Motorcycle

Two wheels and a motor ... or mobile life

KTM on the Bradshaw Trail
KTM on the Bradshaw Trail

Bfrank and I spent a week chasing dirt roads and trails in south eastern California and western Arizona. We saw some beautiful sights on a number of old 49er trails and stagecoach routes—including the Bradshaw Trail. Pima Air Museum and the Davis-Monthan aircraft boneyard were calling us and so we spent a day touring air history.

This was a mostly camping outing, which provided schedule flexibility. We could stay anyplace that was convenient. Days were comfortable and sunny (65-70 deg F) but the nights were cold (35 deg F). Cold nights are no problem in the tent hugged by a warm sleeping bag, but a killer getting out in the morning.

I did experience one rear flat from a 3 inch nail. It ripped a 2 inch cut in the tube. Thus my road tube replacement skills were tested once again (see Baja 2010 ... Fall This Time). The only problem was a very stiff walled Dunlop 908 on the rear wheel. After much tugging, and some choice words, off it came. Pop in the replacement tube and we were off. Next day, a brief Cycle Gear stop ensured we had a fresh spare tube.

Thursday a sizable storm moved down from the north into central Arizona. We raced south and west to get away, with considerable success after suffering one day of 40+ mph consistent wind but no rain. After a short visit into northern Baja Mexico, we were back in San Diego with a list of newly discovered roads for the next trip.

Here are a few more photos from the trip. And a route map.

Kids on the Bike in San Ignacio

Another in the long string of annual Baja rides. But, this time in the Fall for a change.

A helpful bunch of kids (no, really, helpful!) cleaned the dust off my bike while I lazily watched from the comfort of a bench under the shade trees on the town square in San Ignacio. A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon. They earned ice creams for all.

This became "my trip", but not in the usual good way. Flats. I'm an expert now. Starting around day three, I achieved the distinction of averaging three flats a day for the remainder of the trip.

Ugg! Not another flat!

We used up every tube all five of us carried then worked our way through Nate's patches (by the way, I owe you a few Nate). Fronts, backs, they all went flat. On the last day I finally found the issue, both tires had cracked on the interior surface. The result was tube pinching on each revolution as the cracks opened and closed. Mefo tires will no longer be on my prep list for a Baja trip! I've taken that firm off my Christmas card list.

Every Baja bike trip is great no matter what happens and this was no different. Click here for all the trip pictures (of flat tire repairs!).

Way Advanced Planning

Hi Baja 2010 Gang!

So far nine people are in. You're the group either committed to go, should be committed for doing this, or at least expressing a strong likelihood of going. To my knowledge three people going have been motorcycling in Mexico before. This is gonna be funnnn!

Here's a summary of basic details so far:

Whale at our boat

This year's Baja adventure was unique in two ways. First, we all were able to touch gray whales . Absolutely cool! In the past we only saw them up close from the boat. This time the whales came right up to the boat and let us pet them. The picture to the left was taken just after I was petting the nose of this whale. Surprising to me, they feel less firm they expected. Kinda like a tire inner tube with low pressure.

Second, I had many equipment malfunctions. Unlike nearly all my past trips anywhere, I had a number of problems with the bike. Mostly my own fault for not fully preparing for the trip. My trusty KLR has made four Baja visits and taken me to Alaska and back. I guess that was about all it could handle without a major overhaul. Anyway, I needed a new back tire, chain and broke both the front and rear dampening before it was all over. Fortunately, I was able to put a new tire on at a hotel overnight (thank you Rice and Beans ), was rescued by a mechanic with just the right chain in nearly nowhere and nursed the suspension all the way home.

Check out all the pictures.