Today was the last ride with my beloved Ruby before I turn her over to her new owner next week. It turned out to be a fabulous celebration as we were surprised in Markleeville with news of the opening of Ebbetts Pass just yesterday. Ruby is an FGS 700 and is really an amazing bike well suited to the challenges of this ride. I thoroughly enjoyed pushing through the turns, curve after curve as we travelled this newly opened mountain pass still lined with deep snow at the highest elevations. The season is here folks, get out there and RIDE.
Photos from our ride, GPX files, Google Map, and GoPro files available with a click to the following links.
Yesterday we rode Mexico Hwy 1 south from El Rosario to Guerrero Negro. This trip took all day and carried us from Baja California Norte into Baja California Sur. Ordinarily a full day of highway riding would put us down the road at least 500 miles. Not so today. Although our only stops were for gasoline, water, or a roadside just gotta have relief!, we only made 214 miles this day.
As highway rides go, this is the toughest I have ever done. The route included ascents and descents, tight curves, and long straight stretches with dips that give poor visibility for passing. The road is shared with many truckers who creep up the hills in front of you. The left blinker signal from a trucker means it’s ok to pass, NOT — I am turning left. The only reason you know this is true, there is no where to turn on the left!
The wind, OMG–the wind! On the straight stretches the wind was unrelenting. Most of the time it was a strong cross wind forcing the motorcycle to lean 30 degrees from the pavement into the wind. It was difficult to travel forward and hold my head up. I soon developed a painful crick in the neck and had to take at least two pee breaks AND rest my neck.
The next challenge (besides not getting wet with flying pee), was dodging the pot holes with a leaning motorcycle. They were numerous and rim breaking DEEP.
Watch out when passing a slow truck too! The truck blocks the wind and WHOA, you are upright again. But the bike perpendicular to the pavement only lasts a second and WHAM–you are blasted back down again by the wind!
Treacherous and tedious it was! But we made it safely to Guerrero Negro by late afternoon. Dog tired, we checked in and went almost directly to dinner at a fine restaurant attached to our very clean and comfortable hotel. Margaritas, beer, and fresh fish ended the day. For a great place to stay complete with Fine Dining, Bar, Hotel, and Whale Watching Tours visit Hotel Malarrimo
Monday plan is rest, whale watching, laundry, dining, and packing for Tuesday’s early ride out.
El Rosario, a very small town about 300 miles south of the border is a pit stop for the Baja 1000. Motorcyclist are welcome here. We are enjoying breakfast at Mama’s before heading out to Guerrero Negro. Jon is fashionable for the morning outing!
Border crossing at Tecate was a breeze thanks to Jon’s prepaid visa application. Worse thing so far on this trip, the TOPAS at the border, tall, slick, close together. I almost lost it.
It has been a tough go getting back to long rides since my Tibial Plateau Fracture a few months ago. I have a problem that is new to me in long distance riding. I can’t find the right spot in the saddle, my butt hurts and pressure builds over my lower back. Searching for solutions I came across “Alaska Leather, Home of the Sheepskin Buttpad!” I purchased the Sheared Buttpad, with a special cut to fit the BMW GS 700. It not only feels great; it looks great too. Tomorrow Jon and I head out for two weeks of riding from Sacramento to Cabo San Lucas and back. We want to cover as much of Baja as possible so there will be some long days in the saddle. I hope my new farkle is indeed the solution! Browse my photos, and check out Alaska Leather for yourself at https://alaskaleather.com or, on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaLeather/
Another milestone in the healing of a grade 6 Tibial Plateau Fracture — today I did my first off-road ride since breaking my leg 6 months ago. We chose a favorite place — Yankee Jim Road just north of Sacramento off the I-80. It was a perfect choice for my dirt debut. The sky was overcast but the temperature was warm and all went well. Yankee Jim Road is a fun off-road ride for both the novice and expert dual sport rider plus it is well suited for motorcycles of any size. For gpx file, maps, and more see details on 2ShareOurRide or CLICK HERE.
On the road again! Finally after months of healing, the Bakers are out riding and want to share a short but fun and challenging route with our friends.
This 93 mile paved loop offers waterfalls, streams, rivers, fall foliage, slow tight turns, twisting curves, narrow bridges, historic gold mining towns, parks, quaint coffee stops and more. Check it out on our web site CLICK HERE for details.
We love motorcycling California’s coast for many reasons. The scenic beauty is among the best in the world and the ride is thrilling with endless hills and curves. Wildlife such as sea gulls, whales, dolphins, and shark often appear, bringing astonishment and joy to the motorcycle ride.
To expand our view and capture the thrills of our discoveries Jon purchased a drone and frequently practices his flying skills. Last weekend we drove along Pacific Coast Highway south of Fort Bragg. We stopped frequently and took out the drone. Jon flew the drone along the shore to examine coves, driftwood huts, and the debris along the ocean shoreline.
We were surprised by a glimpse of sea lions resting along the shore. At first glance I thought I saw a large pile of driftwood washed up on the beach. As the drone approached the large pile of driftwood, the wood began to move. When the drone lost altitude and got closer to the shore, we discovered it was not driftwood at all! I was amazed at the variety of their color and skin patterns. It was a quick look because as soon as we realized what was on the shore, we quickly flew the drone away from the colony to avoid disturbing their peace.
Jon Baker departed this morning with much excitement as he begins his three week motorcycle adventure of the Great Continental Divide (GCD).
Jon is riding with GPSKevin Adventures for 13 days, 2700 miles of dirt from Mexico to Canada. Today Jon left his home in Fair Oaks, CA. He will be joined by part of the team as they head for California’s beautiful mountain passes before turning south. Jon plans to complete 400 miles today stopping near San Bernardino to visit his old pal James Ball this evening. Tomorrow he heads on to New Mexico toward the start point for the GCD journey. Jon is on his KTM 1190 looking to increase his skills for maneuvering this large beast on rough terrain along this 2700 mile dirt journey. He is packed with soft luggage and minimal gear to keep light and nimble for the most difficult parts of the off-road trails.
Stay tuned as we share photos, video, and stories from his daily adventure.
Jon Baker is ready to go! July 12th Jon is departing Sacramento to meet the team who will begin the 2700 mile journey from the Mexican border to Canada within 13 days. He tested his packed bike today and all is ready. He has new Heidenau K60s, and prays for no flats as these were the hardest tires he has ever installed. He is packed with extra gas and water, tools, jumper cables, bike pump, cold weather gear, extra tube, zip ties, duct tape, safety wire, chain lube, cooling vest, electronic gear and clothes. Tank bag is stuffed with bug spray, lip balm, sun screen, glasses, goggles, cell phone, go pro… Maximum fuel range for his KTM 1190 is 210 miles so he has plans to increase his fuel capacity for specific days of the journey. He is carrying fuel bottles and a fuel bag that can increase his range to a maximum of 300 miles. Yes folks he is ready! He is seeking a challenge from the trials, scenic beauty, and isolation with time to listen to the engine and clear his mind. Continue reading “Continental Divide—> Ready to Ride”→