Lucerne to Baja …
… indirectly, but that’s the way it went.
A Baja run was already in the planning stages**
**NOTE: Extent of “planning” was a phone call – “You want to go to Baja?”
so a warm up ride was in order. A small contingent headed out to Lucerne where “warm up” was initially a very poor descriptor … it was freezing when we showed up.
Fortunately the cold temps were short-lived and things got beautiful very quickly … although we did find some evidence that there were those who didn’t appreciate us being there.
Odd thing about this particular trail was it was one of the officially marked “open routes”! The group was making a concerted effort to ride only on established trails & we encountered this shortly after one of the open route signs – forgot which one … guess I’ll have to go for another ride & get the trail number
Riding over these blockades got ridiculous after a while & it was off to the hills to find another option.
The day was full of surprises on the established trails. Following one … a full-on road, ended when the road when straight up a hill that had suffered some pretty severe damage from rain it seemed. The group deemed that route impassible & we opted for what seemed to be an easier option.
Not so sure we were entirely spot on with that assessment.
Nonetheless, all the feedback I received was that the day in the desert was a good time – though I suppose there was probably a lot of feedback I didn’t receive about the ride :evil
SO … on to BAJA
From 7 or so, the group whittled down to three. Jeremy, Brandy, and myself.
Starting off on another cold December morning…
Our bikes covered a pretty good spectrum – 950, 426, and a 2-stroke 200.
Brandy is probably one of the only people around who has literally 1000’s of miles on a KDX 200. Carries oil & a graduated cylinder & just dumps oil in at the Pemex stations, shakes the bike a bit, & rides off…
Our route was going to be a fun one – follow racecourse from Ensenada up to Mike’s & back down to the coast – we went up Simpsons along the way …
The “fast part” of the course looked about the same coming out of Trinidad:
The rest of the course was normally very fun, but a grader was going through while we were riding (we literally had to ride around it) – leaving a foot-thick layer of sand & silt with hidden loose rocks under it.
I’ll let Jeremy tell you about those :evil
This water crossing was funny … a little deeper than usual … VERY soft.
The 426 & 200 just sort of floated across.
The fully-fueled 950 just plain sank into the mud … well over the hubs. Made it across, kept the boots high & dry, but it wasn’t pretty.
Things got a little more interesting heading up Simpsons
The group finally rolled into Mike’s – the sidestandless Yamaha, the 2-stroke, & the behemoth.
Actually it was one of the more diverse spreads of bikes I’ve seen there recently. 950, few “regular” dirtbikes, 2-stroke, V-Strom, and a Honda 50.
Always popular among the visitors
From there it was more racecourse toward the coast.
Brandy mixing fuel at El Coyote:
Funny thing is, we would meet up with the couple in the background many hours later that night when I was fixing a flat on the 950 in Santo Tomas.
Trail to the coast
Greeters, version 2.
We did quite a bit of exploration down near the coast – contemplating a pretty steep down hill:
Once Jeremy & Brandy were (well) clear of the trail, it was the 950s turn…
All of us got down unscathed.
And hit some flatter terrain:
Until flat #1 happened.
Flat fixed … over the dunes & onto the beach:
Getting off the beach was a bit more of a challenge (you can just make out the singletrack heading up the ridge:
We were quickly losing the light – something of a concern as Brandy’s bike didn’t have a tail light & Jeremy’s bike just … didn’t have lights.
Quick fuel up in Erendira & we’re off…
Somewhere between the coast & Santo Tomas the light was no more…
Jeremy had some pretty bright mountain bike lights with a 4-hour burn time, put those on at Santo Tomas & they worked pretty well for getting through Ensenada back to the truck:
They loaded up straight way & headed back to the border … I was left to my own devices with a smaller bike