Trip Report:Baja California Day 0, Prep and packing

November 2, 2012 3 comments

Well I am going to get moving here with a post about a recent trip to Baja California, Mexico on a motorcycle. What? Mexico? You are going to die! If you believe that then you also know we only have a two party political system. Come on sheeple, turn off mainstream media and the propaganda they are forcing down your pie hole. Sorry, small rant there.

Recommend the Baja atlas and E32 maps. Just remember if you purchase the maps for your gps it will take about 48 hours to get the download link. I procrastinated and waited too long so I was unable to eat the GPS download or the atlas in the mail. National Geographic also has decent adventure maps of Baja with gas stations labeled, these are the ones we used.

Prep the moto.

Oil change, fluids are topped off, chain is adjusted and the tires have plenty of tread left on them. If anything is suspect replace it. Hundreds of miles away from civilization in a desert is not the time to wish you had replaced the chain and hooked sprockets or the leaking final drive seal. The real step 1 is to get a bike. I am not going to get into the discussion of 'what is the best adventure touring bike'. There have been Holy Crusades, church excommunications and spawn removed from their inheritance because of views of the best bike. I will only say that this segment of motorcycles is exploding right now and the choices in America have never been better. One you “drink the Kool aide” you can never go back, I ride a 2005 KTM 950 Adventure. It is a big bike and, IMO, if your goal is difficult roads and single track join a supported tour or take a lighter bike and have a support vehicle.

Hydration Pack

Contents:

  • Rain shell
  • Maps
  • Toilet paper
  • Bladder

I used a 3L bladder in my pack. Every time you stop time is lost. Having fluids available while you are moving saves time and keeps you hydrated. I am not a fan of putting energy/electrolyte powders in bladders when running, biking, or hiking. They can leave an unsavory taste and when you are traveling for days the left over fluid promotes the growth of mold when exposed to the sun and heat. If you decide to sample local companionship this bacterial growth could help treat your ailments I guess.. Most places do not have toilet paper and if your bowels are acting up it is nice to have quick access and not have to unstrap a bag to get to it.

 

Right Pannier

Contents: left to right

  • Cable lock
  • Extra bungee cords
  • Siphoning tube
  • Camera
  • Tubes, even if your bike is tubeless it helps to have tubes in event of tire being sliced.
  • Extra energy bars and snacks*
  • Softshell*
  • Chain lube
  • Mineral oil for clutch
  • Funnel
  • MSR dromedary bag, a must!
  • Toiletry bag, not pictured, with the usual stuff in it.

My panniers are the KTM Gobi bags. Just before leaving the buckle on the left one started to fail. If I were to buy new bags I would spend the extra money and get Jessie bags or the aluminum KTM ones.

Left Pannier

Contents: Left to right

  • Light shoes, flip flops.
  • Inflatable sleeping pad, comfy and you don't feel the small undulations or rocks.
  • Emergency tarp. Use as shelter, tent footprint, etc.
  • Jetboil stove and fuel canister.
  • Collapsible bowl with interlocking spatula/knife and spork.
  • Poop shovel, bury your shit fool.
  • Very small camp towel.
  • Insulated cup with lid. Inside was a Multi-spice container in a baggie.
  • Book
  • Extra kitchen bags for trash and dirty clothes.
  • Knife
  • Matches
  • Solar shower
  • Large baggie contained freeze-dried meals, powdered milk, sugar, Starbucks via

I hate Starbucks but Via is the best coffee when space is a concern. The concentrates taste funky and 10 days of ground coffee takes up a lot of space. Not to mention the water needed to clean a French press. If you noticed I also tried to designate each pannier for a purpose. The right one was designated bike related and the left one food.

Dry Bag

Contents: left to right

  • Ortlieb dry bag
  • OR dry bag containing clean clothes*
  • Small Sea to Summit dry bag with socks and undies.
  • Sleeping bag with silk bag liner in compression sack.
  • Kelty Crestone 1 tent.
  • Crazy creek chair, works good without a pad in it.
  • Patagonia light weight puffy.
  • Extra dry bag*
  • Rev'it cayenne pro pants with rain liner*

 

Tank Bag

Contents:left to right

  • Compass
  • Beer coozy
  • First aide kit
  • Hat
  • KTM hard parts tank bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Food
  • Rain and cold weather gloves*
  • Pressure gauge
  • Batteries
  • Headlamp
  • String
  • Lenses for sunglasses
  • Extra earbuds and earpieces
  • Monocular
  • Also had small bag containing accessory charger for phone (wall and 12v)

 

Riding Gear

Items: left to right

  • Alpinestars Scout waterproof boots
  • Note pad
  • Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket, older style
  • Zeus helmet, replacing after trip and not recommended.
  • Knee guards
  • Ventilated riding pants, pick from many manufacturers
  • Light riding gloves. These are light work gloves from Homedepot

 

All Loaded

Here is the bike all loaded down. Under the dry bag is a Roto-pax 2 gallon gas can. Before heading off road you should also install motor guards and replace/install a heavy-duty skid plate. Because we were planning on dirt roads my bike was shod with more dirt orientated tires. Front is Heidenau Scout and the rear is a Mefo Super Explorer.

* NOTE. Asterisk next to items are those not used or those that could be paired down. I could have brought less bars and extra clothes. My extra riding pants with a rain liner were never used and took up quite a bit of space. Rain covers for my riding pants would have taken less space and would have saved on weight. As with any outdoor pursuit, newer and lighter is always coming out. I have a Golite tent also but I would have to carry trekking poles so that was out.

You can also always add or modify your bike. My bike still has the stock front and rear springs. The front springs are too soft for unloaded touring and loaded down on dirt roads this was very apparent. I will be upgrading to heavier front and rear springs this winter from Slavens Racing, or having them rebuilt by him. I had him do the suspension on my KTM 300 and it is like crack rock, once you ride a bike with his work you can't go back.

Next will be day one.

 

Categories: moto, motorcycle, overlandin Tags: , , ,

On the way to Baja

October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Been planning this trip for quite awhile and the hall pass was granted.  Load em up and head out! Of course I woke this am feeling like ass with a head cold so time to fortify with some cold stuff on the drive.

image

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The plan is to ride and have fun i.e. tacos and beer.  We only have 12 days and won’t be disappointed if we don’t make it all the way to Cabo. There was supposed to be a larger group but they all bailed so it just Jon and I,  two gringos that don’t speak Spanish.  Stay tuned.

Categories: motorcycle, travel Tags: , ,

Little Run in Bear Creek

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Well if there is one thing to get you going and feeling like a dink is using the Strava app.  Granted I have several friends that  make me feel ‘ not worthy’ but you really start to see what they are doing and what you are not then you feel worse.  I had to go work on our money pit in Bear Creek, that is now for sale, and decided to take a run through Bear Creek Park.  This was a fun loop that I liked to do in the mornings or when time permitted. Unfortunately I remembered it being twice as long. Here is the Strava link.  I am really loving the La Sportiva Vertical K minimalist trail shoes. Who said ballet shoes on an elephant can’t help them dance?

Why Strava? It is very social and I get to see different routes in just about every area.  Just when you are feeling cocky and you think you crushed that climb your stats show up and your time is many times slower than the other local hotshots.  Hint: Look at what bike they are riding before trashing someones time. You on your roadbike is different than someone on a moutain bike. If you watch cycling and you wonder how the local climbs are graded the map will tell you.  This is all free and there are many more options if you go paid.

Unfortunately I purchased the Timex Run Trainer GPS (review coming), deal of century at REI garage sale, and not a Garmin unit.  Garmin units sync seamlessly with Strava and there are apps for all you mobile needs.  The problem in using apps is the drain on the battery and carrying your phone with you.  I am not going to get into listening to music at this time and my views, more on that later. Timex is tied in with Training Peaks and everything downloads easily with a ton of information at your fingertips. The data format from Timex is not currently supported by Strava but there is a converter to convert the data and then upload. PITA but oh well, hopefully it changes soon.  Training Peaks really is a full featured training site where your coach, or you, can lay out a detailed workout plan and communicate via the website.  They also have a mobile app to add meals, weight, and workouts. You can’t actively track a workout via the app.

Bear Creek offers some nice riding/running but you will be out in the open.  If it is hot outside and you are looking for shade or cooler elevations than look elsewhere.  If you are new to mountain biking the wide, gravely trails will give you plenty of room. Just remember this is a multi-use trail (equestrians, joggers, and rabid soccer moms) will be there also so take care on blind corners.  The park extends from 8th street to Lower Gold Camp with many loop variations.  This is a popular place for foot, mountain and cyclocross racing and can be quite packed on the weekends.

Here is a pic looking back towards town. You get an idea of the shade offered.

If you really want to feel like a piker check out this local freak, Brownie.   Makes you want to get off your ass, drink, eat and enjoy hookers and blow. I added the last two… Damn this was longer than I thought, LATE..

Weekly Update: July 23 – Aug 6, 2012

August 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Sorry, I know you have been going crazy wondering when my next update was coming. Here it is.

 

Wt. 189.2

 

Not going to post anything related to miles because there wasn't anything exciting to report. After running in my new La Spotiva trail shoes I was pretty crippled for a bit. Not sure if it was just the shoes or starting the strength program from Catalyst Athletics. I was only able to get a bit of treadmill work in, aside from the weights. My body weight dhal fluctuated a bit. I was up to almost 193 but it seems to be coming down again.

I did get the adventure out for about a 400 mile ride, could have easily doubled that but life calls.

Other highlights:

  • New Batman movie: awesome and Ann Hatthaway is smoking.
  • Witnessed hiker meltdown on section 16, epic.
  • Received cable jump rope and flogged myself with it. Not recommended to use a cable jump rope in socks.

Promise to get of my ass for some reviews and other random shit from my life. And the preparations are beginning in earnest for the Baja trip on the KTM!

 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Trail: Mt Rosa from 701

Hike: Mt Rosa (TR 672)

Distance: ~5 miles round trip.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. There are some short steep sections and loose gravel.

Map: Pikes Peak Atlas, THE map for this area.

 

Really wanted to get out and hike with the pups on such a nice Memorial Day, but I did not want to deal with crowds. After getting off work and seeing my wife off to work I was not able to get away until about noon and I have been wanting to hike this trail since riding sections on my bicycle and motorcycle. This trail is in the heart of a multi-use trail system for this area. The trailhead shares the start of Jone's park and pipeline trails. Very popular with the downhill shuttle monkeys that lack the fortitude to ride their bikes to the trailhead.

Due to my late start I choose to access the trail from the Jone's area. This means driving up Old Stage road on a holliday. I generally avoid this road on holidays and weekends in the summer because of drunken campers, wanna be rally racers, and idiots that don't know how to drive on a dirt mountain road. Needless to say today had an ample supply of these people. If you choose to go to this trail head plan on an hour to get there depending on your vehicle or willingness to destroy a vehicle over wash-boards. You can also get to the summit via Seven Bridges or St. Mary's falls trail via closed Gold Camp road parking on Cheyenne Cañon. Going from these alternate trailheads will add some distance to the hike so pick your poison based on your time.

Don't be discouraged with the uphill out of the parking area, it is a short section and then you will descend across a small stream and a nice pine trail. I almost forgot to mention, bring water. There a two small streams that run dependent on the weather and with all the use in the area I would not be comfortable drinking it without some serious filtering and treatment. Then only as a last resort. From this section it will become more open and start climbing with some short and steeper sections.

 

 

 

You will also get a view of your objective before heading down into this valley.

After about 1.4 miles you will see a trail off to your right at the brown trail markers. If you continue on straight you will end up at St Mary's falls in North Cheyenne Canon. From this juncture it is about another mile to the summit. The upper trail is much like the the lower trail, baby heads with some decomposing granite. There is a brief section in the open but otherwise the trail is well shaded from parking lot to the summit.

The views make this a worthwhile hike, especially with the proximity to the city.

NOTE: don't have access to all pics and will update.

Workout Summary: July 16-22, 2012

Bike: 0

Run: 14.82

Weight: 189.5

 

Well this was a sad week for training. I did start this strenth program and the legs are a little tired. Add on to that we were hammered every night at work so I came home and napped just about every day after shift. Here is the link to the strength program.

Starter Program for Catalyst Athletics Online Workouts by Greg Everett – Training Programs – Catalyst Athletics Articles

Picked up some new kicks so get ready for gear reviews of socks, shoes, hiking boots and a pair of running shorts

Categories: running Tags: ,

Summary for July 10 – 15, 2012

Well, lets see how this week went. I started off weighing in at a svelt 192.6 (ouch!), getting older and the weight is not coming off very fast. I was really able to get some good days commuting to work and a few extra miles on the way home so my bike miles were pretty good. I finished out the week on Saturday with a nice 54 mile ride out through Black Forest. Hoping to get more running miles in next week and start some strength training. Here are the stats and a few pics..

Weight: 192.6

Bike: 97.58

Run: 8.51

Not to impressive, definately need to pick it up. I have racked up several more miles since January but I am too lazy to add it all up.

 

 

Some art and old barn that I came across. Glad I decided to go down the dirt road for a couple miles.

 


 

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