This summer, in a period of 2 months I managed to double the mileage of my 1981 Kawasaki 750. When I bought the bike the odometer read 24000 km. When I returned from Mexico two months later, it read 48096km. That’s 24000km of riding. 12000km a month. 3000km a week. 428km a day for 60 days straight. Yes, my ass is a little sore.
My first major ride of the summer was from Vancouver to Preeceville, Saskatchewan and back. That’s about 4000 kms. When I returned to Vancouver, I rested one day and then it was off to Mexico with Aaron, Darren, and Kristine.
Our plan was pretty simple: take a month to drive down along the 101 to the southern most tip of the Baja, and spend some time surfing along the way.
We camped wherever we didn’t have to pay. Beaches, sides of roads, ditches, abandoned schools, and the like. Motorbikes give you the added advantage of being able to get by gated roads, drive on walking paths, and generally get to all the good spots that cars can’t get to.
On our third night of camping under the stars, a rat decided to get cozy with me in my sleeping bag. I jumped up, causing the rat to slip further into the bag. Not fun. Thus began the idea of sleeping on a tarp with the edges propped up, as to prevent future mean and nasties from disturbing our sleep. But even the tarp couldn’t prevent a stray puppy from invading the campsite somewhere in the middle of the Baja desert. Where he came from remains a mystery. We were over 200kms from the nearest town, and had to fill 2 liter pop bottles with gas just so our bikes could make it.
We gave him some water but he wasn’t interested. He may have been hungry though because he was keen on chewing on the leather of our boots. Hence we named him “Das Boot”. We really wanted to take him with us, but we still had another 3 weeks and 5600km to go on the motorbike, so taking him was an impossibility. So we left the little bugger there to die in the desert.
One thing I noticed in Mexico was that every family dog was a puppy. People own puppies, not dogs. I have a theory on this: when dogs get older their owners lose interest in them and force the dogs to fend for themselves. Hence the packs of stray, disease ridden, sickly looking dogs — which quickly become dead dogs.
We picked up a hitchhiker along the way and drove him 1100 km on the back of my bike. He didn’t speak a lick of English and my Spanish was bare-bones, others non-existent. He seemed appreciative though, and taught us how to catch oysters.
It was a great trip — no breakdowns, no major incidents. Aaron slid out at one point, nothing serious. Some strange fucking things kept stinging us in the desert while riding — like bees but 20x worse. Flying scorpions? A seagull tried to attack us in the middle of the desert. Desperation move, poor lost bastard. The heat was intense at times. At times we rode only in our underwear, pouring water on ourselves. Living up to the gringo loco stereotype I guess.