Jiu-Jitsu and Motorcycles, Have you ever wanted to go on a real adventure?? Adventure! Why we need to try new things like BJJ and Motorcycles. Over Christmas 2013 Mike, Wes, and I all rode to the tip of Baja Mexico. I have done simular trips on a Sport Bike, sticking to Highway 1 all the way down. But I really wanted to explore some of the secondary roads on the way down. I have road thru both Main Land and Baja Mexico before.
But this was going to be Mike's first long trip on a Motorcycle, and Wes's first venture beyond the border. Now Wes has traveled and lived in Brazil on and off for a few years, so this wasn't going to be a huge stretch for him. Of course when we first started discussing this trip. There were several different factors the guys were nervous about. The first was safety. If you listen to the news or your friends. They would have you believe that Mexico is full of Bandito's and drug smugglers. Now it is true that Mexico has it's fair share of problems. Especially closer to the border and in certain areas. But my take on this is that the best time to visit anywhere in the World is when the media is saying don't go. It keeps both prices and crowds down. (When I was asked to go to Afghanistan on a USO Tour a few years ago I said of course this is during the heat of the war. We have soldiers that put themselves in harms way everyday I figured I should go also.
Now with that being said I was shot at while be transported from one base to the next. While flying in a helicopter in Afghanistan. But even that wouldn't keep me from going back if given the chance. The thing to remember is that there are millions of people. Old people, young people, working people, rich people, poor people. That live in this country. The good people just going about their day to day far out weigh the bad people we share our surroundings with.
After convincing the guys it would be safe to ride thru the area. And that going on this trip like this would hopefully. If they were lucky, change them for the rest of their life, they agreed to go. Now when we first started discussing the trip I was the only one with an adventure bike. Mike and Wes both had motorcycles but they were both street bikes. And an adventure bike is one that you can ride both on the street and down gravel roads and trails.
The guys immediatly started looking for bikes that would be appropriate for this trip. Wes ended up buying a 2009 KLR 650 and Mike a 1999 BMW 1100 GS. The KLR being by far the best bike off road for a trip like this, but not as comfortable for the street. Mikes bike is older, but appeared to be in great shape despite having a few miles on it. We were also planning to camp on the trip which was going to be a first for me on a motorcycle trip. This was also going to be a first for the guys as well. This was pushing my own comfort zone staying on a beach in a tent in a foreign Country. But I was game.
Now Mexico is a little different then in the States where they don't have near as many rules for what you can and can't do. If you want to ride on the beach in the States you will be ticketed possibly arrested. Also sleeping on the beach you need to be camping in a designated area. In Mexico you can kind of sleep wherever you think is safe. Speed limits are kind of the same way there are signs but nobody really follows stop signs or speed limits. Some people may prefer to have everything be very clear when it comes to traffic. I personally always prefer to go a speed that I feel safe at versus what the Government decides is safe.
We left on a Saturday Morning. With the idea that I would need to pick up my family from the airport in Cabo on the following Wednesday. This left us plenty of time to see Mexico and hangout. While cranking out the Miles that we would need to do in order to pick up my Family on Christmas day.
I am use to traveling by myself. There are definitly advantages to traveling in a group. And there are definitely advantages to traveling by yourself. In a group you kind of need to stay together and travel at the speed of the slowest guy. Our guy that moves the slowest would be Wes. Once Wes is moving he isn't afraid to ride the bike. But sometimes it can be a challenge to get him moving once he has lost momentum.
As for Mike to say that he was nervous heading into Mexico to begin with would probably be an understatement. Wes and I fully expected to get to the border and Mike would turn around, say well this was fun. Then head home before we could utter a response. But to my surprise when we hit the border in Mexicali Mike followed us thru never looking back. Since we didn't hit the border early enough to camp we stayed in San Felipe in a hotel.
The following day we would be riding thru Cocos Corner. Cocos Corner is famous in Baja for being right on the Baja 1000 ride. Coco was there as we passed thru we signed his book and pushed on Camping on the Pacific side that night.
The following day we would be going to my favorite part of Baja Mulege. I find the area around Moulage to be absolutely great Motorcycle roads. Where you are dipping in and out of view of the Sea of Cortez. But this also meant that my adventure with the guys was coming to a close. I would need to make it to Cabo to pick up my family. And the guys had decided to cross the Sea of Cortez on a Ferry going thru Durango. Cutting off a bunch of miles on the way home and making it home a few days early.
I made it to my family and we had a great time for a few days on Baja together. Mike and Wes made it to La Paz and then took a ferry across the Sea of Cortez the next day. Unfortunately for Mike, he had transmission problems and had to fly home. He eventual meet his bike at the border a few days later. He survived, although the trip did cost him more then he anticipated.
Wes had to continue on his motorcycle alone. After Mike was stranded crossing the border by himself. I think they both had a good time and both have expressed interest in going on another trip in the near future.