Baja Trip Winter 2008 – Part 1

Day 1 – Arrival, Tecate to Santa Veronica

So I’ll start this amazing journey with a picture of my partner in crime, my dad:

This was the only person I could find crazy enough that was willing to attempt this trip with me. I had started planning this trip about a month and a half ago with the aid of the phenomenal BajaGPSGuide. A must have for any novice Baja adventurer! Using these guides and my trusty Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx (eBay for a steal of a deal!) We also purchased about $1500 worth of equipment for our trip:


These items have shipped or are in the process of being shipped:

Product Description Price Qty Sub Total
A.R.C. 09 Back Country Foul Weather Jacket Large Black/Blue Part# 1185540010 79.99 1 $79.99
A.R.C. 09 Back Country Foul Weather Pants 34″ Black/Grey Part# 1185530006 79.99 1 $79.99
A.R.C. 09 Back Country Foul Weather Pants 34″ Black/Blue Part# 1185530013 79.99 1 $79.99
A.R.C. Corona Chest Protector Adult Blue Part# 1073500004 49.99 1 $49.99
Utah Sport Cycle Offroad Skid Plate – 2004 Honda XR400R Part# 1032550021 71.95 1 $71.95
A.R.C. MX120 Gear Bag 18″x15″x35″ Black/Grey Part# 1160380001 69.99 2 $139.98

These items have shipped or are in the process of being shipped:

Product Description Price Qty Sub Total
IMS Fuel Tank 4.0 Gallon 2000 Red – 2004 Honda XR400R Part# 1053750018 247.99 1 $247.99
A.R.C. 09 Back Country Foul Weather Jacket Large Black/Grey Part# 1185540005 79.99 1 $79.99
A.R.C. Back Country Gloves Medium Black/Grey Part# 1167540006 24.99 2 $49.98
A.R.C. MX240V Boots Size 9 Black Part# 1147980002 179.99 1 $179.99

These items have shipped or are in the process of being shipped:

Product Description Price Qty Sub Total
A.R.C. Back Country Foul Weather Jersey Large Blue Part# 1122510009 19.99 1 $19.99
A.R.C. Back Country Foul Weather Jersey Large Grey Part# 1122510003 19.99 1 $19.99
A.R.C. Pro Ex Motorcycle Tool Pack Black/Grey – 2004 Honda XR400R Part# 1173930005 89.99 1 $89.99
…Tusk Pack-A-Plug (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk Chain Breaker (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk Ultra Lite Tire Iron 8″ (2 per pkg.) 2
…A.R.C. Cross Country Tool Pack Black/Grey (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk 3-Way Mini T-Handle Wrench Tool Kit – 1/4″ Drive (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk Safety Wire (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk Folding Multi-Tool (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk Racer Axle Wrench 17mm/24mm (1 per pkg.) 1
…Slime 1″ Skabs (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk 16 Gram CO2 Inflator Kit (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk High Leverage Side-Cutting Pliers 7 1/2″ (1 per pkg.) 1
…Tusk Zip Ties Black 7.5″ (1 per pkg.) 1
Acerbis Multiconcept Enduro Handguards Red Part# 1143440005 74.99 1 $74.99
A.R.C. Pro-Flex Kidney Belt Adult 28″ to 40″ Black Part# 1197000002 18.99 1 $18.99
Renthal Full Waffle Grips Medium Medium Part# 1118010002 9.99 1 $9.99
Tusk Clutch Lever Polished – 2004 Honda XR400R Part# 1166230003 5.99 1 $5.99
Tusk Brake Lever Polished – 2004 Honda XR400R Part# 1166210002 5.99 1 $5.99
80/100×21 Kenda K760 Trakmaster II Part# 1054690013 41.99 1 $41.99
110/100×18 (4.25/4.60×18) Kenda K760 Trakmaster II Part# 1054690009 47.99 1 $47.99
Camelbak 08 Hawg 100 oz. Coyote/Graphite Part# 1167580003 94.99 1 $94.99
Acerbis Multiconcept Enduro Handguards Replacement Plastic White Part# 1143450003 25.99 1 $25.99
Scott Model 83 Goggle Black Part# 1077360006 17.99 1 $17.99
Scott 89 Xi Turbo Goggle Blue Part# 1168660003 39.99 1 $39.99

I had to install the new Clarke desert tank on my dads bike, that proved to be a pain because of the hose routing and tight fit of the carb area. I also decided to swap out my rear shock from my lowered, softer suspension to the stock taller shock. I also raised the forks about an inch. I took it off the stand, hopped on and marked my stamp of approval….but wait…..I raised the bike so that means I need a taller kick stand right? Dammit….so I spend a few hours trying to make one out of PVC (broke), 1″ aluminum rode (broke), 1.5″ aluminum rod (broke)….I finally gave up and ghetto-ized my kickstand like so:

Locked and loaded with two bikes, all of our gear, some cash and a lot of crazy we attempted to depart…..yes…attempted. The first snafu of our journey was that we managed to forget a lot of stuff (luckily we remembered at the corner of the block so it wasn’t the end of the world)

  • Sun glasses
  • Hat
  • Passports
  • Tool set

We finally got all that accounted for and set out for our journey. I had the unwieldy task of entering ALL of our way points into a laptop so that they could be uploaded to a GPS…..so on the highway I plug in the GPS….need drivers for that doh! Ok, lets tether to the phone to download them…..need drivers for that too GRrrrrr! Ok, lets find a Starbucks….find a Starbucks and the laptop won’t get on the Internet….freaking crap! I had to ask a fellow techie to download me a copy of MalwareBytes so I could fix up my dads laptop and get it on the Internetz….lame….so there we burned an hour….

Back on the road again we managed to cross the border (at Tecate) in good time, we drove down a ways East from Tecate towards Santa Veronica. On the way we managed to find a little shop with a nice lady that agreed to let us leave the truck in the back (on her ranch) for the duration of our trip. We unloaded, saddled up and hit the road!

Our first destination was Rancho Santa Veronica, the majority of this ride was on the highway. However the first section of dirt was a test of our packing abilities. The duffel bag on my bike (easily adding an extra 40 lbs of crap!) just didn’t want to stay on….so I was constantly stopping to re-adjust and re-tighten the straps. My dad said his had no problems at all, his hadn’t moved or anything….well not for long…..about 3/4 of the way to Santa Veronica, one of the bungee cords that was holding his bag on snapped. He said, and I quote, “I felt like I lost a little power, but I just gave it more gas” well yeah buddy that “loss of power” was your bag stuck in your rear tire….I had a mirror on my bike so I looked back and all of a sudden I saw this black thing hanging off the side of his bike. I motion him to stop and I jump off my bike and run back to see what it was. Sure enough, it was his duffel bag…..and all that remained was the 1 torn up t-shirt that was stuck in his motorcycle chain……the rest….gone… So he had no more underwear, socks, shirts, jeans, toiletries, nothing…..Well from my reading on the Internetz I anticipated the worst and double packed most of my stuff. He said I was over packing, I said….just in case. Well that just in case was a god sent on my part….he was able to go the rest of the trip by mooching off my duffel bag….

I took a few wrong turns as I was getting used to the GPS, but all in all we arrived in decent time. The stats for this leg are below:

  • Arrival – 12/14/08 @ 4:30pm PST
  • Time Elapsed – 1:28:26
  • Length – 21.2 mi
  • Avg Speed – 14 mph

We had dinner and the ranch, I had a Carne Asada steak and my dad had a Milanesa steak. The dining area:

We then headed over to our accomodations, very spacious but not the warmest thing ever….although, a good thing about all the places we stayed was that they all had super awesome blankets!

With that I’ll call it a night….tomorrow I’ll post day 2….stay tuned!

  • Esther Park

    Can’t wait to read more :). Sounds like you had fun. Glad you’re back safely!

  • andy

    malwarebytes ftw

  • Peter

    hahahha….nice!!! Forgot your passport on this run…lol