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Old 03-16-2015, 10:25 PM   #1
JustRon OP
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My Beta & I are probably ill-prepared for Baja

Backstory... the company I worked for closed on Jan 30th, so for the first time in my life (since college in '91) I'm unemployed. I figured I might as well get some riding in, except I live in NYC, and starting a ride from there isn't much fun in Feb. I was originally going to try Big Bend TX, but just as I was about to go, I learned that spring breakers fill up the hotels right around the time I was going. So, just for kicks, I checked prices to ship my bike to CA, and it wasn't too expensive- one guy could pick it up in a few days. (The trip planning thread isn't all that interesting, but it's here.)

Bike departure:


My bike wasn't ready- I needed to do some stuff to it, but wasn't going to have time. I had a lot of crap to buy for the trip, and no time to test anything.
So, here was the plan... bike ships to San Diego and arrives on a Monday. I fly to SAN and arrive Tues in the am (6 hour layover in Denver, ugh.), then give myself 9 or 10 days to get to the southern tip. My gf is flying to Cabo and meeting me (we are doing 4 nights at a lux-hotel in the Cabo Corridor to avoid the spring breakers- this is an anniversary/birthday gift, plus we haven't had a "nice" vacation in years). Then, she flies home and I ride back to CA (figuring on 10 days or so- that leg of the trip is open). I have some stuff going on in April, so I can't stay on the road forever.
Now, Baja is a bucket-list place for me, but living on the east coast, it's not an easy thing to do (unless you spend a fortune renting a bike). I've read RRs, but didn't pay attention to any details, so I don't really know much about Baja, other than there's riding, beaches, and fish tacos. I've never been on a trip longer than 6 or 7 days... so, packing for this ride was going to be a huge problem for me. I have only used Wolfman e-12 bags, but I'm taking more tools than usual- those bags are stuffed with tools, tubes, and a 1.5L gas bottle. The bike is on it's way, and I've ordered a bunch of junk- this trip will have a lot of firsts for me:
I've never ridden with (or even mounted) a duffel bag.
I bought a Delorme In Reach so my family would have a little piece of mind (I've had a few trip-ending crashes in the past, and those were in NJ, haha).
I've never traveled with a laptop (I bought one at a pawnshop before I left)- mainly for managing my Garmin, in case I lose my maps while en-route.
I've never used my Contour on this helmet (and to take still pics instead of video)...more learning curve stuff.
I've never tried to write a RR "live"... well, it will always be a few days behind. I wanted to do this while it's fresh in my head.
I've never been away from home for more than 10 days... not a big deal for most folks, but I'm a Type 1 diabetic, so lugging around a month's worth of supplies takes a LOT of room. Also, granola/cereal/Clif bars pretty much keep me alive- I've got a ton of them with me (again, lots of space).
I didn't do any gps routing for this trip (normally, I spend a lot of time doing that). All I have are the E32 maps and Moto Vaquero's tracks (thanks, btw!).

So, off to a rocky start... the bike is 5 days late, but I was in San Diego. Yeah, not a bad place to be stuck, but I just wanted to get going. Bike arrives around 3:30 on Sat, and the first thing to do is replace front and rear brake pads in a parking lot...

Yikes.
Then, the duffel bag...

No es bueno. My backpack hits it in a big way, and I can barely get on my bike now. I will have to figure this out.
The extra weight on the bike was interesting... the first time I hit the gas, I almost looped it!

My goal was to get into MX tonight (Tecate), so I could start riding the next day. Boy, that Highway 94 was a bit sketchy at night. I imagine it's a cool ride in the day, though. Thankfully, I recently added a Cyclops LED highlight- never even tried it. With the stock headlight, I'm not sure I would have even attempted it, but the LED was decent.
So, I got into Tecate and didn't see where to go for the Visa. I'll get it the next day. Rode all around town looking for any hotel, and couldn't find any vacancies. I wasn't expecting that, but after maybe 7 attempts, I found one that was only $17...

That's enough for now.
Since I'm doing this on the fly, there's little (or, no) editing happening, so this is not going to be a primo RR like the Wans provide.

Here's my Spotwalla page (I guess I didn't have tracking turned on the first day)...


Edited to add - I don't think a Beta's subframe has ever been tested like this.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:28 PM   #2
GypsyWriter
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Best of luck, and have a blast!!
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:48 PM   #3
Holaday
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Good Start

You will do fine. Baja is awesome.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:05 AM   #4
MufflerBearings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRon View Post
... but after maybe 7 attempts, I found one that was only $17...
Looks like you found the Hotel Parasio in Tecate . Lucky you. That place is grim even by my low standards. The quality of accommodation does improve as you ride further south.

I was reading your thread in trip planning, and I'm happy to see that you're finally on the trail. Did you end up getting a tire in SD, or are you rolling the dice on that?

Oh, and I'll be the first to say it - you're carrying too much shit.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:27 AM   #5
docwyte
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In for the ride!
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:41 AM   #6
JustRon OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MufflerBearings View Post
Looks like you found the Hotel Parasio in Tecate . Lucky you. That place is grim even by my low standards. The quality of accommodation does improve as you ride further south.

I was reading your thread in trip planning, and I'm happy to see that you're finally on the trail. Did you end up getting a tire in SD, or are you rolling the dice on that?

Oh, and I'll be the first to say it - you're carrying too much shit.
Yeah... helmet cam pic.


Going with the tire I have... it's in good shape, but has a lot of miles.

As for the excess baggage- agreed. However, I've already gotten the bag much more compressed by:
-packing it better (more stuff towards the back of the bag)
-eating a lot of cereal bars
-tossing a big tupperware container that was holding a month's supply of contact lenses

While lubing my chain this a.m., I noticed my air filter oil container (I packed a few oz.) leaked... Ugh. That stuff is impossible to get off of anything.

Well, I'm off in a few. Not sure exactly where.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:11 AM   #7
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:52 AM   #8
Moto Vaquero
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Right on, love this shit! I'll be following your progress.
A few of us are leaving Saturday to ride from Tecate to Mulege and maybe a trail or two on the way back north. You will probably be well down South by then.
Hope my tracks and RR help you along the way. Just remember, those tracks are raw and unedited so there are a few turnarounds or dead ends in there. If you zoom out a bit on your gps you can see these and correct your route.

I see you rode out to Punta Colonet yesterday. That dirt road that heads right to/over the 300+ ft cliff still kinda gives me the creeps when I think about the first time hauling ass to toward it. Let's just say, I'm glad it wasn't dark at the time.
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:04 AM   #9
_Magoo_
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:29 AM   #10
muddyrabbit
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Personally I think your preparation level is spot on for a Baja adventure.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:59 PM   #11
satchmo3
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Yes man, yes!
former nyorker here reading along.
in todos santos there is a guy from oregon with a shop that can fix or get parts for about any bike, including tires, as you may need one for the trip back. ask around if you need his services.
buen viaje!
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:23 PM   #12
nonamehorse
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Hell yes! That's one trip that's in my bucket. If you're up for it, PM me when you get back and I'll buy you a beer or two, or three! Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:04 PM   #13
NMTrailboss
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In!!!

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Old 03-17-2015, 03:20 PM   #14
twisted-hog
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Another Baja RR,
Oh ya, I'm in .......

I'm just a couple weeks behind you.
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #15
Moto Vaquero
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Check out his last SPOT signals:
https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=c64e54f9ed5e716e5

The last blip was almost 3hrs ago at 1:57 PT
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