Completed the Baja 1000

It is amazing how fast time is going for us. It seems likes just yesterday we were still in Mulege, resting up for another week of riding. Since our last blog, we were able to really soak in the low pace lifestyle of Mulege. We got sucked into the wonderful lifestyle of Don Chanos RV Park. While in Mulege, we were able to use the residents fishing poles, sea kayaks, snorkel gear, and even kitchens to cook our fish tacos. Ike and Henry both caught a fish a piece which enabled us to have a delicious dinner. Bradie and Tommy were not as lucky with the catch, but while fishing we had  a monumental life experience. While paddling around in our kayaks, a 25+ foot whale shark swam up to us to feed. We are literally less than 10 feet away from the biggest fish that either one of us have ever seen! It was an earth shaking moment for us and one that neither of us will ever forget! In excitement, Tommy flipped his kayak and briefly got swim with the whale shark, accidently.

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~Holy Whale Shark!

We couldn’t of had a better experience in Mulege and we would like to thank everyone that made it what it was. Thanks Pete, Sonya, John, Dave, Manuel, Tuna, and especially Rick. You all hooked it up so much and were so stoked on your community! But its off to El Coyote for a couple days to camp on the beach and soak in the beauty of Bahía Concepción! Its a magical and truly a wonderful community. NOLS Mexico is located just south of the beach we camped on. Underneath a palapa, we made base camp for two nights, beneath our new friends Mark and Jen’s Winter home.

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~Our home for a couple days on Coyote Beach~

We woke up to hot coffee and a fruitada courtesy of Jen! After that they let us borrow their sea kayak so we could troll around Coyote Bay, the Bay within a Bay. We finally figured out the rest of the day because Mark told us how Bertha’s Bar is poppin on Wednesday and we needed to go out with them. Sold, we never turn down a poppin’party! But before going out, late in the afternoon, our buddy Sean took us sailing after persistantly looking for us for 3 days. He promised to take us sailing and kept his word. He has a 26 foot catamarán, perfect for an evening sail. It was Tommy’s first time sailing and Bradie’s first time in quite awhile.  The winds could not have treated us better and we enjoyed the Bahía Concepion via sail boat, enjoying the setting of the days sun. We ended an already, epic day with a few drinks at Bertha’s then back on the bikes to finish the last part of Baja. On the way to the Bar, we saw a bright, orange shooting star blaze across the sky for over 10 seconds, and evening splitting into two pieces. So wild!

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~ Tommy and Ike soakin’ it all in with their Captain Sean. Thanks again!

Well the morning came quick, but we were all eager to get back on the bikes and ride again. We got spend the day riding throught the hills of Bahía Concepion all day, soaking in the sun, with open sea to our left and densely vegetated mountains to our right. Pretty much the most beautiful section of Highway 1 that we have seen so far. After leaving the Bahía, we entered into this wide open, desert valley with large, jaggedy mountains off in the distance. Such a crazy landscape and to think, this will be the back drop of our home for the night. Thats the great part of bike tour, every night we have a new home, and when we wake up in the morning, we have no clue what home will look like at the end of the evening, but it never ceasts to be amazing every night.

Our next day, we had a 60 km into Loreto, another seaside city, where we had the intentions of eating 10 fish tacos a piece. Less than 20 km from Loreto, we saw our buddy Rick driving back to Mulege from picking up his family from the airport. It was awesome seein’him on the side of the road and meeting his family. After snappin’ some roadside photos, Rick generously bought our lunch and the fish tacos were on him. We went to this taquería that had the best fish tacos we have had, twice the size of any other one we have seen so far, with the full salad bar! Those are the best because we can load our tacos as big as we want. It’s hard to satisfy our almost endless appetites, but this taco stand finally did it…While we were eating we met a man in a wheelchair named Dave, who had extensively bike toured around the world and even toured the Baja Penninsula on four separate occaisions. He traveled the whole world by bike and never was hit by a car, but in his hometown, he got hit by a car. What an inspirational person and  he gave us a great piece of advice. ” It’s up to you whether you have a good day or a bad day. It is what you decide to make it”. He told us of a beach south of town that we could camp on for free, so back on bikes to make it to camp.

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~Rick and the crew just outside Loreto~

That night we had made a three day plan of what was to come. Kind of odd for us because we use go day by day, but we had a few goals in place. We needed to get to Ciudad Insurgentes, 98 km from us with a large hill climb in between. The climb was 11 km from our camp, which was perfect. We had 11 km to warm up, gettin’ psyched for it along the way. The canyon that we got to climb was out of this world, it felt like we in Jurassic Park or something. Bradie thought it resembled Zion National Park while Tommy thought it resembled a cross between the Grand Canyon and Hawaii. So wild and such an awesome scenery for a good part of the day. After climbing for the first half of the day, the canyon finally plateaued and we had a slight downhill tailwind to push us the 50km we needed to get us to Ciudad Insurgentes. The importance of starting here in the morning was that it was the last good resupply spot and set us up perfectly to be able to achieve the 100 mile day we have been looking for all trip. After filling up our dromedary bags, Ike found us a place to stay. it was a corraled garden outside of a dairy farm in town. The perfect setting for camp and it even had a table for us to cook on! After dinner, we talked about the feasibility of the 100 mile day and got ourselves psyched up.

For the first time all trip, Tommy set his alarm. Setting it for 5 am, he woke up Bradie and the gang and we quickly started cooking coffee and oats to fuel our bodies for a long day. If we wanted to ride 100 miles we needed to start early and get as much daylight as possible. Getting on the road by 7am, we quickly got in the paceline formation to save our energy by drafting. By lunch time, we had already put down 100 km for the day, feelin’ good. With 30 km, we had to stop to refill our water bags and get some more food in this tiny town. After talking to a moto tourist who gave us some good beta on Mainland, we pushed onwards. Bike heavy with 10 liters of water, we pedaled into the hardest section of the day. We went from flat straights to rolling hills and a little head wind. Finishing the day was tough, one of the hardest things we have done the whole trip. We were physically and mentally exhausted, but we completed our goal of 100 miles. Thats the most Bradie and Tommy have ridden in a single day, especially with a 120 pound bike. Right as we hit the 100 mile mark, there was a dirt road where we could pull off into the desert and make camp for the night.

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~Danger! This bike has high Voltage~

Taking our time in the morning following a long, hard day, we had 80 km to go until we reached La Paz. Rolling hills and head/crosswinds dominated throughout the whole day. This made what could have been a casual day after two very long days, a pretty difficult push into La Paz. Tired and ready to take a shower, we made the push into La Paz, keeping spirits high! Riding into the city was pretty wild. Traffic was high and it was a real city. We haven’t seen a city since leaving San Diego and we had to be on our A Game in order to navigate safely through the traffic. Working our way in and out of traffic, we found our way to the Malecón and outside the popular and recommended “The Shack”. We had to get a celebratory beer…We just completed the Baja 1000, Tijuana to La Paz!! It felt to know we had completed one large segment of our tour already. We have grown as a team so much and kick ass! After celebrating, we made our way to the Pension California, the local Hostel, where we will shack up for the next two nights and figure out what is to come.

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~Taking over our room in Pension California for a couple days~

Many errands need to be done, especially some laundry! As we soak in what La Paz has to offer, we are also planning our departure into Mainland. Right now the plan is to take the ferry across to Mazatlán, but who knows maybe some other alternative means is waiting for us. Upon arriving in Mazatlán, we are gonna be greeted by our great friends Wes and Michele!! Can’t wait to see them and chill in Mazatlán! Especially since they are bringing down our recently ordered Helinox Chair 1. No longer are we livin in the dirt, movin’up in the world!  Stoked for whatever adventures come our way in the next few days!

Stay Tuned.

 

-Ranger BeeKoz and Ranger Tom

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We’re Gettin’ Mulegèd!

The kindness and hospitality we have seen so far is parallel to nothing else! We had the original intentions of leaving Guerrero Negro on Monday, we were introduced to a friend of a friend named Roberto, a G. Neg local! Roberto happened to work at the salt mine that we had been hoping to take the tour of but it was not in the Budget so we opted out on it. But thanks Roberto, we got a private tour of the worlds largest salt mine! It was so rad to see where the salt that we consume comes from. After the salt mine tour, Roberto took us back to his parents house where we would camp in the backyard for the night and leave G. Neg in the morning. His families hospitality was fantastic! We were treated with delicious coffee and pan for dessert, and Roberto gave us each a bottle of a porter that he brewed himself. It was so tasty and felt great to have some microbeer, kinda brings us back home alittle bit.

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~Ike and Hen hangin’with our new friends Luis and Roberto~

In the morning, we took off early pushin the pedals south, toward San Ignacio (the next town in site). But before we left, our host family set us on our way with some machaca taquitos. They were so delicious, lovin the home cooked meal! The riding was great gettin out town. We had a long, flat straight away all day with a slight tail wind! The perfect conditions for smashing an easy 105 km that we ended up doing. The team rode so well together, keeping the paceline dialed all day, maximizing the amount of energy conserved! The highlight of the day was in the late afternoon as we stopped to get supplies in Viacanzo, a man in a car pulled over to give us some energy bars and cold wáter! We were so grateful for the kind jesture, but it is after this that the hilariouty ensues! He was a computer salesman driving to La Paz to make some sales and Tommy mentioned that he was in the market for a small travel computer. Well, this led to that, Edgar the salesman gave him the spiel of the computer, and next thing you know Tommy is in his car heading to the ATM to pull out $250 (American) for a laptop. It was so wild, buying a computer on the side of the road in Mexico, who woulda thought! After the big purchase, we pedaled on another 20 km to finish the day in the desert, 40 km away from San Ignacio. Our campsite was a beautiful desert location, with cactus fruit for the picking, and great views of both horizons, enabling us to stare in awe at both sunset and sunrise!

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~Tommy buying his new laptop on the side of the road…Stoked!~

The morning of our 3rd day we took off, keepin’casual as we only had 40 km to do before getting into San Ignacio to watch Mexico play New Zealand for a seat in the World Cup! We made it to the desert Oasis that is San Ignacio about an hour before the game. It was perfect, we found the Rice and Bean hotel with had nice tv’s for the game, wifi, and a pool. For the purchase of a beer a piece, we got wifi, unlimited chips and salsa, Access to the match, and a cold pool! The pool was crucial, definately needed a cold swim! We watched the match, it was epic! Mexico won 5-1, pretty much sealin’the deal they are goin’to the Cup. Mexico is home for the next couple months so definately was rootin’for them! We spent the rest of the day and the morning in San Ignacio. It is a beautiful oasis full of date palms, fruit trees, and a cold river to swim in! The foraging we did in Sag Ignacio was awesome! Climbing trees to gather pounds of dates, oranges, grape fruit, limón, and who knows what else! Loving the foraging lifestyle, we’re gettin’so good at eat, essentially gathering all of our produce. We spent the night in the date palm forest in the middle of town, bandit camping if you will. But our motto is “Out of site…Out of Mind”, and that is the key to camping for free where ever we want!

 

Before leaving San Ignacio, to bike to Santa Rosalía, we stopped in the river for a quick naked swim! This is a pretty common trend on tour so far. We have come to the point where we change our clothes where ever we need to and swim naked whenever we can! Lifes great! After leaving the river, we met a guy named Big Tuna who further intrigued our interest in the town called Mulege. Everyone has been talking about it and we knew that we needed to go! But first it was onto Santa Rosalía for the day, check out the Eiffel Church, and feel out the Sea of Cortez! It was a desert 75 km ride to Santa Rosalía, completed with a gradual uphill day with slight headwind and lots of heat! But still a good ride. The day was completed with the gnarliest downhill section we have ever ridden! I’m talking 6 kms of 45 degree turns going 80 km/hr+, no brakes, gettin’sideways on the bike…So Rad!!! We were all so torqued after the ride, our hearts pumping with adrenaline! We finished the last 10 km into town after that, with dusk coming close we were in search of the free place to stay. After first asking the church, we were pointed towards the cop shop. They turned us down but no worries because the bomberos were right next door, more than willing to let us crash in the station! It was awesome, watching the firefighters train the junior firefighters, and seeing the town in action! Not to mention we are camped at the safest place in town! After eating dinner, we bought some tall beers, walked around the square, and enjoyed the downtown vibe of Santa Rosalía! Dug the scene and ended the night by gettin some late night Street meat. It was a carne hot dog wrap thing, fully loaded! So tasty!

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~Who woulda thought? An oasis in the middle of the desert! San Ignacio Rocks!~

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~Makin’camp at the Bombero Station 174~

Well we got out of town headin for Mulege, where we plan on chillin for a few long rest days! We got the confirmation from our great friends Wes and Michelle they are driving down to visit us in Mazatlán on December 1, so we can casually cruise from here on out! It was a short mostly flat 60 km ride to Mulege, so we took it easy riding in, and then gettting to drop a pretty good sized hill before town. As we got into Mulege, we got a good meal at a local restaurant, and then searched for a campsite as dusk was nearing. Already lovin the scene in Mulege, we cruised out to the beach, and camped right next to the ocean, staring at the full moon!

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~Just rolled into Mulege…Bradie lounging out after a days ride!~

The hospitality we have seen so far is ridiculous. It is easy to see why people get Muleged, as it is called here! The rest day started off pretty crazy, as Tommy saw an ederly man take a bad fall in the gravel right next to their tent. As he rushed to assist him, he realized the man was pretty banged up. We assisted him with first aid, Ike taking the lead as the first responder, it was obvious he needed stitches. So we flagged down a car, got him a ride to the farmacia for stitches and see that he is safely returned to his hotel. As we chilled on the beach, another couple locals ,Sonya and Pete, gave us some fish they caught, and offered to let us cook on their kitchen at their RV camp. This is where we have decided to call home for the next few days! It is cheap and the locals are awesome!! We went out to the local party last night, where there live music and dancing! It was a great party, full of all the old hippies that go to Baja for the Winter instead of Florida! The music was great, the people were soo stoked on our story, and so generous to us! We even met some locals from Glenwood, who used to own the 19th St. Diner. It was was Suawannee and his wife, if any of you Glenwood locals are Reading and know them!

Anyways we’ve got a couple super chill days in Mulege lined up, getting to fish, snorkel, sea kayak, and swim! Like we said the hospitality is awesome, getting hooked up on all these activities we want to do! Gotta take a vacation from the vacation!. After chillin in Mulege, on Monday we are getting sailed from here to El Coyote, which is 20 km down Bahía Concepción! Gonna be so wild, 5 guys, 4 bikes, and one 26 foot sailboat! Gonna be wicked, were loving everything about the trip. Each day is another adventure!

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~Our new buddy Pete and his buggy on the beach~

Last but not least, we want to thank everyone who has helped out along the way. You know who you are! Your awesome, thanks for helping and believing in us!

-Ranger Bee-Koz and Ranger Tom

Desert shaking days!

After getting off the rest day, we were eager to start riding our bikes again! The first days ride was going to involve riding to El Rosario and stalking up with lots of supplies in order to make it through the long stretch of desert with very, very limited resources to restock on food and water. After dropping into the valley where El Rosario resides, Tommy started having some issues with his drivetrain. His derailleur wasn’t functioning properly and after stopping at a mini mercado to post the blog from last week, he ended up snapping his chain. A total bummer, but not too worry, we have the proper tools and extra chain links to make it a quick and easy fix. As Tommy was fixing his chain, Bradie masterfully found us a place to stay for the night!

An ex-pat named Duffy saw us as he was driving by and offered to let us stay at his ranch. He enlightened Bradie that he often hosts bike tourists when he sees them. Duffy said his place was just outside of town on the right, it was called Rancho 23! The Rancho was everything we needed for the night: fruit trees, a flat spot to set tents, and the self proclaimed “best bathroom in Baja”. It didn’t have a door to the shower. Duffy said ” If your modest you can open the bathroom door to the shower to block it off, but I didn’t want a fuckin’ door”. After cleansing the sand off, Duffy treated us to a delicious dinner of cowboy beans, rice, and some homemade coleslaw. Dinner was sooo good, the coleslaw really brought us back to home with some classic country cookin’. Duffy was a real character and an overall generous, caring soul. After listening to his stories of ‘Nam and his asshole neighbor, we retired for the night. In the morning, Duffy treated us to some coffee and some morning FOX news. It was interesting to see what was going on up north, even if everything FOX says is complete bullshit, haha.   Before getting too sucked into the kush lifestyle of tv, we packed our bags and said our goodbyes to Duffy. But not before snapping a couple photos of him and us at Rancho 23.

 

 

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~Our rigs sittin in front of Rancho vientitres (23)

The next few days ahead of us were sure to be grueling. Having to carry three to four days worth of food and water would be tough, especially with the first 50 km of it being primarily hill climbing. Maybe not for the faint hearted, but no worries for the Rangers and crew! The desert hill climbing was awesome! After Tommy had been nicknamed the mountain goat for his mountain climbing abilities, Ike was determined to steal the reigns and be the next top climber. We took a lunch on the side of the road, setting up Hen’s rain fly as a shade shelter. It’s hot out here in the desert! Getting honks, left and right as we took lunch! Its amazing how kind the vehicles have been to us thus far, getting waves from everyone and 90% of motorists move over to the other lane while passing us. After getting the hill climbing done for the day, we entered into the Valle de Los Cirios. The Cirios are a desert tree that can only be described as vegetation straight out of a Dr. Suess book. The valle was beautiful…Huge Cirios trees and Saguaro Cacti forested the valle on either side of it. As the day was ending, we made camp out in the desert in a dried out water drainage, seeking shelter from the wind that had just started to build. And it was this wind that would prove to be our nightmare tomorrow!

 

 

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~Seeking shelter from the sun during lunch~

The next day was the HEINOUS CROSSWINDS of 2013! Waking up Tommy was feeling a little stuffed up. Getting a little sick from living in the dirt and exhausting our bodies all day, everyday. However Bradie has a stronger immune system it has proved and hasn’t seen the sickness,yet. Around 10 am, the  wind really started whippin! Getting wind speeds of over 40 mph with gusts stronger than 50 mph. Every single pedal was a push to survive. Not only were we trying to trying to pedal our bikes forward, but also fighting to keep ourselves right side up. The passing traffic, primarily trucks, would create a vortex as the blew by, sucking us into their trailers and spitting us out onto the side of the road. It was nuts! At one point Bradie was thrown right off the road from the vortex, and that was when we decided when truck traffic was coming, we had to stop and wait for them to pass. It was grueling, morale crushing, and hard to keep going, but we were 30 km from Catavina (the  next resupply spot), and had to get there. So we put out heads down, tried to stay positive, and pedaled through the heinous crosswinds of 2013!

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The Rangers in front of an ancient looking Saguaro…

Making it to Catavina by about 3pm, we got some supplies, re-upped on water, and slammed a well deserved beer in the hot sun before pedaling a couple km out of town to an rv campground to camp for the night. Tired and beaten down, we set up camp, and took a shower, in the most disgusting, excuse for a shower anyone had ever seen. It was a  cold trickle out of a pipe into a pan that didn’t drain well, allowing for bugs and dirt, and  God knows what else to collect. But it did feel good to wash off a hard days work and relax in camp knowing what all four of us accomplished and rode through the strongest winds we’ve ever experienced on a bike and the hardest day of riding we have ever encountered.

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~Survived the HEINOUS Crosswinds of 2013…Red team always wins!

 

The next day proved to show that the universe was on our side and thanked us for the efforts that we gave the day previous. Agreeing that we needed to pedal at least 80 km in order to make it to Guerrero Negro by the 10th, we started pushing up a small hill, with THE WIND AT OUR BACKS! After a warm up 15 km, feeling strong surprisingly after yesterday, we all agreed today was going to be the first day (of hopefully many) that we put down 100 km. Because when the winds at your back, thank circumstance, and hope it keeps blowin’ your way! We pushed hard, flying down the road. We stopped at a boulder field, to send the project and climb some rocks. We needed some different pastime besides riding bikes. After climbing, we set the goal of putting down 20 more kilometers to put 50 km behind before lunch. With the wind whippin’ behind us, we did that with no worries or struggles. Taking lunch was great, finding some shade underneath a tree, we had a bomb lunch. Afterwards, we just kept crush in distance, putting a serious dent in our goal of 100 km. It was about 3:30, we were riding in the pace line, hauling ass! We put down 12 km in 17 minutes, meeting our goal of 100 km. Hootin and hollering’ for a brief minute to celebrate, then back to gripping the bars. We road another 20 km to finish the day.

The next day, we rode hard again. We had 130 km to get to Guerrero Negro. As the days start blending together, to make a long story short we put another 90 km down to put us in Villa Jesus Maria, only 40 km from G. Neg to finish off the next day. We camped at the beach that night, which was great, except for the dogs that came into our camp in the middle of the night, barking right at Bradie’s tent! We all thought he was gonna get eaten! But alas, we all survived and lived to tell the tail (no pun intended)?

We made the final push to get to G. Neg and spend a well deserved rest day or two there. The final stretch was tough. We were exhausted, dirty, and hungry but we did it! Guerrero Negro is right over the border of Baja Sur,  it felt pretty ground breaking crossing states.

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Crossing into Baja Sur…Holdin’ the line!

Its time for some rest before hittin’ the saddle again. Lookin’ to see what G. Neg has to offer. Stay tuned for the next episode of bike tour!

-Ranger B.Koz and Ranger Tom

Fish tacos, desert hill climbs, and a rest day on the beach!

Needless to say the first 5 days have been nuts! Our first real day of riding was good. We cruised the coast out of rosarito toward Ensenada. About 10 miles out of town heinrich got his first flat tire. Many more to come. We took a lunch right before a big hill climb, getting the necessary energy for climb to safety. After a mostly uphill day in the desert, we rolled into Ensenada just before 5. We found an immigration office where we got our passports stamped since we took the fast track through Tijuana. After that we got some much needed tacos pescados. The taqueria man told us we could camp at playa hermosa for the night. That was awesome, camping under a palapa. The only downside was in the morning we realized Hens bike shoes were stolen. So shitty, so many things stolen already.

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