Friday May 12:
Tacos and beer upon arrival in San Felipe
Saturday May 13:
4-5ish: yard games
5-6pm: open practice for circle of death, all classes
6:16-6:45: rigid class motos and finals
Sunday May 14:
3-4: open practice for circle of death
4:00-4:30: bike show prize presentation
4:30 to 5ish: circle of death swingarm class motos and finals
Monday May 15:
Split lanes and take names all the way home
Keep in mind that 2017 is going to be a little different because of two changes:
• We are not leading any official ride from Temecula. Just meet us in San Felipe
• There is no official Ensenada leg of the trip. It's three nights, all in San Felipe
If you've never been, I'll try to break it down so you know what you are getting into, without all the hyperbole. First and foremost, this ride is centered around riding your hand-built motorcycle, preferably an old one. BUT, it is open to anyone on any machine.
There is no entry fee or official anything. We will announce a start time and place in Temecula because that's where we are starting. You can start anywhere and take any route you choose.
We will have a truck or two in the back but don't take that as a guarantee. Have your bike dialed and be able and ready to work on it on the side of the road if needed and a back up plan if you can't get it going. We've never left anyone out in the cold and there always seems to be someone's girlfriend in a truck to help out, but it's best to have a plan because you can't just text triple-A and while you wait at Starbucks. That is pretty much the point. We always stress being self-sufficient, not to act like bad asses but to warn those who have never been.
There will be potholes. And speedbumps. Probably a couple sections of smooth dirt or gravel detours around road construction. Sometimes that detour is ten miles long. Sack up, it's just a dirt road. Motorcycles, even choppers, love dirt roads. The wise rider goes single file on these roads and gives a little more interval between other riders. For a quick primer on riding in a pack, read THIS. Or, best of all, break off into a small group with your buddies and go at your own pace and enjoy it. You do not want to ride at night.
So, the whole thing is about 600 miles round trip. Not exactly iron butt miles for a three legged trip. Granted, Mexico miles always seem longer because of sketchy roads and long stretches of isolation, but again, that's the point. It's a unique area to ride and that's what makes it fun.
The first day is the longest at almost 300 miles. There are only a few freeway miles, everything else is two-lanes. One of the best routes is to leave Temecula and head out through Warner Springs where it'll be a little chilly with over 4000' of elevation change. Dropping down into the Anza Borrego desert it warms up substantially. In Calexico, we'll grab some lunch, gas up and get insurance if you didn't already get it through Baja Bound.
Mexicali is a little sketchy to the newcomer but basically if you just keep heading south you can't mess up. All roads eventually lead to Mex Highway 5 which runs all the way to San Felipe. This stretch is the longest without gas. I always stop at the last Pemex at the south end of town just to get as much as possible. I get about 100 miles to a tank loaded down so I'll have an extra one gallon can on my bike. Once you clear that Pemex, it's a straight shot to SF through some barren landscape that is really cool. Beware of Mexican drivers. They have balls for days and love to drive fast and prove it. This is where road conditions will degrade a little. We'll hit a Military checkpoint about 30 miles north of town. There is a little beer/snack stand called "Three Poles" on the other side once you clear the check. It's a good place for a break and some shade. The army dudes are just like army dudes anywhere except they are locked and loaded and carry their weapons on "fire". Don't bring guns or drugs. They generally look at us like we are idiots and wave us right through. Chase trucks get looked at a little closer. Just tell them you are going to San Felipe for vacation and don't have anything to hide.
We often ride without a helmet on the highway. It is advisable to wear your lid whenever you ride in town, especially San FelipeSan Felipe. The loose rule is that it's OK out on the open highway but required in towns. When you see some giant concrete arches, you'll know you've made it. Ride all the way to the water, and turn left on the malecon. The town streets are beat to hell, stop signs are not clearly marked and there is a fine coat of sand everywhere making it a perfect place to crash your motorcycle. Turn right at the end of the malecon and right again at the next Alto sign. Left at the last possible road and parallel the beach down to Ruben's and Kiki's Campos.