Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Ventura County, California Republic
Sunday November 11th, San Philippe.
Posting here with the iPad Mini after sorting through my photos at a local coffee spot, with all the excitement of finally getting on the Baja 1000 course early in the day.
Not knowing what to expect with my last 2 times in Baja being quite a different experience then what I expected this time, hell I have no idea what to expect this time when the truth comes out.
We had the Winter Madness ride on Roadie the Roadster:
And the Debacle on the Big Red Pig before that, the trip being cut short.
Back in my room I had great company for the short time I was awake, being able to stare at my bike and daydream about what we were going to attempt to do - ride the course as fast as possible, survive (enjoy) the ride to LaPaz, get my favorite tacos at The Spot, then haul ass back north to catch The Race from a yet to be determined location where I could camp out along the course without any crowds nearby. I had 4 days, come Thursday morning The Race would begin for over a thousand racers.
My race started today.
Sleep came easy, I knew I was going to need my energy.
A few times throughout the night the sounds of race motors thundered around the motel courtyard waking me up, and probably added to the stressful dreams of running and running with trophy trucks breathing fire roaring up behind me in the dark….
The sun was out, adventure thick in the air…. too bad the restaurant workers didn't feel the same way I did - after sitting for a half hour waiting for one egg I left, not having the patience for the slightly more laid back service that is common south of the border. It was time to go south, my clock was ticking!
And I wasn't alone on the course with plenty of racers still pre-running. On one hand it made me pay close attention to what was behind me, right out of San Philippe the course started BAM!!! with miles and miles of big whoops, the kind a bike gets swallowed by if you don't keep up your speed. It was a slap into reality and a hell of a way to start, Baja was letting me know that this wasn't going to be easy and I was going to have to dig in deep with some extra determination to accomplish what I set out to do. BAM!!!
It was exciting, I love a challenge, and there was nothing to complain about. New territory for me.
Time and miles went by, with sections of the course opening up to places I could ride faster, I was settling into a pace that I was happy with, haling ass in places where I felt comfortable, slowing it down in places I needed to improve on my techniques. (miles of 3' whoops)
One thing was for certain, the Mighty Husaberg felt good. Real good. I had a decent amount of miles on it before this trip, we've bonded pretty well, but I started to feel things I hadn't felt before, like clues to pick up along the trail of how it wanted to be rode and things it liked and didn't like with my camping gear and new tires on it. For the most part, TMH (The Mighty Husaberg) liked to go - fast! The harder I pushed it the more stable it felt, especially when in rock gardens on on sand. Go fast, more throttle, don't die.
I was starting to gain more confidence as I realized a buggy was slowly gaining on me, I kept an eye on him and was having fun making dust and trying to stay ahead. He finally got close enough where I pulled over so he could pass and feeling cocky I just did my best to stay on his ass, just outside his dust trail on the side of the road. We went back and forth with him pulling ahead and me catching up for a few miles. Exciting times.
That's when It Happened.
I was maybe 50' behind him on section of the course that allowed a good fast pace, I was eating a lot of dust at this point and was basically blind besides following his tail light, a little beacon of yellow in the dust.
All of a sudden I see the buggy swap ends, sliding out in a cloud of dust and now facing backwards on the course, the navigator waiving wildly. I slammed on my brakes and came to a sudden stop not far from him. It all happened in the blink of an eye - or two.
Holy shit! The road we were on had a 50-75' canyon freshly carved across it, apparently they were building a bridge and this was new, me following the buggy didn't see it coming either…. No signs, the is Mexico.
He slid backward in a cloud of dust stopping 2 inches from the edge, with me right behind him!
I yelled out Don't Move, as I saw the ground crumbling and falling right behind his rear wheel.
I was so concerned about the buggy it took me a few minutes until I realized how close this was for me, and how bad it would have been to hit this going 60mph…
No time for those thoughts though, go fast, stay on the throttle and don't die.
The guys in the buggy didn't want any help, and after a few minutes I went on my way.
At this point I wasn't far from Gonzaga Bay and Alphanso's little restaurant where I have had a few very delicious meals on various trips. The fishing boats are right there, it's as fresh of seafood as you can get without catching it yourself. A good goal to ride to with a reward at the end. Plus having skipped breakfast and burning a whole lot of calories I was very hungry.
Life is good, and a little time to relax and think about The Course was enjoyable.
Photography for me is not about recreating what I saw through
the viewfinder but to show people the way I want to see the world.