUR first trip to Baja and we're pitting for the

7X KTM! How COOOL Is that? OH SHIT! What have I gotten us into? I realized I needed to get

my act together on this as I don't want this team to fail for any reason let

alone our crew. Our "crew" consisted of my self Ken and Chuck.

I had a lot of homework to do before leaving. First hing I had to do was get a passport. I'm thinking by now it's mid sept. and I have no passport.

I get online for the application and fill it out and print it off. I gather the appropriate documents and BIRTH CERTIFICATE? and hurry down to the local Walgreens for a passport photo. The next daySept 10 I head down to the post office to turn in Passport app. The postal clerk looks at my BC and says it will NOT work and that it was merely a "hospital momento"! ***?

No app today! DAMN now what?

More to come..... :thumbsup:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, now a mild panic has set in. I've got to get a Birth Certificate. So, I get back to work and get online for a BC. I was born in Hawaii 50 something years ago, waaaay before the computer age and I'm thinking the worst. So I find the appropriate website and start typing in the required info, basically who I am. I submitted the info and the website

replies back "subject not in database" What? Great now I don't exist.

I got off work that evening and called Hawaii from my cell phone and guess what.......Yes cell phone can't communicate from the mainland to Hawaii. I have to call from home. I get home and call the Hawaii health dept. and the lady on the other line tells me since it was an internet order, that it would take six weeks to process. I explain my situation and tell her I don't have six weeks. (Remember, It still takes six weeks for a passport and it's already mid september!).

Well, to my surprise, I had the Certified Birth Cert. within four days.

Wahoo, I thought. So next day I go to the P.O. again (it's friday sept 17th

now) and submit the Proper documents and fees and it's done! The clerk

tells me it'll take up to six weeks but I should get it in three. That helps

to ease my panic......a little. I got the passport on Sept 25th, my birthday! That's right eight days and passport in hand.

I also ordered a Baja Almanac and recieved it in a few days, no issues there.

I Had to make a hotel reservation in San Felipe. Now I will say that I speak almost no spanish so I am hoping the reservation clerk would be able to speak a little english. I was not so lucky. She spoke english like I speak spanish-almost none. The conversation went a little like this, Her name is ANNA:Ola!, me:hello?, Anna:Que?, me: what?, Anna: Oy?, me: what?, Anna: Ola?, me:que? what?. You get the picture! It wasn't quite that bad! After about 15 minutes, I think we had a reservation.

I decided that Chuck, Ken and I should have a crew meeting to get a game plan and figure our routes, what to bring etc. Since I wasn't 100% sure we had a place to sleep I suggested an alt plan. that plan was to bring sleeping bags and tent J.I.C. the hotel thing didn't work. We looked over our maps and got a plan together.

I was supposed to attend a pit crew meeting in california on Oct 30th but due to the fact that I live in Okla. and didn't have an extra 800.00 laying

around for airfare, we were forced to an alternate plan to pick up our pit equipment. The alt plan was that we would meet David P. in Ensenada

sometime Tues before race and go thru a few details and pick up our equipment from him, hang out in Ensenada for a while then drive to San Felipe where we would check in to our room.

We were supposed to leave OKC around 4pm on Nov 14th. Chuck has been racing the Blackjack Enduro circuit and was in place to win his class

but his last race was you guessed it Nov 14th in north Texas. He assured me he would be home in time and ready to go by 4pm. You know how plans go.

Fast forward to Nov 8th, one week before departure. I got a call from Ken with some bad news. Ken would have to bail out due to a medical issue that wasn't going to go away on it's own. It's not easy to find someone that can take off work on short notice AND

has the money to take this sort of trip. So now it's down to Chuck and myself.

I had done a lot of information gathering as far as maps and local info and the best/safest places to cross into Mexico. In fact I had built a small notebook of info. I had all of the racers phone #s and pit captains phone#s emergency contacts and so on. I felt we were as equipped and ready as we could be. Our route TO mexico would take us thru Clovis NM thru a southern route and we would cross into MX at the Tecate crossing then head SW to Ensenada, then to San Felipe. We would cross back to US soil thru Mexicali.

Which brings me to my next hurdle-GPS.

I already have a Garmin nuvi 500 which came std with a new ATV i bought earlier this year. I am still trying to learn it. During the course of my emails back and forth with The race team, I was sent a GPS file with race mile markers and pit locations, basically a

"track" file. After many hours of trying to load this file onto my nuvi, (I even started a thread on this forum site about it), I came to the conclusion that the nuvi wasn't going to work in this case. So, I started looking for a model that I can load these tracks onto and wound up with the Garmin GPSMAP60Csx. After a few software downloads and the purchase of an LBmaps Baja map, the unit was ready. This all transpired later in the week before we left OKC.

Sunday, Nov 14th arrives. I'm all antsy and packed for the trip. Chuck lives about 15 min from my house and since we are taking his truck, I would meet at his house and leave from there. Mind you, Chuck is racing in Texas. 4pm comes and not a word. I try to call and it goes straight to voicemail. Great I leave message. All kinds of thoughts start going thru my head, I won't elaborate but you've been there! I got a call from Chuck at 7pm and he explains the situation but assures me he's on his way home and to be at his house at 8pm. He rolls in at 8:15 . We unhook his toy hauler and pull his hitch out of the truck and load up to hit the road.

Woohoo Baja here we come.

More later....... :thumbsup:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Again-my apologies for this being long-winded so here we go. I also have some pics to post up a little later.

The drive out was reletively uneventful, the gps and atlas doing their

jobs, however this was a long drive. We started to get excited when we got thru Campo Ca. and saw our first glimpse of the border wall against the mountains. We knew we were getting close. Then a left turn and tere it was-Tecate! The first thing we did before crossing was to get some Mex auto insurance. This is a MUST! If you don't have it and have an accident in Mex. you may become a long turn resident of Mexico. Insurance policy in hand we head across the border. No turning back now,

we're committed. It really didn't sink in that we were in Mexico until I saw my first "ALTO" sign. Then the traffic instantly got congested (or at least

from where I come from it was conjested). We make our way thru town and try to keep from drawing attention to ourselves But it was hard to do since were were driving a large RED ford Dually! I am only saying this in response to what I have heard from the LOPSIDED MEDIA reports. We

were close to the edge of town when we saw it........road construction!

And lots of it. For the next 25 miles there was road construction.

Road construction in Mexico is nothing like in the U.S. There is no order in which things are done. It is hard to explain but it is different.

We were almost thru the construction when we came upon our first Military check point. Now were really in a different country! We got stopped and were asked to pull over for inspection. My heart was now beating faster. I knew we had nothing to worry about but this is always the "what if" factor. We were told to get out of the truck in very broken

english. I will say they were very polite but to the point as well. I wasn't

going to say no to these guys! After all, they were ALL carrying automatic rifles......Very intimidating the first time. They asked what we were doing in Mexico after they searched the truck and I told them "Baja mil" They understood and sent us on our way. WHEW!

The rest of the drive to Ensenada was uneventful. Well almost! As we turned off the highway and on to the main road going thru Ensenada, out of the corner of Chucks eye he saw a cloud of dust on the Main road in the opposite lane. We both turned to see what it was just as we saw a SEMI tire and wheel bouncing right towards US. Oh Shit its gonna hit us!

Luckily a palm tree got between us ant the tire hit it and bounced off

and rolled behind Chucks truck. I couldn't tell iff the vehicle behind us hit the tire or not but we kept going anyways. We probably should've stopped.

We caught our first glimpse of the Pacific ocean and were just about beside ourselves with excitement but realized we still had work to do.

Chuck and I started to see a few Trophy trucks and prerunners driving up and down the main street. Freakin' cool we said to each other! then we started seeing more race vehicles and I started taking a few photos along the way. I was like a kid in a candy store, I couldn't stay still. We were HERE, in BAJA! We went to the end of the road and pulled over at the beach to eat a sandwich and draft our next task. I sent a text to David P.

and as I was about to hit send the phone rang. It made me jump! So I answered and it was David. Cool! We decided to meet in front of the PCI trailer andto chat and pick up our equipment.

Ten minutes later, we pull up behind David's pickup and get out to introduce ourselves. I haven't met anybody on the race team yet so we weren't sure what to expect. I suck at remembering names but I think David's friends name is Eric. I apologize if it is not. Any ways, it is Tuesday

about 1pm, 2 days before race day. We chat for a while and David asks us

where we were staying in San Felipe. I told him at the Chapala Motel.

He asked if it was a decent motel and I told him we had no idea and that we haven't been there before. I also told him I wasn't sure if we even had a reservation. David asked us to reserve a room for them when we got to SF and said we would that he would be there tomorrow night.

Chuck and I wanted to see contingency that afternoon and was told there wasn't much to see this day, and that it would be better tomorrow.

CRAP, we weren't going to be there tomorrow. So we looked around for a while that tuesday and found a few T-shirts to buy for some friends. Not many shirts to buy day before contingency either. So off to San Felipe

we go.

The highway (mex 3) between Ensenada and SanFelipe isn't your average 2 lane highway. It is narrow! It is twisty! It is tight twisty! There is no

shoulder either. So we take it easy outta town. We passed a lot of TT's

and prerunners on this hiway as well as dirt bikes and other race vehicles.

We also figured out this was also part of the RACE course. The race runs on this hiway approx 30-40 miles then runs along side it for a while before turning away. So we saw some bikes prerunning the course along the hiway. That was cool! That also made me very jealous and I think Chuck was a little envious also since we didn't bring our dirt bikes! I will say right now that I have a KTM exc450 that would work greak down here and Chuck has a 400exc. This will prove to be our biggest mistake of the trip-

not bringing bikes......About halfway to the Mex 5 turnoff we hit our 2nd military check point but was waived on thru. Just a minor slowdown this time. Onward to SF. At the turnoff onto Mex 5 we encountered our third of four milchecks. Same as first we were searched again. Clean we made our way to SanFelipe. Were were almost there now. Anticipation is setting in now. About 10 miles out of SF were had seen the sign "Petes Camp". I wanted to pull in and check it out as some of our fellow ADver's were going to be

there but we needed to get to town first.

More to come....... :thumbsup:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chuck and I are starting to get antsy at this point. There is so much to see but we still weren't sure about our hotel res yet so we needed to get that done. We rolled into San Felipe and looked for the Chapala Motel.

A block from the Malecon and a 1/2 block to the right there it was. We also noticed that the town was nearly empty! "This doesn't seem right" I

said to Chuck. "it's only 3:30" and the town is dead.

We went to check in and, as it turns out had nothing to worry about as

far as reservations go. In fact there was only 3 other guests there and 2 were from Canada on a pair of dual sport bikes. We didn't see much of the 2 chaps either! We quickly unloaded our gear into the room. I will say

That this was a sparse room. It was lit by a single VERY LOW wattage

CFL light bulb. Same in the bathroom! But it "has" TV.........right! Thats Ok, we weren't there to watch tv now were we! I will say that the room was clean.

This motel is situated in that there are 2 3 story building with a courtyard in between and only one way in and out. We also noticed there were 2 hot water heaters against the wall in the courtyard and they were plumbed up. Come to find out, they supplied hot water to all the rooms,

ours included. Found this out when we finally got to chat with the 2 Canadians later on. Nothing happened here, this was just a side note....

After unloading the truck, we decided to find a place to eat and get a few beers. We didn't have to go far, as we found a little "Fat Boys" pizza

place down the street. We ordered a pizza and drink a few beers. While we were eating, an American looking gent strolls up and starts a conversation with us. He asks where we were from and Chuck replies "Oklahoma". "Wow" you came a long way man. Here for the race"? Yes we are! You? "I voluntered to work a checkpoint for Score" he says. He drove down from Arizona, But he was also broke down in San Felipe.I asked if we could give him a ride somewhere, and he said no i'm fine, car will be done tomorrow.Mean while we encountered the first of the throng of street venders! We looked ,

but I didn't see anything I had to have, I think Chuck bought something from him tho. By this time it was 4:30 and it was almost dark! What? Dark at 4:30? I'm used to dark at 5:30 this time of year. So we finihed our pizza and beer and take a walk around, first to the Malecon. We walked up and down the Malecon a few times but there just wasn't much going on, so we called it an early night. :thumbsup:


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is now the day before the RACE. I'm up at 5am. It's a curse i've lived with for years. I waller around in bed a while but can't get back to sleep!

Chuck is still out. I decided to go for a walk with the camera. I wanted to take a few photo's of the sunrise over the ocean but got to the beack a little late. Chuck is finally awake when I get back to the room. We decide to take a drive and ckeck out Pete's camp and find our pit location. Our pit was originally pit 3 then we got changed to pit 4 a few weeks ago which was down by Puertecitos 50 miles South of San Felipe. Off to Pete's camp which was approx 10 miles north of San Felipe. We got to Pete's Camp and asked for permission to have a look around. So chuck wheels us down to the beach and now I can see why this is a favorite

place to camp You can't camp ON the beach in the USA! This place was BEAUTIFUL!

I have to reminesce a little here. I'm an old guy! I used to live in Vista Calif when I was a kid. I had the good fortune (although I wouldn't realize it until 35 years later) to live next to some good folks that were just starting thier life together. I was 14 and they were in their very early twenties in November 1971. Our neighbors (Bill and Pam) were going to San Felipe for the weekend and asked if I wanted to tag along. I was exstatic and my parents said OK. In 1971 San Felipe I remembered camping on the beach in a travel trailer in a campground that resembles Pete's Camp. Although I don't remember the name of the Campground, I

Thought it was on the south end of San Felipe. I do remember seeing a huge tank filled with seawater and In the tank was a giant sea turtle. You had to climb a ladder to a catwalk at the top to see the giant creature. I say this had to be at the south end of town because there was nothing but sand dunes south of us and town was a short hike to the north. If anyone that reads this knows the name of the campground, please let me know. It looks like the place is long gone by now. Since that trip so many years ago, i have longed to go back. Thank you Bill and Pam for the great memories! Now here we are San Felipe present day........

This was supposed to be a race report right?

We are on the beach at Pete's Camp and it happened to pretty empty except for a 40ft motorhome and a toyhauler. Then I stumbled upon a familiar looking vehicle. It was a Jeep pickup with a slide in popup camper. It also had a DAKAR sandman decal on the door. It was the Jeep I saw from a pic in another ADV thread. Although I didn't know anybody, I was gonna go up and introduce myself and chat awhile. We drove by before stopping but I didn't see anyone there and I wasn't about to invade someones camp without first seeing someone there. So we moved on

to find our pit.

As we were heading south I saw a well traveled dirt road that angled off to the right. I said "lets go this way first". So we head down that road a ways and as it turn out it would be the race course whic would turn south from this road. Chuck turned south and we stopped. according to the gps track we were at RM186 ---pit 3. This was supposed to be our original pit!

WoW! we were close to town I thought. We made a mental note and went back to the hiway. On south we head towards Puertecitos. We probably went about halfway to Puertecitos and Chuck decides not to waste more fuel and turns around to go back to SF. We were supposed to have David Pearson with us and he knew where to go anyways. This was not going to be case as we would find out later! We had pretty much used up the morning by this time and Chuck was ready for a nap. I told him I wasn't tired and was going to take a walk and maybe drink a few Tecate's. I left all but about 60.00$ in the room and went for a walk. I went to the Malecon and walked a while and realized I was getting hungry.

For the last 3 years All I heard about was how good fish tacos are! Well,

it was time to find out for myself! I walked down to Rice N Beans for some fish tacos and beers. This is also when I find another nonspanish speaking shortcoming. I ordered the fish tacos and the first of several Tecates. I had seen a gent in there eating what I thought was a burrito covered in cheese sause(I should've asked what he was eating). I made a mental note to have that for dinner that night. I got my fish tacos and have to admit they looked great! What happened next completely caught me off

guard. I will say that I like fish and I love tacos. But I couldn't find enough sause or salsa to cover up that offensive taste. I drank the rest of my Tecate in one fell swoop! And ordered another 2 Tecate's. I had to think about this for a minute. I let the flavor soak in a little. I ordered 2 more Tecate's. This helped me eat the rest of one taco and part of another, but I couldn't go any farther. Now in Rice N Beans defense, I had beef enchiladas that night and they were pretty good although they didn't come with the cheese sause I thought they would. The moral here: If your not sure what your getting just ask to be sure! Now for all you folks

that love fish tacos..........you can have 'em!

I will fast forward a little as this is getting longer than I figgered. About

6:30 David shows up and knocks on our door. He tells Chuck and I there

are a change in plans. We were moved from pit 4 back to pit 3. The tire change was to be at pit 4 so we didn't need tires. (This turned out to be a bad idea). He did give us our dumpand and the rest of our equipment.

He and Eric? were going to find the pit 4 guys then go eat some tacos and easked if we wanted to join them. We had just got back from dinner but

would love to hang out with them for a while. We thought cool, we get to hang out with a Factory Dude. Well as it turned out David couldn't find the other pit guys or get hold of them so they went on to dinner and we went to bed. After all it was going to be a long day tomorrow! We didn't ask why the change of pit plans but didn't ask. We figured there was a good reason.....

Iphones usually automatically adjust for time zone changes. For some reason mine and everybody else's, (david's also) they showed an hour difference. So I set my alarm accordinly I thought. My alarm goes off and it's 3:30 am! Crap! now I can't go back to sleep and Chucks awake now.

I reset the alarm for 5:30 and you guessed it......I'm up at 5:00. Remember that curse I mentioned earlier?......

RACE DAY!!!!!!

I knock on David's door to make sure he's up also and the same time clock thing happened to him. Anyways we have time and get our act together.Dave and Eric head to pit 4 where he would get on the bike for his section. We thought that would be the last time we saw him.

We load the truck and turn in our key and grab breakfast ----Pop tarts and Dr pepper. Off to our pit, we were the first to arrive at the ........Dump! Our pit was at a dump So was every one that pitted at RM186. By about 8:00 there was a 200 people here either to watch or pit for their respective teams. It was getting busy. We saw the first helo about 9:45 that morning so it was time to get ready for action. We knew our bike 7X would be one of the first bikes through. Chuck would wave the bike down and I would fuel the bike. I need to back up a bit here. Last night while discussing pit stategy, David said Ivan would be on the bike at our pit. He also mentioned that Ivan's dad Ivan Sr. would try to be at our pit to help if needed.

Back to race..Over the sound of the helo we could hear a screaming thumper heading down the road. We heard him downshifting and on the brakes hard setting the bike up for the 90 degree turn south. It would be

#1 JCR honda, I think with Kendall on board first. It's amazing how fast these guys are! He was hard on the throttle at least 2nd gear screaming through that turn and then he was gone in a cloud of dust.

No sooner than the 1 bike was through when I saw a white Toyota turn in from the east. It Had 7X on the windshield. It was Ivans dad just mere seconds ahead of the the bike. Ivan at this point was about 20 seconds behind the JCR honda.Chuck was waving him in for gas as I held the dump can high waiting to fill the bike. Ivan stopped about 10 feet further down

course that we were standing so I had to run to the bike. I am filling the bike and keep hearing "TIRE" "TIRE" and think to myself...Flat? Shit! We don't have ANY tires. I finished filling the bike and no sooner pull the dump can and Ivan grabs the throttle and dumps the clutch! He is gone in 9 seconds. Ivan's dad is PISSED that we didn't have tires. Chuck explains that we asked for tires but were told they would be a pit 4. As it turns out the tire wasn't flat but that ALL of the center knobs were completely GONE! This kid is not afraid to turn a throttle. 186 miles and that tire was done. Ivan was now headed into the famous San Felipe Whoops. I haven't seen this section of race course but I have been told that it was possibly the worst section of this race, full of nasty rock strewn 4 ft deep whoops.

Time to take a break..... :thumbsup:

Edited by vetracer1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So Ivan has to catch the #1 bike through this nasty whoop section with

the knobs ripped off the center of the tire. I hope he can keep it together for the next 50-60 miles. He would also have to run a pavement section

so this may or may not work out.

Meanwhile, Chuck and I visit with Ivan Sr a few minutes then I told him I'll try to get hold of pit 4 to get tires ready. This is where things started to fall apart. We were supposed to have chopper support, but did not see it after the JCR helo. I tried to hail the chopper to no avail then tried for the next ten minutes to get hold of pit 4. No luck! So i then tried to call pit 4 on the mexican cell phone then tried my phone. No luck here either.

So I just went back to shooting pics of all the bikes as they came through.

After about an hour I decided to call Shane on down the course and lo and behold he answered. Great I thought. I explained what had transpired

and he re-assured me it wasn't our fault that it was out of our hands. He already knew what happened and we weren't to blame.

I didn't feel much better about things after we hung up.

Chuck and I wanted to stick around and at least see some of the Tropht Trucks come thru before we left for the border. There was a pretty good break between the bikes and TT's. earlier that morning while waiting for the first bikes thru, There was a green ford van with a white enclosed trailer that pulled in next to us and dropped off a rider and gear for his turn on a bike. We told him he could sit under our EZ-up out of the shade while he waited for his turn on the bike. He was with the #305 team of Snort'N Boar racing. I told him I read about the adentures of last years race on this site. I am lousy with new names but I think his name was Pat.

Dude, my apoligies if you weren't Pat. We had talked about how he got on the team and had some good laughs. It gets funny now. Some bikes come thru and we are writing down #'s as they come. We asked what his # was and he says "305". Chucks says "your bike just pulled into Baja pits" SHIIITTTT Pat says and takes off in a sprint while putting on his helmet!

We hear him yelling something like GET OFF THE BIKE-GET OFF THE BIKE!

Cause the rider he's replacing is about to take off again after gas. They lost a little time here but we laughed about it later. A few minutes goes by

and Chuck goes to get the tired rider from 305 and tells him to get outta the sun. It was Ace Nilson, I believe RACINACE! We offered him some water and a babana but declined saying he had his own. "got any Ibuprofen?" he did ask. Just so happened I did and I fixed him up. stayed and we talked for several hours until his chase came back for him. enjoyed chatting with you guys and waiting for your report. BTW, Congrats on your strong finish and win. during this lull in racing, another racer rolls up on a bike with the race #'s taped out and sits for a while. After a while

he rolls up and asked how far it was before the race course meets up with the road. I told him I had no idea. We chatted for a few minutes about the racing and baja in general and I asked if he needed any gas or anything. He pointed to his tank and says" you think this will get me to the road? I said I wasn't sure how far the road was but i'll be glad to give you enough gas to ge there. You don't want to run outta gas in Baja now do ya! So I gas him up and he introduced himself and I said "I know You"

"You're Cracker1 from ThumperTalk forum" He said "yes he was and I told

him I was Vetracer1 from the same forum! We talked a little longer and he said he had to get going. Congrats to Scott and your team for the championship win in clas 40 and 2nd or 3rd bike across the finish! You guys were on fire.

Shortly after Cracker1 left we had to start to pack up to head home.

It was then I heard a pickup come down the road. I looked up to see who it might be and instantly a lump formed in my throat. I saw 7X on the windshield. It was the white toyota of Ivan Sr. This time it had a bike in back. Thats right .............7x on the plate. They pulled up and Ivan climbed out from the back seat along with David. This isn't good I thought and hollered at Chuck. David said that the motor blew shortly after he got on it. Turns out a pinched oil line doomed the motor. Due to a skid plate bracket. You have problably heard the details by now........ We chatted with David and Ivan for a while then gave them the pit equipment and took a few photos with David and Ivan. They were gone shortly afterwards.

We didn't get in a hurry either as we wanted to see som TT come thru

We didn't have to wait long tho as we saw a helo in the distance then people started moving around like ants. The first TT was Roger Norman

with a good lead on the next truck. We got to see about a dozen trucks come thru before we had to lleave. I wanted to stay longer but we didn't want to drive in Mexico at night either. So we said our goodbyes and headed to Mex5 and then north. This was a part of the trip that I wasn't looking forward to. I kept looking back to see if I could see any more dust clouds from TT's and I could for a few miles. Then reality struck...........Baja was over for us. It was a fairly quiet drive to Mexicali.

We got to Mexicali way past dark but had good faith in our GPS for guidance. Although we were trying to got to the east

exicali border crossing, we wound up in the west crossing. What a traffic

headache. Four or five lanes of traffic one way into US. Must've bee a mile long at least. However we weren't the only ones to leave baja early.

Right next to us was another bike on the back of a dark suburban. He had score numbers on it as well...11x. Later I found out they were out of the race due to mechanical issues. He was also a regular on thumpertalk. We were pretty much side by side thru this traffic line. (11x If you read this, we were in the red ford dually next to you for a while. Yeah we were probably staring too Ha!) We got across the border with no issues here either and sorry to say therrest of the drive home was uneventful. Long but uneventful.

In closing I just want to say that after my experiences in this trip, I think the media has all but killed tourism in Baja, Yes, there may be some cartel/drug wars going on in Tijuana and Mexicali But we saw none of it.

Was that due to the Federal Police stepping up security due to the race?

I can't answer that! Did I feel unsafe in Tecate or Mexicali Maybe a little!

We didn't come to Baja looking for trouble, we kept our "noses"clean and we didn't stop until we got to Ensenada. (except for the Military Check)

I felt perfectly safe in SanFelipe although we didn't walk down any dark alleys either.

Am I going back? Damn right I am! already planning next year.

2 things we will definately change for next year.

1) TAKE OUR BIKES WITH US! I was jealous..

2) Spend a night in Ensenada.

I want to say that our FIRST baja trip was a great success except for the bike DNF.

Chuck and I made some new friends while down here and hope to see them again next year.

EVERYONE we talked to were extremely friendly and helpful.

A Big thanks to Mikey and Shane of THR motorsports for allowing us to be a small part of this race team and I hope to do it again next year.

Thanks to David Pearson and Ivan Ramirez for hanging out with us.

I apoligize for this report being so frikken long, but I felt like it needed all these details so that someone else will have a positive story to tell about Baja.:thumbsup::banana:

Robert Wolverton

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to the pics.

Definitely should have stayed and watched all the vehicles Thursday night. Hopefully you will next year.

Cool that you would come all the way out from OK to help out. keep spreading positive vibes about Baja.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking forward to the pics.

Definitely should have stayed and watched all the vehicles Thursday night. Hopefully you will next year.

Cool that you would come all the way out from OK to help out. keep spreading positive vibes about Baja.

Thanks for the good word!

Definately wanted to stay! going to stay longer next year. This was mostly a "learning" trip for us... working on the photo thing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wheww... that was a long report but very thorough. At least the 7x made it to you guys, as it came up a little short of our pit in Loreto. I'm surprised you guys didn't have any wheels, every pit should of had them. What if Ivan came in with a rear flat? I was really bummed when we heard our team was out of the race as they put a ton of effort (and $$) into winning it. We still had a great time in Loreto for a week though and rode the course from San Ignacio to Loreto. I really give kudos to the ironmen (and women) who finished cause I was beat just riding this 225 mi. or so section.

Next time you guys need to spend a little more time down there and "smell the flowers" as Baja is not just a place but an attitude and takes a little time to adjust. And don't give up on the fish tacos, you must have got a rank batch. The small taco stands are way better than the big establishment places (like R&:blah:, I could live off them, wait, I have...:thumbsup:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this