One Noob, a vintage Honda Twin, and the 2011 Mexican 1000

Discussion in 'Racing' started by oregoncoast, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. sion

    sion sigh-own

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,122
    Location:
    Hocking Hills

    which means he saw cleavage and the camera saw the top of her head :lol3
  2. WB-PDX

    WB-PDX Long timer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,810
    Location:
    Where young people go to retire
    Epic!

    I never doubted you guys would kick ass! Thanks for not letting me down!
    :clap
  3. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Smells like Bacon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,651
    Location:
    Duh!
    Well, here is the first, somewhat long installment. We got a bunch of video, but it is going to take some time to go through it and edit something sane out of it. I have included some clips here, if you want a taste. Now, back to our story…..

    It was great meeting Uncle Doug and the Brown’s…they really helped to keep the vintage vibe going. John Brown told us of friend’s that he used to ride with..including legendary desert racer Eddie Mulder. Little did we know, we would be meeting Mulder in Mexicali!

    Uncle Doug donated an extra master link to our cause and attached it to our front brake cable like he used to do when he raced in the 70’s. Of course, because he gave us that, we had zero chain problems in Baja!

    And that was just the beginning of the vintage vibe. In LA, the next day, we met up with Gary Preston and Larry Bergquist’s son Eric. Gary was this very soft-spoken, nice man. I told the crew earlier that I would not be idol worshipping when I met Gary, but it was difficult to contain my excitement. Gary told stories of his racing days – including his relationship with Bergquist and the Honda Twin.

    [​IMG]

    Gary told how he had only ridden the bike when he raced it. In the first Mexican 1000, he never got to ride it because the battery had failed on Larry and the switch off was never made. He then raced it in the 7-11 and then the Mexican 1000 again, when they won it. Gary said he always rode the crappy night shift on races with Larry, “because Larry had a better relationship with the sponsors!” Gary told me that racing in Baja is a lot about luck. Like when he was able to find his gas stash in the middle of the dry lakebed in the middle of the night. Luck? This man possessed some serious skill…the extent of which I tried to understand as I was riding the course in Baja, imagining doing it at night, with gas hidden along the way, and no sweep vehicle to check up on me if I fell. Luck my ass.

    Gary told me he quit racing so he could run his business (a bicycle shop) and that he could not afford to get injured and not be at the shop. This man walked away from off-road racing while at the top of his game. I asked him if he missed it. Gary told me he misses it every single day.

    Here’s a short clip of Gary talking about the early Mexican 1000’s:

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/23780264?byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="601" height="338" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    Eric Bergquist brought a book of his dad&#8217;s racing exploits and gave us a copy. He also brought a bronze helmet of his dad. We all touched it for good luck. Eric was very nice guy who had an honest love for his dad and the sport of off-road racing. Eric got excited when Gary brought out some photos from the glory days that he had not seen before. Eric is doing a great job documenting this part of off-road racing history&#8230;his dad would be proud.

    Gary sat on the old SL for some pictures&#8230;but never asked to take it for a spin. He graciously signed the tank, along with Eric, in honor of his dad. :clap

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was an awesome day for me and Outta Sight Racing. Things would have been a whole lot easier if I just rode bitch with Gary Preston :D
    [​IMG]

    Gary winning the 1968 Mexican 1000:
    [​IMG]

    We picked up Johnny D at LAX, then stayed in San Diego for the night. In the hotel rooms, the evenings became control central as Luke worked over the GPS files and the boys assigned duties and agreed on some tactics. Alex took on the role of logistics command, and for the rest of the trip, made sure the crew had food and a place to sleep. I slept in the van many of the nights&#8230;as my pre-race anxiety made me want to have some time to think outside the group. The crew seemed to have difficulty understanding why I would want to sleep in the van. Luke understood this, but then again, Luke understands a lot.

    May 4: Mexicali &#8211; We easily pass the border thanks to Alex and his Spanish skills, the border crossing was not busy and it looked like going over early morning was a good idea. The hotel parking lot was starting to fill up with some cool racing vehicles and we knew we would be spending some time just gawking about. Met up with Bill from Mag 7 pits and he gave us some tee shirts and explained the game plan. If all of the people involved were going to be this cool, we would be having a good time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The parking lot was buzzing with activity as racers and mechanics made some finishing touches or complete overhauls on their vehicles right before tech inspection. We got our room and discovered that we were in the room beside Eddie Mulder. I named dropped the Brown&#8217;s name from Santa Barbara and he immediately knew who I was talking about and asked how they were doing. Eddie was a very congenial guy, as he walked around with a huge cigar and a cold beer. It turns out that he was riding part of the race, and I would watch him pass my slow ass shortly after the start! Eddie was also the guy doing tech inspections on the bikes. He liked our bike. He sat down beside me, handed me the time-keeping sticker log to put on the front fender and basically told me to have fun. That was it. No checking if anything worked&#8230;or if the bike even ran&#8230;.here&#8217;s your sticker&#8230;have fun!

    Baja Champion Joe Desrosiers introduced himself and told me he was looking forward to seeing our bike. Joe had raced an old CZ in last year&#8217;s race and he told of a spectacular crash he had on it. He told me he didn&#8217;t know where that bike was, and he didn&#8217;t care. Joe told me he would never race a bike that old again. At the time, I felt that maybe Joe was playing some pre-race racer head games with me, but now I think he just hated riding that old bike&#8230;lol. In this year&#8217;s race, he would be riding an 80&#8217;s vintage Honda XR, with nice plush mono-shock suspension and real forks, and I think his team ended up with second overall.

    Pro-racer Chilly White also introduced himself and he was excited to see the SL. Chilly had posted a story about us on his website enduro360.com and had been a fan of our efforts since the beginning. Chilly ended up getting an award at the end of the race for his efforts in promoting the race and his great sportsmanship. Even though Chilly was racing a different race than me (in terms of skill and position), he showed genuine interest in our team and wanted to see the SL finish the race. He is a real gentleman racer. This year he would be racing a 1991 KTM 250cc two-stroke, and would wind up have his own Baja mechanical adventure.

    Chilly's ride:
    [​IMG]

    That night, at the rider&#8217;s meeting, they mentioned that the course had changed slightly but that they had updated the GPS files to match the latest road book. This apparently proved to not be true. Apparently, the Lowrance files were updated, but the Garmin were not. We had Garmin. However, this has been addressed ad nauseum by some here and other threads&#8230;so we&#8217;ll move on.

    They showed some classic Baja racing footage set to the &#8220;Dust to Glory&#8221; theme song. It was cool seeing footage of Bergquist&#8217;s Honda Twin tearing up the desert on the big screen. Meyer&#8217;s Manx inventor, Bruce Meyers was there and was honored for his support and impact on the sport of off-road racing. His buggy was the first four-wheeled vehicle to have an overall win at the Mexican 1000, thus ending the motorcycle&#8217;s reign at the top. Later in La Paz, we would get a crew picture with Meyer&#8217;s and I shook his hand and said &#8216;nice to meet you,&#8217; he said, &#8220;You&#8217;re being awfully nice, you want a free buggy or something?&#8221; Nah, just a picture, Bruce.

    As mentioned by Paul Jr., right before the race was to start, I noticed oil collecting in the skid plate. At first I was pissed that my crew had not spotted it earlier&#8230;but neither had I. They figured out it was the kickstarter seal and set to work fixing it. We did not have a new seal..but we did have a spare case cover if that was necessary. Luke was able to muck with it enough to get it to hold oil&#8230;for the most part.

    [​IMG]

    He buttoned it back up and we were off to the ceremonial start at the bull-fighting arena.

    This NORRA race is only in its second year, so it is struggling to build up a fan base as well as racer involvement. The starts and finishes are not teeming with crowds, but I think as the race grows, so will the fans. Funny thing is, there were more local people watching the race out on the course than there were seeing us off&#8230;or watching us come in. How do they know where to go?? I assume they put a story in the local newspapers or radio. In any case, the ceremonial start really had no fanfare&#8230;just a big blow-up Tecate arch.

    And just like that, I was racing my first long distance race down the Baja Peninsula!! Months of preparation&#8230;tons of money&#8230;hundreds of hours of work&#8230;all for this moment! We were led on what proved to be a high-speed parade through Mexicali with police stopping traffic the best they could at intersections. I had geared the SL up, because I thought it would be a lot of high-speed dirt roads. On the highway heading to the official start Laguna Salada, the bike was hitting 70 mph easy and would have been fine at 80 mph. This gearing would prove to be a huge mistake that would become apparent very quickly. At least one of the top racers pulled off right after the ceremonial start in Mexicali. I saw him again at the real start at Laguna Salada, apparently riding the transits was not necessary??

    There were some great guys racing in this race&#8230;unfortunately, I&#8217;d have to look at the race roster to figure out their names. When we got to the staging area for the official start, one rider on a 2 stroke Honda CR pulled up beside me and told me that the SL sounded so damn sweet on the highway, he just stayed behind me to listen to it! He said he was hypnotized. Too bad this technique did not work on the course, as for the most part, I was passed by nearly everyone that morning :lol3

    The race started in what was really just an OHV park. There were trails everywhere. It was deep, soft sand and whooped to hell. I thought to myself, &#8220;If this is what today is going to be like, it&#8217;s going to be a long day.&#8221; Looking at my GPS tracks&#8230;I zigzagged all over this park, as locals were directing me on the wrong course time after time. I finally got on track and realized that I was really wringing the bike out just to stay at a decent speed. Even on the road, the sand was deep and the bike was working hard and getting hot, trying to keep pace. At about 27 miles in, I made a left turn when I should have gone straight.

    I only went a short distance before realizing I was off course (thanks to Luke&#8217;s tracks and route) I stopped to turn around and the bike died. The SL really doesn&#8217;t like to idle when being ridden hard..so I thought nothing of it. Until it would not start. Then I could smell burnt oil. Then I realized just how hot the motor had gotten. The motor was leaking oil from the side cases and there was oil coming out of the right side exhaust pipe. When I opened the oil filler, smoke billowed out. I put some oil in and tried to start her. Nothing.

    Shit! I could still hear vehicles on the race course, so maybe I was just a ¼ mile off course. I started to push the bike back toward the course, but soft sand, 95 degree heat, slight uphill, full race gear, a heavy backpack and a 340ish pound bike do not make for a good &#8220;pushing&#8221; combination. I got winded fast and was making slow progress. A few buggies came from behind me, as they made the same mistake turn I had and were headed back toward the course. They slowed, but I waved them on, not wanting to screw up their day too.

    I kept trying the bike, but it was no good. I was completely devastated. I hadn&#8217;t traveled all of this way, just to end it 27 fucking miles into the race&#8230;did I? I pushed the bike until I found a small bush that was providing a little shade. I knew I could walk back up to the course, wait for the sweep, and figure out how to get the bike back. Then I would have to figure out how to let the crew know. I went to the shade, and pretty much undressed.

    I actually layed down under that bush and considered taking a nap. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. I was also pissed off. I thought about all of the people I was letting down by ending this journey at only 27 miles. At this time, I didn&#8217;t really understand how a Baja race worked, all I had for comparison was the OMRA races and the Desert 100 that Luke and I had been doing. In those, a DNF is the end. You are done. That is not the case in Baja, especially in a multi-day format. It is a good thing I did not know that, because maybe I would have just conceded the day and tried to regroup for the next day, then again, maybe that would have been better, as you will soon see.

    Two bikes had came down the road toward me&#8230;they realized they were off course and started to turn around. I waved and yelled and ran over to them. I told them I thought the bike was dead&#8230;overheated and fucked up. I don&#8217;t know this racer&#8217;s name, but he comes up again in this story, he has a British accent. He tells me that his buddy&#8217;s XR is also overheating. I ask them to tell them at the pits that I am here and the bike is dead. He says he will, leaves, but then returns to get my bike number.

    I remembered I had the video camera in my pocket, so I recorded this sorry piece if video:

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/23781028?byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="601" height="338" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    I just checked the helmet video...and this whole breakdown is actually captured in its entirety. Pretty sad...actually. :cry You'll have to wait for that one.


    Laying there under my shade bush, I remembered something I had heard about just letting the bike cool for a bit if it was overheated. I figured that maybe there was some significant damage to the motor, considering the amount of oil coming out the side case and exhaust pipe, but I thought just maybe&#8230;.

    At this point, I had removed my pressure suit, and knee pads and was down to a tee-shirt, riding pants and un-buckled boots. I walked back over to the bike after a while, I looked up to the sky and asked Larry Bergquist for a little assistance and then threw my foot down on the kick-starter. Now, would you believe that son of a bitch started!!?? Oil puked out of the right exhaust pipe, and she sputtered for a moment. I eased on the throttle and she cleaned herself out, like clearing her throat, and there it was, that beautiful, hypnotizing exhaust note again!! No shit.

    The SL sounded so good, I trusted that she would start again, so I shut her down, gathered up my shit and piled it all on in front of me on my tank bag. My plan was just to ride the bike back to the course and wait for the sweep vehicle to come by and arrange for a pick-up to get the bike back to Mexicali, because there is no way this 40-year-old bike is going to survive the rest of the special.

    So here I am slowly making my way up the road toward the course, no gloves, helmet not strapped and all of my gear in my lap, looking for a shady place to stop and set up camp. But instead of sounding sickly&#8230;the bike sounded sweetly. So once back on course, I decided it was just as easy to get help a few miles down the course than to stay here, so I continued.

    Next thing I knew, I was cruising along at 30 mph and was consciously not working the motor hard. After I realized that the bike would probably make the rest of the special, if I was conscious about the heat and took it easy, I found a tree (there were a few) and decided to put my racing gear back on. It appeared that I was back in this thing, after all!

    I checked the oil, put some more in, and headed down the course.
    I passed an XR bike parked under a tree, with no rider. I then passed the British rider riding with a passenger. We talked briefly, the other guy blew his head gasket so he was riding him out. He ended up riding two-up for 15 miles, and it was some soft, whoopy tracks for sure!

    **Sorry for the lack of pictures in this next bit..there is some video coming**

    The rest of the course went relatively smoothly and on the dry lakebed, the SL seemed to be running fine, so I increased my speed a bit. At the Mag 7 pits, they asked me which way I had come to them, I told them. They said that it seemed that half the people went a different way and it was a bit shorter &#8211; I now know those were the guys with the road books that were given the latest course. I didn&#8217;t really care, as I trusted that Luke&#8217;s route would get me to the van, because they were looking at the same tracks. I was right, as they were waiting for me after the special and started attacking the bike when I got to them. Oil, gas, considering changing the gearing, and giving me some liquids and carbs.

    On the race radio, I could hear the crew for buggy #10 asking NORRA if they planned on going out looking for their car. My crew informed me that they had met this guy, Ted, who owned buggy #10 and apparently his cousin Mike was lost on the course and had lost radio communications. Ted was very worried that Mike may have had a medical emergency or maybe hurt and you could hear his concern in his voice on the radio. He was telling officials that he was going to head out on the course himself to look for him if they weren&#8217;t. The sweep vehicle was right behind me at this time, two guys in a Toyota FJ&#8230;and if I have any complaints at all about the race, it would be the lack of compassion or consideration of those two guys in that sweep rig. They acted like they were in the race and wanted to get some good times. These guys actually passed me on the next special, which to me defeats the purpose of having a sweep vehicle. Oh, and I wasn&#8217;t even the last vehicle. But it&#8217;s Baja after all, and that means being prepared for anything.

    We were concerned about the condition of the bike, because the next special was another dry lakebed and some really soft, technical stuff heading into San Felipe. After heading down the transit for a bit, I decided to put the bike in the van and discuss the options with the crew. We decided that maybe we would just skip some of the sections in order to work on the bike, because day two had a nasty 175 mile special with silt beds, and the bike needed work to be ready for that. Bad information given to us by officials at the next special&#8217;s start, made us decide to just keep running the bike. Another reason that fully understanding the rules and being familiar with how races in Baja are conducted, clearly would have been a big help to us. This official told us we would be disqualified from the race if we missed a section&#8230;when in fact, you just incur a time penalty.

    We unloaded the bike, and I set out on my special. The plan was for the boys to head around to Ensenada and down to the Bay of LA, because I did not want the loaded Sprinter van traveling up the dirt to Coco&#8217;s corner, although a much shorter travel day. In hindsight, they may have made it fine, but my brand new van would have looked a lot worse than it does now. Next year, a 4wd truck will be part of the chase package.

    The bike was weighed down with gas. We had the two rotopax on the back and a gallon in containers in my tank bag. Those leaked a bit&#8230;oh well. The rear started bottoming out making for some slow going on he whoops (later proved to be caused by a cracked frame). The gearing was causing me lots of problems in the deep sand and there were times when I did not think I would be able to get through. The SL weighs a lot, and you definitely need to be at speed to get up on top of the sand. Once there, it is all gravy. Getting there with wrong gearing and a cracked frame is a pisser.

    About 5 miles out of San Felipe, I came across one of the ugliest race vehicles in this race; &#8220;Brutus&#8221; - A late 70&#8217;s Ford Bronco that looks like it was bought from a tweaker on Craig&#8217;s List. But this truck would prove to be one of the most endearing vehicles to me in this race. The two guys running Brutus are great dudes. They waved me over and asked me if I had any gas to spare. Only in Baja would a bike be giving gas to a truck. I gave them the gallon in my tank bag, which they said would be enough to get them to San Felipe where there was a Pemex station. They tried to pay me. Are you kidding me? You&#8217;re probably going to be loading my bike in that back of Brutus before the day is done!

    After driving through a dump just outside of town, I fueled up in San Felipe. I stopped and got two fish tacos and 2 ice-cold sodas.

    [​IMG]

    I was living large, not really realizing that I would be driving at night, and not really knowing the extent of what was lying ahead. I pulled out of San Felipe with the sun starting to drop&#8230;and when you&#8217;re on the east coast of Baja and that sun starts to drop, it is gone fast. And you do not know darkness until you know Baja darkness.

    I was driving down the pavement, still wary of wringing the motor out, doing about 55 mph when I could, but elevation changes made the motor strain a bit; Damn gearing. But I was having fun...singing in my helmet and taking out the video camera to get some footage.

    [​IMG]

    Then, somewhere north of Portacitas, the bike started to sputter. It was just the right cylinder, but it would only fire when the throttle was close to idle. So keeping both cylinder&#8217;s firing meant moving at about 29 mph. I pulled over and checked the fuel flowing to the carbs; they were both getting fuel. Believing that it was an issue with the right carb, I decided I did not want to dismantle it here. Now armed with the mindset that riding slow is still better than walking fast, I plugged on. I don&#8217;t know how many miles I got before it died completely; maybe it was 15 or 20? Maybe it was 5. I had hoped to get to the next checkpoint where I could dig into the carb. Sitting there on the side of the road, I was once again overtaken by anxiety: How would I get word to the crew of what happened? How many hours were they along, and how many hours to get back to me? Where would I sleep tonight? How were my wife and kids doing??

    Damn a cold beer would be nice.

    A nice gringo couple stopped and asked if I needed any help and almost before I could answer them, &#8220;HE&#8221; appeared. Like Jesus Christ himself riding a black stallion down from the mountaintop, it was Ted Sumner &#8211; otherwise known to Outta Sight Racing as &#8220;The Dude.&#8221;

    These nice people were doing their best to help me when their voices were drowned out by the buggy motor screaming and heading toward us. It was lost buggy #10! As soon as the driver saw me the anchor was thrown and the buggy screeched to a stop.

    I told the couple that I thought I was ok now.

    Ted shut the buggy down and took off his goggles, his face covered in silt and sand from the last special. He asked what was wrong. I told him the bike was dead. He threw a cigarette in his mouth, lit it and said, &#8220;We&#8217;ll take care of it.&#8221; He grabbed his radio mic and called for Mike. Mike answered sounding anxious, asking where Ted was because he had no maps or GPS and was unsure of where to turn off. Ted said, &#8220;You&#8217;re just going straight, but meet me up here, we gotta load bike #12 on the trailer.&#8221;

    Ted started to get out of his buggy and I pled with him to just keep going because I knew that they were having a much worse day than I was. He mumbled something about the &#8220;fucking NORRA people&#8221;, said &#8220;Bullshit, I gotta pee anyway,&#8221; and he crawled out of the single-seater buggy and pissed beside the road.

    And within moments, The Dude&#8217;s co-rider, co-chase crew and first cousin Mike Toltschin pulls up in a borrowed Toyota Tundra, pulling a tandem trailer with a bunch of buggy tires that are nearly falling out. These two guys were doing it alone. Taking turns driving the racecar, taking turns driving the chase truck.

    In-fucking-sane.

    Mike said something about almost losing all of the tires after hitting a vado (low-culvert like spot in the road) when the truck and trailer became airbourne as he was trying to keep up with the race buggy. Ted also said that he hit a deep vado at about 70 mph and left ground before landing on the front wheels&#8230;he wasn&#8217;t sure if he was going to be able to keep from crashing, but he did. The Dude told me that he used to race old SL&#8217;s and that he really wanted to see my bike cross the line in La Paz. He said in no uncertain terms that he was not going to leave me out there.

    We loaded up the SL on their trailer, but could not find any proper tie down straps. We located one trucker-style strap and one short tie-down webbing and used it to secure the SL to the tires and to the trailer. It was going to be a long, rough trailer ride for the old bike, and for us&#8230;but it was sure better than being stuck on the side of the road all night long.
  4. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman Back in Black!

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,785
    Location:
    Trying to tame the Snake!

    :lurk

    Great stuff, worth the wait.

    More please....

    :lurk
  5. Anders Green

    Anders Green NASA Rally Sport

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,162
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    At large events like this, the volunteers are generally 'trained' just on their job, which is "write down the time on the card" or "wave those cars into the start line". Usually only the guys at the top know the rules well, and they are mostly busy with the operation of the event. So always take any advice on the rules with a grain of salt. :)

    Anders
  6. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,817
    Location:
    Southern Africa
    :clap Loving it.
  7. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,474
    Location:
    Riverside , CA
    Cool you got a pic of my friend Jeff's AMC Hornet.
  8. ArthDuro

    ArthDuro quarantined

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,265
    Location:
    Westsideistan
  9. MortimerSickle

    MortimerSickle Semi-Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,405
    Location:
    Rainville, Orygun, where moss is a road hazard.
  10. Easy-Z

    Easy-Z Me wanna be

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,479
    Location:
    Orange County; it’s nice!
    Awesome, Paul!

    Anyone else having trouble playing the videos?
  11. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Smells like Bacon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,651
    Location:
    Duh!
    I will be moving the videos to VIMEO because photobucket sucks. I really should just get a smugmug account and be done with it. :1drink

    The power was out today...just came back on. I hope to edit some of the helmet cam and misc videos into a short "Day 1" montage....stay tuned for that.

    PS - to the Outta Sight crew...please write up your adventures from day one...very cool stories!!
  12. Remarksman

    Remarksman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    474
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    Adventure!!!
  13. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,474
    Location:
    Riverside , CA
    great stuff..insperatioinal
  14. KI6HNB

    KI6HNB Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    Shingle Springs CA
    Absolutely awesome. Reminds me of my own Baja 1000 mayhem back in 2007. Baja is a truely epic adventure.
  15. liv2rydktms

    liv2rydktms Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,349
    Location:
    Payette ID
    Subscribed!:lurk :clap
  16. oregoncoast

    oregoncoast Smells like Bacon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,651
    Location:
    Duh!

    Here's some GoPro video from the first day. Unfortunately, I left the dang thing on the whole time I was broken down, so I killed the battery before I got to the exciting terrrain.

    It's a self deprecating piece of shite, and I am riding the drama llama a bit :dllama But you bought the ticket, so I may as well give you the full ride :1drink

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/23778366?byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="601" height="338" frameborder="0"></iframe>


  17. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,474
    Location:
    Riverside , CA
    nice vid :clap

    is that the evs collar you are wearing ??
  18. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman Back in Black!

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,785
    Location:
    Trying to tame the Snake!
    I swear when the camera was pointing to the sun in the sky and you were asking why... Bergquist was smiling and saying watch this :nod
    I have not experienced it myself but I would swear that right there was a Baja attitude adjustment... What an adventure...



    You are a blessed man in more ways than one :nod


    :lurk
  19. Kootenai Rider

    Kootenai Rider Gentleman of Liesure

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,584
    Location:
    Hillsburrito
    Day 1 - Chase Crew

    So we dropped Paul off at the beginning of the 2nd Special. Before he approached the entrance, Luke, ran, and I'm not sure why he ran, down to the check point to clarify the rules about penalties that would be incurred for if he did or did not start this section. As OC already mentioned, you get a variety of information from the course workers since they are simply volunteers, and typically only get trained for their one task.

    This has been my experience when dealing with some of the other Hare Scramebles, Stumpjumpers, ISDE, etc. There are so many rules to learn, and many of these people may be volunteering for the first time, you can't blame them for not knowing all the rules. Just be sure to thank them for being out there next time you're at a race, whether it is the Baja 1000, or your local Hare Scramble

    Off we go, buggin' out West to Ensenada, Luke at the helm... somewhere along the way, the 2 hrs of sleep he got the night before catches up with him so I took over.

    On the way over, Mex 3 to Ensenada, we saw a bunch of the sights I recognized from the various videos and threads. The turn off for Mike's Sky Ranch, Vallie De Trinidad (the B1000 goes through there) the goat path just out side of the town the race passes through, Ojos Negros, etc.

    Getting into Ensenada we followed the Map that Leo from Snortin' Nortin' had drawn for us, going past the junk yards. He wasn't kidding when he said junk yards....as far as the eye could see it was wrecked cars. It made the Pick N' Haul in Spokane look like a fender bender. :evil

    Being in a climate-ish controlled van all day takes its toll and we were beginning to get hungry, so being that it was getting to be around 4:30ish we rolled into a local clean-ish looking taco place and had probably the best meal the whole trip. Tacos and Tortas were flowing like wine....and oh they were good. The Torta bread was so fresh, it had to have been made from that of gods, with fresh butter over it and the most delicious meat and hot sauce.... oh man... makes my mouth water just thinking about it.... pick up some cash and then hit the road.

    Several bits of advice were given to us about Baja:
    1) Don't drive at night
    2) Don't pass gas.....stations....

    Let me address both of those.
    Don't Drive at night
    It was now about 5:00, we were currently North of where we left off Speed Racer himself OC... and we had.... well a lot of miles to go.... 300ish. Looks like we're breaking rule #1. Hmmmm... what a way to start out our first night in Baja. By our time estimates... we wouldn't reach Bahia De Los Angeles until about 1:00am....

    Don't Pass Gas.....Stations...
    We're in the Sprinter, which is a Diesel, its good for about 400 miles, plus we had 10 extra gallons we were carrying, giving us about another 175miles of range. That said, we tried not to pass Pemex stations... So we didn't exactly go down the east side of the Peninsula, but heading down Mex 1, to quote Alex, the intrepid Dr. "man, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a Pemex around here, I don't know what everyone's talking about" Paul did mention, and some other guys mentioned that once it gets late that they'll close, but they're there, plenty of them. If not, looked like there were plenty of guys ready to sell it to you out of coke cans.

    The drive itself was relatively uneventful, except for the narrow hwy, the crazy drivers, namely the 18 wheeler passing me, on an uphill mountain pass, that was also passing another 18 wheeler... At least that was when it was still light. Dont' forget the sheer drops, no shoulder, the overall roughness of the rd, plus the unmarked speed bumps in some towns, those wash things (can't remember the name, but you could tell some cars had bottomed out on some of them)

    Around 9:00pm, we decided to stop and grab some food at a little town, the name is escaping me, but we had internet access. Alex used his iPhone and looked up the Spot website for Paul, and we could see that he was moving. Little did we know of his troubles or that the bike was on a trailer, but, either way, he was moving!!!! :clap:freaky Looked like he was about 15 miles outside of CoCo's corner.

    Alex took over driving. I was sleeping in the front. If you've ever driving Mex 1 at night, if you must be a passenger, just go to sleep, you'll feel safer. The few times I woke up. I'm like "Alex, cliff... cliff, CLIFFFFFFF!" in my mind of course. :D He was doing the same whilst I was driving.

    We wanted to pick up food so that in the remote hope that we were able to meet him at Chapala where he popped out on Mex 1 for the transit to Bahia De Los Angeles, he'd have something real to eat, not Cliff bars. :puke1

    Let's rewind for a minute. Earlier in the day, whilst waiting for Paul at the end of the first special. Leo, from Snortin' Nortin' told us that their vehicles put stickers on one of the signs right at the turnoff there at Chapala to indicate that they've come through, that way they don't have to mess with radios or Sat phones. 3 stickers horizontal or vertical, indicate they've come through. They use multi stickers so that if someone else happens to have one of their team stickers and it made it onto that sign, there would be no confusion.

    When Paul had arrived at the end of that first Special, we told him about the sticker idea. The end result was:
    A) He thought it was a stupid idea
    B) He was a little tired so he didn't comprehend the idea

    When we arrived at Chapala around 11:30, we didn't see Paul, or a sign, but we looped around... finally figured out which sign it was.

    It was the BIG FUCKING SIGN WITH STICKERS ALL OVER IT.

    No Outta Sight Sticker, but again, Paul, being that he's not a team player and didn't want to listen. :lol3 we fingered he pushed onto the end of the day.

    Arriving at NORRA HQ around 12:45am, the Del Sol in Bahia De Los Angeles, we found Michele, and a note right on her door the read:

    "Team 12 - Outta Sight Racing - Chase - Rider is down the street in Casa Diaz room 8"

    - As a side note, I found out later, I believe it was Ted's idea to leave the note. The Dude abides.

    Michelle said he got there around 11, and was really tired.

    We found Casa Diaz, took us a few minutes to find the right building, but then, we pulled in and there it was.

    The SL, looking sad, and broken (figuratively) strapped to that trailer.

    In the doorway, a light turned on, but who would appear, one tired, road (off-road) weary rider, glaring at us. Happy to see us. Too tired to comprehend. I think Paul was more worried about us, than we were of him. We got relief that he was at least moving when we were able to see the Spot Tracks. He had ZERO clue where we were at, and no one had contact with us. It was like he had be re-united with a lost puppy, in this case four tired, smelly puppies.


    "The bike died south of San Felipe, it was only running on one cylinder. I don't trust it. The frame is cracked, its leaking oil all over Ted's trailer."

    We hatched a plan. Bike 12 is the only bike in class 7. All we have to do is finish. Lets go to bed, get up, fix it in the morning and ride this thing all the way to La Paz!.... :deal
  20. azcagiva

    azcagiva new orange flavor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,176
    Location:
    Camp Verde, AZ
    Good stuff, really well written.

    On the overheating bit, there are some guys that vintage road race the 350. The really fast guy has an oil cooler setup on his bike. If you are interested i can find out more about it for you.

    On a side note I just picked up a 72 sl and am thinking about running it next year. ( I blame you guys).

    Great story keep it coming.

    -John