The first leg of tour, caught on tape!

Here is the first of many edits!

Thanks Hen for editing this for us!!!

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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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You Boys Like Mexico?

Starting the bike tour in San Diego could not have been a better call. We got taken care of by the locals so well out there and we cannot express our gratitude more for the love we received from Whiting Court. We stayed at our cousin Greg’s tiny studio apartment for 4 days before taking off. This apartment is barely big enough for himself, but somehow he managed to fit 4 guys, our gear, and bikes in his space. As soon we rolled into San Diego, we were ushered inside and told to throw on our costumes because we were goin to the Monster Bash! It was a downtown block party, with drink specials, 17 djs, and thousands of hot chicks. Needless to say, Greg sold us on the party with the thousands of hot chicks. The night was so wild and could not have ended up better. Well it could of, if you know what I mean, but still the Bash was the best party we had been to in a while.

Our time spent in San Diego was great, going on bike rides, checkin out the beach, and eating Cali Burritos. All was good until we went for a late night ride on Oct.27, stopping at the truck, we noticed one of the bikes missing. B Rad’s bike had been stolen. The asshole, scum of the earth bike thieves had cut both locks that we had the bikes locked with and took B Rad’s brand new Long Haul Trucker. In the morning, Tommy had to call B Rad and break the news to him. It was the most awful thing he had to do, and we were truly sorry. Upon hearing the news, B Rad decided he was out. Just like that the group dynamic had already changed before the trip even started.

The morning of October 29th, THE BIG DAY, we woke up, took care of some last minute errands, and went out to breakfast with Maura, Ike’s family friend. We went to this joint called Kono’s, which is right by the pier on Pacific Beach. If your looking for a cheap, huge breakfast, go to Kono’s. After breakfast, we took care of some last minute chores, before loading the bikes, and heading to the beach to snap those going away photos we all know and love.

So the plan was to ride to Chula Vista, then get shuttled across the border by Christian, our new Whiting Court homie. Christian, who lived in Tijuana for six months, convinced us we do not want to ride through TJ because it was so dangerous and offered us a ride. Well, getting out of town was not so smooth, getting turned around by traffic and cross streets, and not really having a good riding dynamic. I think we were all overwhelmed by what was going on and our heads weren’t straight. So we were late on the meet up spot and Christian had to meet us somewhere closer and swoop us up. We had 5 dudes, 4 bikes, and a whole lotta gear piled into a single cab Ford Ranger. It really looked like we were smuggling something or someone over the border, but getting through the border was quick and painless. We stopped, Christian explained to Border Patrol our story, flipped out our passports, and we were on our way, just like that.

Driving through Tijuana was pretty shocking. There river people everywhere, looking for scraps of whatever they can find in order to survive. Christian explained to Tommy who was sitting in the cab how that stretch of road is notorious for river people bum rushing people in a bind to rob them for whatever they can get. It mad us really glad we chose the route we did and didn’t bike through TJ. But after getting through there, the only option for roadways was the toll road, which is illegal for bikes to ride on. So to our dismay, Christian had to take us to Rosarito too. Unfortunately, our first day of tour did not included much “bike touring”, but this was the right choice. It was our first  day, out and TJ is some real stuff, it is not hyped up. If we didn’t get the ride, we would have been eaten alive by TJ.

So we ended our first day of tour by getting some tacos y cervasas at a local restraunt and talking to our server buddy Jose. Jose said he is friends with a priest and the priest would be willing to bless our trip. So Fransico blessed us, and sent us on our way back to the hotel. Side note, thank you Aunt Shannon and Uncle Jim for booking us the room. Very nice and extremely comfortable! So that is the first day in a nutshell!

We would like take a minute to personally thank some individuals from Whiting Court that made our last three days in the States the best they could be.

Greg Kozera- Your the man! We are so lucky to have you as a cousin. You hooked us up so much man, and we cannot say thank you enough!

Prudence- Damn Prudence, I don’t think we have met a more giving individual. You spent your day off work running errands for us and making sure we had everything we needed. You are such a kind and loving soul!

Christian- Thanks for the ride. TJ would have killed us without you man!

Brandon- Thanks for taking care of shipping us all those cliff bars! Your gonna keep us energized the whole way!

Dane- Thanks for the snappers! It really made our bike ride on the boardwalk that much better!

It’s gonna be a wild ride. We are off to Ensenada today, who knows when we will have the interweb next, so stay tuned for your next episode of Bike Touring with Ranger Rides!

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Gettin’ Ready

Our leave date is fast approaching! Three of us, Bradie, Ike, and Tommy,  are leaving from Rifle, Colorado on the morning of October 24 and doing some family visiting while in SoCal. Heinrich and Brad are flying into San Diego from their home states, where we have to pick them up at the airport. Tommy and Bradie’s cousin lives in San Diego, right on the beach, so naturally we are making this our take off spot on the morning of October 29th!

This trip is been a long time coming and a lot of planning and preparing has taken place. The two Rangers were finally able to get together this past weekend, hang out, and ride. Bradie has been based out of California all summer guiding road trips and was finally able to get back to Colorful Colorado! He came down to South Fork, Colorado for the weekend where Tommy is living currently. We were able to do a day ride from South Fork to Creede, clocking in just about 45 miles for the day. It felt great to be riding through mountain valleys of the San Juans,  staring in awe at the fall colors. Needless to say, going on this ride boosted the stoke level of the Rangers ten fold. Before we know it, the pedals will be pushin’, heads held high, and the wind at our back! (Hopefully)

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Bike To Aspen

This is video captures one of the mini bike tour training weekends that Heinrich and Tommy did over the summer. Biking from Leadville, Colorado to Aspen, Colorado, we were able to conquer Independence pass, climbing over 3000 ft and loving every second of it. After this weekend, we were left with no doubt that the mountainous passes awaiting us were no match for our bikes!