I was now following a fellow rider doing 107 mph on a long and straight Baja road. A day or two ago when we crossed the border at Tecate, if I recall correctly he stopped at all Alto (STOP) signs while I did a rolling stop. Baja changes you and your perspectives on what’s now important and what’s not. Not hitting a cow is important. Here’s another week of motorcycle riding stories. Before San Felipe we spent the night in the town of Tecate, home of the Tecate brewery.
I call this story horizon limited because we are riding down the Baja peninsula. The sea of Cortez is now within walking distance of our hotel for the night. The only way off this stretch of sand, rocks and cactus playground is either the La Paz ferry or riding back and crossing the Tecate, Otay Mesa or Tijuana border crossing.
My new and old riding friends around me all have the money, health, time and skills to ride Baja. Everyone is doing it differently, what works for one may not necessarily work for the other.
The guys with the baja oriented dirt bikes want roads with rocks and sand. There’s no shortage of sand and rocks. Today was a 376 mile long day; even longer on a dirt bike with full on knobbies.
The riding on and off road is almost as awesome as the cuisine. Last nights dinner was a mixed seafood, steak, shrimp and spices dish served on a lava rock bowl that literally bubbled when served. It’s worth a trip here just to try it. The molcajete is a dish in Tecate served at the Hotel Estancia Inn Hotel.
I am of the last generations of travellers to be not out of contact in any way. Imagine the previous or explorers or world travelers. Now with the iPhone, email, and Facebook, it is impossible to be without contact.
However, WIFI is still at a premium. That past isolation is now gone forever. At BMW RIVERSIDE sometime ago they held a little contest. Everytime you rode to a group ride destination, and forwarded proof by way of a picture, your name went into a jar for a drawing.
Well, I won a new Spot Messenger emergency locator beacon. I finally activated it and carried it with me. The first time I went to remove it from the bike to lock it up for fear of someone stealing it; my hands fumbled it, it somersaults striking the bike and lands on the asphalt before bouncing once more.
The screen now resembles an etch a sketch kids toy. Well so much for the safety and security of having an SOS button always at the ready. Perhaps it was just a false sense of security anyway.
In 1958, a revolutionary by the name of Castro started a revolution down Cuba way, when I was just three years old. My father wisely fled while mom, little sister, and I remained for another year or so. Children can get through anything. Fast forward another sixty years and surprise, surprise, I say out loud while riding today to no one in particular, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me
I’m alive and doin’ fine” living in the USA.
This story is convoluted. I’ll grant you that. That’s cause I’m no where within my own thoughts to assemble a decent story or two. The guys around me are more a family now than just others. Gpskevin is like the Forrest Gump main character in the scene. What he feels, sees or says affects us similar to the butterfly effect.
And for the Mexico naysayers, you know who you are; the U.S. Department of State, recorded 111 U.S. citizens murdered in all of Mexico in 2010. I couldn’t find anything more recent. Of those, more than one third occurred in either Juarez or Tijuana. To now put this more into perspective, an average of 400 people are killed by lightning every year in the U.S.A. And to think I lived all those formative years in Florida and today I find out that it’s the lightning strike capital of the U.S.
The most dangerous part of Baja as I now see it is that the locals have had no updated driving lessons since Pancho Villa was last in town. Thankfully they are not the truck drivers. These guys that we passed today on roads with sheer drops and twisties are all professionals and awesome to the motorcycle community. Most would rather be doing what we are doing.
I need to come clean from the start. I am not a smart writer because I seldom take notes and my memories at times is not as good as it once was. It’s now November 2021, and everyone needs a Covid card to fly anywhere here and a Covid test to return but, one can drive or ride there and back without one. The weather today is in the high seventies to eighties. The most awesome sight encountered was during our breakfast stop at Gonzaga bay. The hotel Antonitas that is off grid on the beach with a view and their own runway is excellent. Just outside the window while enjoying eggs and an assortment of Mexican nice spices and flavors was a whale shark swimming peacefully sucking up the krill. This is a sight one doesn’t see just everyday or possibly ever.
Exactly five days ago my riding friends and I just left Mexico at the Aguas Prieta border crossing at Douglas Arizona. We rode back on our adventure motorcycles from the greatest Mexico ride in our lives , a ride to Batopilas and Copper Canyon.
My Giant Loop Round the world soft panniers served me well on that ride. Other than doing laundry and the occasional motorcycle maintenance for oul and tires I was fully prepared to go literally, just like the panniers, around the world.
Just like a lightning strike, I don’t see me, on this ride venturing into a remote canyon to explore a cave drawing while a boulder drops down onto my arm trapping me. The only choices are to hope SPOT hardened the case just a wee bit more for the next new replacement.
The Baja Peninsula stretches down from the USA border for more than 1700 km along Mexico’s west coast and spans 250 km at its widest. The Pacific Ocean will be on our right side as we travel down and the Sea of Cortez will also be on our right side as we travel back up.
Its climate, culture, and proximity make it a popular destination for nordamericanos in search of a little RV R&R, while its unpaved roads, endless trails, and adventure racing heritage make it a paradise for dual-sport riders in search of a little two-wheeled adventure.
Keith brought us all presents of tye died t shirts. Everyone was now young again and in their early twenties. It is now the 1970s again. We all wore beards, our bald heads now were sporting long hair, while the only thing missing are tie-dye cheesecloth pantaloons and sandals. God bless the hippie generation.
So why do this. According to another popular motorcycle touing group you should do this ride because; more to follow…….
And according to Gpskevin, “everytime we say no to a ride, it’s one less ride you get to go on.
Everytime we say no to a ride that is one less ride in life” …
Do it because life is too short.
Do it because all of your friends will be jealous.
Do it because it’s your time to explore.
Do it because you deserve it.