Baja Bound

San-Jacinto

San Jacinto, about 175 miles south of the border, on the Pacific side of Baja

So, after getting the delivery date wrong and telling you all about it, nearly everyone who responded had kind words.   Much appreciated, folks.   We deeply believe that our customers come first and everything we do is centered on getting the best value for you.  I know I let you down on that ship business.

That said, folks around the plant were whispering that I’m fleeing the country after getting the ships mixed up.  I am, but but not because of the shipping mistake.   I’m Baja Bound, boys and girls, and it’s for two reasons:  To negotiate the best rates I can at the hotels and sites we’ll be visiting on our Inaugural Baja Run, and well, to kick back and have some fun.

BajaBound

Baja Bound: Our preferred Baja insurance provider!

First things first…I’ve been communicating with the good folks at Baja Bound Insurance, the specialists in insuring motor vehicles for gringos and gringas going to Baja.   We’ve got a good deal, and what it boils down to is this:   You can get insurance from Baja Bound for something between $10 to $14 per day, depending on the coverage you want.   That’s about as good as it gets, and the better news is that these guys are for real.   I’ve been using Baja Bound exclusively for the 20+ years I’ve been riding down into Baja, and I wouldn’t insure with anyone else.

You might be wondering:  Can’t I just blow off getting this insurance?.  Well, the answer to that is this:  Not if you want to ride with us.   Mexico requires that you have vehicle insurance.  If you have an accident down there or if you get stopped for a traffic infraction and you don’t have insurance, you’re going to a place called la prision.   For the $60 or so it costs to insure your bike for this ride, it would be silly not to have insurance.

A quick word on our route…we’ll cross the border at TJ, blow through there quickly, and stay on the Transpeninsular Highway all the way down…

Ah, Baja…our route!

On the way home, instead of re-entering the US through TJ, we’ll pick up Mexico Hwy 3 in Ensenada.   It’s the road you see veering off to the east in the map above, and we’ll come home through Tecate.  Hwy 3 is the Ruta Vinacola, and it goes through Mexico’s version of Napa Valley.  It’s one of their top wine-producing regions.    We’ll stop at LA Cetto Vineyards for a visit, but the real treat is the scenery.  You’ll see.

Right now, I’m not too sure how far south we’ll get, but I’m trying to work it so we get at least as far as Santa Rosalia.   Everyone needs to see that town and the Sea of Cortez.   They’ve got this amazing church in the town square designed by Gustav Eiffel (the same dude who designed the Eiffel Tower) with amazing stained glass…

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Inside Santa Rosalia’s Gustav Eiffel designed church

Some more info…one of my new RX3 friends asked me if I had any guidelines for the Baja trip.  I wrote some things for her and then I thought it would be a good idea to repeat what I said here.  So, here we go…these are my guidelines, rules, suggestions, or whatever you want to call them.  It’s what I tell everyone who rides into Baja with me.

I like to ride in a staggered riding formation with lots of space between riders.  No side by side stuff and no tailgating.   Space is your friend when you ride in a group.

I like everyone to keep their high beams on in the day time.   It’s easier to see if anybody has dropped out, and it’s safer because cars see you better.   Notice I didn’t say anything about night time.  That’s because we won’t be riding at night.   There are animals on the road at night.  If you crash into a cow on a motorcycle, the cow usually wins.   Sometimes, you might even have a real jackass pull out right in front of you…

CSCBaja (59)

On the CSC 150 Baja run just north of Cabo San Lucas…can you believe this jackass?

As I mentioned above, everyone has to have Mexican insurance (we’ll give you more details on how to get this from Baja Bound as soon as we nail the dates down).  You’ll also need a driver’s license and a passport.   You can get into Mexico without a passport, but you can’t get back into the US without one.   Hey, maybe you’ll want to stay down there.   My buddy John is going to retire in Baja.  But if you want to come home with us on this trip, bring a valid passport.

Don’t bring any illegal drugs with you.   Legit prescriptions are okay, but if you come from a place where marijuana is now legal, good luck explaining that to a Federale.   Trust me on this:  They will find it.

I like to have a drink at the end of the day in the hotel bar.   One drink.   Maybe two, but that’s it.   Moderation, folks.   And absolutely no beer or other alcohol while we’re on the road.   If you’re hung over and you don’t feel like riding the next morning, you’re on your own.  We won’t wait for you to finish barfing.

I almost feel silly saying this, but I’ll say it anyway.   Don’t bring a gun into Mexico.    If you do, you will get caught.   Hey, if that happens, look on the bright side…you’ll have lots of time to learn Spanish from your new bunkmates.  Years, actually.  The Mexican authorities take guns very seriously.   You won’t get to go to traffic school for this one…you’ll be looking at serious prison time.   I’m a 2nd Amendment guy and a certified gun nut, but folks, we’re not going to be in the US.   And if you think you can hide something on your bike or on your person, well, you haven’t gone through the military checkpoints.   We’ll go through lots of those.  The military checkpoints are there for just two reasons…to find drugs and guns.   I hear they’re pretty good at what they do.

You’ll want to bring sufficient cash.   I posted a blog about this a few months ago, and my guesstimate at that time was about $750.   I’ll have better numbers after my trip into Baja this week.  A few places take credit cards and there are ATMs down there, but don’t count on this.   We’re going to be in some pretty woolly areas.

You’ll want decent tires at the start of the trip (that won’t be a problem, as we’ll all be on new RX3 motorcycles).   The stock RX3 tires are perfect for the kind of riding we’ll be doing.   In fact, the RX3 is a perfect motorcycle for Baja.

We’ll be on the road at 8:00 a.m. sharp each morning.   That means we’ll be eating breakfast at around 7:00 a.m.  If you’re not ready, we won’t wait.  I’ve done group rides before and this is the only way to keep things moving.  Leading a group ride is a bit like herding cats.  It’s fun and we’re going to have fun, but we have to keep to our schedule.

No nutty riding or racing.   We’re all going to come home in the same shape we left.   Safety first, folks.

ATGATT.  That stands for all the gear, all the time.   You’ll need a good helmet, a good jacket, good riding footwear, and good gloves.   I’d recommend rain gear.  I’ve never had a ride in Baja where I didn’t encounter some rain.  Mexico requires that you wear a helmet.  It’s not enforced by the Mexican authorities, but I won’t ride with you if you don’t wear a helmet.

No being a jerk with the Mexicans, including the hotel wait staff, the authorities, the guys selling us fish tacos (those are awesome), and anybody else we come across.  The Bajaenos are a warm and friendly bunch.   We need to be the same.   Our friends south of the border want to show us a good time, and if you’ve never been to Baja, you’re in for a real treat.   Throw all the stereotypes about Mexico out the window.   Baja is special.   We’re going to have a good time.

The big question is still the date for our Baja adventure.   Dock strikes, flaky info on which shipping container contains what, and US Customs have kept us guessing.   We’re getting close, though.  I’ll be posting photos, hotel costs, and other info from Baja for the next several days, so keep an eye on the blog.  I was going to take one of the RX3 test mules on this trip, but Susie told me she wanted to go, too, and that meant it’s the Starship Subie for us this week.   It’s going to be fun.

Later, my friends.

 

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