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Old 09-28-2010, 04:04 PM   #1
coaxial OP
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Western Can., USA, Baja, & Mex. 11,000km by v-strom & versys

Well, this trip has spent around a year in the planning stages, has been delayed several times by minor catastrophes, but is finally going to begin tomorrow! soon enough I'll be posting hopefully very entertaining photos and stories from the west coast, baja, and mainland mexico.

(edited to add a teaser pic:)


Incredibly hypothetical route which we have no intentions to follow:


In a nutshell, my buddy Rob (versys) and I (wee-strom) will spend the next 3.5 weeks riding from western Canada down the west coast of OR/CA, down the baja, ferry over to Mazatlan, to Durango, and back home via inland western states such as AZ,NV,ID, etc. The route you see above is entirely a mathematical approximation, we have zero intention of sticking to that route or schedule, just had to check how long the basic loop would take, we'll go wherever the fun points us. Hoping for some longer days riding and more days relaxing in Mexico & western USA, just did the math to play it safe to make sure we can get back to our lady friends and jobs by November :)

My last trip was up to/around Alaska last summer, and I loved every minute of it. I also learned a lot, like the fact that when I'm on an amazing trip I don't have much interest in writing a detailed report, I'd rather spend my time riding, exploring and meeting interesting people! I've been following some fantastic RRs (as in the ones in south america right now!) here lately, and I've noticed a bunch of good photos and a bit of text are all you need for a great RR. I won't have much technology or stuff in general with me on this trip (another lesson learned), but I will have an iPhone4 and GoPro HD, so I'll get some good stuff up here at least every day or two.

Another big thing I learned is the value of proper luggage and packing. Just over a year ago I set off for Alaska with my bike looking like this:
NOT IDEAL!


Tomorrow I'll set off for Mexico looking like this:


The proper (although cheap) luggage has got all the weight down much lower, is all locked away and waterproof, and much more organized. I'm also leaving a lot more behind, and replaced some of my old gear with newer lighter stuff (backpacking stove for example).

I finished packing and loaded everything up last night and went for a spin - very impressed - can barely tell the weight is there; much much less top-heavy than the top case and rear seat mountain. Side cases are worth it, and yes, less is more :)

Those of you with a keen eye might notice the new paint colour as well - that would be explained by this photo:


Around 4 weeks ago the volvo pictured above and it's driver decided they missed their turn or something, and (from the *right* lane), without looking or signaling, hung a left/u-turn right in front of me. One second she's way up ahead on the right, the next my bike is totaled and I'm flying through the air over her hood. I'm extremely lucky to just have a broken toe and a lot of soreness with a bit of muscle injury. I made a face plant thread :) Safety gear works!... I wear about twice as much of it now.

Anyway, glad to have you FFs along for the ride, please make comments/insults and especially route/stop suggestions here, please salute me if you see me on the road, etc.

I'm prepared for this trip in the sense that I have packed, I have all the insurance I could find, and I took a level 1 espanol class. I can explain that mi llamo is Josh, and ask donde el banjos ;)

More prep photos are on my flickr set for the trip which should be updated at least daily. I'll be updating this hopefully daily as well. Just added my SPOT link to my signature as well. Also more planning/trip following links here on a bit of a trip planning page I threw together. SPOT will be fired up in about 24 hours as I head east to meet Rob who is starting from Calgary. We'll meet somewhere Thursday in southern BC or AB and head south for Spokane, Portland, and the PCH/101 I expect.

Again, any route/stop advice is extremely welcome, as we are just roaming about randomly in an attempt to find cool stuff

Josh
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coaxial screwed with this post 02-07-2011 at 05:45 PM
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #2
coaxial OP
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I am off

And I am off!!



Except I am actually at work for the next few hours, as I have to finish up some things before I head off for a month

I'm riding off to see some amazing places, but as you can see in the photo above - few places compare with the west coast of BC. I'm pretty content these days with my decision to move to Vancouver a few years back, it sure is a purty place

Forecast for the route ahead looks fantastic. Near freezing temps in the mountain passes I'll be using over the next couple days, but no snow or rain in sight.

Headed east on Hwy 3 in southern BC today, will find somewhere to camp near the highway, perhaps in Princeton or up in the Whipsaw Trail area of Manning Park. Will post a couple photos later if there is cell service. Fixed the SPOT links in the signature.
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coaxial screwed with this post 01-21-2011 at 11:50 AM
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:38 AM   #3
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Laugh

This will be fun! I am going to follow your trip closely as I can from my desk at work...
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:15 PM   #4
Steelybeast
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I am adding this to my list to watch. Has to be good with a start like this
:-)
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:05 PM   #5
Superdave Osborne
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Looks like you're planning to head through Spokane. Don't miss Niko's in downtown.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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Hey the trip looks great! I'll be taking notes and maybe some day follow your lead.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:10 AM   #7
coaxial OP
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Made it to Creston BC and met up with partner in crime Rob. We cross the border into Idaho! Has been an adventure already- I spent hours with mechanical work, saw a large bear, camped in below freezing temps, rode with some sportbikes at 200km/h in the mountains, and subsequently ran out of fuel :) hitchhiking with scary people followed of course; but I got back on the road quickly and arrived on time. Filling the spare fuel from now on :)

Photos on Flickr updated, and will try to post video of riding switchbacks with sportbikes!
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:17 AM   #8
coaxial OP
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Day 1 - Vancouver BC to Princeton BC

Day one I snuck out of work after lunch and managed to get out of the city before rush hour set in. A short day today, I made it into Manning Park and found a camp spot by a river. My friend from the city tagged along in his 4x4 van for the first leg of the journey as an excuse to get out of town for the night.


We make our way through the city and east into the Fraser valley, and reach the west edge of the rockies, and into Manning park on highway 3 (crowsnest highway). Around dusk we find a nice place to camp down a dirt road on a riverbank. Dinner, drinks, an attempt at fishing commence.

Things you'll see a lot of on this trip:

Awesome camp spots


Don't mind the support vehicle in the photo - my friend came along from Vancouver to camp for the first night. I tried to convince him to follow along in his 4x4 van full of tools and food for the whole trip, but no such luck :)

Me complaining about the temperature (-1c!)


Me catching no fish


And hungy bears
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:26 AM   #9
coaxial OP
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Cool2

yep as expected I've not updated here as I am having too much fun ejoying the west coast of the USA! (awesome roads, cool people, great food, sketchy campgrounds/motels)

We ride into LA in a couple hours and will have a day off at my friend's place in Corona. Day of rest, new rear tire for the versys (turns out the distenzia in that size is really soft (supermoto?) compound and wore out in a week), new oil for both bikes, hopefully find a top rack/case for the versys somewhere in LA.

Tomorrow we cross into Mexico!

I've been shooting a lot of GoPro HD footage of some of the great roads we've found, but neither the netbook Rob brought nor any of the wifi we've found are up to the task of dealing with the videos.

What I have been updating is photos! see the set here, it is up to date and in chronological orderings
http://www.flickr.com/photos/coaxial...744087/detail/

Wish me luck with escaping LA with the day off there and maybe a real computer I'll try to catch up the RR.

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #10
Sjoerd Bakker
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x This is going to get interesting , especially around your mapped plans for days 13 and 14.
Remember ,no riding at night on the open highways.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #11
coaxial OP
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Survived riding through LA! only one jam-up, 45 minutes of first gear crawl, actually a nice break from the 160km/h *slow lane* and LA drivers

Hanging out at my buddy's place in Corona CA - basically a racecar shop so really loving it. No wifi so no updates :P

Crossing into Mexicali in the morning, SPOT will be back on, photos will go up as wifi appears. Thinking of taking our time and just sticking to the Baja only for this trip, that way we can spend the next 10 days exploring the Baja, 4-5 days getting back to Canada and work by the 25th. Plan of course is no real plan, so who knows!

Should be staying in San Felipe tomorrow night, I've heard it is real nice, getting lots of good advice from California folks here (aside from the usual "OMG it is so dangerous, don't go").

Hasta Luego Amigos! bring on the Baja advice please! muchos gracias!
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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Looks good... subscribed!!!
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
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So jealous!

This is going to be good! Keep it coming.
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #14
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:44 PM   #15
DRZ400SM1981
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Hope you made it to San Felipe

Just read your totaled bike story and stumbled onto this gem of a thread. Hope you made it to San Felipe. I live down in San Diego. I've been dying to get to Mexico lately. Haven't been down in a few years. And I wouldn't worry about too much trouble down there. Border cities can always have their issues, and TJ has a lot, but it looks like you choose Mexicali, so it shouldn't be an issue. Just don't look for trouble and trouble should have a hard time finding you. Conversely...

This will be good. I have a wee-strom as my weapon of choice s well. It will be interesting to see how it fairs... which will be great of course.

Good luck my friend.

Hasta Luego.
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