March 3rd. 6 of us decided it was a good time to head south and do a little dirt, drink a couple of beers, and have a few tortillas with shit smeared on 'em. We had a week plus a couple of days on either side to spend in Baja, and were determined to make the most of it, even if the weather wasn't (initially) on our side. Unfortunately, we received word that one of our celebrity guests wouldn't be joining us due to an unforseen relocation..... cRAsH, playing the adult of the group, heeds other obligations. He is missed. And then there were Five. The cast: SF to the border. Tiny and I arrange to hook up after work with Lone*Star at a Cheveron in Gilroy, then blast down the 101 for a few hours. Arroyo Grande was to be our objective that day as a warm, dry, toasty room was waiting for us. Thanks Ron Next day, it's off to Brattin Motors in San Diego since new rubber for our beasts was needed. If you ever find yourself in the 619, you can do a lot worse than to see Gary and his great crew at Brattin. Top Job! Fast, fair and friendly! Meanwhile, we are joined by J-L and Ed. The mad Frenchman, however, leaves us temporarily for the local KTM shop as his bike is belching a bit of it's precious bodily fluid. Reunited, the group heads off to the campground that was to be our staging area before crossing the border the next day. Unfortunately, a deluge following our dismount at said campground had us scurrying for a plan "B". Now, there's nothing wrong with a little rain if you're ready for it, but setting up your shit in the rain, at night, with the promise of packing soaked gear the next day didn't sound like what the group needed this early in the trip, especially after getting dumped-on most of the 520 miles to reach this point. A quick call to my brother (we'll call him Eli) who lives in a part of town much like our own SF (we'll call it the Castro) provided us with a garage for our bikes, a roof over our heads, and all the pizza, beer, and Ali-G we could handle. Thanks Bro Next morning, there was daylight to be leveraged, miles to be made, and crazy-ass mechanical problems a-plenty. Yup, everything's still there. Staging area. My brother's (recently de-tuned, but still badass) WRX. Tiny manhandling, making it look easy. Who hasn't gotten this look from a "car guy"? It's off for coffee, gas and a final F-U from the mechanical powers that be before crossing the border. At the gas station, Tiny's bike sounds like the fan is running even after the bike is shut-off. There are at least two things wrong with this diagnosis: 1. It's not warm out. 2. He's riding a GS. Seems the ABS pump decided to actuate and stay that way. For good. No fuse-pullin' was going to fix it either, so it's off with the tank, remove a few panels, and yank the hot (ouch! yea, that's it) lead from the ABS unit. Problem solved. Tecate was to be the crossing location, and we couldn't have made a better choice; there were great, hilly roads leading there, it was not at all crowded, great roads leaving there, and Tijuana sucks. We received some great advice from this fella who was riding his KLR south of the border for breakfast (some guys know how to spend retirement), and we're off! Next stop, Baja! More to come. Feel free to add your own photos and stories, boys...this should be a good one.