Monday, July 31, 2017

Doing the Baja Bounce: Fish tacos, vino and motorbikes

What a great day in Baja! The plan was to introduce one of my friends to his first Mexico Experience. Chance is a young Navy guy who likes motorcycles and who'd never been south of the border. My buddy, Chris, the badass wheelie king, invited some other good peeps: Ted, Ian, Eric and his girl.

So we had my big fat Triumph Rocket III, Ted's Triumph Scrambler, Chris' Husky 701, Chance and his girl Emily were on a Harley Street Glide, and Eric and his gal were on a KTM 1190.

We crossed at Tijuana, rode from down the coastal toll road stopping at the overlook, then we enjoyed fish tacos at my fave place in Ensenada (Tacos Floresta), headed up Highway 3 toward Tecate where we found Vena Cava, a cool little winery "off the beaten path." (That means 2 miles of dirt road on my 800 lb pig.)

It was a great little set up. We did a 5-glass wine tasting then a tasty IPA and some tacitos outside.

We managed to get separated on the highway but crossed the border at Tecate an hour later (translation: Border wait in a car= 2 hours, on a motorcycle= 4 minutes). Easy-peasy.

The day started a little cool with a nice ocean breeze but got hotter as the day went on--probably in the 90's as we crossed back into the US.

A nice ride and a great time was had by all.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Otay Mountain Truck Trail/Mexican border fence ride

I took the KLR out for a solo ride along the Mexican border this morning, taking Highway 94 east to Marron Valley Rd., past the South Bay Rod & Gun Club and up into the hills on the Otay Mountain Truck Trail. Maybe the highest peaks are 4K+ feet, but I only reached about 3,500' on the trail. And I felt it cool off at the higher elevation.

I stopped and spoke with a couple Border Patrol Agents near the border fence. I guess I looked suspicious or I tripped a sensor because there was a BP helicopter overhead, too. As I exited the TT, I found that the locks had been removed from the gate (it's electronic entry now)...and after I'd gone through so much trouble to get the key! No worries, I just laid my KLR on its side and pushed it under. Good thing I'm not too concerned about keeping it looking pretty.

I ran into a little trouble whlie exploring an alternate route from the mesa area near the state prison over to the Otay Lake area. I'd made it about a mile down a badly washed out trail before I realized how bad it really was. I had to ride a bit further down before I could turn around, but i was able to do it. And the ride back up that rocky, rutted, washed out trail was a challenge but a lot of fun, too. Yeah, lots of fun...

So it turned out to be a nice Sunday ride. In 3 1/2 hours I went 75 miles...half of that off-road. The bike did great, and I'm really enjoying these Shinko 804/805 tires. And my new riding gear--Icon Raiden DKR--held up really well. It was hot (upper 80's) but vented well.