Life Is The Adventure!
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: A Worldly Traveller
The retrun to Pre-Riding -
Pre-running the Pacific (RM510 – RM595): Very early in the morning on Tuesday (like, I got up at 03:20 got dressed and drove out to Casa De Boar to be there at 05:00 so we could load the truck with two bikes and drive down Hwy 1 to RM500 and began where the team left off earlier. I got to the house and not a soul was awake. Springer woke up when I came through the door, and shortly after that, Deano got up and came out to the garage. I was making some adjustments to my bike and preparing my gear for the days ride. Someone went up the hill to wake up Dean and shortly thereafter, he was down and getting ready. (Hey I didn’t decide on 05:00 ) We were loaded and on the road by about 07:00, that’s an early start so who’s complaining. It took about an hour to drive down the highway towards San Vicente RM500 but stopped at RM510 as we didn’t need to pre-run the highway. After getting the bikes unloaded and suited up, Dean and me took off down the dirt road. (Behind the front of my truck):
And followed the lower mountain side (in the silt) above Springer's truck: (in the distance)
Following the race markers we started out on some off-camber silt beds a short time later, this silt had rocks buried in it and I still had the steering damper set hard for the sand whoops: aaah shit, poof, at least it’s soft. I couldn’t turn the front fast enough to correct for the back tire in one track and the front tire hopping over the crown into the other track. HA this was going to be great day, I could feel it. Well, after that warm up exercise it was. I caught back up to Dean who was waiting at a fence crossing; one of many this day where we had take down and put up barbwire gates to pass through. After the second field, we got on a service road dotted by fences and farms (think Colorado or Kansas rural farm roads). We were riding fast and just offset in trail. I was video taping Dean finally while he set the pace and navigated. We blew right by the course signs and the only thing I remembered seeing was a “Wrong Way” marker, not the orange course marker. Three miles later I hadn’t seen any markers, and my GPS was just beginning to tell us to make a U-Turn… er uh I think we passed it back there where the “wrong way” sign was… back we go. This was about to be a special ride, not only was it (originally) going to be my part of the race, but it was after all the riding in the desert and at the end of the road we were currently on, the Pacific Ocean would be in our lap. For anyone who’s seen ‘Dust to Glory’ this is the beach scene where I think – Johnny Campbell races down the beach and Andy Grider races down the course. It was a personal highlight moment. Dean and I are about equal in riding talent and both of us were having a great time. As we neared the ocean, the course had a few split trails. Dean and I would start riding whichever one the other didn’t. Well, on one I got so far ahead that I passed Dean, even though he had been in front of me. After taking the next split left, I was down at the ocean and sitting there on the bike when Dean showed up. We talked about the split right at the top of the hill, and decided we both would ride back up and take the other route. What a mistake that was on a bike. Yeah, it was shorter by a long way and a straight line, straight down a whooped rocky grade that if you made a mistake day or night could lead to broken arm, or a broken bike. After getting to the bottom, Dean exclaims, “Who the F*ck, would ride that, when you can just ride down the road a little farther and lot faster.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s what pre-running is for and we were both happy to be doing it. We rode out on to the beach and down to the water, and asked each other how far the tide has to go out before you could hook the beach like the movie, today the water was lapping the rocks that overhang the ocean, so that question would have to be answered later or never. We got back on the racecourse and began putting miles behind us, the ocean on one side, rolling hills on the other jutting down to the water. The trail bifurcates many, many times over the next several miles and each time we’d take the other route and see who’d come out ahead, most times Dean would, as he’d take the hard rough hill climb and I’d try to race the course around the ridge or valley. Otherwise, we were either handlebar to handlebar or with 20-feet of each other charging along. We passed through a couple villages, and then the course swings far to the east before coming down a big hill into Erendria. We got stopped in a small street and the kids came out looking for steekers, having a small handful we passed some out, and then more kids came running, time to drop a gear and hit it… it would be bad to run out of steekers this far from home. We entered a river wash that was deep sand and I almost outran my vision – I almost pile drived a washout in the wash, no jumping over this, no going through it. I had to do and emergency brake-check in the deep sand. Getting started after burying the front and back wheels up to the axles was hard on the clutch, but I could only envision the kids chasing after us yelling “STEEKERS, STEEKERS Meester you got steekers” (just kidding they were a long way back by this point). Shortly after that I found a road out of the wash and followed a fenced playing field back down to the ocean. Dean was there waiting for me. We followed that fence down the trail and then there was this gawd awful looking section of baby heads piled into whoops along the ocean and the fence, only one way through – over them. This was only about 500-feet, but man was that a tough section, everything just rolled around under the tires and balance was key to burping the throttle through each rise and fall. At the end of that the racecourse just ended in a grassy spot. We looked around and finally found a race marker that took us through another gated field with cows and horses. (I heard from someone that during the race a truck spun out in here on the wet mud and made a real mess of things for the follow on bikes. Broke through the fence and all.) Once past this we were back on main surface rock/gravel roads until getting to Santo Tomas (well there was the one odd silt section going up a hill), but Dean and I just put on our happy face and cooked whatever was left of the tires.
I did stop for one snap shot and I'm damn happy for that:
In Santo Tomas, we found the support team in front of a small gift shop/restaurant and they handed us both a cold beer, ahhhhh. I made a huge mistake but don’t understand why (electronically). I disconnected the helmet camera from the DVR before turning it off and it locked up the DVR, I lost probably the best two-hours of video and the run to the ocean. Feck! After breakfast and fuel, Dean and I took off to finish this run. Up the highway to RM555 and then back into the mountains. This would prove to be one of the hardest sections of the race course, as every turn up the mountain was a deep silt bed and everyone of them seemed to be off-camber and full of buried VW Beetles with lots of baby and adult head rocks strewn everywhere. We passed some people in Baja Rail that were surveying the course by foot, trying to find the best line through a steep ravine and up through one of these sections. Shortly after passing them and chugging up the hill. Dean was following me and decided to see what happens when you ride into a brown wall of dust, and just gas it. I turned just in time to see another big poof of brown dust plume into the air over anything I might have created. I stopped and shortly after that, Dean comes exploding out the cloud. He pulls up and tells me what he thought was a good idea at first and we laughed. (I wish I had a picture of him) This lasted until about RM565 and then it was a real nice trail ride over the mountains and through the woods to grandma’s house down by the creek. Well, grandma left a while ago, by the abandoned-ness of the site but someone lived here before. It was a good place to stop and take a piss. The guys in the buggy came screaming through and we waited for them to make it down through the creek and blast on by.
Highway speed is 60mph per SCORE that's what we did.
Once the dust settled we got back to business. This was a fun ride with lots of elevation changes on a hard pack sand road with areas of rocks thrown in here and there. After we climbed the last hill and passed what would become Check Point Six, the trail was hard rock for a mile or two and then descended into a sandy road climbing and falling sharply through the ‘Garden of Rocks’ big ass boulders some the size of school busses lining the road. This was a very scenic place, and would make a good short ‘Adventure’ excursion if just to get off highway 3 at the “Alligator” and find a place to camp overnight. We finished up the last 120-miles at Hwy 3 RM595 and beat feet for Ensenada and gas (Ojos Negros – this gas station is key and well located, now if they could only get the ‘RED’ stuff.) We arrived in Ensenada and topped off with premium, Dean noticed he had a flat front tire but it was a slow leak. Then we took a detour by the hotel to check on the wife. I told her I’d be back in a couple hours, that lasted more like three and half-hours. We rode out to the house and I just had to change my oil, both engine and transmission while the motor was warm. It was pizza night, and everyone was involved in the party before we got back to the house. I got the oil changed as the next morning we would be pre-running the first fifty-miles from the start line to RM45. Then made my way (in the truck) back to Ensenada.
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)
PacWestGS screwed with this post 12-24-2008 at 07:53 AM