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Dirt Bikes, Off-Road, Mexico, Baja, Mike's Sky Ranch, Rancho Santa Veronica,
Mexican Tour, Ride Report, Trip Report

[Dirt Bikes]
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Date: May, 1997
Location: Baja, Mexico
Riders: Brad, Bryce, Jay & Paul
Guides: Richard & Howard

Day Three Continued (from part 1)

We all ate a large breakfast (good thing) and headed out. As it turns out, this was Richard's maiden voyage with his XR250. Our first turn out of the driveway and Richard bites it. First crash of the day, a slow low-side right in the beginning. We all rushed to the scene to see that he was ok. After all he’s such an old guy…

First BiffWell, our first wreck was caused by our first mechanical failure. The knob on his petcock valve busted off, starving his engine of fuel, as well as dumping a bunch of fuel everywhere. After about 15 minutes of searching we found all of the parts. We ended up using safety wire to hold it together. This allowed us to get a couple miles up the road to where Richard was staying. It leaked considerably, but it got us there. Luckily Richard had his XR500 handy, just in case. We spent about a half hour swapping petcock assemblies and hit the road again.

Here is where having a guide really paid off. While we had ridden in Baja several times, we really were novices. It never would have occurred to us that those gates were intended to keep cattle in, not keep us out. As I understand it now, if you open a gate, close it. If you pass an open gate, leave it open. Who would have known?

At The LakeAfter some great riding we decided to stop at a beautiful lake (Laguna Hanson) to take a break. Richard went on ahead to get some beer (just a couple miles up the road). We hung out eating crackers and enjoying the scenery. Richard came back shortly, completely beerless. Bad news, no beer, food, or gas. We would have to head over to the freeway to get gas. We began to get going, oops, Bryce had a flat. He apparently ran over an old barbed wire fence. No big deal we had extra tubes, patches, compressed air, etc. Besides, Bryce is the fastest tire changer among us. He had the tube out and patched in nothing flat. This is where the trouble began. We all had those little MSR tire patch kits. Unfortunately, Bryce’s didn’t work. It leaked big time venting all of the air to the outside world. I gave him mine, no luck. What now? Here comes Richard with one of those fancy, trigger actuated tire inflators. The kind that use the cheaper, threadless cartridges. It worked like a charm. Needless to say we both dumped our cheap ones and got the "fancy" one as soon as we got home.

Fuel BreakContinuing on, we made it the highway and re-fueled. Got some beer too (still no food). Leaving the gas station we passed another military checkpoint. Paul, finally getting used to these, began to stop, even though they were waving us through. This nearly caused a three-bike pile up taking out several men with automatic weapons. I think I liked it better when he wasn’t stopping. Once we got off the freeway, we headed on to Mike’s Sky Ranch.

In TownWe got into town just before dark and stopped for a beer (see a trend?). We debated eating dinner in town or heading up to Mike’s for dinner. We opted to head up to Mike’s. As it got darker, it started REALLY getting cold. Luckily I had my new Moose enduro jacket. Once I closed all the vents, I was real comfy. Paul wasn’t nearly as lucky. We ended up stopping to add clothing. We ended up at Mike’s long after dark. It was locked up tight. Richard poked around and found an open window, while we stood around clueless. Richard found a couple rooms and let us in. You guessed it, no dinner. Good thing we had a big breakfast and lots of beer. We ended up eating cookies and drinking water for dinner. This pretty much depleted our "trail" supplies. Oh, no electricity or hot water either.

(stay tuned there's more…)