We just got back from a little pre-run to make sure everything is good-to-go for EDR15. Yep, the desert, beach, beer, potholes, federales, hookers, bars, palapas, twisty roads and all that good stuff is all still there and ready to party. Basically, nothing has changed.
Here's your lodging details:
SAN FELIPE / THURSDAY / FRIDAY / May 28 / 29
There are a handful of palapas now open for paid reservations at Kiki's Campo.
Kiki also has a dozen or so brand new hotel rooms behind the camp, at the north end of the Circle of Death track.
You can contact him directly for either reservations, and should do so soon because things are starting to fill up already.
Email him at: email@example.com
Ruben's camp next door is ready to go and free palapas will be given on a first-come-first-served basis. Biltwell covered the cost of these palapas, so they are free to riders. If you miss out on one, you can also camp on the beach (best spot anyway) for free, and park your bike in either camp. There will be plenty of cheap beer, tacos and "entertainment" at Ruben's Camp both nights, as well as good deals on breakfast and coffee in the morning. This is not a family-friendly environment, you have been warned.
An alternative, La Palapa RV camp on the south side of Ruben's will have palapas for rent, but they are not free (probably about $30 per night and you can fit about 4 people in each one). The boss lady here is not able to take reservations in advance, but the campground is large and there are plenty of spots, so it's just about guaranteed that you wont get skunked. Should be plenty of palapas for everyone.
For riders following our route from Temecula, there is a new gas station on the south side of HWY 8 about 66 miles out of Santa Ysabel, so we don't need to fill small tanks from pickups like last time.
The road south of the Mexicali border to San Felipe has no significant changes and is in the best condition we've ever seen. No construction at this time. Still has some potholes and is typical Mexico, but no surprises so far.
ENSENADA / SATURDAY / SUNDAY May 30 / June 1
Everyone is staying at the Villa Marina hotel, which is the largest, pinkest building in Ensenada. If you get lost, head towards the coast and the giant Mexican flag. Near that flag, the VM is the only twelve-story building in town.
You absolutely need to make your reservations well in advance. Juan Carlos at Baja Voyager handles dozens of race teams for the Baja 1000, is a professional guide for factory Toyota and has fixed the Ensenada side of the El Diablo Run for years. Go to his website to contact him here for your reservations: bajavoyager.com/contact.html
The Villa Marina has a nice pool and secure bike parking. We've arranged good deals on food and booze here and there will be two bars set up: one in the parking lot and one by the pool. The VM is not the Ritz, but it is very accommodating and we've got the whole thing locked down so it'll pretty much be a big party the whole time.
From San Felipe to Ensenada, it is as rough as it has even been. Plenty of potholes that will totally ruin your day. Remember those surprise speed bumps? Yep, still there, but they've moved them and they are unmarked just to test your skills. Slow down. There was no construction on this stretch today, but who knows what will be in store for us in May? This route is only a little over 150 miles, but it can take a while depending on circumstances. Just chill out and enjoy it and you will have a much better time than if you decide to haul ass. More than a few crashes have happened along this part of the ride and most of them have been a result of riding too fast. Don't forget to pull off to the left in Valle De Trinidad if you are going to need gas along the way. There is also gas in Ojos Negros, but it's around 100 miles from SF, so if you are a tiny tank nerd like us, you better stop in Trinidad to top off.
The Ensenada to USA Border has good and bad news. There was a landslide that caved in part of the toll road. But, they fixed it. Then it caved in again. So, there are some detours onto the free road. The free road is a little slower and slightly longer, but scenic and skips one toll, so that's a bonus. This may be fixed by spring, but either way, just head north out of Ensenada and follow detour signs to TJ/San Diego. It's nearly impossible to get lost and there is gas along the way. The really good news is the border crossing has been upgraded and moves WAY faster now. What used to take three hours on a Sunday afternoon in a truck today took about an hour. On a bike, you should split lanes and be through it in a few minutes. The road conditions on this route were very twisty with fun elevation changes but not nearly as rough as the route from San Felipe. Slow truck traffic is the main obstacle.
We will have more info on Bike Games, Coctagon, Circle of Death, day trips, awards and sponsors later in the week.