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.
Last weekend we finally got out on a ride together. First trip on the new BMW GSA, two up and loaded. The bike worked flawlessly. It carries the two of us very well, I don’t even notice the weight the passenger or panniers. We used a BMW GS on our south America trip last year, so wasn’t too new to either of us. Vicky cannot ride solo yet due to her knee injury now more than 3 months out. But I can say she is making progress. She worked all last week. Can walk way better than me. Just doesn’t feel safe on her own bike yet. It was hard enough to get her on the back of the big new BMW GSA for this trip. I think I have lost her trust in me for safety after my near fatal crash. I personally know the only reason I crashed was my fault of racing on a mountain road with uncontrolled traffic. Totally my fault, hopefully will not be so stupid again. And I have completely wrecked my left knee for punishment. I can ride however. It will be a bit before I can ride dirt. I have trouble standing and am in a lot of pain all the time. But hey at least I am on the bike. Making progress everyday.
I totaled my 2014 KTM 1190r with only 35,000 miles on it, but repairs for parts alone added up to over $5000 and then the labor and time. I gave up on it. Yes sad I don’t quit very often. Actually I have a tattoo on my left arm that reads “QINAO” “quitting is not an option”. I sold the carcass of a great bike for $750. I only lost about $18,000 on that deal. Really with 35,000 miles on her she was probably only worth $9000. You know we tend to love our motorcycles and think they are worth more than they are. It’s called Love
So I needed a replacement. Should I buy a new KTM 1090 for $16,000 or replace the KTM of our fleet with a new 2017 BMW GSA for $24,000? Vicky and I rented a BMW GS in South America and it carried us both very well on the gravel roads of Chile and Argentina. I find it feels like a Land Rover with two wheels.
Yesterday we took the plunge and bought the BMW GS Adventure
Today it has been exactly 5 weeks since I collided with a truck in Colorado and really our last blog post on our site. I think it’s about time to start writing and that means start riding motorcycles again. I am changing how I ride beginning with the addition of more protective gear. Today I want to tell you about the Leatt Knee Brace Protection for motorcycle riders.
I road my KTM 690 about 100 miles yesterday, all pavement but still fun twisty mountain roads. This is only 4 weeks after fracturing my left radius (wrist) and left tibia/fibula (knee) and tearing most of the ligaments that hold my knee together off the tibia. How could I ride? Two things: 1- the bones are healing nicely, 2- I bought a exoskeleton brace that hold my knee very stable but allows movement needed to ride a motorcycle. Most motocross riders wear a knee brace and if I would have been wearing one I might not have such severe injuries.
This ended up being a more exciting day than I had planned. I hit a large truck on a gravel road blind turn at high speed. Much of the Continental Divide Route is desolate with miles and miles of gravel roads. But, on this one blind curve, there it was right in my path, moving toward me at 40 mph. No time to react. I collided broadside of my motorcycle on the left, hit the truck bumper and I went down.
I spent some time in the ER with a fracture of the left tibia and a left wrist fracture. Because this time I was wearing all the gear I survived. Klim Badlands Pro and Arai X-D4 — worth every penny.
This signaled the end of the ride for Jon Baker. Vicky drove to El Norte CO to pick up Jon from the Windsor Hotel. The motorcycle was taken by support truck to Gunnison Motorsports for evaluation. What a great shop!! These guys are awesome.
They determined the KTM 1190 is a total loss and cannot be repaired. The frame and both forks were broken. The radiator was fractured. Gunnison unpacked Vicky’s truck, loaded the KTM for us, and then re-packed the truck. Our truck bed required some modification to hook up the tie downs. These guys just took care of it for us, fixing our truck bed. All we can say is WOW!. If you need help in Colorado go see Gunnison Motorsports.
We set out for the journey home. Two on crutches, helping each other. Both very sad to not be riding. On the way home the highways were full of them! It seemed like thousands of adventure riders out in this beautiful country. We can’t wait to heal up and hit the road again.
But before the collision, the ride was awesome. Please watch the attached video clip to see some of the scenery and guys on motorcycles having fun–right up to the crash. Of course the GoPro was turned off at the time of the crash.
Yesterday at about 415 pm I was coming down a gravel a little too fast and meet a pipeline workers truck on a blind turn. It did no go well for me or my bike
I was hit broad side on my left side. This has fractured left tibia and I have a left wrist fracture. I am now in extreme pain and basically nonfunctional.
The turn was wild and I came into it a bit too fast. Both me and the truck meet in the middle of the road. The truck won the battle.
I believe I owe my life to my Aria helmet and Klim badlands pro suit. No head or neck injury and no chest or abdominal injury
The truck driver was nice enough to give me a ride to the Del Norte hospital where I thought I got good care.
I’m out of the continental divide ride for this year
Vicky my lovely wife is driving out to take me home
The bike 2014 KTM 1190 r adventure is broken. Frame bent radiator broke front wheel bent and a list of injurys.
I’ll be shipping the bike back to Sacramento and see if MPC KTM can repaire it.
Well things change
The bike is broken beyond repair. Frame is broken. Both forks broken many more things. It is now a parts bike. Sad.
Vicky is driving me back in the truck and we decided to bring the broken bike with us.
We are a site when we get out of the truck both of us on crutches. I know people are thinking I crashed the bike with her on the back. Not true.
Continental Divide day 3 began with problem solving for Randy. He discovered a nail in his rear tire on his Suzuki 650 V Strom. Luckily for him and all of us, he has tubeless tires. He was able to fix it easily with a plug. The tire held up fine for the 195 miles of very rough terrain today.
After a breakfast burrito and coffee we were off out of Grants New Mexico. We rode about 18 miles of pavement before hitting the wet mountain roads.
It was as a very long hard day, 263 miles of dirt, sand, rocks, and mud. Thunderstorms and rain showers mixed with dirt to give the greatest challenge of the day —- slippery mud.
Randy on a 650 v strom picked up so much mud his front wheel wouldn’t turn. With Steve’s help we cleaned out the fender then put a bungee cord around his front tire to clean out the mud with each turn. Fantastic problem solving Steve! It worked!!
The water crossing was crazy deep. Take a look, can’t see the bottom. Most of us tried to go around it. And yes, almost all of us took a mud bath. Sorry, no photos of the mud bath!
New Mexico is vastly empty yet very scenic. The air is clean and when it’s not raining, the sky is deep blue.
Tonight we stay in Grant New Mexico in a cheap hotel on the historic Route 66.
All riders made it to Grants safe and sound. Stay tuned for day 3….
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.