Life Is The Adventure!
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: A Worldly Traveller
San Felipe R&R day #2 and heading out again.
Repair day at San Felipe and Camping at RM410 (Double Fines Racing): After the long day with four separate flats on Deano’s bike, we woke up and found that Dean had experienced his second flat of trip (first one self-inflicted at Casa De Boar). The bikes had been abused the day before and most of the rider’s were recovering from three-days of Baja abuse, so it was decided to take most of the day off and get things back in order before going over the mountain to the Pacific. Everyone worked on bikes, changed oil, checked everything, cleaned air-filters, lubed chains and made needed adjustments.
We also spent some time repairing flat tubes worth saving for spares. Folded them up and stuffed them back in tail-bags or backpacks. Even showed the guys how to cut a tube in half tie-wrap the ends and inflate it like a wiener dog balloon. We also reconfigured and restocked how we would fix flats, since the CO2 cartridges were running low; we chose to carry the electric pump.
By the way Deano looked like this after three days:
we readied ourselves to depart it was getting costly to stay in SF so it was time to go. Departing early in the afternoon to knockout 50-miles from RM360 and ride the famous whoop section North to RM410 or so, where we’d camp in the desert for the night. Fueled up, full and hydrated, we took off out of town and down the trail known as ‘Zoo Road’. There is no zoo, but I guess on race day the local animals’ come from everywhere to watch the entertainers perform and see what tricks they can do when someone rolls a tire across the road or digs a pit trap in the road. Basically, it’s the main road to the city dump. Starting about RM365 the whoops begin, monsters – three to four-foot deep valleys between even to unevenly spaced deep sandy whoops with the occasional rock stuck in the ground or sitting middle of the valley. I could hit and wheelie through about 20 of them, but they go on and on and on for 15 to 20-miles, slight right turn and continue for another 15-miles. The four of us explored the tertiary routes along the edges looking for smoother trails, but they only lasted so long or the cactus and scrub would force you back to the whoops. This game of find the best route at least kept us entertained and on our game. Towards the end, Deano was slowing down a bit and that allowed Dean and Danno to get far out in front. At one point, Dean and I made eye-to-eye contact as he was following a trail down the right side and I was to the left. The course veered left and I lost contact with Deano. It will be noted that a mysterious magnetic field existed that would draw Deano to the intersection of Hwy 3 and Hwy 5 and this was only the beginning. After waiting a few minutes, I rode ahead slowly, and waited again longer After losing contact with the two up front and not having contact with Deano, I doubled back from RM390 looking for Deano. I got pissed, but mostly blamed myself for not including in a briefing somewhere along the way that we’d all go no farther than 10-miles or so without know where everyone was. Knowing that I didn’t have the gas to spend a lot of time looking, I turned back to RM390 and waited and waited. Deano comes along bouncing down the course and says, shit I don’t what happened, but ended up on this really nice road and cranked the throttle, then I saw the highway and said, I’ll bet I’m not on the race course, doubled back got corrected and finally caught up to me. I was immensely relieved, as it was beginning to get dark. (For those of you who watched the race, does this area sound familiar? Only it was coming down the course from RM260 that Deano was attracted to this phenomenal behavior and got off course. ). We paired up and I was using Deans super light to make up time, without stopping to fit my helmet light. The course meandered into and out of a sandy river wash and dusty two-track and we were trying to get on the highway having ridden much of this the day before. We were finally able to get on the road, but not knowing exactly where the support guys where, we dug out the radio and made a call. Got a general idea and some Lat/Long coordinates which I programmed into my GPS. Buzzing down the highway, we found the turn-off and rode down to meet the guys at an intersection at about RM408. I’ve got to say that Deano was really becoming proficient at riding in the desert and handling the bike, nothing like the first day. He was a full on desert racer now! Also, all of us were accomplished night riders by this point. It was starting to become a team of racers and folks were finding their strength and weaknesses the hard way – doing it hour after hour and day after day.
After a bit of time to get comfortable and change clothes, introductions to our kiddy-corner guests the “Fines Double Racing Team” from Colorado, who had the royal setup. They had a full sponsorship by Arctic Cat to race a new Quad ATV and a budget to get it done right. Apparently, nothing was spared and the 35’ toy hauler was completely covered from nose to tail with graphic designs. The FDR team was great and hospitable offering us their beer, (big mistake don’t offer a bunch of drunks with a riding problem alcohol it only gets better ) and the comfort of their huge fire and warm conversation. We learned a lot from them this night, and learned that we had been making some critical errors. Many we could do nothing about, at least on our budget and experience. A few examples: What, you’re riding the race bike, your f’in nuts. Hey we’ll give you a brand new stock 1000cc Arctic Cat Quad to finish your pre-run on, hell we’re camped just down the road from you near La Bufadora (Punta Banda). Bring it buy when you get back. So, who’s going to start the race, wrong… put your best guy up front. That is the most difficult, most dangerous, and most challenging part of the racecourse. If you don’t make it through the first 50-miles it’s over. Game over – uR – done. Everyone is jockeying for position and there is a lot of passing going on. If you are passing people, you are wrong, you’re going to fast – slow down. The locals are there to mess with your head, build booby traps, change course markers to get you lost, and make the jumps bigger. Just go slow. These guys were definitely speaking from experience 5th in Pro-Quad points and fifth time racing the Baja 1000. We listened; I took notes. Springer took notes too. It was enlightening and very informative, and we are glad to have met them. It was nearing midnight and I was tired so I went to bed before the others. Tomorrow would be a long day whether I knew what was in store or not.
The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. (Albert Einstein)