First Baja Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jaek, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. jaek

    jaek knucklehead

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    After ten years and more than 100,000 miles on giant trailies, I decided it was finally time to do the motorcycle-ride-through-Baja thing. Previous attempts at this inevitably got derailed in the planning or scheduling stages, so this time I limited my goals to "sit on the beach, read my book, eat fish tacos, and drink tequila." Oh, and "don't die of thirst in a ditch by the side of the road with a broken femur."

    Work was going to require me to travel from San Francisco to Santa Monica, and since that's 75% of the way to the Mexican border, this was as good of an opportunity as any.

    After getting a bit of reassurance from the Trip Planning forum here, the provisional schedule took shape. Tuesday - ride from SF down 101 to Monterey then take CA 1 the rest of the way to Santa Monica. Wednesday and Thursday - work. Friday - Ride down the west coast of Baja to Ensenada, cut across Mex 3 to the Sea of Cortez, then go the rest of the way to San Felipe, arriving in time for dinner and some beach-sitting. Saturday - maybe pootle around on the bike for a bit, more relaxing. Sunday - ride back to San Francisco.

    The genius of the plan was its simplicity - there was nothing to go wrong.
    #1
  2. jaek

    jaek knucklehead

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Naturally I overslept Tuesday morning and didn't hit the road until nearly 11 am. Also naturally it was cloudy and cold in San Francisco, but once I got past the airport on 280 it turned sunny and nice. I made good time down to Monterey and down through Carmel into Big Sur, at which point I stopped to refuel myself and the bike.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if it was just a really clear day or if Big Sur is always this pretty, but I was conflicted between putting along to enjoy the view and taking advantage of the complete lack of southbound traffic to enjoy the twisties. I did stop to take some pictures on occasion, but in retrospect I wish I'd taken a bit more.

    [​IMG]

    There were a surprising number of construction zones, must have been a rainy winter. The red lights made the traffic even better by providing convenient passing zones.

    Once I got to San Simeon the road became less interesting, and once I got through San Luis Obispo it became more boring still. Although it is always interesting to see the political billboards and be reminded that there are indeed two distinct Californias.
    #2
  3. jaek

    jaek knucklehead

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    The area around Vandenberg AFB was gorgeous but clouded in. I hit a Starbucks in Lompoc for coffee and a sandwich and gassed up again. The fuel range on the 990 Adventure isn't all it could be, but my Aerostitch tends to give me sore shoulders on long rides so the forced breaks can be welcome.

    Headed south on CA 1 out of Lompoc and the sun came out again, nice late afternoon light makes for good pictures.

    [​IMG]

    Eventually I hit the coastline north of Santa Barbara. More pictures.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Nov 26, 2001
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    Location:
    in The Cloud
    Looks like you hit some nice weather up on the coast! It's always so much nicer up there when it's not fogged in!:rofl

    Have fun,

    Steve
    #4
  5. KDXKLXKLR

    KDXKLXKLR "Nip it"

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    San Diego Ca
    Off to a nice start...Have fun...
    #5
  6. jaek

    jaek knucklehead

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I quickly passed through the Santa Barbara region, and it started getting dark. I stuck to CA 1, which was maybe not necessary in retrospect. But otherwise I might have missed the chance to see scenic Oxnard, CA.

    [​IMG]

    From there it was a gentle cruise along the coast from Ventura, down through Malibu ("stay out of my quiet beach community, Lebowski"), and into Santa Monica. The guys at the hotel gave me a weird look, but graciously allowed me to ride my motorcycle down into the garage rather than having a valet do it.

    After working a couple of days I got up Friday and headed out. Another late start combined with some dicking around in San Diego to get a couple books, some flip flops, and In-N-Out Burger put me over the border in the early afternoon.

    The drive to Ensenada was mostly uneventful, other than a brief road closure due to a propane truck that crashed and caught fire. It somehow managed not to explode, so that was convenient. I got to the city and pulled out my map to figure out how to get to Mexico Highway 3, without much luck. Luckily a couple guys in a Polaris dune-buggy type thing pulled over to chat. It turned out they had a motorcycle repair shop and were happy to lead me to where I needed to go. Despite their encouragement I couldn't quite bring myself to join in the honking and waving at hotties on the street, but blasting through traffic was still fun. They offered to refill my somewhat leaky clutch circuit, but didn't have mineral oil, only brake fluid. I put one of their stickers on my saddlebag and took a few cards, so if you ever need your motorcycle fixed in Ensenada you should check out this place at the intersection of Coral and De Ojos Negros. Nice guys.

    Mex 3 out of the city was enjoyably twisty, passing by a bunch of junkyards as it climbed its way up the mountains. Once over the top I was out from under the clouds and in for a long stretch of enjoyable cruising through farmland.

    [​IMG]

    Little did I know that the trip was about to become a bit more adventurous...
    #6
  7. sasper

    sasper Just call me Sper

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
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    121
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Subscribed. Liking it already and hopefully will be able to steal some ideas for the Baja part of my trip in October.
    #7
  8. Spacelord

    Spacelord Mutha Mutha

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dawsonville Ga.
    Great pics, looking forward to more.
    #8
  9. SirSkuffy

    SirSkuffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
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    Location:
    Geelong, Australia
    Ahhhh - leaving me hanging..... :1drink
    #9
  10. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
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    Location:
    Ensenada, Baja California
    ok sooo? amigo next time lets get in touch

    damasovi
    #10
  11. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    966
    Location:
    Norcal
    WHAT, a cliff hanger!!!!!!!
    #11