Change of Plans '10: Cabo to Redmond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by G-Tex, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    This ride report will continue a trip that I started back in late November/early December where I rode from Texas to Baja;

    Change of Plans '09: Cabo Edition

    The continuation plan is such:

    July 8th: DFW to SJD (Get bike and fix rear tire)
    July 9th: SJD to Catavina
    July 10th: Catavina to El Capitan State Beach, California
    July 11th: El Capitan to San Francisco
    July 12th: San Francisco to Humboldt Redwoods
    July 13th: Humboldt Redwoods to Crater Lake, Oregon
    July 14th: Crater Lake to Redmond (BMW MOA INTERNATIONAL RALLY)
    July 15th: Redmond (BMW MOA INTERNATIONAL RALLY)
    July 16th: Redmond to Twin Falls, ID
    July 17th: Twin Falls, ID to Hays, KS (Iron Butt SS1000)
    July 18th: Hays, KS to Dallas, TX

    10 Riding Days, ~4400 Miles.

    Any and all are welcome to join in for any portions, or the entire trip.

    Updates to come.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,015
    Keep us updated :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    THANKS GB! WILL DO! :D
    #3
  4. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    Does anybody have any recommendations for rides north out of San Francisco in the direction of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park? I was thinking about sticking close to the coast, but I don't want to miss out on any hidden goodies.:deal

    Also, same question, but from the HRSP to Crater Lake...

    Thanks in advance!
    #4
  5. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    Well, I'm heading to Cabo on May 20th to pick up the bike. I'll be heading on a b-line for Orange County. Tacos will be eaten, miles ridden, and smiles had by your's truly.

    Updates to come!:clap
    #5
  6. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    Summary:

    2 Days
    1200 Miles
    2 Rear Tires
    Cabo to Newport Beach!

    Updates to Come!

    :deal
    #6
  7. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    Night 1:

    Ambitious, is how I would describe what I undertook a couple weeks ago. The plan was to fly from DFW to Cabo on Thursday night, taxi to the storage shed holding my beloved F650 Dakar, and get a move on towards Newport Beach, California.

    Sounds simple, right?

    Well, this ride report is a tale of why doing a ride on a tight schedule can be a bad idea.

    The facts:

    1) The bike needed a new battery.
    2) The bike needed a new rear tire.
    3) The bike needed to be in Newport Beach by 7:30 on Saturday night.

    The Prep:

    1) AGV Battery of dubious sizing was procured. The Chain Gang site stated that people had mixed results with the fitment of said battery, but I was limited to non-spillable batteries due to flight restrictions.

    2) I had taken off Michelin Anakees before the initial trip to Cabo: TKC's were fitted. My take-off Anakees were being saved for me by the stalwart KTM shop, Cycletown South in Lancaster, Texas. Upon return to CTS, the rear tire (the one I needed) was reported stolen...:confused Curtis gave me a Michelin Enduro Competition II tire and swore it could take me from Cabo to Newport. I was a bit weary and tried to research the tire online, but came up with nothing. Knowing Curtis had never led me astray, I checked the tire as luggage.

    3) I got good sleep on Wednesday night.

    I roll into DFW airport for my 6:45 flight to SJD and find out that my plane has been delayed until 8:45.


    :ken American Airlines.


    Finally, we're airborne.


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    Quite a bit of lightning in the storm front that is the scourge of my evening...

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allownetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/woodrg0/Cabo%20to%20Newport/IMG_7111.flv" width="600" height="361">

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    I arrive at SJD around 11pm local time.

    Quick Taxi and I arrive at San Jose Storage.

    The bike is there! Just as I left it!

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    Now, to try out this huge honking battery!

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    IT FITS!!!

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    But the battery cable aren't really long enough...

    Jose and I give it hell...

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    Success!!! We have Fact/Prep cohesion and all is well with the world!!!

    Load up the bike and head to the Posada Real Resort...not a dump, but for sure not a place I would take my family; it's one of the cheapest secure places you can stay in San Jose del Cabo.

    Asleep by 1:30am, I know that Day 1 is going to be a bear!:deal
    #7
  8. waltwhitman

    waltwhitman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    123
    good stuff
    #8
  9. GSdiablo

    GSdiablo cubical farmer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    On the wrong side of the river
    looking forward to this one:clap
    #9
  10. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    DAY 1:

    I awake with the sun on Day 1.

    [​IMG]

    I know that I need to do the following:

    1) Go to the Honda Dealership in San Jose del Cabo to have my new rear tire placed on the bike.
    2) Snap a picture of me and the bike at the Tropic of Cancer sign, which I had not been able to accomplish on the way down, having gone the Western Route down the Cape through Todos Santos.
    3) Roll into Guerrero Negro this evening before dark.

    Assumed Stats:
    1 Tire
    591 Miles:

    [​IMG]

    It's 7:45am and I had been told by my friend Jose at the Storage Facility that the Honda Dealership would open at 8am, but they couldn't fix my tire until 9am.

    With a typcial norte attitude, I thought that I would show up early, plead my case of need and timing, and all would be good with the world; I'd be on the road by 9:30 at the latest!!! Hooray! :evil

    WRONG!!!

    I pulled up to Honda SJD and there was a "watchman" of sorts who was waiting around for nothing in particular. We exchanged some buen dia pleasantries and I settled in for a wait of indeterminable length...

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    As one would guess...one pickup with all 5 employees showed up at exactly 9am. I spoke with Miguel and he said "2 hours" for the tire. This sounded rather long, but I had no other option at this point. I asked if we could do it faster and he said, "perhaps, 1.5 hours"...

    OK...

    So, I head across the street to a tienda and get a Topo Chico and some mineral water. I come back and the wheel is gone. Apparently, they took the wheel offsite to do the work. This makes me nervous and curious as to why this Honda Shop had been recommended.

    Oh, did I say Honda Shop? I meant to say "Honda" Shop! The place had an outdoor workshop, which is normal for Mexico. What it lacked was Hondas. There were ZERO Honda motorcycles being worked on in a relatively large shop. Those motorcycles that were there, can only be described as a motley assortment. Junkers, scooters, a couple mid 90s dirtbikes, and a Ducati Monster 900e upon which all the guys in the shop were taking turns running around town.

    Staff: 6 dudes, only 1 of whom seemed to know what he was doing...lots of posturing. I felt sorry for them, because it didn't look like they had any business. :huh Sad.

    After about 2 hours the wheel with my new tire/tube returns. :super

    AS they are fitting the tire, I notice that there are two VERY IMPORTANT PARTS missing...where the hell are my chain sag adjusters?

    It SHOULD look something like this...but it didn't.

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    "Where are the adjusters?"

    "No Se"

    "Where are the adjusters?"

    "No Se"

    This is not good. I know that I will have to check chain tension every time I stop in order to know whether I was going to lose the chain at any given point. :kboom

    With the wheel back on and hopefully secure, I run back to the hotel and get the bike outfitted for the trip.

    At 11:45, I am on the road north. The bike feels good and I am pleased to be back in Baja, if only for a short time.

    :ricky

    Tropic of Cancer!!!!

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    Mex 1 is a great road.

    I pull up to La Paz and make my second check of the chain tension...

    I notice...this:

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    That "tire" that I was assured could do way more than 1000 miles, had in fact gone to crap in the short ride between San Jose and La Paz; barely 110 Miles.

    :kboom

    It is around 2pm and I know that I am pushing it already...now, I need to find a place to get a "new" tire. In the back of my mind I'm saying "But wait, this is Mexico, there's no such thing as "stock" in Mexico; everything is ordered in, on demand. I'm screwed." This is precisely why I brought a tire from el Norte in the first place.

    I honk a couple times at a guy on a Chinese Cruiser and ask him about "my llanta" and the need for a "moto llanteria".

    The guy was quite nice takes me here:

    [​IMG]

    Motos Baja! I talk to the proprietor, a jokester who introduced himself as "Cheech"...very funny dude.

    He first says that they'll put a high performance street tire on...WAY TOO BIG...I pass on the opportunity. He then goes dumpster diving out behind the shop...LITERALLY.

    He pops up with a Dunlop of unknown provenance...however, it is the perfect size for the Dakar.

    I ask if the tire could make it to San Diego.

    Cheech says, "jes, jes....the tire can make it my friend."

    I express some skepticism.

    Cheech emotes, "My friend, it will make it. Nooooooooo problem, my friend. IT will make it to San Diego, but maybe you get a new tire in Tijuana."

    Confused and desperate, we start the terms negotiation;

    He says "800 pesos" fitted...

    I say "500"...He says "ok".

    [​IMG]

    I then ask where I can get some food and off I go on their recommendation. Their place was closed, so I started exploring for tacos.

    All of a sudden, Cheech comes bumping up from the shop;

    "My friend, you have a beeeeeeeeg problem"

    At this point he shows me the interior parts of the Chain Tension Adjuster and says he thinks the situation is dangerous.

    I express my disdain for my earlier "help" and that I don't have any choice, but to ride and check.

    Cheech says, "My friend...maybe for you, we can...for you, make someTHING."

    I tell him to go for it and he takes off for the shop. I have had many backcountry repairs performed on various vehicles in Mexico. The quality of the work is usually of a high standard and something is better than nothing.

    I find a place to eat:

    MEGA TORTA!!!

    [​IMG]

    Quite TASTY!

    I head back to the shop. Approximately 45 minutes had passed since I showed up at the front door of Baja Motos.

    This is what I find:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These guys are good! Notice the "fix" of the chain adjuster...A thick washer is something and something is better than nothing, indeed!!!

    I notice that they have some stickers, so I ask for one...

    Cheech insists that their secretary put the sticker on my bags. He was sneaking peeks while she was at work:

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    Blanca, the secretary must not have spoken English, because Cheech was being a bit dirty with the banter as she was stooping and bending. Something about "dogs" and "it" being the "best way"... I digress.

    I say goodbye and for their efforts, I end up giving 600 pesos for the efforts; fair in my opinion, as the shop had a lot of work and they had taken the time to help a traveler in need. Now, I just hope that the tire holds until San Diego/Newport Beach.

    Back on the road around 3:30, I start making time heading north.

    Ciudad Constitution and Ciudad Insurgentes fly by...

    Loreto is in my sights and I roll through around 6pm.

    I decide that it will be impossible to make Guerrero Negro for the evening. The Oasis town of Mulege will do, but my ride for the next day will be brutal.

    [​IMG]

    I check into the Hotel Mulege and take a shower. I am exhausted. Quick meal across the street featured one of the best Shrimp cocktails, I've ever had. UNREAL!

    I come back to the hotel and run into fellow ADV'r, Flyboy 350, down from Vancouver.

    We chat for a little while and I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a minimum of 700 miles. :deal

    Should be interesting...

    More to Come.
    #10
  11. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    Day 2:

    Day 1 was brutal. The two tire changes, heat, a measure of desperation, and the spectre of not making the correct mileage all weighed heavily on my thoughts.

    Day 2 would be worse mileage-wise and I was still a bit concerned about Cheech's Dunlop riding follow-up...:huh

    The Plan:

    [​IMG]

    Mulege to Newport Beach, CA: 726 Miles!

    I awake at about 4am :eek1 and load up the bike. Thankfully, I had filled up coming into town the night before, because there was nothing stirring in town.

    I get my 100 peso key deposit back from the front desk and it was time to hit the road.

    The air in Mulege is a bit heavy and the relatively steep climb out of town reveals a thin fog veil hovering over the valley oasis. Riding along the Sea of Cortez towards Santa Rosalia, I feel good for the first time on the ride up. I know that I must relax today and deal with whatever the road presented.

    Gas time:

    [​IMG]

    After filling up in S. Rosalia, I immediately climb to about 1000' ASL.

    [​IMG]

    The winds were freshening and storm clouds were ahead. I didn't want a replay of the conditions on my way south in November. Rain would be a BAD thing today.:(:

    Weather notwithstanding, I start averaging about 85 miles an hour through the early morning hours. After clearing the lefthander at thee Tres Virgines Volcano, the skies cleared and I was head down towards Guerrero Negro.

    [​IMG]

    I grab a couple tacos at a Birria stand, chug a sprite and get back on the road.

    After passing the Giant Eagle, I am in Baja California...Goodbye for now, BC SUR!

    [​IMG]


    Last fill up at a Pemex for 200+ Miles in Villa Jesus Maria. I have my MSR bottles filled as well:

    [​IMG]

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    This 200 mile stretch has two potential opportunities to fill up on gas.

    1) Turn Off for the Bay of Los Angeles:

    Often with the following situation:
    [​IMG]

    I reached the turn-off for BoLA and the two pickup trucks were indeed waiting for a dumby like me. The guy maybe put in 1.5 gallons and I paid 150 pesos for the pleasure of doing business with him. Highway robbery came quickly to mind, but he's providing a service that Pemex refuses to do on their own, so I can't carp too much.

    That's the game, though. Northbound traffic with small tanks must stop at the turn for BoLA, or risk running out of gas before El Rosario. There is a pretty high likelihood that gas will be available in Cataviña, but a bird in the hand....or gallon in the tank...is worth 60 more miles to me. In the middle of the desert, 150 pesos is solid insurance.

    Speaking of Cataviña, that is the next semi-inhabited place along the way north and home to the infamous Desert Motel and barrel gas.

    But first, I pass through the rock mountain/rock garden leading up to the Boojum forest kingdom of Cataviña.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The pictures don't really do the "rock mountain" justice, but you can tell that instead of looking like a "normal" mountain, the "rock mountain" has no cohesive surface; it looks like a bulldozer piled up a huge group of boulders into a 400-500 foot tall mountain. Quite impressive.


    2) Cataviña:

    When I came through, there were 3 or 4 folks pulled to the side of the road, offering travelers gasolina de barril. I tanked up, this time about 1.5 gallons and the price was a relatively modest 70 pesos. These folks were making an honest profit, no overreaching about it.

    Some shots of Cataviña:

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    Feeling calm and collected that I have all the gas I will need to get out of The Desierto Central, I haul much ass north, only to be stopped at a pretty crazy road construction project.

    I've never see anything like it, but when there is only one road, there is only one road; you have to do construction on it with traffic. Basically, 3 large graders would run out in front of the one-way traffic. Being on the moto, I pulled to the front of the line and snapped a few pictures:

    [​IMG]

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    When it was our time to go, I fell in behind the 3rd and final grader. Up on the pegs, because they were putting in the substrate; a mix of some very light clay-based soil, and fist-sized rocks in a graham-cracker crust consistency. Fun...to an extent.

    Head down , I get by the construction site and hit a rather in-depth Military Checkpoint:

    [​IMG]

    Thorough inspection over, I really push hard to get to the border.

    At 5:10, I'm in Ensenada. Fill-up at a Pemex/7-11...I know I'm getting close now!

    At 6:15...

    [​IMG]

    I took the advice from many travelers/fellow adv'r types and stuck to the SENTRI lane on the far right-hand side. At the very last second, I cut back into the normal lanes and wiggled my way to the front; total border delay for me was less than 15 minutes!!!:rilla

    Squarely back on US Soil, I haul on up "the 5" to Newport Beach and into the sleepy neighborhood where my friends Jon and Maggie live...

    Arrival: 7:25pm Pacific Time...

    [​IMG]

    The bike needed some rest and so did I;

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    Cheech was right...the tire worked out JUST FINE!

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    A little fun in the sun the next Day...

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    and....homeward bound!

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. G-Tex

    G-Tex Sneaky Bastard

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    A Heavily Fortified Compound in North Oak Cliff
    Next Up...

    July trip from Newport to Redmond.:deal
    #12