Baja Asylum Run '06....Baja or Bajaj?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gaspipe, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Baja is just one of those mystical places of which a rider can never get enough. Faintly reminiscent of an addiction, riding across the open desert of Baja feeds, and proliferates, an insatiable thirst of which I can never be satiated. The elusive feeling of being at peace with my demons while roosting the sand roads of life permeate my soul when I am in the vast, empty expanses of the Vizcaino desert.

    My personal and professional life conspired to thwart me of my annual exploration of the terraceria less traveled in Baja. However, thanks to Lasvegasrider, Leewildwater, Gypsyrider, JumpingChollo and Ibarra for rallying my mindset - reminding me that things happen to you for a reason. You can let the circumstances of life control you, or you can control them. I choose the latter, and luck be damned. As such, in the 11th hour, I chose to pursue the convoluted path of irresponsibility, and the road of adventure and challenge. I chose the magic of Baja, rather than the slow death of asphyxiation in the endless morasse of everyday life.

    I chose Baja.

    Lee set out from North Carolina on Monday eve, and we set course for Calexico early Tuesday morning from Casa de Gaspipe. We'd never ridden together before, however, we met after I put on a presentation of riding Baja last year at the Horizons Unlimited meeting in NC. We motored west and ended up in Amarillo, TX the first night. Lee and I became great friends during this journey west, and laughed our way along. We never even turned on the radio.

    Amarillo, TX.

    [​IMG]

    Why are there three bikes with us? More on that later. Ibarra had a rather difficult crisis arrive on his doorstep, precluding him from coming about three weeks before we were to go. The ride almost dissolved entirely. However, the others were determined, and the plans went forward.

    Early on Wednesday, as we crossed the Painted Desert of Arizona, we learned that 'Chollo has some immense pressures placed upon him, and couldn't get away. Lee and I motored west, arriving at Calexico - 1,900 miles in two days.

    I got busy finishing the prep on my 650R and the 640ADV, needing a new chain on the XR, and some smaller tweaks on both bikes to get them ready to go. Lee and I hit the border, and obtained a Tourist Visa for Lee, and found a cambio to change some greenbacks to some of Vicente Fox's paper. We test packed, and we're ready to roll.

    LOWRIDER!

    Lasvegasrider dropped me a VM - he was enroute and would be in Calexico in the early evening.

    [​IMG]

    What's left to do?

    Oh, yeah......this.....

    [​IMG]

    LVR arrived at ~1900, and we went to work depleting the bar's supply cache. It'd been awhile since LVR and I crossed paths, and a celebration was in order. GypsyRider materialized, and the core was there - and I brought him my 640 ADV to ride.

    Morning came fast - it usually does when you CLOSE the bar. More money is exchanged, bikes packed, ibuprofens chewed, copious amounts of coffee consumed....

    Then the reality of intercontinental bureaucracy reared it's head, and at the crack of 1300, we got underway :bluduh

    [​IMG]

    A quick break at La Ventana, and off we go again....

    [​IMG]


    ---more later---
    #1
  2. CMWoody

    CMWoody Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,248
    Location:
    Hooterville, NC
    I had no idea you were such an elloquent writer.

    Looks like a great ride man, on a great XR to boot. Staying tuned.:lurk
    #2
  3. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,529
    Location:
    Westby Wisconsin
    This is gonna be good! I can't wait.
    #3
  4. richard cabesa

    richard cabesa The Mayor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,607
    Location:
    Santa Cabesa

    It's later now :D

    :lurk
    #4
  5. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Itineraries are a concept I long since abandoned in my journies through Mexico. The more rigid and ambitious it is, the more disappointed you shall become. Before we even left the US, we were on our heels. I love it.

    Through the laguna seca and onwards to La Ventana we went. I'd hoped to get an early start this day, and ride west out of Mexicali to La Rumorosa, then on up into the pine forests to Ojos Negros, but that wasn't meant to be. Maybe Mike's or El Coyote for dinner and a bed? Nope. Not gonna happen. We had to slab it south to San Felipe :baldy A quick stop at La Ventana for some totopos and water, and we're off again.

    [​IMG]

    San Felipe isn't one of my favorite places. Not that it's a bad place, it just more SoCal than it is Baja, at least to me. But it is a nice place to put your feet up, sip a beer, have a fish taco, and watch the tide do it's thing.

    [​IMG]

    Funny how life's headaches seem like a bad dream already.....

    [​IMG]

    Pass me a menu, we're not going much farther today now anyway.

    [​IMG]

    My boots unbuckled, belly full, I watch the tide go out. I've never stayed in SF before. Seems like tonight will be that first time now.

    [​IMG]

    Life's good for me in this place. :nod


    ----more----
    #5
  6. drex

    drex So Cal

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    118
    Been waiting for this ever since you started building the XR. Sweet! I'm heading for Baja this weekend for a quick jaunt. :D
    #6
  7. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Baja!

    [​IMG]

    But we're sorely missing Ibarra and 'chollo......a ghost rider image for those less fortunate......

    [​IMG]

    We saddle up, and head a bit south of the main drag to find a place to rest our bones tonight. After a brush with the law :huh we found some good digs, and burrowed in for the night.

    [​IMG]

    Rooms secured, a walk on the beach is in order. Watch the sun go down, explore the tidal flats, enjoy the sea.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lee and LVR getting into being here. Relax doods, it only gets better from here on out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We ate lunch late, so dinner wasn't required. A couple beers, some totopos y salsa, and we're set.

    [​IMG]

    Traveling light is my schtick. Socks and riding shorts washed and drying on the bike is a daily event, at least when water is available.

    Drifting off to sleep, visions of sugarplum faeries....errr....XR650R's dancing in my head....

    [​IMG]


    ---more later---
    #7
  8. lasvegasrider

    lasvegasrider To the edge of the continents

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,613
    Location:
    Vegas
    Our lives seem to exist to serve those around us - our clients, our families, our modern commitments. This all changed a few years ago when I once again immersed myself in riding. In short order riding evolved into something far more relevant - adventure rides of exploration, and sharing my newfound obsession with those that shared the passion.

    The backcountry areas of Baja, removed from the ordinary urbanized tourist locations, has become an obsession for some of us. I hope you like this little tale of our trip to that magical land.


    Our pre-ride planning had several unexpected twists, and our pac of seven was quickly reduced to four riders, with a late arrival by Jeff Jones planned by in no way certain to occur. I had my XR650r all ready to go and then DMV needed another form to supplement the title work processed in December 2005. On Tuesday, the 6th of February, I was advised that it would take a week or so to get everything in order - NO XR650r for Baja , as my departure from Las Vegas was in less than 48 hours. :cry

    Damn, I was pissed. My KLR650 was in need of a full overhaul, and I had no choice but to push it back into service One More Time. Hell, it was blowing a quart of oil into the airbox every 500 miles by the end of the Sierra Madre ride in October, the shock and forks are shot, cracks, leaks and bent rims add up to one tired ride.

    Screw it, I thought - I am GOING!:deal




    more in a bit....
    #8
  9. Hawk

    Hawk Pretentious Fukwit!!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    28,757
    Location:
    Paradise
    :lurk
    #9
  10. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Day 2 Starts....

    Another sunrise in Baja. Don't miss it. :clap

    [​IMG]

    They get better and better the more miles you put under your wheels. Don't miss 'em.

    :freaky

    -----more tomorrow----
    #10
  11. lasvegasrider

    lasvegasrider To the edge of the continents

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,613
    Location:
    Vegas
    Work, WOrk, WORK - Geez, after servicing my clients until noon, I finally get the new chain and tires on the KLR, and it is already 1pm when the garage door closes behind me.

    Damn, I got to hit it to get to Mexicali - 350 miles is no big deal, but the sun is already setting it sights on the horizon as I approach Needles, CA.
    [​IMG]

    And here we go again - chunked! This little jem of tire has dropped 8 of its knobs and I have already pumped a quart of oil out of the motor..



    :fall What the hell was I thinking?:fall

    [​IMG]



    Well, I go to Autozone, pick up 3 quarts of oil, DECREASE the tire pressure from 32 to 28psi, and go into dragass slow mode and putter on down at a whopping 55mph, in the dark.. Finally, my oil blower is brought to a halt adjacent to Lees truck and the three bikes that do not blow oil like an infant on a choclate Exlax binge :brow

    :kbasa Lets go find some BEER!:dutch :strum

    [​IMG]




    SO, they are Applebees, eh? Man, it better be happy hour!:deal



    Heyyyy BRUCE! - YAYA, good to see ya too, now lets get a freakin coldone right here!:knary
    [​IMG]



    Geez, waitress is so slow I headed to the head to make some serious room for the brew - I am happy about my oil blowers performance so far, and it shows golldamnit!

    [​IMG]


    Oh no, Lee is dropping PCP into my freaking beer - Great idea - lets put some in funking KLR too - that petroleum sieve could use some perking up!:dog


    [​IMG]





    And then Jan Marc arrives and Lee is rubbing his ear with...

    :up SALIVA!:2cry

    Run, Jan Marc, RUNNNN!
    [​IMG]



    What a crew - :ricky:clap I Luv these Guys! :clap :ricky



    (Lee, Jan Marc, Bruce, and the oil blowers owner)
    [​IMG]




    Yup, Lee is flicking nose candy all over the table,,, Ahhh what a night!! Lets have some more gin, and some of those dark beers, along with some light beers!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Waitress asked us if we were driving -- hell no - we are Crawling back to the Inn - so bring another round of rounds and hurry up about it!:lol3 :wings :rayof


    [​IMG]

    Happy hour is running till closing time... Waitress is turning out the lights and give us the check - $150 bucks??? Happy hour prices confirmed???

    We walk outside and develop a plan to rob the place using Bruce Lees patented "Folding Arm Skull Wacker" : a move he developed back in kindegarden.:freaky

    [​IMG]



    Ahh hell, time to go to bed as the manager is still cowering inside:lol3
    Dawn is only hours away and Baja AWAITS!:smile6


    more in a bit...
    #11
  12. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Beware the yellow baja bug of Puertecitos. It has proven to be a cruel mistress during this quest of Baja. :deal
    #12
  13. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    25,123
    Location:
    Off Piste
    :lurk
    #13
  14. lasvegasrider

    lasvegasrider To the edge of the continents

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,613
    Location:
    Vegas
    Oh my GOD its dawn already?:nod Lets do this! Yehawww buddies, we are going to Baja!

    DAMN, my head is dog kibble gravy - ughhh..:jack
    [​IMG]



    Oh ya, gearing up helps:deal
    Hey, at least the drueling episodes are subsiding...:lol3
    [​IMG]

    Lee is doing MUCH better too:huh

    [​IMG]

    Bruce mounts up and then droops onto the handlbar -
    we are so ready to do this!:lol3

    [​IMG]

    Jan Marc has to sort out his gear and get loaded up... took a bit longer than he thought it would...:jkam

    [​IMG]

    I feel a bit of facial movement -
    only took about 6 coffees and a pinched finger in the tie-down rachet:lol3 :lol2

    [​IMG]


    Well, I got a bit ansy so I took the petroleum perculator out for a short spin -
    Geez it was now peeing oil like a little prom queen at a high school keggar - WTF...:baldy


    [​IMG]










    And to boot, Bruce has gone nappy time :eek1- Geez, it was only a $150 bucks of discounted swill, not like we got hammered or anything :snore

    [​IMG]


    Hell, I think he is dead!
    Hey Lee, role over here and check his temp with your anal thermometer!


    [​IMG]

    Lee, come on dude, Bruce needs a probe, and quick!
    [​IMG]


    Well, Lee checked out Bruce, twice, found that Bruce was alive (it was like an episode of Feces and You - Discovery channel), and Jan Marc got settled into the saddle so we are off to BAJA!

    Ohhh, my head has improved so much that now, when I lean it on my shoulder ,I cut down the double vision by 5%!:beer

    [​IMG]

    more in a bit...:deal


    #14
  15. lasvegasrider

    lasvegasrider To the edge of the continents

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,613
    Location:
    Vegas
    All joking aside, my trips to Mexico start after the border. All the planning, or lack thereof, begin to pale in the light of the Experience. I treasure the moment of passage.

    Ok, back to my storyboard:lol3


    Jan Marc has some paperwork to do and I find this vagrant near a government tourista office... I move closer... Ah hell, its one of our gang!

    :freaky Lee "Bob"!:freaky
    [​IMG]


    1pm and we are FINALLY in our beloved Baja - the urban zone must be put behind us quickly, so we get serious and ride south toward the back country....

    Jan Marc on one of Bruce's KTM 640 Adventure's -
    yup, its prepped, including the suspension..
    [​IMG]

    Lee on his well prepared XR650r gets with the post-border program.
    [​IMG]

    Bruce, Lee, and myself, on the Exxon Valdez KLR650 OilSpewer

    [​IMG]

    Lee keeps the naps to a minimum - only indulging in them while riding:lol3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tramming on da Slab - Oh, just a little longer....:huh

    [​IMG]


    The three of us with heavy hangovers are awakening - Jan Marc played the prior evening out with sodas...:wink:


    :1drinkHey Bruce, we are in funking BAJA Buddy!!:clap

    [​IMG]

    Lee, right back at ya! We will be done slabbing it in short order!

    [​IMG]


    Hey Jan Marc - The slab liner run will not last - Just wait til tomorrow!

    [​IMG]


    Hey me, it almost dirty time!:lol3

    [​IMG]


    The haul to San Felipe is well under way and Bruce is still looking for a place to put his boots - sigghhhhh...

    [​IMG]

    San Felipe, meet the BAR gang 06!:freaky

    [​IMG]

    OH no! Rice and Beans in San Felipe, Baja, MX. How could so much good come to such a motley bunch?:lol3

    Jan Marc, Lee and Bruce struggle to consume some mightly fine fish taco platters -
    Life is hard guys!~:deal

    [​IMG]


    Low tide, fish-boat lift pickups, and a few dualsport hotrods - Ahhh, yes!:clap

    [​IMG]



    Lee and Bruce check out the fish net and tidal flats outside our hotel..

    [​IMG]



    "What do you think about my Fengbu DualSporter Flipper Slippers Lee? I think they are choking my toes"!:huh

    [​IMG]

    While Lee and bruce discuss footwear, I find ONE fish that the Seagulls have not impaled with their beaks and make a determined effort to save it - ..

    [​IMG]


    It was barely alive, using a small volumn of seawater to flush its gills. Pulling it free from the net while holding it in the seawater was awkward, but eventually I got it into open water, all the while immersing it in various water puddles on the way to let it get some O2..


    Bruce and Lee joined up with me at the end of the transplant - I don't know if it made it, but it was moving its gills in the water : shock -trauma?? Well, it was time to head back..


    [​IMG]


    "Hey buddies, they have a BAR on the beach"!

    The pace then quickens... to a slow stroll...:lol3

    [​IMG]


    Jan Marc was still debilitated form his soda orgy the prior night, so Bruce took charge of soda opening chores for the night.

    [​IMG]


    We were out of the bar in under 30 minutes - It was riding that was on our minds - tomorrow we leave da slab!:clap :clap :deal :freaky

    [​IMG]


    Goodnight San Felipe ...


    [​IMG]






    -:wave Hello Day 2 -:clap
    :rayofwe are hitting the dirt today!!!:freaky :tb :wings

    [​IMG]







    more tomorrow... :eek1
    #15
  16. ZenMoto

    ZenMoto Bikeslut

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    687
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA.
    :lurk
    #16
  17. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    A cup of coffee, and we're outta here. My new $2 FENGBU flip flops suck. Note to self: Double check the size BEFORE you buy. Evidently a ChiCom size 10 is waaaaaay different than a US size 10. :bluduh

    [​IMG]

    Where are we going to go today? :dunno Let's ride and find out......south!

    The road from San Felipe to Puertecitos is somewhat famous for being a bit, ah, rough. Once upon a time, it was asphalted, but the asphalt layer was absurdly thin, and layed over a poorly prepared road bed. Needless to say, even under the comparatively light traffic load, it self destructed into one of the best pothole roads I have ever seen.

    I love G-ing out in the vados and wheelieing back out, slaloming the potholes and mixing it up running the sand roads alongside. But I lost my coffee cup and bedroll within a dozen clicks or so. Thank goodness for Friday Gringo traffic --- I got it all back from other motorists by doubling back, and doing it all again.

    Lee rides up.....

    [​IMG]

    And rides on by......

    [​IMG]

    Gaspipe posing for the cactus. That bike sure is clean 'n shiny.....

    [​IMG]

    The dry winter certainly has made the fauna much, much more drab than last year.

    LVR is hardly able to communicate his emotions.

    [​IMG]

    :lol3
    --more later---
    #17
  18. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    I re-stowed my bedroll, and rode off south into Puertecitos to catch the guys. As I entered the southern edge of the pueblo, I rounded a downhill curve and gassed it. What I didn't realize was there was a road coming into the main road from the left that I couldn't see. An individual in a yellow VW motored out of that side road right across the main road without stopping - or even looking. For a split second, I could see this person looking left at another approaching vehicle. There was a rock wall on my right, a rocky and steep drop off to my left. Nowhere to go. I was on the brakes HARD.....

    The XR and the VW impacted hard enough that it made a terrific bang, and down I went. Oddly, the XR, lying on its side, kept chugging happily along while I shook out the cobwebs. What happened? I picked myself up and saw the VW driving away north up the hill and around the curve. The bastage kept going. :boid

    Aside from my right hand, which was completely numb, I felt fine. Picking up the bike with my left hand, I noticed my right hand doesn't work to well. ATGATT. Boots, knee braces, body armor, armored gloves, composite lid, goggles - that stuff did a helluva job. I musta took a good lick to the noggin, as I didn't even have the presence of mind to snap a pic. :huh

    I pulled my glove off. Uh oh, that funky lump doesn't look good. Doesn't hurt much though... The person in the other vehicle stopped and asked if I was OK.....

    Lee rode up, I threw a dusty leg over the bike, and we went into town to catch up with LVR and GR. Hmm....can't seem to operate the front brake or the throttle too well. Crap! How could this happen on the morning of the second day? Last year I hit a dog and broke a couple ribs in another freaky crash. WTF is going on here? :huh

    We straightened the forks and fixed the right handguard. The rear subframe was tweaked a bit, but the bike sure looked rideable. My hand, however, felt really weird. Gloves back on, we took off out of town. Just a few miles later, my right glove felt unbearable tight, and I just couldn't seem to muster any strength in my hand. No brake, jerky throttle, and I couldn't support myself while standing on the pegs with that arm. So we stopped again.

    The right glove was so tight that I wasn't sure I could get it off. Ooooh, that's looking worse. LVR wrapped it up with a Ace bandage, and it looked worse yet. That funky lump thing isn't looking good at all.

    [​IMG]

    For a few minutes, I contemplate what to do. I've come 1,900 miles across the country, worked 110 days in a row to get the time off, and now here I am 180 miles south of the border with a lame flipper.

    What to do? Go back to the US, and maybe get this looked at? Well, it sure is uncomfortable, but the pain really isn't bad. Not like 900 miles with two broken ribs. I swallow a couple ibuprofens as a preventative. There's NO WAY the glove will fit back on.

    Well, let's ride on, maybe get something to eat at Alfonsina's, and I'll think about it there.

    [​IMG]

    "Hmm....the wrist is getting really stiff now", I think to myself. But the scenery sure is nice! LVR rigs up his wrist rest, and I use my thumb to modulate the throttle. It's weird, but it works.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I decided to stick to the main road at a steady pace to relax the hand somewhat, while LVR, Lee and GR roost around the sand roads Sure looks like fun.

    [​IMG]

    I stop often to adjust the bandage, and soak in the view. Sure, my hand is FUBAR, but I think I can manage this.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Yeah, I can make this work", I think out loud to myself.

    ---more later---
    #18
  19. dieter von hexhead

    dieter von hexhead I made a doodie...

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,203
    Location:
    Phoenix,AZ.
    Michael, why do you hate our retinas?...

















    :hide

    :lol3
    #19
  20. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    A sidenote:

    Q. Why is Gaspipe not riding his usual KTM 640 ADV?
    A. Because he lent it to GypsyRider who traveled all the way from Thailand to ride Baja. And because I just finished building my tricked out '03 XR650R :thumb

    In a return gesture of faith, GypsyRider invited GP to ride the desert of North Africa, and Thailand, with him. That WILL happen sooner than you'd think.

    Dualsport riders are in a class of their own, sharing a comraderie unlike anything else I've ever known.

    Saddle up boys, and let's prepare for a trip to Africa!

    :freaky
    #20