Home Soon

March 12, 2009

Things are winding down. Ryan will be flying home on Thursday and Liz flys home on Friday. Kalle, Chuck, Tegan, and Sean leave on thursday. San Ignacio on thursday night, Mama Espinosa on Friday, San Diego on Saturday, and San Francisco on Sunday. Hope to make the Ride but may be late.

Cary and Liz went wail watching on Monday and brought back two world travelers. Chris and August. They are traveling around the world on dr 400’s. They have the loaded up with hard saddle bages and a large Pelican box on the back. The spent a few days with us on the beach and are good travelers. They are only six days into thier tour. They are planning on three years. They figure it will cost 20k per year. Take Care and See you all soon.



March 10, 2009


We are in Mulegenow. the weather is over cast and It even rained a bit. The forecast is for sunny 80 degree days. We come up with a plan to ride bikes ( Kalle, John, Ryan and Sean) south and up the peninsula we are looking at across the Bahia de Conception. Chuck, Tegan, Cary and Liz would boat across. Off 27 miles on pavement and then a left through a rancho. Past a calf and his mother so new that he was still dripping  from the birthing process. 5 miles east till we head north up the peninsula. The road was rough, rocky, sandy and with a number of wash crossings. Navigation was simple. Keep the Bay on our left and in site. We calulated that the goup could go 150 miles collectivly with the gas we had so we decided to go only 65 miles before turnin around. At mile 60 we found a nice sandy beach with easy access fro the road so we stopped. Sean that that the best way to signal the boat would be to stir up lots of dust. And he did so. Kalle pointed his bike across the bay to the Camp and blinked his headlight on and off. In a matter of only five minutes Chuck and Crew was spotted. The had seen our dust trail further south and then a white helmetand finally headlights.

Chuck landed the boat and the group was reunited for  lunch. Cary and company had made lunch and brought drinks. We lounged on the beach from up to an our. Talk focased ontheboat ride over, the condition of the road, and how wonderful the lunch was. The were so many shells and bird bones on the beach we discusses assembling a skeleton of the legendary Chupracabra.

Chuck had found a Chupracabra skull the day before and based on the size of the Chupracabra droppings we had seen on the trail we figures it must be really big. Just then Sean found half of a bird (the wings) and attched them to his day bag. He suspected it would give him the power to fly but all were discusted and they were removed promptly.

The group split again. Chuck and his group set sail west back to the camp and John, Kalle, Ryan and Sean headed south on the road. A few cactus wer slapped with out bark busters, arms and legs and a slightlt differant route was taken back. Sean in the lead going fast, Kalle and Ryan following (not at fast but perhaps too fast), And John bring up the rear. Finally only a few miles from the paved road. Kalle Came apon a large dip in he road when upon existing caused him to slap his tank a few times with his handle bars and dismount to the right. Ryan Hot on Kalle’s tail failed to stop in time despite a success application of the emergecystop reactions and ran into Kalle’s bike which was sitting across the road. This prompted Ryan to dismount after hitting Kalle’s Gas Tank. John rode up just after to pick up Kalle’s bike’s which was spilling gas due to a rip in the tank caused by the front wheel of Ryan’s Bike. Ryan was up first and then Kalle. But Where Kalle stayed up Ryan went back down. He had broken his Radius (near the wrist). Ryan had also bent  forks and broke and spoke. An initial assessment of Kalle found him to be fine as his get off would have been only a comment in the daily ride report if not for the  proximity of Ryan. The initial survey of Ryan confirmed his brokeness and ruled out other injures.

Sean road back to camp to get the truck and John and Kalle tended to Ryan splinting his wrist and monitoring. An hour later Chuck and Sean returned with ice and the truck and the group returned to the camp. A short trip to the clinic found a very friendly doctor who applied a better splint. The next day an xray confirmed the initial prognosis. The bone would need assistance to heal correctly and Ryan will likely fly back to San Francisco in a day or two. Cost of the xray and doctor visit was 400 Pecos or about 30 dollars. Cost to have the split tank welded was 300 pesos or 20 dollars.

Kalle asked John if his get off broke Kalle’s New Years Resolution, John commented that it is only an accident if club you get  a card from the club. Kalle doesn’t need a card but it would be nice to get one to Ryan.

Stickers and Patron Saints

March 8, 2009


Tegan and Ryan have put them self’s in charge of decorating the bikes with stickers and Patron Saints. On Kalle’s bike a Rainbow Triangle and a Indian Brave Crazy glued to the front fender. On Shaun’s Bike a Leather Pride sticker. Not quite sure what Tegan’s angle is but the Indian on Kalle’s fender was much appreciated.

San Ignacio to Mulege

March 7, 2009




We were to Meet  John and Cary in Mulege at 10 am which ment for an early departure from Hotel Pousada in San Ignacio. Antoniois the owner. We was up in the morning to see us off. The hotel is just on the other side of the town square from the highway. The members of the SFMC have been staying there for years and don’t look for other options. Antonio and his father have won their trust. Casey Sent a box of cigars for Antonio’s Father and Chuck said in the past Antonio has stayed up all night to make sure Chucks gear was safe. The rooms are in good shape but the water pressure leaves one wanting. We did hear other visitors complaining next store about a number of things through a brink wall. Also there a sign on street claim that the Hotel has Hot water 24 hours. We noted like 24 hour Fitness that doesn´t mean in a row. No whining here. Rooms are 250 pesos a night which is 17 dollars. So Stay there when your in San Ignacio and Bring some Cigars for Antonio’s Father.

Off at 8:30 sharp. It’s only a two hour ride to Mulege. Gas is 7.4 pesos/liter which is about 1.90 a gallon. Diesel is about the same. We stop twice as much since the support truck uses diesel and not all gas Pemex Stations have Diesel. The bikes get topped off at most stations. It’s common that a station is out of Gas or diesel.

We stop at the Volcan de las 3 Virgenes. Tegan Says all Baja Virgins need to have their picture taken there. Santa Rosalia next. A short drive through town to a ATM. Very different architecture. Most old building are made of wood. and the Church was designed by Eiffel. It looks like it is made of iron and Rivets. Not much time to see things past riding through town. But I’ll go back in a day or to. Next stop Mulege. Yea made it. John and Cary Are waiting for us at the same place there were last year and the year before. We have Cabin 4, 5 and 6. Bachelors in Cabin 4 and couple and first to arrive in 5 and 6. 1260 pesos for six days. That’s 14 per day. The cabins have a bath, burner to cook on and two beds. The better have tile floors (5 and 6).

The trip has really slowed down. From flats and riding to sitting at the beach. Cary and John Drive into Laredo to pick up Liz (Cary’s cousin) from Ohio.

So far the food has been a bit spendy. 10 dollars for plate of food. is about average. But it is great food. Rooms on the beach and nice locations are about 15-40 dollars a night. which is not bad. Gas is cheap. and good quality. Most places we’ve been staying and eating are full of gringos. lots of California plates and not knowing Spanish is not a problem. Sean speaks Spanish very well. And is very willing to help out. He has the gift of gab, Which works well when negotiating prices. Most of use know enough Spanish to get by.

We have modified our plans a bit. We will try to camp at Coco´s corner on the way back. Coco is such a charector  and we all think it will be fun to spend some more time there. And he extended the off to stay for free when we saw him a few days ago.

Whales and Another Flat

March 6, 2009

dscn3003dscn2987dscn2986Thursday morning up at sevento find a tube. And one is found. Hard to believe but it did happen. Sean’s bike is repaired and He and Kalle were off to Antonio’s Eco Whale  watching.  Ryan Shaved, and Tegan and Chuck planned to ride to Mulege to drop off some stuff and meet John and Cary. We brought a new shock and tools for John to correct his Bong problem thanks to Jen at Werkstatt and Kalle’s pocket book.

Rooms in town are 250 pesos a night (14.50 pesos = 1 dollar). Wailing Watching is $40 each for about three hours. The road to Antionios is a fun fast dirt road. 32 miles of which 5 or so are paved. On the boat at 9am and off to see whales. the first two hours consisted of motoring out to “the spot” and putting around with the 90 horse Honda out board. It’s all up to that whale. Then a friendly whale cruised up and parked under the boat. looking down intho the water at a whale is quite a site. Think standing at the base of a 500 year old redwood. Then the whale comes up next to the boat to be pet. on the nose mostly but some behind the blowhole. It rolls on it’s back just like a cat or dog to get it’s chin rubbed too. Quite a site. Whiskers, barnacles, she looks right at you, and blows air from her hole. Not the personality and conversationalist as Coco but quite an experience.

Lunch with a family of whale lovers from Qubec. and lots of stories, email address, experiances and memorys wer exchanged over a lunch.

Coco’s Corner and Three more Flats

March 6, 2009


The group went from nine to five. Clay, Stephan, Casey and Brian are only traveling for a week. so on Tuesday they drove off. This Left Kalle, Tegan, Chuck, Sean and Ryan. After a day of sitting on the beach the group of five headed off to San Ignacio. a longer day 250 miles. first stop is Coco’s corner. And a visit with Coco. I’ve read lots about him on ADV rider but just like when you see a cartoon character on TV with a voice things didn’t seem right. Well after I adjusted to reality I settled in to a 30 minute visit. He recognized our colors and said four other had been there the other day. We check the log book and it was Stephan and Crew. Coco has two vintage (reprints) pictures on the wall one of Pismo Beach (same as we have in the club house) and another of Grass Valley in 1923. Both have SFMC front and center. the 1923 pic also has Oakland and Gold Gate MC. Coco is a bit of a trickster and it hard to figure out if he’s pulling your leg. He got a kick out of the fact that the SFMC has a female president. He showed he a moment of respect before asking he to take off her underwear and hang it from the rafters. pictures were taken and off we went.

15 minutes later the next flat. This time it was Sean’s turn. but there was no 19″ tube to be found. Kalle patch the nail hole and Sean remounted. Done? Nope. Sean pinched the tube. So off it came and two more patches. on it went but the patches failed. to off it came. and a 21″ went in.

At MEX1 a SFMC sticker was placed on the road sign and Ryan’s bike was loaded on the truck. Kalle had a mini pilgrimage an hour later as he drove past the curve he had argued with just one year before. The culvert was recognized and at 25 mph the passing of the year was recalled. In that year Kalle has stopped biting his finger nails, drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, and lost 40 pounds. Only the coffee has been missed.

Just one mile from the really big flag in Guerrero Negro the 21″ tube blew. Off came Ryan’s bike and on went Sean’s bike. No tubes in town just a great fish tacos.  The truck was unloaded and three bikes were put in. And off the group went after stopping at an ATM and Gas. I will be dark before we arrive in San Ignacio. Kalle notices that the horn not working all day is attached to the headlight not working problem on his bike. Just about 20 minutes before night.  It’s been a long day and the pressure is to push on. But for Kalle and his recent pilgrimage the light need to be addressed. First check the fuses. they are OK. next the wiring from the battery which means pulling off the seat. That’s OK. Next take off the tank and look for problems. None. To most after a long day and 10 pieces of the bike on the ground this doesn’t looks good. next the front panel. Yep. Sean spots the problem. A electrical connection came loose and headlight works after reattached.

The sun is down now but the group is holing together. Chuck has leadership in his blood and can see things that will challange the group from a mile away and heads them off. The group is off. and a hour of riding in the dark. The Truck leads now and two bikes follow.

More flats South out of San Felipe

March 6, 2009



The road south out of San Felipe is about 35 miles of paved highway and then 35 miles of rocky road. The group is nine strong now. Sean Rides fast. Casey is having some problems with is BMW. seems it not really a dirt bike and handles like shit. He is a good rider but he says he’ll keep the bike for his day job. Stephan continues to rave about how great his DR is, he always speaks passionately about everything which makes for a good travel partner. Chuck is driving his truck some times at 5 mph. he’s patient and says the only thing that is keeping his going is the satellite radio. We tried to get a Mexican station but could only get Cuban tunes. His truck is doing over time. When a bike breaks down we try to fix it and if that doesn’t work we put it on the truck tail gate. at time the truck is carrying up to three bikes. Chuck changes his Mohawk colors every day. Red, rainbow, next the mexican flag colors. I’m wondering how he is going to get the bird  detail.  

Ryan is riding a Xr250. he{s fast and having a ball when not on the pavent. He did get a flat on the way to Alfonsina. With a support truck and extra 18″ tubes the back was back on the road on about 45 minutes. We arrived in Alfonsina at 3 pm for a gas stop and a dip in the ocean.

One Fire, Two Flats, and a long ride at night.

March 2, 2009


 Thursday:  Chuck (Ford Diesel Pickup), Tegan (KLX, KLR650), Clay (Honda xr650), Ryan (Honda XR250) and Kalle (KLR 650) left the club house in Chuck’s and Clay’s trucks after the Thursday night meeting.  The plan was to drive to Tegan’s Uncle.s house but that fell flat at 2am and all stopped at a Motel 6 just north of Button Willow. 6am wake up call Dennys and on the road at 8am. A quick visit with Tegan’s 93 year old grandma in Long Beach and then to Tegan.s Uncle’s house. Highlight on the Friday overnight stay was the .57 VW beetle with 600,000 miles. Saturday morning on the road at 8am. Cool, now leave the trucks behind with the exception of Chuck.s Ford
with gear and an extra bike.  Here we pick up Sean (1999 KTM LC4). Next stop the border at Tijuana. Right?  Nope. Bead on Clay.s back tire breaks (the uber strong metal cable) and tire turns into jello. Sean spots it and the group exits at the next off ramp. What we thought was a bad seat turns into a tube change. Back on the road to get a spare tire and tubes. Right?  Nope. Tube blows a few miles down the freeway. New plan, put Clay.s bike on the back tailgate of the truck, put Clay in the truck and drive off to get the tire and tubes. What was to be a 10am meeting in Tijuana with Casey (BMW 850), Brian (2008 KLR 650) and Stephan (DR 450), now looks like a 2pm meeting in Ensenada. First break was that the shop we stopped at (House of Motorcycles) had a Dunlap 18 606 in stock and at only $69 was a deal. Tubes at $25 weren’t such a deal.  No time to fix Clay.s tire so he.s stuck in the truck with Chuck and Ryan for the day. Cross the border and bad traffic in Tijuana. Highway 1 south to Ensenada after some confusion. Fish Tacos at 2pm and a meet up with Stephan, Casey, and Brian. Casey doesn’t look so good. Too much fun the night before and he.s paying the price. The plan is to stay at Mike.s Sky Ranch that night. Chuck comments that we have four hours of light and a one hour drive. Kalle knows he.s wrong but doesn’t comment.  After an hour drive on MEX 3 west and now several military check points Chuck gets pulled over by a federal police. No Ticket = No
Problem. The bikes are riding ahead on a nice country highway. Hills are green and large boulders define the landscape. Then someone notices flame coming from Casey’s exhaust.  He.s moving fast with burning debris trailing, socks, underwear, and hoody.  His bag has caught on fire from the BMW’s exhaust pipe.  As the bag burned Casey.s clothes flew. Not a problem as he was doing 60mph but more exciting when he stopped. The fire was stompped out and Casey gathered up what was left of his crispy clothing. This all takes time. And the turn off to Mike’s Sky Ranch off of Mex 3 was taken after dark. It.s a 21 mile drive on an ok to poor dirt road. Never ride after dark in Mexico they always say. Lacking better judgment the group
of nine heads south. A few notables on the road. Jack Rabbits like to
follow the light of your bike while you ride. Burros take on the spooky
glow of night wonders in the dark, but then become clear as you approach at a high rate of speed.  Kalle had been to Mike.s Sky Ranch before so he led. Three stops were made at intersections to gather the group. The road is ok to poor as were the skill levels of the riders after a day of riding and much silt on the road. Some riders dismounted and those who were, were tired from picking up their bikes. Kalle wasn.t too bothered by riding in the pitch dark on the climb to Mike.s since he had some memory of the ride from last year. But others had the opportunity to ride an unfamiliar 20 miles of dirt road in the Mexico backcountry in the dark. A real challenge to the mind, and for some, to the body.  At the last fork all gathered to talk of dismounts, swimming, paddling, and star gazing. Kalle looked at the AAA map and estimated the Ranch was just a mile more. Nope, Three miles of slow going but a great ride. Would have been nice to have had Phil.s Uber Dakar 100w light but the KLR bulb was fine. Kalle commented that Mike’s will be just after the water crossing on the left. “Water Crossing?” a few commented. Kalle assured all that it would be smooth.   It was, but with three miles of poor road, thoughts
ran wild. 8pm all arrived at Mike.s Sky Ranch ($60 each which included dinner and breakfast). The courtyard (where you park your bike) had 40-50 bikes. The place was full but with reservations Mike was expecting us. Everyone talked on and on of the thrill of overcoming the drive. And the element of darkness somehow made the challenge extra special. Clay was thanked for the tire troubles which give the group the opportunity to overcome such a challenge.



Sunday morning. A leisurely 11pm departure down the road from whence we came and everyone commented that it was a great road to ride in the daylight. Then East to San Felipe for more military checks (we’ve seen more this year than in the past years). We stayed at El Capitan in San Felipe based on John and Cary’s blog recommendation. They were right, it’s clean and friendly ($50 night per room) plus a pool. Later Fish Tacos and drinking for most.

Monday is south from San Felipe. More dirt and fun.  Kalle’s New Year’s Resolution:  Don’t Crash in Baja.

If my blog sucks then read these

February 25, 2009