Baja Divide

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thenorthwind
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Baja Divide

Post by thenorthwind » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:40 pm

I'm in the rather fortunate position of having a work trip to San Diego in May, onto which I can add about a week's worth of holiday. It would of course be rude not to go and ride some (sadly not all) of the Baja Divide while I'm there.

Has anyone on here ridden any of it? All I can find is a link to this blog (which is vaguely exciting and making me vaguely excited) by a user of the same name from a couple of years ago: http://www.uninspiredramblings.com/postcards-from-baja/

Looking for recommendations of a particular section to ride, logistics, and general advice on riding in the desert for a northerner more used to blizzards and bogs.

pistonbroke
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by pistonbroke » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:59 pm

There's quite a lot of stuff on Bikepacking.com about it. IIRC there has been a re-route recently due to some riders having been robbed in some of the less savoury places it passed through.

thenorthwind
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by thenorthwind » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:02 pm

Cheers, will have a look there.

Yes, I've seen the revised route on the website. The section in question is quite near the border, which I hope to avoid altogether if possible.

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faustus
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by faustus » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:29 pm

Know nothing about it myself, but i've followed Nicholas Carmen's blog/instagram for a few years (https://www.instagram.com/nicholascarman/?hl=en) and he pretty much set up the route, and I think he rode some of it recently. Why not contact him directly, sure he'll know a lot that would be of help?

Rasta
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by Rasta » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:33 pm

I did a 2 week trip down through the top part of Baja. Starting in San Diego. But it was long before the 'official' route was made.

I don't bother mentioning it any more because it seems these days, that if you don't do the Bikepacking-com route then you didn't do it properly.
A bit like my first desert trip in Southern Morocco - long before the official trip.
It is a shame that most people I talk to these days are so obsessed with the bikepacking-com routes - as if they 'invented' them.
I agree that they have done a great job and give people confidence to go out to do them.

If you only have a short time, just go and do your own route or you may get frustrated in following just a short section.
Also make it clear that you are not American. The locals are very friendly but they do overcharge the Yanks.
If I asked permission to camp nearby I would be asked for $10. But when I made it clear that I was from the UK they apologised and it was free.

Have a good trip.

thenorthwind
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by thenorthwind » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:18 am

Thanks for the tip about Nicholas Carmen. I'll try and avoid contacting him directly unless I have specific questions (if everyone asked him "what tyres for Baja?" individually I'm sure he'd go mad pretty quickly) but will have a look through his blog.

Rasta, I see your point. I do feel a pang of guilt (or something like it) at just picking the known route rather than making up my own, as I usually enjoy doing. It's partly time pressure - both in terms of planning, and travel while I'm there. The other thing is that I'm not that adventurous in the grand scheme of things - being in a completely foreign country with a completely different climate and culture is enough adventure for me. Having a route that I know is at least rideable is a big help. As you say, it gives the marginal adventurers like me enough confidence to actually go and do it.

Anyway, enough trying to justify myself... which bit of Baja did you particularly enjoy?

Excellent tip about being conspicuously non-American, cheers.

Rasta
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by Rasta » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:41 am

U tube - Ryan Van Duzer. He did a few vids of the trail.

The best part was riding along the coastal desert (Pacific) between very remote, little fishing villages.
This was a long time ago and was all dirt tracks. It may be all roaded now and full of RVs.

The inner desert was beautiful, if you like deserts, but very remote and not too safe if something went wrong. I think today it is more visited and less of a problem. Motorbikes and off-roading.

I rode down for 2 weeks then got the bus back to SD.

I'd definitely do it again but the flights!

Rasta
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by Rasta » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:11 pm

The North Wind!
You have really pis-sed me off!

I just had a look at your 'ramblings' link. My heart rate is now up and I can't stop thinking about it!

x( x(

jameso
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by jameso » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:14 pm

Look up doubletrackfanatic aka Andy Cox's polarsteps blog, he had mixed experience on the Baja, not saying it's representational but gives another side to things. He seemed to not enjoy the cultural effect of being among the poverty of the area, but he may tell me I misinterpreted his posts. He'd be a good source of tips I'm sure.

Rasta
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by Rasta » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:09 pm

Didn't see a blog only instagram?

ssnowman
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by ssnowman » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:51 pm

Rasta wrote:Didn't see a blog only instagram?
https://www.polarsteps.com/AndyCox/1124 ... e-americas
May satan walk with you.

Rasta
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by Rasta » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:53 am

Cheers!

thenorthwind
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Re: Baja Divide

Post by thenorthwind » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:01 pm

Thanks for the Andy Cox link. Fascinating reading. He's obviously at quite an uncertain stage in his life! It's nice to read a thoughtful, less relentlessly positive view, rather than the usual social-media #blessed onslaught. Great photos too.

I'm still digesting it, but it's certainly not steering me away from the thought of doing something in southern California instead - the principle benefits being less time and stress lost to non-bicycle travel, and one of the key reasons against being that Donald Trump would want me to spend my tourist dollar there rather than Mexico.

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