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Bike riding trip from Ensenada to San Felipe

posted Nov 10, 2014, 9:38 AM by Marketing Media   [ updated Nov 17, 2014, 6:07 AM ]
One of my first trips was from Ensenada to San Felipe. At that time, the paved road to “Ojos Negros” ended at what we called the “Pepsi stand”, which is about ten miles east of Ensenada, and then became two tracks. Score uses it for some races now, but at that time it headed to the north side of the highway at the “Pepsi stand”, and then came to the top of the mountain overlooking Ojos well to the south of the highway, so it did not go through the ranches that it does with score now and was a much longer route.   
 
When we got to the overlook of Ojos we felt like, “Hallelujah! Civilization!”   
 
Little did we know how much more was in store. We ended up breaking into little groups for survival, hoping somebody knew the way and hoping somebody would stop if you fouled a plug or had another problem, which you always did. 

Back then the lower shed at Mike’s was full of cycle parts, which good Samaritans or guys who had already paid for not having parts had had to come back on four wheels to retrieve their bike. They usually left some spare parts. The collection was great and always tapped.
 
Having selected a couple guys who looked like they had some compassion and might not leave me (that's how I met Rich Rowell, who became a longtime friend) we found ourselves alone.   
 
The group was now scattered all over Baja and if there was actually somebody who knew the way, he was long gone. We were trying to find our way to independencia, full name: "Los ninos heroes de la independencia", where you could get some gas.  
 
We were somewhere west of there, lost and way past reserve turn on when we came to a small, dry lake, perhaps a mile in diameter with a ranch building in the middle.   
 
Desperate for gas we rode up and hailed them, but nobody was there. Fortunately we found a fifty-five gallon drum with gas in it. So we siphoned some, sweating the whole time that the owners would show up with a gun seeing us stealing their gas.
 
I dumped some oil in the gas tank, left five dollars under a  rock on the drum, shook my bike a few times to mix the oil and gas, and took off in panic. Then got about 400 yards and glug! That is when I learned if you are going to add your oil right to your gas tank you better remember to turn off the gas tap first.
 
So we sat in the middle of this dry lake in the blazing sun for about an hour while I stripped the carburetor on my husky that I had just bought from Malcolm before "on any Sunday" by a few years and he was just as friendly and modest then, as now.