Tuesday, March 8, 2011

SoCal to Baja Sur – So, how IS the surfboard on the bike??

I know most of you are wondering how the board + bike combo is working out. So let me get right into it. I am presently in San Ignacio just south of Guerrero Negro, Baja Sur. Officially, the transition point for Baja Norte and Baja Sur is at G.Negro therefore I have pretty much made it to the half-way point of the Baja in about 3 days... AND, I'm in one piece.

My surf-rack testing occurred in Encinitas, CA a few days back.  As mentioned, I shipped my board, new tire and a few other items to Encinitas for my arrival. The first morning I was in town I headed to a motorcycle shop to get my new Dunlop D606 rubber put on and balanced.  I then loaded up my board on my bike, threw on the panniers with a bit of weight and I hit the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy) for a test ride. I was SO surprised how the bike + board handled. It was solid at speed and I even had some off shore winds that made me a hint nervous, but I barely noticed the effects of the surfboard on my bike... all good.

Houston, we have lift-off” 

I enjoyed checking out the Southern California surf, but didn't have enough time to hit it... I was eager to hit the road south.

Encinitas, California.
If you can guess how many boards are in this rack, you get the Stewart in the middle!
The Cardiff 'Kook' - the day I headed into Baja, he was dressed up Marti-Gras
Fresh meat.
The real test was fully loading my bike + board and bringing the package, including me, the test-pilot, all up to hwy speeds... then, see how truck traffic and winds would effect it, oh, and throw in crazy mexican drivers and cows for good measure. All of this didn't occur until my departure morning from Encinitas a few days back. I was lucky enough to read a post last summer on a forum of an ADV Rider named Igor who rode his KLR from San Diego to Argentina. He passed along a great piece of advice in his trip report.  Igor went into Tijuana to get all of his importation paperwork and tourist cards sorted and then headed back into San Diego for a solid nights sleep.  The next day, he hit the trails south leaving the border in his dust. Thanks to Igor's success and his forum, I did the same. It took me roughly 2.5 hrs to get everything sorted in Tijuana, and I then headed back to the U.S. and had a great departure night with good friends. The following morning I was sure glad to have all of that in my back pocket. When I passed into Mexico, I looked over at a few GS riders who were in the midst of the border torment. I owe Igor a beer.

I took Jesus up on a drive-by embrace... it was nice.
Lunch in San Vincente - Baja Norte
Loads of open road in the Baja
I am into the Baja roughly 1230kms. I have now hit 4 military check-points, encountered intense winds from all directions, flew past Federali policia, dodged tumbleweeds, all with an average speed of 90-100kph (~50-60mph). I am very satisfied with the surf rack design and how my board and bike are handling the elements. To be honest, I am still quite surprised.

The one downside: I have yet to surf. The first x2 spots I have checked out have been fully blown-out by wind. Cuatro Casas was too windy as was another spot called 'The Wall'.

Cuatro Casas night guard
'Rojo' - my fully loaded work-horse

Mision San Ignacio - completed in 1786
I am presently in San Ignacio getting prepped for an off-road excursion tomorrow. This is where the main highway 1 heads east to the Sea of Cortez and then south through Mulege and Loreto. I'm heading south west of San Ignacio tomorrow through dirt, washboard, salt flats, and fishing villages and then into San Juanico also known by surfers as Scorpion Bay – a world class right point break. This overland trip will shave off about 300-400kms of riding on paved roads that work south-east, back west and then north to the same location.

I guess this is why I'm not on a Ducati.

My overland route to San Juanico - Scorpion Bay

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