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Old 12-09-2008, 06:12 AM   #1
PacWestGS OP
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Thumb Snortn' Boar Racing "FINISHES" the 41st Baja 1000!

Well, here it is, we've finished the riding, so now it's time to find our computers and finish the writing...

Copied from "Racing" I thought some of you inmates were missing a great adventure, had by quite a few of us.

The background can be found in various threads in 'Racing' and 'Pacific Northwet' to see how we got from an idea to a dream fulfilled. Some of those are quite intertaining themselves.

So incase you have missed this, here is the recap of the event, hope you enjoy it.

Baja 1000 Review:

Let’s start by introducing the team: Marc Springer (The Team Captain), Daniel (his step son and The Young One), Dean ‘Deano’ (The Mechanic), Dean (The Hotshot), Russ (The Medic) and later on, Ace (Our Ace in the SF Whoops).

Pre-Running: As with all things ‘No plan survives first contact’, after an extra day off to rest from the drive down (much needed and appreciated), an early start began after 8:00 AM, on Tuesday instead of Monday. By the time, the trucks were loaded for the 70-mile drive from Casa De Boar on the La Bufadora Peninsula to RM45 it was already 11:30 in the morning. I did not yet know this would become SBR-Time for the duration of the trip, whatever time you wanted to start; add two to three hours. We had lost a support driver (long story) so that meant we’d lost a support truck. Out of room in two pickups (one loaded with three bikes and fuel, the other loaded with all the camping gear), two of us rode our bikes from La Bufadora, sandwiched between the two other support trucks down the highway, through Ensenada and east on Hwy 3 to Ojos Negros.
New bike, new boots, new riding gear, let's ride:

After finding a good place to unload the other bikes and after everyone geared up for the first day of pre-running we got started – about 1:20 in the afternoon.

Don’t forget to pack a light even though we should have been done before the sun went down. GPS is a great thing, but GPS doesn’t know when roads are gated and closed. A few turns later and a half-mile back up the road we came in on we found the beginning of the Pre-Ride start area and the pre-running began.

Day one RM45 to RM120: First things first, start helmet camera, second time since buying the thing. Mount up boys let’s ride… Since I had the GPS going to find the start I was in the lead, set a comfortable pace and kept checking over my shoulder for the rest of the guys. Went over a small rise (enough to catch some air and found a hard right turn on the other side), no problem, but I started to think about the others, maybe I was going too fast, maybe not. Checking to make sure everyone cleared that, I was quickly passed by Dean S., and he took off into the distance. I wanted to video the guys and the trip as much as possible so I slowed up and let everyone pass me. At about RM50 Springer holed up under some trees to take a break. While we were there I decided to check the position of the camera (earlier I had it too low) to my surprise I had not recorded anything, it was on pause. While we were taking a break, Dean S., comes back to check on us. He informs us there is a tricky section just ahead and describes the trail as having two difficult sections to climb up through and over some big rocks, the first being easier than the second one. I chose to go ahead and stop to take some still photos of the guys going through this, and I never found the second section, the first was too easy and then I was on top of the hill and onto a sandy road, oh well, I’ll stop here and wait for them.





Springer was the first to arrive, followed by Dean and then Deano and Danno. I guess they call this “El Muerto” (file photo)

Once everyone was up it was time to make some time, the road was sandy hard pack so the speeds were fairly high but still comfortable for pre-running. I spent my time trying to video each of the riders catching up to each one as necessary. By the time I got to Springer the road was ending and we turned into the Pine Forest where the trail got narrow again and started meandering through the woods.



There were a few large fallen trees to negotiate around and a few dry creeks to go through but nothing that was hard to ride through or around. Danno kept blowing through changes of direction as indicated by SCORE signs marking a hard left or right direction change (three or more stacked arrows) so it was always pretty funny to come up on him laying in a pile of dust and sand shortly after where the trail turned. I think he started to catch on to what those signs meant and things did improve throughout the pre-running. After the first part of the Pine Forest, we climbed up onto some plateaus and onto some rain-washed rutty two-track with plenty o’ big rocks embedded and loose baby-heads littering the trail. Deano had stumbled up one of hill climbs and fell over, then fell over again trying to get going again. This saga would repeat enough times that he was thoroughly pissed about the size of the bike and length of his legs. Since everyone passed me, (I wasn’t stopping on the hill, everyone looked OK as I continued past them to the top). When we got started, I was again behind Deano. The next hill climb caught Deano off guard and as he bounced from right to left, the bike hit a big rock and launched him off the bike. Landing hard and straight on his back. I stopped and he popped up cussing something about, “gawd damn bike is too tall, I can’t ride the damn thing, I suck at this”. After a few moments to collect his breath and pick up the bike, it was time to assess things - him and the bike. He was sore but otherwise unbroken, the bike took a really good hit on a rock and crushed the header pipe flat against the water-pump housing, thinking that we might have a problem “Houston”, I did the only thing I could. I hit the starter button and it fired right up, whew… okay, it runs but where are the gasses going, out the hole in the header pipe.



Well, that’s OK, let’s ride, you’ll be down on power but we can keep moving to some place to affect repairs. As he pondered what was next, I rode ahead to see if the other’s had stopped up the trail, After about a mile, I turned back for Deano, and we passed each other, so I turned around again and followed him. We caught up to and passed Danno taking pictures over the first ‘wet’ creek and then proceeded through the first ‘silt bed’ on the course, man those things are a plum of dust… cough choke, cough cough. The three of us rode on until coming to an intersection where Dean and Springer had stopped to wait for us. Time to get out helmet lights and such (Dean had no headlight, and mine pretty much sucks); it was getting dark as the sun disappeared over the mountains. Helmet camera batteries were about done, it had already been a long day, and we still had a ways to go. I think we were at RM85 – only 40-miles in four-hours, man this sucks, we still have 30-miles to go…and we’re pre-running a daylight section at night, who’d a thunk it. I really didn't think things were going well, the race was going to tough, this was way off the pace we'd need to be running and we weren't going fast by any means. Well, onward and upward let’s get this done. We rode closer together and I stopped once in awhile to snap some pictures before the light was completely gone.







We rode in and out of the Pine Forest, until getting back up into higher elevations and into some twisty sandy-banked corners surrounded by Manzanita trees. Still in trail (sweep), I was pacing myself behind Deano, his headlight would cut through the night and illuminate the trail and trees, until coming to a stop in a cloud of dust, I’d get there just as he was getting back on the bike after falling off. Soon he passed Danno, who had fallin’ in a turn and I was behind Danno, until his 8” Baja Designs headlight was illuminating the inside of one of those Manzanita trees.
Hey Danno, you alright? “Yeah, but I’m stuck under the bike.” OK hold on a minute, let me get a picture of this…

Okay, let’s get you out of there, on two, ready…

It was a really nice night, the moon was full and the desert was alive. As we neared RM95 there was a farm house and everyone had stopped there to take a break. Dean had brought along some refreshments and they went down real good, Aaaaah room temperature beer never tasted so well. After that break, we started down a hill through a narrow wash of off camber sand whoops and then back out into more sandy banked turns and some straight deep sand trails. Somewhere through here, Springer was about done, cooked and tired, everyone was making small mistakes, but Springer was having a real tough time with the deep sand. I tried to explain that you have to get on top of it and that required about 25-mph, but it was dark and everyone was tired, so he went down a few times struggling hard to finish the ride. We finally got back to some hard pack sand roads and everything started to get easier again, I thought Danno was behind me as we came out of the deep sand, but it was Springer. We were running a decent pace down the road trying to get to La Rumarosa, and there were a few hair raising turns and sandy sections with rain washes in the road, but I was keeping an eye behind me for the powerfull HID light bouncing through the night. It disappeared once, a little too long, I stopped and as I waited, it came up through the night air again. It was at this time that Springer had gone down hard enough to take him out of the race and out of the rest of the ride, bummer. He didn’t let on for many hours, what had happened, but by the next day he knew it was something more than he could suck up. We arrived at La Rumarosa, and onto Hwy 2. While looking for the rest of the guys we got flagged down by AKJeff in front of a restaurant and made a quick U-Turn into the parking lot. Relief and somewhat dumbfounded that it took over seven-hours to go 70-miles, this was not a good start. The beers were cold, and the food was good. After everyone was finished with long stories and eating it was time to head up the road and find a place to camp. RM120 was going to be a ‘rider-change’ and the satellite reconnaissance showed some places to set up for the night, little did we know it was the town dump.


Camping at RM120: La Rumarosa city dump, top of the grade but it didn’t matter, everyone was beat. We set up camp, and Austin took some crazy night shots playing with lights to make ADV signs and FYYFF logos.
(Photo by Ratty2Austin)

Dean and I sent Jeff back into town to find some more cold one’s and after he returned we sat up drinking and getting to know each other. It was a good night, and afterwards I slept well.

In the morning we took the beer cans from the night before, a hacksaw and some well intentioned ideas and set out to make repairs to the header pipe that was crushed the day before. In the end though, Springer said he wasn’t riding today and gave up the race bike for Deano. We loaded up Deano’s bike in the truck, packed up camp and headed back into town for breakfast.
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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 05-03-2010 at 10:19 AM
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:14 AM   #2
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Day #2 (Pre-Ride)

Day two RM120 to breakfast (broken chain) to RM220: The day began with a beautiful sunrise over the dump, it was the best looking dump I’ve ever slept in.

The little black dog that showed up the night before had found somewhere warm to sleep and as the day let on it became apparent that an early start was not possible. After we got Deano’s bike repaired and put back together and then it went into a truck we were getting farther and farther behind schedule. Jimmy and Mike showed up and we loaded the truck with the camping gear and then drove/rode into La Rumarosa for breakfast at the same restaurant as the night before. Huevos Mexicanos was much better than Huevos Rancheros but the pancakes looked pretty darn good too. After we had all gotten our fill, we returned to the parking lot. Dean was standing there and just by chance was looking over his chain to check the slack. Whoa, that ain’t right, there were two separate link fractures about six-inches apart. Stress failure from something. We got on about fixing it, but then thought better of that and I had a perfectly cut chain to replace his with. It was a bit confusing to count the master links needed after a hardy breakfast and we had such a long ride ahead that it was better to put on a new chain and keep his for spare sections. At least we’d still have a bounty of master-links should we need them. Anyway, it could have been a disaster waiting to happen going down the La Rumarosa grade.
(file photo - blue line is race course)

Straight down a zig-zag of 180-degree switchbacks dropping 4000-feet in five-miles, with sheer cliffs on one side and jutting out rocks and cliff on the other side, don't forget to throw in lots and lots of rocks.


(File photo from Google Earth - And I think this is one of the better parts of the course - 'read' less challenging)




We topped off the tanks and headed back through RM120 and then down the mountain. So far the day before Dean and I hadn’t crashed yet, it was my turn coming up or is that down… After stopping to give everyone a chance to make any last minute fixes, we started down the trail. I was setting a comfortable pace about 27-32mph and getting into a zone, the others were setting their own pace behind me – a bit slower. As we got further apart I decided to stop and video the guy’s coming down the leg over me, this wasn’t such a good idea. The second time I stopped and then got started again, I was not in the zone. I hit some big ass rocks about 200-feet later and the rear end swapped out, I couldn’t get on the gas to correct it and the damper was set to high to get the front from burying itself into the rocks (adult heads). Choosing the better of my options at the time, I just went ahead and crashed on the trail. It’s a great video sequence of rocks grinding along my head, feet, arms and legs flying through the air, and a cloud of dust. The new bike is not new anymore. I had to stop after banging the bark-buster back into position and loosen the triple clamp to reposition my handlebars. I could not ride down that hill with the way they were. After that I slowed up a bit, but then got back into the zone chasing the guys down the hill, video taping as we went.




Just so you know, the trucks and buggies can’t make the 180-turns without backing up, but the bikes have no problems.

(This is the new section Hwy 2 'Toll Road', but you should have an idea of what the terrain is like dropping down a mountain of rocky sheer cliffs with a 4X4 only trail cut into the side of it.)

As we neared the bottom, the trail got more like a rough hard pack rock, ‘fools gold’ and there was good traction. Danno, had found a small short cut and the rest of us followed him. Shortly thereafter, he was rewarded for his decision. Following Dean at a pretty good pace the front wheel locked while braking into a turn. The rock covered trail had some deep rain grooves cut into it and the wheel tucked under hard and he went face and chest spread-eagle over the top. Again, a great video sequence of impending pain. This mountain was kicking our arse, and we weren’t even done with it yet. Danno, got up a little dizzy and his jersey is ripped to shreds, thankfully his under-armor protected him very well, ‘cause that’s the only thing that kept his chest hairs intact.' We rested for a few minutes until he was ready to continue. I told him 'jokingly' that was for taking a short cut, at least he laughed.




We rode slowly down to the bottom and then got back to some flatter faster roads down in the wash. I should have been paying better attention to this section because although it was fast there were some dips that had a bucket load of baby heads strewn about. (I didn’t know at the time I would be racing this part… more later.)


We got through it and over a slight rise to the highway underpass at RM130. The mountain had taken its toll,



but we were all good and still riding. The team was waiting there under the bridge and shot some photos as we railed under it, then stopped for refreshments and a rest. After a bit of time, we each started back out onto the course after a few more photo sessions for Austin. (It was very hard for the chase vehicles to follow the race course, so take ‘em when you can.)
(Photo by Ratty2Austin)


The next part of the course was fast sandy whoops and sections of deep sand. It was dusty so keeping good separation was necessary. This was also the beginnings of hitting buried rocks at forty and fifty miles an hour. They blend in with the surrounding sand and before you know it you’ve pounded a few of them. If you see me looking down at the front wheel it's to see if it's round and still holding air. Danno, made a mistake entering a fast corner and biffed. He was alright but the Baja Designs spare race light had a new configuration to it, it pointed left…and the rock shield was toast. Danno was getting frustrated with his effort and was time to back it down a lot.






Again, maybe we were riding too fast, don’t know. Deano and Danno took a break and I went to chase down Dean. The sand went away 200-feet past where Danno had crashed so I came back to tell them, they were through this part - for now. Then I took off again, I caught up to Dean, half-undressed under the second underpass near RM145 (it was hot maybe in the low 90s)

and we took a break waiting for the other two. A couple quads went by, and someone on an unmarked Honda, dropped in off the highway to run the course into the dry lake. He was smooth and fast and running the parts he wanted to. Don’t know who he was, but he ran into the support team later, I think it was one of the factory guys 1X or 2X.

Danno and Deano arrived a short time later.

and we all got underway again. I found a liking to this section, carving through the sandy berms and the low whoops so come race day when I was going to ride, I was ready. We got to the top of the first dry lake and opened it up a bit, but not all the way, it was nice to ride over something close to the “Bonneville Salt Flats”. However, that didn’t last long. As we neared the edge of the mountains the trail turned into rock covered and baby head loose rock whoops. There was the occasional arroyo that would drop four-feet, go across a small wash, and then climb back up a four-foot embankment back into the whoops. Danno was out front, followed by Deano, and Dean and I were riding side-by-side in the left and right tire tracks, it was a good day, each of us feeding off the other and giving space as needed. After an hour or so, we had all stopped along a wash that had shady cliff, and rested a bit. Watched a TT team pre-race with a Pre-Run truck and then got started again.

This river wash was the deep large granular sand that just sucked the power out of the bike and kept you bouncing off big rocks and small rocks before it got back to a distinguishable trail again. Nearing RM190 we encountered a long silt bed, and had wait for each rider to get through it before following. Then it was back out over a service road into the dry lake. I ran out of gas through here, but knew I was close to the support team, I thought I should chase down Danno, and let him know I was running low just in case I ran out behind everyone. After we got back onto the lake I wanted to see how fast the bike would go, so I opened it up. 97.5mph not bad. Then I passed the ADVrider sign and had to double back for a picture.

I ran out of gas before reaching the support team, and dumped my extra liter in, not tempting the mud field we stuck to the graded road. We got to RM220 and filled up, it was decided that we would all head down the highway (5) into San Felipe for the night and bacon wrapped shrimp.

Got on jackets as the sun faded over the mountains and beat feet at 65-mph down the highway… 70-miles of highway and Dean was running without any lights next to my pitiful 35-watt headlight. The military checkpoint could care less about what vehicles pass through and this time no one was checked. By the time we got to San Felipe it was very dark.
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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 12-27-2008 at 05:21 PM
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:16 AM   #3
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Day #2 (Pre-Ride) San Felipe R&R

San Filipe R&R (Rest and Repair): After arriving in SF we got hotel rooms, secured the bikes, and took showers; boy did that feel refreshing. Then we all walked over to the beach

and found a restaurant that served up something Springer and company had experienced before – Bacon wrapped large Shrimp.

The waitress was a little overwhelmed with drink and food orders, but managed to get it all mostly right.

During dinner, we discussed what had been going well, and what areas needed more focus on. It came up during this discussion that we could forgo the 50-miles from RM220 to RM270 but Dean and I were hesitant to agree to this. We were here to pre-run the course and if that meant driving/riding back 70-miles on the highway to do it, that’s what we’d do. The plan was to return to SF that night, so we were going to be doing the longest day so far – 130-miles from RM220 to RM350. Deano wasn’t real happy to run the bikes on the highway, and they all needed some TLC before we departed in the morning. Returning to the hotel, a few of us bought another 12-pack of carbohydrates of the “Tecate” variety and polished those before hitting the sack. In the morning, bright and early for some, later for others, we set about cleaning air-filters, checking oil, and checking for loose nuts, and bolts.
Then we loaded up the two CRF450X’s and departed on SBR-Time out of town.


The "Ball Buster" is coming up...
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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)
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:18 AM   #4
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Day #3 (Pre-Ride) (Part-One)

Day three RM220 to RM350 (Flat tire day): Dean and I rode back up to RM220 and waited for the guys who had stopped for fuel and water. After everyone was back on the ground and ready, we took off and blaze of glory across the dry lake, hitting top speed in short order and pinning it all the way. It’s really a sight to look over your shoulder at a dust wake rising off the rear tire to over 20-feet into the air. After a few minutes of this I swung a big loop out into the lake and video taped the other three go past, then settled into the sweep position again for the day.




Soon after getting partway across the lake it turned south back towards the mountains and we were greeted by the beach, well not really but the sand and sand dunes reminded me of beaches; deep soft powdery sand.




This turned into a hard pack dirt rocky road, which eventually turned into this black, course sand, almost like coal. The bikes really sank into this and it was difficult to maintain direction without allot of body control and throttle. Scattered about were sharp-edged rocks and the arroyos again, where you drop in, climb out and there was cactus and scrub brush dotting the sides of the trail. I found Danno once just having picked up the bike in sharp descending corner that caught him off-guard. Shortly after that we came upon Deano who stopped after an arroyo (bike in trail) and sitting in the shade.





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Dean had parked his bike Baja style (burying the back tire) and was walking towards him.

Nothing serious, just the first flat tire we had had so far. It was mid-day and hot, so I think he was just looking for a place to change it.

We got to work changing the flat front and being tired and hot led us to pinching the first try.

We then patched that tube, waited for it to dry and then were more careful to get it done right. Holding air and mounted up, we got under way again. This lasted about 20-minutes, Dean and Danno, were gone upfront and Deano and I stopped to repair the second flat of the day.

The patch or the glue didn’t work so we opted for the last new tube carried. Deano and I were real careful to install everything right, but in the conditions we still managed to pinch the tube with the short tire-irons. I tried to call ahead and let them know what we were working on, as we only had about 20-miles to go to get to RM280 “Borego Pits”. Dean worked on the tire after we patched it and made sure everything was good, (this was now two flats requiring four attempts to fix) then we got it all back together again and headed off. Deano is riding much better now than the first day, and I unfortunately had my head up my arse. Remember that get in the zone, stop and wait to get back in the zone, well? I wasn’t paying enough attention and although I was riding quite fast and carving the sandy turns through this canyon, I wasn’t looking for the big ass rocks. As I entered this little canyon of boulders I miss read the turn, went over a big rock the rear kicked up and front nose-dived into the sand, and I launched myself over the bars endo style into the gravel. My leg caught my GPS, rotated it fully forward on the mount, and bent some of the substructure. Later I found out I also pinched the power wire and it was running on battery, well shit. It was getting to be a long day and we had only gone 30-35 miles. Towards the end of this run, the course began to go up and down some rather large ridgelines and into the washes below. One particular hill climb was this badly whooped out rocky hill and as I was climbing up it, weight forward, steady on the throttle and rolling the whoops I got center punched in the groin (pelvic – pubic bone) by my GPS, ouch, that hurt like hell for a week afterwards. We got to the top and another climb like this one and then we were descending into the Borego Pits area. The team was there and offered us cold water and some snacks, and I had to get out the first-aid-kit and doctor up Deano’s hands from the blisters. I think he really likes “New-Skin” antiseptic (there was a picture of it somewhere on here) These 50-miles we were going to bypass turned out to be much more difficult than anything we had done, so we were all glad we did it. If anything it builds character and flat tire changing experience.
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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 01-08-2009 at 03:46 PM
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:20 AM   #5
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Day #3 (Pre-Ride) (Part-Two)

With that behind us, and restocking on flat tire repair kits, Dean and Danno took off into the desert to finish the last 70-miles. They left about 20-minutes before Deano and I were ready to go, and it was thought that we’d catch up to them at some point. Making good time from RM280 to Checkpoint 2/4 we had a chance, until Deano pulls up and says, guess what? I’ve got a flat tire. Arrrgh. No rocks ‘round here, lets find a place to turn the sand into a bike stand or just lay it over.

He insisted on changing this one himself and with the sun setting over the mountains I had other things to attend to.



As Deano changed out the tube, and yes we looked to make sure the tire patches held up, they did, we could not find out what caused this flat only that it was a slow leak. We restocked on new tubes so that’s what went in and Deano got done about the time, I had cut and spliced my GPS power cable to the new uncut length into the ‘power-let’ plug, and got my helmet light mounted up and ready.

Off we go into the night. The southern leg of the SF loop was nice two-lane-wide road with concrete bridge over culvert, so we were running a good pace. (Oh, small important piece of information; the tire didn’t set the bead, right where the rim-lock goes, so I said just ride it for a while and then after it sets we can put the nut on and tighten the rim-lock. This would bite us in the ass later.) Deano and I were having a really good ride up to this point and although we were running about 50-60mph I noticed that the light pattern was changing behind me. I looked over my shoulder and saw two bright ass lights, at first I thought is was a reflection in my goggles, so I checked again, same thing, then I turn the opposite way and saw that one set of lights had four or more, shit a truck or buggy is coming up behind us. We pulled over and stopped, and the guys in the buggy were really cool as to not dust us right away, but the road in front of us turned into a cloud of dust you could not see through. There were two of them and they both passed in the same fashion. As we got further South, the road turned into a trail and the trial turned into two-track which turned into climbing up and down gradual hills. This wasn’t before Deano came thorugh a uphill right-hander and fell over in the change of terrain. (Later we found out that Danno had missed again those three or four stacked arrows at RM310 and went flying off the end of the road – somersaulting and cart-wheeling the bike into the desert. At this point the headlight was toast, as well as Danno’s confidence level.) A short time later we started riding through silt beds that were long and winding, you can either ride side-by-side or one (usually me) would have to drop back a long ways. The lights and helmet light just reflect off this dust and it becomes a brown wall. Nearing RM325 we dropped down into the river wash going East, this was a fast section as the trail through the wash was very distinguishable and the trees and scrub easy to see in the dark. I was in the groove and carving from turn to sweeping turn (Ace has a special moment in this area IIRC – he was racing a TT through here back and forth for position). The occasional high-speed buried rocks no longer bothered me as the wheels had taken much more abuse thus far, so hitting one was no longer an issue of did I just flat spot something or get a flat tire. There were a few sneaky hairpins as the wash ran right up to the rock walls and would shoot back into the open wash but you could see that fairly well ahead of time. I would wait up for Deano to catch up and then hammer it through the wash some more.

About RM330 and onward I was looking to see if any ADVrider’s were camping early but didn’t see anyone. I caught up to and passed some guy on a 4X4 Quad and then got to a rock wall with S-Curve over a rock obstacle. I waited for Deano and talked with the quad guy, he was a little lost and wondered if this was the way to San Felipe, I said yes. Deano caught up and I took off over the hump, Deano started then bobbled and fell over, they guy on the quad laughed (Deano did’t care for that) but he got up and got started roosting the quad guy as he passed. I passed a big ass boulder in the trail and stopped to make sure Deano saw it before continuing. We entered the sand whoops from RM340 to RM345, then, I ran out gas, (main) that almost caused me to face plant in the whoops - brrrrrrrrrrp brrrrrrrrrp brrrrrrrrrrp bluuuuuuuu. Later it did, but it was a combination of events. I was riding at about 25-30 just banging through one after another then my bike sputtered, I got crossed up and surfed down one side and up the other, then I lost it in the sand and pile drive’d the next one hard. I was just getting myself and the bike up when Deano arrived. There had to be some consolations for Deano to finally see me on the ground. The bike would not start, I wasn’t sure if was out of gas or just flooded. We waited; I also broke my helmet light off the chin-bar so in the meantime of waiting for the bike to cool down, it became a handlebar light with some zip-ties. (Oh yeah time to interject something – my headlight had developed a problem. It would work as long as the steering was perfectly straight or more than a little off center. Therefore, with each steering adjustment the light would flicker off and back on, very distracting but the HID Headhunter was more than ample to overcome the flashing headlight.) Finally got the bike to fire up and we got started again. Only I could not turn to the right. The force that I went down had twisted the steering damper rod on the headstock so it was binding. We took the mask off and reset the damper rod and then the bike would not start again. I guess it was out of gas. I dumped my liter of gas into the tank and finally got the bike started again, we were off and running, only a mile or later we would be back on hard pack roads and seeing the lights of San Felipe come into view.

As we arrived at RM350 the GPS was showing go right even though the course went left at an intersection. Deano informed me at this time that he had – guess? Another flat tire…Out of gas, running a flat tire and tired from 130-miles of sand, rocks, and whoops, we doubled back and followed the GPS as we couldn’t see where or how we’d get to town. (Later I found out Dean and Danno went left and they had to go all the way to the ‘Zoo’ road to get into town - about 15-miles). We made it a mile or so down to Hwy 5 and my bike promptly ran out of gas again. Time to call the cavalry less than two-miles from SF. They came out with a truck, loaded up Deano’s bike and gave me some gas, I followed the truck back to the hotel. Dean was sleeping in a chair (on guard duty) but I didn’t know he was passed out. I pulled up in front him and wacked the throttle – he damn near jumped out the chair and called me an A-hole. I probably deserved much more, but I was happy to be somewhere, and happy to be drinking a cold beer and talking about the day. The only food available this time of night was a ‘hot-dog’ cart on the beach. The best damn ‘hot dog’ I ever ate - three of them. Good night.

P.S. Oh yeah the rim-lock it broke off inside the flat tire and munched itself.

P.S.2. The third flat of the day right after Borego Pits, was caused by two cactus punctures, just bad luck.

P.S.3. My headlight issue was a worn wire from the steering damper - fixed.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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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:

After brunch

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.


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Old 12-12-2008, 07:18 PM   #7
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Talking

Video gets added all the time (it's a slow process), so check back often. They're embeded at the appropriate place in the story. If you just want to see the video go the other thread in 'Racing' I'm just posting them there as I get them done.

Cheers.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:30 AM   #8
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Russ, the videos are great Thanks for sharing them.
Unfortunately It looks like a comitment I had thought I had gotten out of is not avoidable and I will be stuck on the 20th... I was really looking forward to meeting you guys. This is the Northwet... Hopefully I can get a rain check?
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fisherman
Russ, the videos are great Thanks for sharing them.
Unfortunately It looks like a comitment I had thought I had gotten out of is not avoidable and I will be stuck on the 20th... I was really looking forward to meeting you guys. This is the Northwet... Hopefully I can get a rain check?
Well, good thing the party is the 19th then, what's your excuse now?

(Hey P.S. I screwed up this morning, I recorded the race (NBC) while watching HDTV, my DVR has it, but my DVD-Recorder doesn't recognise that format. I had to run off to work, so I'll try and figure it out tomorrow. Maybe it's just the wrong type of DVD-R Disk)


Everyone else, I'm working, so you will just have to wait a little longer for more video - La Rumarosa is next up, don't miss it!
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:17 AM   #10
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Wow, what an incredible report!
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:38 PM   #11
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Three more videos added to post number 3 detailing the run south of Laguna Coyote (RM240 to RM250ish) and back into the rocks from the sand.

The days were long, the memory cards and batteries short and the video capabilities shorter, hope you enjoy what I captured - so much is missing, but only a reason to go back...

Cheers
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:52 AM   #12
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Best RR ever!

Russ, hope you save copies of this for your son. We are all proud and grateful for your effort and you accomplishment. KUDOs AGAIN!
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:07 PM   #13
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wow!!! now that was one hell of a ride report. great job!!!!!!
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:41 PM   #14
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Thanks guys, more video coming...

I wish I was still there...
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:00 PM   #15
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Excellent!

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