Tour of Baja
This was OTB’s fourth annual road tour. The tour of Baja California from Tecate was a 454 mile loop. Riders included: Andres, Julio, Shawn, Roobik, Jessie and Hans. Natasha and Claire provided support and did an excellent job!
We had perfect weather with lots of friendly people and Dogs along the way!
EL TOUR DE BAJA- DAY ONE
Start time: 9:23 am
Distance: 75 miles
Average Speed: 15.9 mph
Ride Time: 4 hours 42 min
Total Ascent: 3920 feet
Average Temperature: 76 F
Tecate to Ensenada
Cereal for breakfast set the stage for a beautiful morning ahead. We said our good bye to the camp dogs and departed towards the border.
The road conditions were fairly good. A few minutes across the border and we were reminded of the friendly nature of the Latin people. All of the cars and trucks gave us plenty of space to ride on the narrow two way highway, only two truckers made a pass that was too close for comfort. We had never been so close to a truck with nowhere to go. Most of the locals we passed smiled and waved. Some wished us good luck as we rode by.
We made one water stop at a local tienda and another stop to watch Julio fix his first international flat, it was a success, for the first time Shawn was not assisting Julio during a flat repair. No tears were shed.
Bicyclist are not allowed on the federal highways in Mexico
though they are actually safer then the secondary roads.
Finally, after 75 miles we arrived at the ocean front campground that Natasha and Claire had found for us.
Beef and veggie burgers were served for dinner; we had grilled onions, salad, chips, salsa, and cookies for dessert.
EL TOUR DE BAJA- DAY TWO
Start time: 8:35 am
Distance: 103 miles
Average Speed: 15.5 mph
Ride Time: 6 hours 38 min
Total Ascent: 6360 feet
Average Temperature: 75 F
Ensenada to San Matias
Spanish lesson of the day: No frenar con el motor / No jake braking
Almohada / Pillow
¿ Julito quieres pancakes? / Julio do you want some pancakes? (Julio goes back to his mom’s kitchen to remember the word “pancakes” in Spanish- no luck on this one-)
The most important spanish lesson learned below. “Money isn’t everything but without it you do not eat”
Elvis sighting by our campsite; he was sleeping next to our camp with his Mexican hound dog (he barked in Spanish).
Breakfast was served with Andres’ Pato eggs, pancakes, coffee and juice. We need all the energy that we can get, today will be our longest day in the saddle.
Departing Ensenada was a smooth ride all the way into town, finding the road out of town was another story, after a couple of wrong turns we were pointed in the right direction by the locals. A long climb started towards our destination, a two way road with no shoulder and enough truck traffic to keep our concentration at a maximum. Today’s diet of choice was climbing; we basically climbed all day to get to our destination. Our camp location will have to be scouted by
our support team.
Somehow, today’s distance is always 90 miles to go. We keep going and going but our destination does not appear to come soon enough.
As we got close to our calculated distance and meeting point, we made radio contact with our trusted support team who had started search and rescue operations right at sunset.
Natasha and Claire did not find a suitable campground, many of the campgrounds shown on our map do not exist any more! They managed to arrange accommodations outside a restaurant in San Matias.
At Abigail’s, our host Ruben, prepared quesadillas,
burritos, and cooked our fish. Ruben gave us buckets of
hot water to take a bath and made sure that all of our needs
were taken care of. It was another great spot to spend the
night in Mejico. Jessie made friends with some of the locals.
Before going to bed Hans gave Roobik a “tent to tent” talk on techniques and tips about riding in the paceline. It was a well intentioned workshop but a chalkboard might work a lot better for future trips.