San Felipe 250 + a Baja Blizzard!?!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by inte, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Just got back from the San Felipe 250.
    Took some offroad routes in Baja on the way home ... conditions were a bit unusual for Baja.

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    Details to come ... details such as when we were standing at a Pemex, in the hail, talking to a long time resident, they said these sort of conditions haven't been seen in at least 20 years.

    I'll add more once my fingers thaw out.

    Rkeallky hasdrd tioo typoie npow.
    #1
  2. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister

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    Brrrrrrrrrrr I'll be looking forward to the rest of the story. :lurk
    #2
  3. eombbear

    eombbear RIMslayer

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    the SNOW had been there a couple of days but it was 2 feet deep in the Laguna Hansen area . Lucky for us there had been a Truck that had gone thru there and we made it thru the highest elevations then no more snow and on to Mike's Sky Ranch . Didn't get to meet Mike Leone as he and his wife died in a truck accident in 89' , I think .
    #3
  4. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    What happened to global WARMING??!!
    #4
  5. StromBoni

    StromBoni Hot Dog Captain

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    That's just a pop-title. A more appropriate and scientific name would be "global climate destabilization".

    Apparentley that makes for "baja bike destabilization" and lots of snow in the desert.
    #5
  6. Milhaus

    Milhaus Made in Denmark

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    :lurk
    #6
  7. mrazekan

    mrazekan Long timer

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    DT Vancouver. The other one...
    Back in 2003, I took a road trip with my family. We left LA and swung by TJ to pick up my aunt on our way to Mexicali. Just past El Hongo before getting to
    La Rhumorosa, this is what we found:
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    And just to prove I was in Mexico:
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    The Rhumorosa was closed. There was a miles long backup on the highway. We doubled back to Tecate, and took hwy94, old hwy 80, on the US side.

    While I know the sierra can get quite a bit of snow, in the 30 years I've been travelling to Baja, I've never seen snow this deep.
    #7
  8. Live2Ride

    Live2Ride Not Famous

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    Was in Baja last week and saw alot of the pre runners out on the coarse, looking forward to your pics of the race.....
    #8
  9. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    I've seen snow up in the Laguna Hanson area & Mike's in the past ... El Hongo even will get a bit as you're up in elevation there but it's rare.

    What made this so unusual was the location - the photo above was shot just a few miles from Independencia - WAY before reaching the pine forest. There was snow in San Matias. People were making snowmen just outside of Ojos Negros near Ensenada!
    #9
  10. winterhk

    winterhk *Disminuya Su Velocidad*

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    Mother Nature's all messed up. Thanks Al Gore! :lol3 Kidding of course...

    :lurk
    #10
  11. TedsGlobeStomper

    TedsGlobeStomper Been here awhile

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    pic's please!:rofl welcome back.
    #11
  12. kampton

    kampton Can't sit still...

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    Jon, my hands, face, quads, feet and entire body are still thawing out, but it was ohhhhhh-sooooo-worth it!!! :D
    #12
  13. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Last weekend once again bolstered the theory that to “expect the unexpected” is modus operandi in Baja. The whole point of this trip was simply to head down & help run pit support for the Baja 250. Another friend of mine was supporting a car team so we planned a mellow, mostly slab ride just to get there, help with the race, then burn home on Sunday.

    How interesting could it get? Stay tuned…

    Step 1: Dylan (& pocket pal Wendel) roll up at casa de inte.

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    Dylan starts practicing his stunned ”Wow look at that!” expression that will be needed often over the next couple days.


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    The ride down was amazing … all the valleys & such were green, seasonal waterfalls were flowing … not a bad street ride all in all.


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    We did something of a tire-melter headed south & in (very) short order were at the border:

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    Crossing into the “arid” Baja desert revealed fields of green…


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    We hadn’t planned on making it this far south this quick, so a brief “extra-credit” option road was taken … the fact that a portion of this road didn’t exist a few hours before made it all the more interesting.


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    …and why didn’t it exist …?


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    Because a friend of mine down there who works on road crews was still making it :D


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    I talked with David (grader driver) for a bit & Dylan went for a hike…


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    Then we started discussing other options for getting back down. The newly-cut road was the obvious choice, but there were more interesting options for sure…


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    It was decided this hill was our best bet. Hidden gulles, rocks, & cliffs meant you didn’t want to push it heading down.


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    Trailblazing.


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    Dylan & his KTM road grader.


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    The road less traveled:


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    #13
  14. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Our excursion led us straight back to the highway and from there it was a slab ride to lunch & then onto the meeting place where the 2nd half of our group would soon roll in.


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    Now Dave couldn’t get off work until pretty late as I understand, so we didn’t meet up in Ensenada until after 5pm. No problem as we had a relatively mellow ride planned up to Mike’s Sky Ranch.


    Mellow but dark.


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    Hitting the dirt:


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    At first I thought this was a typo, a couple days later I would realize that they’re just WAY ahead of the curve preparing for the resort…


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    It was a bit dusty.


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    It was a bit dark.


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    We arrived just in time to make dinner … next morning was supposed to be an uneventful ride to San Felipe to meet up with the various pit crews.

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    BUT … there was a singletrack option on the way down & we decided to take the either/or routes … this would be the last we’d see of Dave for a while:


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    At the opposite end of the singletrack we see Dustin emerge, & then we wait around for a bit.


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    Several other bikes go by…


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    No Dave. Um … Dustin rides the track backwards the other way & nothing!

    Only option is to ride down the mountain & hope for the best.

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    Sure enough, one of the bikes that snuck by was Dave … our telepathy skills were seriously lagging & we just didn’t catch any of the nonverbal cues when the bikes were whizzing by so we’re waiting 15 miles up the trail & Dave is taking a nap down by the highway.

    All’s well that ends well I suppose & soon enough we’re rolling.

    …and this guy was walking.


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    We get to town with plenty of daylight left, find our respective crews, and eventually bed the bikes down for the night.


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    Next morning would be a very early start to get out to the pit…


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    Coming up … all 8 seconds of the race experience!
    #14
  15. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    One bit of information I didn’t have quite clear the night before the race – Mexico doesn’t switch over to daylight savings time – at least not when the US does. Thus my little alarm clock got us up at 2:30.

    At least we weren’t late.

    Rolling out of San Felipe it was a brisk 50 mile ride to the pit area. The crew arrived and we had a quick meeting in the pre-dawn darkness.


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    I got the fun job :D … we stopped at the intersection where two possible roads came together. Being unsure of which was the course, it was my mission to ride the 950 back down both options for a while until I could spot flags or evidence indicating which was the actual racecourse. Mission accomplished, we started setting up markers, tools, and spares.


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    The guy geared up & ready to ride would go on to win his class!


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    Everything set, it was now a waiting game for the 1st bike to arrive – everyone stood at the read as there would be no time to lag once the bike emerged from the dust. Beautiful morning for a race!


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    Right on schedule, we hear Pearson in the distance…


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    In 8 seconds … bike is in, fueled, quick visual check for anything amiss, get rider water, goggle change, and just as quickly …


    Gone.


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    We watched some of the other bikes going by…


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    Then the privateers started rolling in. This is a new endeavour for KTM – you race on a KTM & can hire the same pit crew that the pro bike is using!


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    And charging off to take 1st in class!


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    Next privateer had a rider change at this pit.


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    Charging off towards a win in class 50!


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    Once the last bike went through, we started packing up the pit and heading back toward the fray of San Felipe on race day.


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    The class 21 bike used up it’s tire.


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    #15
  16. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Since our arrival in San Felipe, half of our crew was had been off working with their team, so after the race a few text messages were exchanged & we planned to meet up the next morning at 7am to plan out our route back.


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    Step one was to get out to the dry lake.


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    Funny thing was, Dave had recently ridden this part and “knew” of another option … so we were on a hardpack fireroad and went back to find this other option. Turned out that meant simply doubling back so we could be sure to hit all the sand whoops before the dry lakebed :lol3


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    The views out there were amazing.


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    This was as interesting as it looked :D


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    Right after the dry lakebed it started getting COLD. We realized it wasn’t just in our heads when at San Matias we started seeing snow on the ground just off the hightway!

    Rolling into Valle de Trinidad we went down to a hardware store where Dustin & Dave looked for some options for gloves & such…


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    Dave picked up an ever-so-stylish scarf.
    100% … acrylic.


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    The weather seemed to be holding, so we opted to leave the pavement & try hitting the dirt back to the border – weather can indeed change quickly we found.

    Right off the pavement:


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    The clouds overhead started to thicken as did the snow on the ground…


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    This is Baja!?! We’re not even to the mountains yet!


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    It started getting a little slippery…


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    Eventually it got to the point it was just silly to continue. The clouds darkened and it started snowing … hard. We got off the racecourse & hooked up with one of the roads that went to the forrest, but it was barely recognizeable as a road due to all the snow! The tires started spinning & we were burning crazy amount of guess for little forward progress. Scouting some options off the racecourse in this area revealed closed off roads that we’d have to clip barbed wire to pass through … all the while it’s getting darker & colder.

    We opt to backtrack to the last “sure thing”.


    Good thing we did – turns out the Honda was down to less than 1/2 a tank of fuel & some repairs were in order!


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    From here it was decided to burn pavement to the next gas at Ojos so the Honda wouldn’t run dry & explore our options there.


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    Snowing the whole way…


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    We get to Ojos & are greeted with … hail.


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    Now … for those of you familiar with riding gear – I’m wearing a pair of Klim “Moab” pants. These things specifically tout having extremely breatheable fabrics & 25% mesh! It’s freezing out here & the cold air just blows through them like I was wearing a pair of shorts.

    It’s time to discuss our options, which includes grabbing a room for the night in Ensenada & waiting out the storm instead of riding home at night in the hail. We step inside for a cup of coffee and check out the unlabeled cans of mystery … stuff.


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    There’s what appears to be clear air just up the road, so we thumb the starters and aim for it. Sure enough, the closer we get to the ocean, the sunnier it gets. Looks like we simply rode straight through the storm.


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    After fueling up in Ensenada, we cut back over highway 3 and cross the border at dusk, where the group sticks together for around 25 miles before splitting off in their respective directions. I stop to put on some more clothes (scrounge every extra pair of socks & t-shirt I have to keep warm) and finally roll in just after midnight … just in time to start planning for this Friday’s trip over the same terrain – curious to see how much snow will be there…

    Until next week, this is inte signing off!
    #16
  17. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    #17
  18. Brian y

    Brian y Been here awhile

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    Michigan, Berkley
    I am so confused...:norton

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    He is there twice!!!!!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH:beer
    #18
  19. winterhk

    winterhk *Disminuya Su Velocidad*

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    It's amazing that David Pearson can be so big and so fast at the same time. :eek1 He makes that bike look like a toy!
    #19
  20. Statdawg

    Statdawg Do U feel lucky ?

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    Is this an affect of Tequila and or do I need to drink some ? Outer Limits ???????? :lol3



    Great road trip and mission. :clap
    #20