The Best of Baja California - Edventures on the new Honda African Twin

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by flyingdutchman177, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Awesome shot of the colors in the clouds :thumb

    Have been back in the US a few days, miss Baja.
    #81
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  2. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

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    You missing Algodones in Mexicali's valley crossing to AZ
    #82
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  3. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    You've heard of the Baja 1000 - right?
    But have you heard of the Cabo 1000?

    It was an unsanctioned road race from the San Diego border to Cabo San Lucas on sportbikes.

    It was held from 1987 to 1997 by a bunch of crazy renegade Baja bikers

    I raced in it for 3 years - from 1993 to 1995. And I consider myself lucky to be still alive.

    Here is an article that was written for the race in 1995.
    It was sort of a Mexican Canon ball. And the police weren't all that happy about it - trying to catch 40+ bikers screaming down the peninsula at speeds that your probably didn't think were even possible. One cop was pulling over the racers for blowing thru the only traffic signal in Todos Santos by standing in the road and pointing his gun at them. True story!
    I came in 11th that year. I even got into a police chase in Ensenada when I was blowing thru town in the early morning hours doing over 100 mph.
    It is probably the craziest thing I have ever been part of.

    If you are interested in learning more, check out the link below.

    http://johnje.tripod.com/Cabo.htm

    In 1997, Randy wanted to win that year. He was always coming in second place. He worked for Reno BMW and usually rode a BMW in the race. At that time, BMW's were no match for the Japanese sport bike in outright speed. So he went out and bought the fastest thing on 2 wheels at the time - a Honda CBR1100XX (same bike as I ride now). He was leading the race. About a 1/4 way in, he misjudged a corner and went off the road. In Baja, there is a great penalty for even a small error. In this case, his error was fatal. After Randy died, the race was never held again.
    Every time I pass by this spot, I pay tribute and show respect to a friend that lost his life doing what he loved - going fast in Baja.
    21 years later - almost to the day - God Speed Randy

    [​IMG]

    If you read the attached article, let me know what you think.
    I wrote an article for the race a year earlier (in 1994) for Independent Biker (IB) Magazine. I was looking to see if I could find that one on the internet, but sadly, it is pre internet times. I still have a hard copy of the magazine.
    #83
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  4. Diddly

    Diddly Bored of Directors

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    That’s bonkers!

    The blog only mentioned speed bumps once. I thought Mexico (or maybe only mainland) was full of random speed bumps?
    #84
  5. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    That's because the speed bumps were the least of your worries
    The speedbumps (topes) were absolutely "gigante" in those days. And often times, there was no warning for them. Or maybe a burning trash can was the warning or it might just have been trash on fire. Ya never knew. But hit one and you would be flying - literally!
    25 years ago, it was much more dangerous to drive in Baja. The road would turn to dirt with little or no warning. The potholes were huge. There were no road markers or warning signs. Animals roamed on the road (even more so then). Etc Etc. Plus you were riding at triple the posted speed limit! Or maybe more!!!!
    Mainland Mexico still has lots of topes. In Baja, many have been removed. But you still need to keep an eye out for them.
    The Baja roads almost seem boring today in retrospect.
    But I still love um
    #85
  6. SDR82

    SDR82 Adventurer

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    Nice story on the Cabo1000 Ed, back in the days.. can't even imagine things like that would be possible these days.
    #86
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  7. locopny

    locopny Been here awhile

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    what a story and likewise what a race that must have been. I know I wouldn't have been adventurous enough for that.
    Nice to know some back story to the memorial there.
    #87
  8. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Cool story, thanks for the link. You guys are (were) suicidal.
    #88
  9. BSUCardinalfan

    BSUCardinalfan Been here awhile

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    Mexicali has two crossings. the one further east is MUCH less busy. I used to cross every day there when I worked in Mexicali.
    #89
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  10. massio

    massio Adventurer

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    I clicked to check out your Baja adventure because, well, BAJA! Good writing and good on you for taking others along. Alas, most of us do not have the time or wherewithal to get out and do this as much as we would like.

    Too funny to see that the Cabo 1000 (and that old account of it) lives on in others memories, too! But that sort of intensity does create indelible imprints and strong bonds among its participants. Some of my closest friendships were forged on that ride. It was a bit nuts for sure but made total sense at the time! I don't think I know you (?) but we shared that experience in 1995. And just for the record, I never said "I'm bad ass, man...". That was a Steve E fabrication, but it makes for good copy. :thumb

    And I miss Randy, too.

    Cheers, all ~

    #90
  11. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    That's nucking futs, cannot imagine running the gauntlet like that. Have ridden track and sportbikes for a good chunk of my life; and after nearly pasting a cow during my 1st Baja ride a few weeks ago on my little WR250, the thought of seeing one of those effing bacas at 100+ would require a quick change of shorts...lol.

    Good story to read, sorry about the loss of your friend. Props for stopping by and paying respect at the marker.
    #91
  12. fasttortoise

    fasttortoise Smartest Idiot Here

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    Great article!
    #92
  13. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I rode a red and black Honda CBR1000 all three years - like the one below.

    [​IMG]

    I wore blue and white Dainese full leathers.
    I was a pretty quiet guy - among all the crazy guys.
    Most of the guys were from the Bay area. I came from Southern California. I read about the race in a magazine and wanted to give it a try, even though I knew no one there. I just wanted to finish and make it to Cabo. And I did all three years. But each year I wanted to go a bit faster. I think my fastest time was 12 hours 45 minutes.
    My first time, I remember showing up at the motel in San Ysidro the evening before. I met Wad Boyd first (America's fastest rider at Isle of Man) and he had purple hair. And then I met a guy with dreadlocks (number 103) and thought ........what am I doing here.......I am just a clean cut, real estate businessman. Then I met Ray and a guy they called Doc (who reminded me of the crazy doctor in the movie Cannonball Run) in a room so full of Marijuana smoke that you couldn't even see much. I almost left but I am so glad I didn't.
    I didn't sleep much that night - butterflies. The guy that I roomed with seemed like the only normal person there. It was his first time as well. That guy, Chris Templin, and I have stayed in touch ever since. In fact, he is the guy that shaped my passion for wine as he was a sommelier for a nice restaurant in the Bay Area.
    Great to hear from someone that experienced it. It almost seems like a dream (of nightmare) now. :-)
    #93
  14. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I think about that when I go down there.
    I don't think it would be possible today.
    The police have faster cars now.
    Plus I think back in those days, the police didn't have radio contact with each other. Today, they would radio ahead that 40 insane motorcyclists are coming their way and they would set up a road block. And everyone would have gone to jail.
    #94
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  15. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    It is the site where Randy died. He must have been doing 100+ when he blew that corner. You can see the road marker in the photo I posted where that corner is - and it's a long way from where he and the bike came to rest. There are still some fairing pieces there from his Honda Blackbird, 21 years later.
    Afterwards, this memorial was created by friends out of a sign of respect - like they do all over Mexico and Latin America. It is marker to reflect the site where the soul and spirit left the body.
    #95
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  16. joso

    joso Motorcycle addict

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    Superb!
    The Cabo 1000, as the article reports in a real entertaining way, would have been exactly my thing in my earlier years
    I see that I lived at a wrong part of this little dirtball in space...
    #96
  17. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Interesting read. I occasionally ride with some of the guys that hung out with the Reno BMW guys. I heard a few stories of that Baja ride
    #97
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  18. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    We headed into Catavina that next morning.
    Crazy as it was, but it was raining in the mountains just to the east of us. Hurricane Sergio was still lingering around for the 4th day!

    [​IMG]

    Orsi wanted a cup of coffee and to use the wifi. She needed 2 hours! So I set out to explore the area around Catavina - which arguably has the best riding in all Baja!
    This is the old Baja 1000 race course

    [​IMG]

    Nearby, there are 500 to 1000 year old cave painting to check out.

    [​IMG]

    Just outside Catavina, this is the "hotel" we should have spent the night in.
    I made a mental note of its location for my next trip down.

    [​IMG]

    The AT is a handful in loose 2 track sandwahses. I wish I had taken off the luggage for this. It is fine if you are going more than 30 miles an hour. But it takes some balls to ride a big bike that fast in the sand. At this point, I turned around and headed back to the hotel to pick up Orsi. We still had a long way to go and I didn't want to wreck Chris' bike.

    [​IMG]
    #98
  19. Cabrito

    Cabrito On the mend 76%

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    I bet that big bike with all the luggage is a handful in the sand.. Nice to hear it handles it well...
    I need to check that area out next time I'm down there.

    Did you need a guide to see the rock art or did you go find it on your own?
    #99
  20. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Adventurer

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    I am a Baja guide. :-) But this rock art near Catavina is open to anyone. You just need to know where to look. It can be found near the first Arroyo before town.