Day 3 but really day 1. We are off to Mike's Sky Ranch.
I woke up at 9:30 AM, everyone was still asleep. We all agreed to just hang out in San Felipe and enjoy this little town. Ha ha, no FFFKKKing way. We were all up and ready to pack stuff, ready to twist throttles, ready to ride Baja.
So breakfast, our first in Baja Sur.
Back to the hotel and prep the bikes. Really I'm feeling a bit silly, a bit apprehensive, a bit excited. When the kit is secured, the gear is all arranged, the bike is running, you know you have 200 plus miles to go. The feeling can't be described. But this bit does it justice me thinks:
Roy McAvoy: Well, I tend to think of the golf swing as a poem.
Romeo Posar: Ooh, he's doing that poetry thing again.
Roy McAvoy: The critical opening phrase of this poem will always be the grip, which the hands unite to form a single unit by the simple overlap of the little finger. Lowly and slowly the club head is led back, pulled into position not by the hands, but by the body, which turns away from the target, shifting weight to the right side without shifting balance. Tempo is everything, perfection unobtainable, as the body coils down at the top of the swing. There's a slight hesitation. A little nod to the gods.
Dr. Molly Griswold: A, a nod to the gods?
Roy McAvoy: Yeah, to the gods. That he is fallible. That perfection is unobtainable. And now the weight begins shifting back to the left, pulled by the powers inside the earth. It's alive, this swing! A living sculpture and down through contact, always down, striking the ball crisply, with character. A tuning fork goes off in your heart and your balls. Such a pure feeling is the well-struck golf shot. Now the follow through to finish. Always on line. The reverse C of the Golden Bear! The steelworkers' power and brawn of Carl Sandburg's Arnold Palmer!
This is sort of how I felt as I threw my leg up and over, doing the "Can Can" mounting move - getting on the DRZ.
Kevin is always ready to go.
The The Zoo Road was our first taste of Baja. We went north out of town and then went to dirt in no time, west toward the general area of Sierra De San Pedro Martir, a national park and in the area of Mikes Sky Ranch.
Some of this kind of riding.
I passed the gang doing like 120 on the DRZ, saw this grave marker ahead, threw down a vicious tail slide and whipped out my vest pocket Binford 5000 camera and shot this picture. They caught up in about 10 minutes and told me I was wicked fast.......
Chuck going about 85.
And some of this.
Then we have some sand.
And way ahead I can see power lines stretching across the land east to west. There are also people, bikes, a "trophy truck".
Not really sure what you call those Baja rally trucks, but there was one there. Tires mounted in the back, the real deal. I'm so easily impressed.
There was also a large gathering of motorcycles, dudes and a few dudette's hanging out, maybe 20 or so. I chatted with one guy and he said they were doing a "tip" ride. Wow! They were on day 1 and just visited Mikes. I told them that we are riding 7 miles of the race course at this intersection under the power lines. He gave me that
look. I later talked to another guy, they had a sag truck and were slabbing/gravel riding and ending at the tip. Not returning. Bikes shipped home. I wonder if they had a battery powered daiquiri machine in the sag truck, just kidding.
So Big Sprocket, okay El Sprokito Grande, tells us the next 7 miles is whoops and some sand. Heck yea baby, lets roll.
I can't see the beer bottle in the cows mouth. The realization just hit me, the cow needs stiiiiickers. I should have put a sticker on the cow. Damnit!
But before we leave, the Baja Monster cranks up. The sound is like thunder. It rolls off into the direction of the race course trail. The beast takes off and it rips. unfffkkkingbelivealbleholycow. The body of the beast is barely moving while the suspension and wheels are jack hammering. I was told they can go well over 100 mph on these whoops. It quickly disappeared, the sound rumbled on for a while.
This is the intersection where you can bypass the 7 miles of whoops.
Does this translation mean Canyon of Hell? If I had my Vest Pocket Spanish Book I could look this up. Diablo, Angeles, which is which in Spanish? That is the way we are going?
Okay, I will be the first to say, the whoops were hell. Kevin, Bruce and Chuck soon passed Magoo and I. The whoops were deep, sometimes you could not see the rider ahead. The sand rolled over the front tire and across the legs, even across the tank. The troughs were very deep and filled with powder, not even silt. I was thinking that my family is skiing right now in Purgatory Colorado. I could be skiing. I am skiing! This is deep powder skiing. This is awesome, so hard and I have never ridden a motorcycle where the handle bars go back and forth, like 100 RPM as you ride. I ride trials, shift the weight around, reposition, peg pressure, bar pressure, open the knees, extend, pressure, lift, absorb, compress, rebound, rotate, angulate. Oh my God I'm gonna crash into cacti and die a hideous and horrible death in the desert of Baja, under power lines. Where are those guys,how far do I have left of this hell, fun, whoops? I look at my totally useless piece of crap handle bar weight Garmin Nuvi and it says repositioning, set course for home, turn around, recalculating.
Where is Magoo, has a cactus eaten him? Sometimes there is a teaser line on the edge of the whoops, so you venture, steer, guide, muscle the bike to the edge, ride on solid ground and then here comes a big ass cactus tree. Back in the whoops, slide, skid, wobble and then back on the gas. Ride, buck, roll, compress and extend. My arms are now 2 inches longer than they were 20 minutes ago. But then you get into a zone and start breathing right, focusing on the line, looking for the righteous line. You hear the bike and see nothing but sand and cactus, deep moguls and you know, this is nirvana. This is Baja baby.
After 18 hours of whoops, well maybe an hour, I see the three rippers ahead, already off their bikes. I stand up and look awesome for the last 100 yards. I am knackered and I am also thinking dang, we have over 150 miles to go. Can I do this?
I take off my jacket, I am hot and thirsty.
After a while Kevin is concerned about Magoo so he preps to go look for him. About the same time, here comes Magoo. He took a wrong split and had to back track. Not 7 miles but maybe 9 miles of whoops. Team Magoo just christened this ride as Team MagWhoop.
Lets get to a road or something without whoops, lets go to Mikes Sky Ranch.
Next segment, we visit Mikes Sky Ranch and leave on our first techy trials trail. Also, when one Team Magoo member goes AWOL, the day gets longer. 200 miles or more on a winter day in Baja allows no room for long visits, mega photo time nor getting lost. Do you write a note, do you blow on your whistle, do you backtrack when your separated from your group? You do all of the above and maybe some more. The answers to these questions and other problems of life are solved in the next segment.
And to think, Captn' Nemo's first ADV post is to this ride report.
Captain Nemo The last time I "posted up" was sophmore year at Eldorado(1977) at a jounior varsity basketball game, but I'll give it a shot.
First off ,Tony, you shorted me about 8 state trials championships , but whos counting?
Hi my name is Chuck .I'm now known as Captain Nemo Because my 525 KTM is actually a submersable vehicle , which I didn't know about until the 7th day of this trip!! Stay tuned for for details!!
This was a great trip with a great group of guys, and I was totally blown away with the riding & scenery in Baja!!
Please Chuck, Magoo, El Grande Sproketo?
Contribute or I may take my ride report and go home.