G-Money Entry - Nov.20, 2005
Long Entry WARNING. You´ve Been warned.
Well, we´re in Mexico, presently in a chill little teenage run internet cafe in Navojoa, south of Hermosillo.
Well here goes.
On Nov. 14th we finally went on our test run to Vegas. The trip actually took place because Smokey´s brother was flying in on the 15th and it was a good idea to see him before the trip. Chances are if it wasn´t for that we would have been way too lazy to go on a test run. Luckily God provided a good reason.
The day of the 14th, we ran into problems with Smokey´s KLR. The connections were acting up as they had been since all the mods were put on the previous week, but we never had them happen when we brought her (Lucille, Smokey´s KLR) back to the shop. On this day we got ¨lucky¨ and it happened at the shop. The mecanic fixed it in a jif and we hightailed it out of L.A.
We left in the midafternoon with Angela, Smokey´s friend, and ended up riding at night.
Takeaway lesson: The dessert is cold at night.
On the way to Vegas, about 60 miles out. Smokey´s mind had the urge to see what 100 miles on Lucille (his KLR) felt like. At about the same time Angela´s body had the urge to go into hyperthermia.
We ended up making an unscheduled stop at a dinky garage where we pumped Angela with hot liquids and warmer clothing.
As we were ready to leave, we found out that the garage where we had our bikes modified was VERY consistent. Meaning that now my bike wouldn´t start. I love consistency. So we´re in the middle of nowhere at about 11pm in cold weather with a bike that doesn´t start. So we decided to become mechanics at that very instant. I grabbed the tools, and within 2 minutes we had the seat and the side panels off and within 30 seconds more had the bike running. All it was was the battery connections were loose. God Bless!.
We decided to sleep outside of Vegas, 40 miles away. Amazingly, we managed to loose each other in what was only a 20 mile drive to the nearest hotel. WE SUCK!
It took us an hour and two cell phones to find each other by midnight and then we turned in for the night.
In the morning on the way to Vegas, the wind was insane. Personally, it felt like six guys were pushing me from side to side. That will probably be the worst 40 mile drive of my life. In any case we managed to get into Vegas in time to meet Smokey´s brother. After picking him up we settled into hotel rooms and then did what any young men would do in Vegas. We left Angela to do her thing and headed for the Poker room. We went for the best. The Bellagio. Sadly we all ended up as loosers but at least we got to see some of the greats in the high stakes room. We saw Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and the great Doyle Brunson, as well as some others that look familiar but their names escape me.
Anyways, that´s about all for Vegas and the trip back went pretty smooth. I won´t bore you with the details.
So we got back and started getting ready for Mexico the following day. We were rushing because of the BAJA 1000 race taking place on Friday (the 18th) and also to Sayulita (next to Puerta Vallarta) to meet my best friend Nan.
Los Angeles to Ensenada Mexico.
We left for Mexico on Nov.17th at around 1pm. The trip begins.
We made it to San Diego, where we purchased Mexican insurance. At this point I was getting very nervous about not having my official bike registration, since it still hadn´t arrived in the mail. By the way, the whole Californian law of making you wait for the title and registration is sick and crual punishment, someone has to do something about it, its sick, sick , sick.
Anyways, my worries were not needed since crossing the Mexican border in Tijuana is like driving from point A to point B with only traffic to deal with. NO ONE even looks at you, there is NO checkpoint, I kept thinking at some point someone would stop us but noone did. Just ridiculous, but I wasn´t arguing.
Well, we were finally in Mexico, and just in time for our first screwup. We were headed to Ensenada. The sign came up fast and Smokey and I were too close. I not wanting to be hit by a pickup running me off the road choose the safer route by missing the exit. I stopped immediately and so did Smokey. It looked like we were f%&$ed. So I headed for a one way ramp, in the wrong direction, and tried to make it over a medium which was going up a hill. This is difficult to explain but picture, me on my bike in the wrong flow of traffic, Smokey off his bike running to help get me over the medium and then stopping traffic on the right side of the road. Sadly we didn´t get any footage of this, but it was my first true off road (all 3 seconds of it) test and we survived. You know you´re crazy when Mexicans look at you like you´re crazy.
We made it into Ensenada that night. The town itself is cool and has lots of potential, but way too many tourists, probably because of the race. So we headed in for the night. Sadly, sleep meant only 3 hours since around 1 am, the hotel became alive with noise. All the contestants staying at the hotel started getting ready (first race start was at 6am). And the fact that the room was freezing didn´t help either. There were moments I could have sworn I was back in Montreal in my moms basement in mid January freezing my ass off. Dont ask me why, it was just freekin´cold.
Ensenada to Mexicali, Mexico, Nov. 18th 2005.
Even though we barely got any sleep the night before, we still managed to get up for the truck starts at 9am. Now if you´ve never witnessed the Baja 1000, I suggest you do, at least if you like vehicle races. This race has all types of vehicles and the crazy part is that they allow fans to come dangerously close to the race. We got some great footage of us within feet of racing trucks heading straight for us. Its just ridiculous what they allow, unbelievable. I could have flung a loogie at a driver and no one would care... except for the driver.
We managed to leave town by 1pm which was a little late, but was also due to the fact that that night Katy (my KLR) decided to bleed some oil. Probably due to the hot\cold effect overnight. At least I´m hoping its that and she´s be fine until the 3000 mile maintenance.
To keep it short, we headed to Tecate and then to Mexicali and called it a night, we were beat, tired and tired.
Sucks to be us but the room we got had a disco behind the back wall. WHo would have thought. So from 10 pm to about 4 am, I had the pleasure of listening to Reaggaeton (Gasolina was my favorite), hip hop and even some rock. All that with a kick ass base to go along. So all in all, we didn´t get much sleep again and the next day was going to be a doosy.
By the way the toll road from Tecate to Mexicali is GREAT. There is a section that goes through the mountains which was spectacular. Sadly we did half of it in the dark, which by the way we said from the start that we wouldn´t ride at night but for the second night in a row broke the rule.
Mexicali to Colorca (I think that´s how its spelled, its south of Sonoyta) Mexico, Nov. 19th 2005.
WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!!!
It starts off well by us leaving in time. We head towards San Luis Rio Colorado, which is an easy enough drive. Sadly we hit some weird traffic just outside of San Luis. Total stoppage. Smokey hears that its a protest of some sort and for some reason I loose it. Hell, no protest is keeping me from getting to where I´m going so we decide to take a shortcut.
Takeaway lesson: Do not leave a paved road unless you really really half too.
The stoppage in traffic started at the bridge and we headed under the bridge to find a way around. Smart guys like us thinking that with our KLR´s we were money. We were wrong. Under the bridge was a small river (nothing much) but worse was the sand. This stuff was like baby powder and our wheels were fully pressurized. At one point Smokey was able to get himself sooooo stuck, his back wheel was 80% on the sand, which included his chain and back breaks. It took all our force to get him out. Which we didn´t have much too spare after two nights of minimal sleep. I also wanted to kill him for getting as stuck as he did.
Takeaway lesson: Once you are stuck in sand, trying to gas out won´t work, it just won´t.
After getting Smokey out, I ended up toppling my bike in the sand after loosing my balance, but it was a soft lay down. After getting me up and running we headed back like two defeated boxers. Him taking a shot to the ribs and me to the jaw.
Once we got back to where we started the traffic was moving and we found out after that it was only due to construction on the bridge which allowed for one way traffic at a time.
Takeaway Lesson: When someone says the traffic is due to a protest, don´t believe the hype, just ask the official standing at the front before you do something wacked.
Well, after getting past that horror, we thought our day was going to go smoothly. We were sadly mistaken.
After making it to San Luis we headed south to Hermosillo. Within 10 miles we were stopped at a checkpoint. And my nightmare materialized. We ended up spending 3 hours at customs with me begging and pleading and Smokey speaking his broken spanish to try and get me my papers for my bike. They didn´t want to let us through because I didn´t have my official registration for the bike. Well, again God saved us and miraculously we were allowed through. I would go into detail here but the internet cafe is closing so I´ll have to leave it for another time.
BUT: Takeaway Lesson: Bring ALL necessary paperwork to customs in Mexico, they don´t f&%$ around. We were lucky...
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