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Old 03-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #1
beechum1 OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Herlong, CA. Look it up, I'll wait.
Oddometer: 7,172
First road trip worth mentioning on the XRL

The alarm didnít go off at 1:15am as I had programmed it. At some point during the night, I had decided to shut off my phone. Which was where the alarm was programmed. So at 2:00am when baby mama came into my room to wake me up, I got moving much quicker than usual. I had laid out my clothes the night before & packed the bags so I wasnít in for much work, justÖ waking up quickly. Which I donít like. I put on the gear, boots, helmet, earphones, mp3ís playing on phone. Time to go. It was about 55 degrees when I walked out the house; Iíd ridden many times and dressed appropriately. I got on the road, working with adrenalin and getting the miles down quickly. I had Frank Zappa (strictly commercial), Lenny Kravitz, RHCP, Bob Marley, Calle 13, Dave Matthews (crash), Frank Zappa (Joeís garage Disc 1).

I arrived at the first toll booth. 88 pesos. Pretty steep, but necessary for time savings and overall aggravation savings. So there I was, cruising on the freeway, or tollway as it was, 70mpg heading toward Tecate. As I approached Tecate I realized Iíd committed the same mistake Iíd made when heading to Crawdaddyís Desert Dash (as a spectator as well.) Iíd forgotten about the altitude change. As I climbed to about 4000 feet, I was quickly reminded. I was quite disappointed I hadnít figured out how to make a throttle lock in time because as my throttle hand was getting very cold now. I finally got to a long straightaway and switched hands to I could stuff my throttle hand into the engine. That continued for a few miles. I got to the second toll booth, 55 pesos this time. The lady was very nice, and cute. If Iíd been more aware, I would have chatted for a minute since 35 degrees while NOT moving was considerably more comfortable, but I was on a mission from god. I pulled up, refreshed my gum, drank some water while stopped (since I was wearing a full face balaclava) and headed out again. I think it was a bit after 3 now.

As I ran through the hills, I was constantly reminded of my un-antici------pation of the frio-ness. So reaching the third toll both, at the top of the Rumarosa section, with the wind rushing from behind into the valley ahead, and paying the 18 pesos, I was anxious to make the descent into the desert to warm up. Heading down I was in a hurry to warm up, so with the tires properly warmed up per se, I was making good time untilÖ.

Iíd driven the Rumarosa before, once on a sport bike and several times in a car. Iíd gone during the day when the gentle touch of wind wasnít as severe. So, as I was pushed into the other lane on a decreasing radius, I decided that even though the signs were in KMís, that the speed limit should apply through this section. Through the desert and the military checkpoint, it was quite warm. I was happy to finally be comfortable again, and though about taking off my rain suit (which I use a wind block). I didnít however and good thing. JUST AS SOON, as I took the exit off the 2, towards san Felipe I lost 10 degrees immediately. I thought it was pretty ridiculous, but whatever. 14 miles down the road I stopped at the Oxxo, got an 8 peso bag of chips, 6 peso mini snickers and an Arizona Iced Tea. Remember that, Iíll recover this food topic later. I knew it was 14 miles not necessarily because I was noting landmarks, but because, on my way back I ask the nice lady washing the windows how far until the split. She said about 7 minutes. I thought to myself, is this US minutes, or Mexican minutes. I guess Iíll find out. And I did.

There was also Pemex attached, but I look at the ODO and the remaining distance, and knew that I had enough gas to make it to san Felipe. Remember that. Iíll touch that one later too.

There was some construction going on down the 5 in a few sections about 15-30 miles out of Mexicali. The solution for the diversion was to grade the ditch, spray it with water occasionally to control the dust, and let us have at it. Since Iíd just put the CRF forks on the bike the week earlier I was happy to twist the throttle and see how it handled. And it did. Except now the rear suspension is the weak point. Iíll have to adjust that for off road when I do that again. So, three separate off road sections later, I was back on the slab for good towards san Felipe. By this time the sun started coming up and luckily because the headlight issue that appeared two nights ago appeared again. I met with Oso Blanco on his way back from Panama, and on the way out we troubleshot my headlight issue which somehow fixed itself. And then reappeared.

So there I was, cruising down the ďfreeĒway and suddenly at 170 miles, I had to turn on the 2nd petcock. (Acerbis 5.8 (6.2 from empty)). I should be able to get to 220 miles before reserve. Iím not sure what happened, but Iím pretty sure that someone is stealing my gas. Anyway, so I start doing the math, and Iím pretty sure, even with the quart that I keep on my handlebars, this is going to be friggin close. I pass the 3, and the military checkpoint (yeah, another one) and thereís a few cars sitting on the side in what looks like used to be a Pemex. Used to be. I ask, and the local says, about 15 miles down the road, thereís a bunch of people there to see the race, someone there should have gas. OK, I thought to myself. I can make it there for sure and figure it out from there.

I make it, park just as the 1x bike came through with the 4x bike RIGHT behind him. I see a few more bikes; ask a few guys about the nearest gas station, they say about 15 miles. I do the math, and worst case, yeah, Iím pretty sure I can make it. Watch the rest of the bikes and a few quads, and decide Iím going for it. Gear back up, take off and looking good. I see... I think I seeÖno. Is that..?? No. it isnít. Spew cough cough, die, and coast. OK. Thereís a solution here. Thereís a little bit of gas at the bottom that the petcock doesnít get to on level ground. So I dip the back tire off the shoulder. Give it a secondÖ. And it fires up, so I twist off. Is that?? No. cough cough cough. Rinse repeat. 3 times until I finally made it to the Pemex. And they donít take CCís. MF. Use the last of my cash, which was supposed to be for food (there it is again) and instead of looking for a cajero, I went looking for the action. I did a lap through Scoretown, came back found where the cars would be passing, and found a place to hang out.

It was getting warm and I found a dead shrubbery to hide underneath while I waited for the start of the trucks. Had a bolis, waited some more. Then they came. Tearing ass down the dirt road at what had to be 120mph, people on both sides 3 feet away, the customary people standing in the middle until the last minute. Pretty Fíin cool. Iíd gone the 1000 last year and was in the wash as they came down and also behind the jump.

SO: from there I went back out to mile 31 (as Iíd later find out itís called) to see a few of the trucks go by that Iíd just seen. Man those guys are hauliní. SO, Iím standing there right, and Iím in my gear, and helmet and all, and this kid comes up (in Spanish, for which I hablo) and says, can I get a picture with youÖ. I sayÖ ďWhy?Ē Iím not in the race, but he doesnít hear, he points at the camera, and Iím likeÖ yeah sure. So I get my picture taken with this kid. Made me feel good for a minute. Then this chic comes up and starts talking to me about the race. And once again, Iím not paying attention, and I think she was initiating the convo, to which I didnít respond. Stupid. So watch a few trucks and unlimitedís go by, and head back into town. As I get back, I see the line of traffic and see others going around the line of traffic. I follow ďthem.Ē We hit some sandy washboards, cruising through ďtownĒ and Iím just following cars at this point. They know better than I do whatís about to happen. We head south of town towards the airport and I just keep following. Thereís a Herbst truck up ahead, so I figure he knows whatís going on. We get to the right turn to get out to M170 I think it was. After a few miles of whoops. With the oversized tank, I canít stand far enough forward to keep balanced and comfortable on the standing on the pegs. So I wasnít, for a few miles.

When I got there, I asked where the route is, find a place to dig in the bike (sand park) and relax for a bit. There were a few bikes and quads that came by. So by now, I think itís about 12:30 ish, maybe 1. I really donít know. And this lady comes by with tamales and burritos. I grab 20 pesos of (2) burritos and chow. Now youíll remember that last time I ate? 5 in the morning. A bag of chips and a snickers. Oh, and the bolis. I CHOW those down, drink water and run out now, and decide Iím headed back to town to get gas, pull some cash and come up with a plan.

My extended family knows of a few people down there that I should look up if I want to stay there. I did a cursory search in the morning, didnít turn up any solid leads where they live (because this is Mexico) and figured it wasnít happening. I thought maybe after I figure out food and money, Iíll figure out whatís next.

Stop at the first Pemex, Out of gas.
2nd Pemex, CC machines no working. Cajero no working.
3rd Pemex, no take CC
4th Pemex, no take CC
5th Pemex, no take American CC
Go inside the Oxxo, no Cajero.
They point me to a licka stow across the street. I reluctantly get on the bike, not optimistic that itís going to work, and wondering how the F Iím going to get money for gas. Iím thinking of what tools I can sell, my extra pants I brought, the rain suit I JUST bought. Just to get money for gas. I go across the street, ATM works, get 400 pesos. 100 pesos for gas, 30 pesos for some trail mix, bag of chips and a 2liter of water. Yeah, you keeping tabs on the food sitch? I sure did. I didnít want to sit down at a restaurant. I didnít want to lose my high, and get sleepy.

Gas in the bike, a little bit of food in my tummy and half of the trail mix and chips stowed in the tank bag, Iím on the road. F this S. Iím tired and I donít wanna search all over town for someone that I may or may not find, and then STILL have to drive home. Combined with the headlight issue, I figure leaving was the best solution for it all.

Make it through Prince (gold experience), Justin T, Matt & Kim, Metallica, Rush, & nine inch nails before I lose battery. But I was at the ď2nd toll booth,Ē coming from TJ, and only had another hour to go at this point.

BUT before that, I left town, was cruising through the desert, passed the military checkpoint, and saw the signs for the 3 to Ensenada. Not knowing the gas stops and mileage to Ensenada, I thought better to go with what I know. What a hot and boring ride in the middle of the afternoon. Man I wish I had highway pegs. And a cruise. And a back rest. F. I finally made it to the Oxxo Iíd stopped at outside Mexicali in the morning, and ate the rest of my snacks, bought another water, filled up the tank (with roja) and got on the road for the rest of the 4 hour ride. BTW, I filled up with the green in the morning, and the bike felt like it wanted to fall apart. WOW, idí never felt the bike shudder like that before. I was almost willing to pay 10$ a gallon to mix my gas with race gas just to get it to a reasonable behavior. Iíd filled with green before, with my 600rr (FI) and didnít notice any problems. Perhaps the FI adjusted appropriately. The hot bike, jetted a little lean still I think didnít handle it well. But the red was just fine.

Got to the toll booth, paid the first 55 pesos, did a quick search for my money, and figured out that somehow I didnít have enough. I was too tired to do counts in my head where Iíd spent 400 pesos, so it being what it was, just decided that the last leg will have to be on the libre instead of the cuota. The drive back was mostly unremarkable except for the climb up the rumarosa. I stopped once to pee, and the 2nd to put my cold weather gear back on. The first, I stood at the edge and looked down as I did what I did, and it was just beautiful, except for the used tires tossed over the side. Otherwise, very nice view. The 2nd was maybe 500m higher but the clima quickly turned cold and before getting cold and putting it on, I figure I better stay ahead of this one. While I was stopped, the wind was whipping. It almost pushed the bike over the kickstand; I had to catch it, and was pushing me all around. If I hadnít secured my clothes while trying to get dressed, I would have been very sorely disappointed. It was strong enough to push my camelback from one side to the other. And it was packed. Dressed, twist, out.

Like I said unremarkable drive back. Stopped to send an email to baby mama to have food ready, Iíll be back in 45 minutes while I had US signal at the ď2ndĒ toll booth. Battery died, but email sent. Good, Iíll have warm food when I get back.

Pull in, park the bike, hugs to the girls, start taking off gear, and donít have chicken, rice, beans and tortillas waiting as Iíd emailed. Instead I have leftovers from two nights ago, which I DID NOT want. Well, thatís why sheís baby mama and not my wife.

I spent about 80$ in food & gas the whole day. 220 miles from door to door, 4 hours including toll booth stops, slow going down and back up the rumarosa. Great day, Iím friggin sore, and my ass hurts.

I got a few pics and a few vids of the bikes and trucks. Not worth posting, there are much better pics all around, got to see the Bahia and make the longest one way, two way and day trip on my bike so far. Look out Shooterdave, Iím comingÖHA!
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Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:33 PM   #2
SoCalPhil
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Location: A Hop, Skip, and a Jump From Baja
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Sounds like you're living in Mex. The first toll heading east on the Tecate toll road (mx2) from Otay is costly, made that mistake once. Now I just head south on Blvd 2000 to mx2 to Tecate and save my $7.50. It's maybe a 20 minute difference, maybe less depending where and if you're living SOB (south of the border). If not, as you probably know taking Hwy 94 to Tecate can't be beat.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
beechum1 OP
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Location: Herlong, CA. Look it up, I'll wait.
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Yeah, I live in Otay off Bellas Artes. Knowing what kind of a day I was up against, I didn't want to deal with 20 minutes and any traffic, and the construction that was going on there last time I went through, and the stoplights.... It wasn't REALLY worth 88 pesos, but if i'd known how shagged I was going to be on the way home, I would have saved the toll for the way home, and gone out the libre in the morning.
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Originally Posted by Dread Pendragon View Post
Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
SoCalPhil
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I know that area really well, I spend a lot of time just east of Parque de La Amistad, and just a few blocks south of you. Been going back and forth for the last six years, have never had a problem or any issues.

I enyjoy the pople and the food. Chapes tacos down on Alfonsos Vidal Planas is probably the best street taco stand in otay, IMHO!
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
beechum1 OP
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No S!.... when we going riding then?
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Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:40 PM   #6
SoCalPhil
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I'm doing the Ranchers and Racers next month. I keep my bike up here in San Clemente, ya know how those gals are down there, love you one minute, the next they're throwing your sh*t out in the street! Hey I just remembered, all gals are like that.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
beechum1 OP
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I'm doing the Ranchers and Racers next month. I keep my bike up here in San Clemente, ya know how those gals are down there, love you one minute, the next they're throwing your sh*t out in the street! Hey I just remembered, all gals are like that.
pssh, don't i know it. But then they remember who pays the bills while they're chismiando and not working. Oh wait... is that just my useless baby mama?
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:55 PM   #8
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Wish I could make that ride, sounds nice, but not at 175$.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:05 PM   #9
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That was quite an adventure! And I SOOO wish I could be riding the Mexican terrain with you! Ay yay yay yay

What's this "got to a long straightaway and switched hands to I could stuff my throttle hand into the engine" stuff? Did you really cross your left hand over to the throttle?? I tried this once and was met by the pavement. Something like opposite reactions. Won't try it again.

Next time, get the phone no.s of the relatives if you can't get the addresses or the street crossings. It totally rocks to visit people in latin American countries
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:49 PM   #10
beechum1 OP
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That was quite an adventure! And I SOOO wish I could be riding the Mexican terrain with you! Ay yay yay yay

What's this "got to a long straightaway and switched hands to I could stuff my throttle hand into the engine" stuff? Did you really cross your left hand over to the throttle?? I tried this once and was met by the pavement. Something like opposite reactions. Won't try it again.

Next time, get the phone no.s of the relatives if you can't get the addresses or the street crossings. It totally rocks to visit people in latin American countries
Yeah, throttle hand stuffed in the motor. I've done it for yearsamd it does take some practice.
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Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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