Well, here it is, we've finished the riding, so now it's time to find our computers and finish the writing... Copied from "Racing" I thought some of you inmates were missing a great adventure, had by quite a few of us. The background can be found in various threads in 'Racing' and 'Pacific Northwet' to see how we got from an idea to a dream fulfilled. Some of those are quite intertaining themselves. So incase you have missed this, here is the recap of the event, hope you enjoy it. Baja 1000 Review: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o> Let’s start by introducing the team: Marc Springer (The Team Captain), Daniel (his step son and The Young One), Dean ‘Deano’ (The Mechanic), Dean (The Hotshot), Russ (The Medic) and later on, Ace (Our Ace in the SF Whoops). <o></o> Pre-Running: As with all things ‘No plan survives first contact’, after an extra day off to rest from the drive down (much needed and appreciated), an early start began after 8:00 AM, on Tuesday instead of Monday. By the time, the trucks were loaded for the 70-mile drive from Casa De Boar on the La Bufadora Peninsula to RM45 it was already 11:30 in the morning. I did not yet know this would become SBR-Time for the duration of the trip, whatever time you wanted to start; add two to three hours. We had lost a support driver (long story) so that meant we’d lost a support truck. Out of room in two pickups (one loaded with three bikes and fuel, the other loaded with all the camping gear), two of us rode our bikes from La Bufadora, sandwiched between the two other support trucks down the highway, through Ensenada and east on Hwy 3 to Ojos Negros. New bike, new boots, new riding gear, let's ride: After finding a good place to unload the other bikes and after everyone geared up for the first day of pre-running we got started – about 1:20 in the afternoon. Don’t forget to pack a light even though we should have been done before the sun went down. GPS is a great thing, but GPS doesn’t know when roads are gated and closed. A few turns later and a half-mile back up the road we came in on we found the beginning of the Pre-Ride start area and the pre-running began. <o></o> Day one RM45 to RM120: First things first, start helmet camera, second time since buying the thing. Mount up boys let’s ride… Since I had the GPS going to find the start I was in the lead, set a comfortable pace and kept checking over my shoulder for the rest of the guys. Went over a small rise (enough to catch some air and found a hard right turn on the other side), no problem, but I started to think about the others, maybe I was going too fast, maybe not. Checking to make sure everyone cleared that, I was quickly passed by Dean S., and he took off into the distance. I wanted to video the guys and the trip as much as possible so I slowed up and let everyone pass me. At about RM50 Springer holed up under some trees to take a break. While we were there I decided to check the position of the camera (earlier I had it too low) to my surprise I had not recorded anything, it was on pause. While we were taking a break, Dean S., comes back to check on us. He informs us there is a tricky section just ahead and describes the trail as having two difficult sections to climb up through and over some big rocks, the first being easier than the second one. I chose to go ahead and stop to take some still photos of the guys going through this, and I never found the second section, the first was too easy and then I was on top of the hill and onto a sandy road, oh well, I’ll stop here and wait for them. <OBJECT width=425 height=340><embed src="http://cdn.smugmug.com/ria/ShizVidz-2008092306.swf" flashVars="s=ZT0xJmk9NDM1MDU0NzIxJms9a2IybVYmYT02NDAxMDk3X3FpaHA5JnU9UGFjV2VzdEdT" width="425" height="340" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true"></embed></OBJECT> Springer was the first to arrive, followed by Dean and then Deano and Danno. I guess they call this “El Muerto” (file photo) Once everyone was up it was time to make some time, the road was sandy hard pack so the speeds were fairly high but still comfortable for pre-running. I spent my time trying to video each of the riders catching up to each one as necessary. By the time I got to Springer the road was ending and we turned into the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace w:st="on"><st1laceName w:st="on">Pine</st1laceName> <st1laceType w:st="on">Forest</st1laceType></st1lace> where the trail got narrow again and started meandering through the woods. <OBJECT width=425 height=318><embed src="http://cdn.smugmug.com/ria/ShizVidz-2008092306.swf" flashVars="s=ZT0xJmk9NDM1MzUyODk1Jms9SnVWOXQmYT02NDAxMDk3X3FpaHA5JnU9UGFjV2VzdEdT" width="425" height="318" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true"></embed></OBJECT> There were a few large fallen trees to negotiate around and a few dry creeks to go through but nothing that was hard to ride through or around. Danno kept blowing through changes of direction as indicated by SCORE signs marking a hard left or right direction change (three or more stacked arrows) so it was always pretty funny to come up on him laying in a pile of dust and sand shortly after where the trail turned. I think he started to catch on to what those signs meant and things did improve throughout the pre-running. After the first part of the <st1lace w:st="on"><st1laceName w:st="on">Pine</st1laceName> <st1laceType w:st="on">Forest</st1laceType></st1lace>, we climbed up onto some plateaus and onto some rain-washed rutty two-track with plenty o’ big rocks embedded and loose baby-heads littering the trail. Deano had stumbled up one of hill climbs and fell over, then fell over again trying to get going again. This saga would repeat enough times that he was thoroughly pissed about the size of the bike and length of his legs. Since everyone passed me, (I wasn’t stopping on the hill, everyone looked OK as I continued past them to the top). When we got started, I was again behind Deano. The next hill climb caught Deano off guard and as he bounced from right to left, the bike hit a big rock and launched him off the bike. Landing hard and straight on his back. I stopped and he popped up cussing something about, “gawd damn bike is too tall, I can’t ride the damn thing, I suck at this”. After a few moments to collect his breath and pick up the bike, it was time to assess things - him and the bike. He was sore but otherwise unbroken, the bike took a really good hit on a rock and crushed the header pipe flat against the water-pump housing, thinking that we might have a problem “Houston”, I did the only thing I could. I hit the starter button and it fired right up, whew… okay, it runs but where are the gasses going, out the hole in the header pipe. <OBJECT width=425 height=318><embed src="http://cdn.smugmug.com/ria/ShizVidz-2008092306.swf" flashVars="s=ZT0xJmk9NDM1NDc3MjY3Jms9WFluUjcmYT02NDAxMDk3X3FpaHA5JnU9UGFjV2VzdEdT" width="425" height="318" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true"></embed></OBJECT> Well, that’s OK, let’s ride, you’ll be down on power but we can keep moving to some place to affect repairs. As he pondered what was next, I rode ahead to see if the other’s had stopped up the trail, After about a mile, I turned back for Deano, and we passed each other, so I turned around again and followed him. We caught up to and passed Danno taking pictures over the first ‘wet’ creek and then proceeded through the first ‘silt bed’ on the course, man those things are a plum of dust… cough choke, cough cough. The three of us rode on until coming to an intersection where Dean and Springer had stopped to wait for us. Time to get out helmet lights and such (Dean had no headlight, and mine pretty much sucks); it was getting dark as the sun disappeared over the mountains. Helmet camera batteries were about done, it had already been a long day, and we still had a ways to go. I think we were at RM85 – only 40-miles in four-hours, man this sucks, we still have 30-miles to go…and we’re pre-running a daylight section at night, who’d a thunk it. I really didn't think things were going well, the race was going to tough, this was way off the pace we'd need to be running and we weren't going fast by any means. Well, onward and upward let’s get this done. We rode closer together and I stopped once in awhile to snap some pictures before the light was completely gone. <OBJECT width=425 height=318> <embed src="http://cdn.smugmug.com/ria/ShizVidz-2008120101.swf" flashVars="s=ZT0xJmk9NDM1ODEyMTA1Jms9a2dBNXEmYT02NDAxMDk3X3FpaHA5JnU9UGFjV2VzdEdT" width="425" height="318" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true"></embed></OBJECT> We rode in and out of the <st1lace w:st="on"><st1laceName w:st="on">Pine</st1laceName> <st1laceType w:st="on">Forest</st1laceType></st1lace>, until getting back up into higher elevations and into some twisty sandy-banked corners surrounded by Manzanita trees. Still in trail (sweep), I was pacing myself behind Deano, his headlight would cut through the night and illuminate the trail and trees, until coming to a stop in a cloud of dust, I’d get there just as he was getting back on the bike after falling off. Soon he passed Danno, who had fallin’ in a turn and I was behind Danno, until his 8” Baja Designs headlight was illuminating the inside of one of those Manzanita trees. Hey Danno, you alright? “Yeah, but I’m stuck under the bike.” OK hold on a minute, let me get a picture of this… Okay, let’s get you out of there, on two, ready… It was a really nice night, the moon was full and the desert was alive. As we neared RM95 there was a farm house and everyone had stopped there to take a break. Dean had brought along some refreshments and they went down real good, Aaaaah room temperature beer never tasted so well. After that break, we started down a hill through a narrow wash of off camber sand whoops and then back out into more sandy banked turns and some straight deep sand trails. Somewhere through here, Springer was about done, cooked and tired, everyone was making small mistakes, but Springer was having a real tough time with the deep sand. I tried to explain that you have to get on top of it and that required about 25-mph, but it was dark and everyone was tired, so he went down a few times struggling hard to finish the ride. We finally got back to some hard pack sand roads and everything started to get easier again, I thought Danno was behind me as we came out of the deep sand, but it was Springer. We were running a decent pace down the road trying to get to La Rumarosa, and there were a few hair raising turns and sandy sections with rain washes in the road, but I was keeping an eye behind me for the powerfull HID light bouncing through the night. It disappeared once, a little too long, I stopped and as I waited, it came up through the night air again. It was at this time that Springer had gone down hard enough to take him out of the race and out of the rest of the ride, bummer. He didn’t let on for many hours, what had happened, but by the next day he knew it was something more than he could suck up. We arrived at La Rumarosa, and onto Hwy 2. While looking for the rest of the guys we got flagged down by AKJeff in front of a restaurant and made a quick U-Turn into the parking lot. Relief and somewhat dumbfounded that it took over seven-hours to go 70-miles, this was not a good start. The beers were cold, and the food was good. After everyone was finished with long stories and eating it was time to head up the road and find a place to camp. RM120 was going to be a ‘rider-change’ and the satellite reconnaissance showed some places to set up for the night, little did we know it was the town dump. <o></o> Camping at RM120: La Rumarosa city dump, top of the grade but it didn’t matter, everyone was beat. We set up camp, and <st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Austin</st1lace></st1:City> took some crazy night shots playing with lights to make ADV signs and FYYFF logos. (Photo by Ratty2Austin) Dean and I sent Jeff back into town to find some more cold one’s and after he returned we sat up drinking and getting to know each other. It was a good night, and afterwards I slept well. In the morning we took the beer cans from the night before, a hacksaw and some well intentioned ideas and set out to make repairs to the header pipe that was crushed the day before. In the end though, Springer said he wasn’t riding today and gave up the race bike for Deano. We loaded up Deano’s bike in the truck, packed up camp and headed back into town for breakfast.