The Baja 1600 is a route from La Paz in the south to Tijuana in the north. Here is an adventure log provided courtesy of BiciMapas:
It all began a Thursday in the installations from the Club of Explorations of Mexico, Section Toluca, when a group of friends we decide to travel through the peninsula of Drop California and Drop California South in bicycle of mountain. The idea to carry out this traveled through me did not surprise, after TRAVELING FROM THE Nevado de Toluca volcanoe to the Pacific Ocean and in another occasion from the Peak of Orizaba to the Port of Veracruz, a more difficult proposal was expected. At first the date of the traveled through was proposed quickly, I verified the agenda and I gave me account that by labor and personal motives would not be able to attend this adventure. Without thinking it a great deal I commented my companions that would not go with them, but that the possibility existed of accompany if changed the date, to which they agreed and without more I was already in the mountain bike riders team that would try to do this accompanying themed through. When the 4 mountain bike rider team was complete including an additional staff for support, we initiate weekly meetings to organize the expedition. I bought in the INEGI the digital topographical letters 1 to 250,000 and the maps from 1 to 1,000,000 of the north zone of Mexico and we begin to see for where we would do the traveled through. After 2 meetings from many hours the route was marked; we would begin of south to north, since the Peace until arriving at Inlet mainly by fireroads, gaps and paths avoiding in the measurement of the possible thing to roll for highway. Also we checked the cost of the expedition, additional equipment, which would be the vehicle every land that would accompany us in the trip and the activities of the Staff: to write a log of the journey through: hour, date, distance accumulated, place; the expenses; to Go revising the route in the topographical maps according to it planned; to maintain constant visual contact and by radio; to Inform for radio to the mountain bike riders of next target, kilometers to travel through, unevenness, the temperature, time traveled through and by traveling through; to conduct the small truck with precaution without putting in danger the objective of the expedition; to be slope of the good operation of the vehicle, that always sufficient fuel count on itself to arrive at the next one populated, to take photos and video. All it sounded very difficult, the kilometers of traveled through newspaper were many (290 approximately) and the majority of the people among acquaintances and friends thought that it we would not achieve and including some of the equipment we had our doubts if this was possible. Subsequently each member was assigned a task, in the following way: Ing. Jorge Hermosillo, Chief of Expedition (more than 40 expeditions overseas) Dra. Patricia Arizmedi, Medical, Víktor Díaz, navigator, Roberto Aguilar, Bicycles mechanic, Expert in logistics. Further on with the pressure that all this implies, the route was my worry, by no motive we could stray and that responsibility was precise mine, motive by which I asked a good friend Alberto Nájera of Bicimapas that helped me to mark some points of reference in the GPS utilizing a software for this end. He agreed of very good will to support this cause and besides teaching me the good management of GPS also lent me the cable to connect it to the vehicle and to save in batteries, since these apparatuses consume a great deal of energy. Other friends helped us to contact businesses to seek sponsorship but these did not respond to our petition. On the other hand the Government of State of Mexico yes agreed and represented the main sponsor for this Expedition. Also the bike store “Friendss Mexico” help us with equipment and repairs for the bicycle. To all they ours more sincere gratitude by the great support for the execution of this adventure. Day one. Thursday 24 of July of 2003 7:40 pm. With nerves and happiness we ordered the luggage that seemed not to fit in the small truck (3 ottles of gasoline, cooler, two spare tires for the small truck and other two for the bicycles, 2 suitcases of luggage of each member, food, tool, repairs and clear 4 bicycles in perfect mechanical state for the traveled through). When we come out of the house of Paty, barely a few minutes have passed when there and in the bridges of the Walk Tollocan we listen a rare noise in the small truck that upon seeming did the Bands of the motor to so alone 4 kilometers if there is initiated the trip at the outset of Toluca. They frightened and worried we return to that the mechanic revised the origin of these noises, fortunately the small truck was list for this traveled through and almost one more hour late of it predicted we leave bound for Mazatlán. Day two. Friday 25 4:30 am. After handling all the night and with some tremendous desires of continuing the traveled through with bound for The Peace, the tiredness was the least of it. We have breakfast, we sleep a little in Mazatlán waiting for the ferry to leave at 3:00pm, they expected ourselves 18 long hours of trip by the sea. In the passive thing of the trip did not concentrate us another but that to concentrate in which we would do to the following day, a moment of relax went to observe the fowls that accompanied to the enormous ship and that with great dexterity and agility they flew to level of the sea, some meters were elevated and they were nailed in the salty water to fish their food. Day three. Saturday 26 8:00am Arrive at an embarcadero of name Pichilingue, as to 20 minutes in car of the peace. After doing all the custom procedures we direct us to La Paz by a beautiful highway that bordering the Sea of Cortes. Already in La Paz we supplied ourselves of the necessary thing (gasoline, ice, beverages and water), outside of a commercial center in a shadow prepare our things to initiate the so desired traveled through. ... As to the 12:00 pm. We initiate pedaling the four, under an infernal heat, we roll for asphalt some 45 kilometers, we pass for the “Centennial“, “Chametla“ and “The Virgin“ to deviate us for a terracería that in agreement we advanced its state got worse. It went then when I thought that there we were underestimated the land, in agreement we advanced and we approached the Ocean Pacifico the sand dunes did impossible our pedaling, deciding that already was the moment that 2 persons rolled only. After some kilometers of pedaling and to walk for the tremendous sand dunes we inform us that that was part of the traveled through of the “Lowers 1000” that is done annually in vehicles every land for all the peninsula. Upon arriving to a place that marked the map as “The Rabbit” we expected to see something of civilization, but not, was only a small house and some 5 trailers park of some Americans, went there where we decide to do an escape of the route and to approach the highway to do not continue for the sand dunes. Already in the highway Roberto and I rode to a good step, the night fell and just in the kilometer 100 we find a small store where they gave us to have dinner tacos of machaca (the unique thing that there was), we continue ours traveled through and the heavy thing of the food and the effort of mountain bike ride to the rhythm of Roberto provoked that began to throw up the food, but as me did not want to stop To the crossing of the kilometer 128. This crossing was barely the start of what would represent great part of the traveled through in which refers to deviations. Comment this because there was not official exit that indicated the next one populated, besides was a matter of a terracería that seemed that was of a rancho. Thanks to the point marked with the GPS do not doubt in taking it. Day four. Sunday 27 00:00am As partial night initiated the shift of Jorge and of Paty. We arrive quickly to “The “Fortune of the Shoal“ and “The Tinajitas“. In agreement we advanced the gaps multiplied and that became a labyrinth. The GPS helped us to follow the correct course. Assembling thought that we gave returns in circles; further on we arrive at “San Luis Gorzaga“, “The Fríjol“, “The Ranchito“ and “The Cholero“. By then Roberto rode with Paty and we decide that he rested she and thus he continued Roberto with me. In this section me agreement very well of two things: the beaming signs of the Baja 1000 race and also that already entrance the early morning to very good velocity in terracería Roberto step by a bed of sand and its tire forward plunges, with dexterity avoids the fall but does a high unexpected total I came very hit him and also maneuver quickly to do not collide with him; was obvious that the decision that had taken of riding all the night without sleeping, the sand, the fireroad, the highway and the darkness were collecting their physical quota of wear, the dream and the tiredness already were being reflected in each one of us. As to the 5:00am in El Quemado Jorge supplied to Roberto, and both we woke up rolling for sand and very technical terrain. And we pass for a scavenger. It went then where we went happily chatting and enjoying the dawn observing a settlement where they had avestruces and suddenly without ton neither are an enormous one snake of black color was found among the two. The scare was huge for my because its head I remain being directed toward the side where came I, what we did went to separate us a little for not knocking down and pedal very hard. Our companions of the small truck itself were laughting like crazy upon seeing the scene and they descended to video to film to the snake that upon seeming, was more frightened that we. As to the 9:30 AM arrive at “City Constitution“ we have breakfast a delicious one birria of which Paty was lost because did not want to eat; we buy ice and we continue the road by highway. The star king struck with courage the desert the temperature exceeded easily the 42 centigrade degrees. Thus we arrive at “Insurgent City”, “Village Ignacio Zaragoza”. It is important to emphasize that before “City Constitution” we do not continue for the designed route, the fireroads with sand and with undulating washboards were very tiring, besides the resident people they notified us that in those days had rained a great deal and the road was in very badly state, motive by which we continue for the highway number 53 during several hours, always ascending. We carried approximately some 350 kilometers traveled through when we deviate in a terracería toward “Cadeje”. Before passing for a soldiers watch spot that was found in the nothing, we decide to mountain bike ride one at a time. I was the one that start that phase with ascents of terracería very tiring. One more time the sand and the washboards that do the small trucks that circulate to high velocity went the enemies to defeat. Already near the Peaceful Ocean touched the shift to Roberto, who already during the night arrived at a place to the edge of the sea of name “San Juan” and later to “Cadeje” that was the objective of the day. There we ate something of provisions what we carried and we put the camp to rest some 4 hours. “The sweat to water the history and the pain to work the life” Day five. Monday 28 TO the 5:30am we enlist ourselves to continue with our route, we have breakfast and we remove the camp. Jorge advanced in the bike and subsequently we initiate and already with light we enter gasoline in a place of name “Whale”. It expected us a traveled through of 300 kilometers for that day and an inhospitable desert; we passed several hours so that to return to see something of civilization. There it went when we arrive at a house in the that is nothing called “40 Martiles” place that does not appear neither in maps neither in topographical letters. We continue for a solitary desert observing overwhelming landscapes proper for posters and calendars, the valleys were incredible we finished one and continued another and so on. By my mind they passed many ideas, never imagine to be practicing the sport that more pleases me in company of my friends in a paradisiacal place, far away, very far from our homes. After riding many hours one person at a time, began to be notorious the privilege of the mountain bike rider that rises to the small truck and of the one that lowers, “we were treaties as kings”, to the mountain bike rider that rose it was received the bicycle, it was provided some refreshing beverage of its election and/or food. On the other hand the mountain bike rider that descended all that is needed provided it for its traveled through: cap or helmet, water, sunscreen , its bicycle and a radio of 2 ways. Went as well as we arrive “To The Álamo” and little further on to “San Zacarías”. Then we begin to see something of civilization, he was a matter of small trucks of Gringos that travel since his country to Mexico to enjoy ours beautiful beaches, almost all go to “surf” in the blue water of the Peaceful Ocean. We continue ours traveled through to thus arrive to “San Ignacio”, I the name would change it and would put it “Oasis San Ignacio”. After various days to see desert and dry landscapes, to arrive at a green place with a prey was like a dream. There we swim a little to cool us and subsequently we ate very rich in a restaurant until satisfying our appetite. We continue ours traveled through by highway. Jorge advanced in solitary while we bought ice and beverages. When we reach to Jorge the already had advanced some 20 kilometers against a strong wind and upon asking him for the radio that if it was offered something asked that the small truck went Ahead to cut the wind. In that moment she got covered by at the back of the truck and it advanced to an extraordinary velocity, almost 50 km/h, to the “Vizcaíno”. The flavor was short-lived it. The night arrived again and continued Paty during a good while; already almost to arrive at “Francisco J. Mójica” I continued I without knowing what expected myself. “The opposition is not a stone in your road. It depends on you transforming into a step that permit you to rise but up” Day six. Tuesday 29 00:00am after advancing some kilometers with a great deal of spirit and already in the terracería, the night was splendid. It did air that cooled and did me to agree me of my Toluca, the stars shone intensely, was a gift of God to be able to be there in that moment enjoying the place. It went in this section in which the washboards and sand they required me too much. I advanced for various minutes stopped in them ask them of the bicycle, by no motive wanted to go sat down therefore the hitting was too much and was preferably to go for the washboards and sand. The rabbits that during all the traveled through of fireroads they accompanied they were left us to see in repeated occasions until suddenly to it far away I saw a rare animal, I lit it and the was confused of such way that left shot to every velocity in direction of my lamp. When it was about 3 meters of distance away I preferred to do a noise to frighten it; was a matter of a small one zorra, that upon listening the noise that emitted was frightened and went itself in another direction. After 20 kilometers in a tremendous hitting continued Roberto another equal section until arriving at the “Arch” by there of the 3:00am. It was exciting to see a populated with light and with a park that looked pretty. It was ingenuous of my part to think that we would find a hotel, when suddenly without saying water it goes, all the light of the small one populated it was put out suddenly to do not return, then we decide to put the store of campaign and to rest some three hours. When it woke up and us we raise us we gave account that were sleeping to the edge of a military field. We prepare something to have breakfast, we raise the camp and we continue ours traveled through. It was incredible already we had traveled through “Lowers California South”, the traveled through accumulated was of approximately 750 km. We direct ourselves toward “German Well”, when I arrive my shift of riding. I advanced a little while the team poured gasoline in the tank of the small truck. Suddenly a small truck appeared 4x4 very fast, I calculate some 130 km/h and upon seeing me neither the driver did not even care I was there, my worry were my friends that were in the direction of the crazy small truck and according what they tell me upon seeing them I diminish a little the velocity and continuous happily their road. Surely it was a matter of one of the competitors of the Drop 1000 that coached in the route of the desert. In several occasions in the traveled through we find cars abandoned, when a vehicle of the competence breaks it is cheaper to abandon it that to pay to tow it and remove it from there. Also we could find some crossings an their names surely were positions in honor to some intrepid chauffeur that lost the life in this daring competence of cars. But ahead I found a pretty one descended, was a matter of a somewhat technical descent with surface of sand and stone, the emotion itself was not done to expect and I took down me to enjoy the moment, but after a few minutes I reflected that itself if fell and something passed me would not be able to continue this adventure without equal and better I diminished the velocity. After passing for a desert with enormous cactus and by a soldiers watch post, Roberto was caressed for the water of a tremendous one rain fall. What paradoxical is the desert in little the sky was casted and a flood freed itself that lasted for space of 2 hours and provoked volumes of rivers for all sides. After finding us to a height of 800 msnm initiate with a descent until reaching a point marked in the GPS called “San Rafael” to the edge of the sea of Courteous, we continue for “The Flowers”, “The Future” and already entrance the afternoon to “Bay of the Angels” that was a paradisiacal place to the edge of the sea where the gringos live and enjoy greatly. There we ate and we lodge in a hotel where we bathe and we rest some 4 hours. Day seven. Wednesday 30 00:00am To the moment we carried traveled through almost 1000 kilometers and still lacked a long road by traveling through. The optimism and humor of the group was enough good by it achieved to the moment and with enthusiasm we continue ours traveled through. “If the night is so dark that do not you come to make out your own hands, can be sure that the dawn this very nearby” In the early morning of this day, I left in solitary by highway, I enjoyed a beautiful one to wake up and little to little the stars began to put out because the sun initiated its exit in the horizon of the sea, and to it far away that pretty place where and that a good remembrance for some day leaves me to return. As to the 55 kilometers, the small truck reached me, my friends already had bought provisions for that day, I wanted to continue but the voice of Jorge as leader of expedition and of Paty as doctora of the same one they said that already was sufficient by the moment and I touch to Roberto to continue for space of other 55 kilometers. When enter to the gap ourselves touched to see since the small truck a zorra that crossed without any worry. We stopped to see how continued their road, the color of the hair they did difficult seeing it already to it far away. It is incredible as the animals adapt to the conditions of the place where live and transform their fur in a perfect one camouflage. Further on we arrive at “The Coconuts” Jorge already there was riding by the fireroad enough acceptable (according to him) near 30 kilometers. In this place there was a rare house of a Gringo that lived in the nothing and almost in complete solitude, had a problem in one of its feet, that as deduced was for a motorcycle accident. The it did us to register in a book (where we go, as many as we were and to that we went) really we did not have the obligation to inform nothing neither to register us but as they say “where you go do as you see”, we did it of very good will and we continue ours traveled through. By a beautiful desert, this full time of stones with capricious formations that helped with the hand of the man they formed figures of animals, incredible to find this in full desert and that someone be taken the time to do it. Little further on we find ourselves with a small truck stalled and that received aid of a vehicle of the army for to be removed of the sand, we pass without no problem in the small truck with double traction. Subsequently we arrive at the sea. It passed already from medium day and the heat was asphyxiating. When it touched me to descend me of the small truck never I imagined the one that expected me, that day was the one that more heat did, the sun heated everything that its light touched of such way that the temperature was of approximately 45 centigrade degrees. What it helped me to middle to survive was the breeze that arrived of the sea and cooled me, but when this calmed itself immediately felt like my body burned and by wise previous experiences that was near a blow of heat, situation that controlled with the wind and with a little water that cooled my body. When I gave myself account that the vital one liquidate had been finished I sought me to the small truck and this neither his lights. If he stopped the heat would be done owner of my body in so alone some second motive by which it more prudent was to continue to velocity moderated, neither very quick neither very slow trying to stabilize me until found a shadow or that the small truck reached me. When this it reached me had found I an oasis, was a matter of a shadow, that without exaggerating had as 30 kilometers that there was not. I felt myself fortunate to be there and thus I stabilized my body. Besides my companions provided me liquids that take little to little to do not provoke a collision of temperatures in my body. Past my “via crucis” Roberto continued and something passed it seemed. And also it found a shadow but better because had where to be sat down and a table. We do not leave to pass the opportunity and we share the bread and the salt to the edge of the sea enjoying one more time of another landscape without equal. The blue water of the Sea they accompanied us of Courteous and of the other side a solitary desert landscape that embrujaba and bewitched with alone to look at. When we continue the traveled through the sun had diminished a little but was sufficient to cook to any. Already we had passed “Alfonsina” and the islands of “San Luis” already in the island of Wolves”. Jorge was the brave one ciclista that rolled for space of 3 hours passing for “The huerfanito” and “The Rib”, already about getting dark in “Puertecitos”. When the maps indicated that the terracería finished and began the I pave, Paty substituted to Jorge and continued the traveled through passing for “San Juan” and an infinity of crossings. Some 40 kilometers, for our surprise yes was I pave but in very bad state. When Paty said to here, already we were near the objective of the day and in “The esmeralda” Roberto continue until arriving at “San Felipe”, a large city and with all the services. There already past the average night we enter gasoline and we ate something. “The ones that enjoy their masochism in the life possess the power to know to create and that since that pain strengths are obtained to develop and to reach new horizons that are considered impossible” Day eight. Thursday 31 00:00am When we finish to eat we continue with the traveled through. The objective of the day already had been reached, the exhaustion was a great deal and the majority we wanted to rest some hours, but the Leader of the Expedition said not, we continue a little to gain him some hours to the following day. When come out of it you take care of us entered a fire road where to the few meters he initiated a scavenger. We think that when the scavenger finished we would be able camp, was a moment crucial, by space of hour and average of fire road the scavenger continued and one more time the sand did impossible to roll in the bike. Roberto battled all this time more walking that mounted in the bici; the heat was enough and the unpleasant smell of the scavenger they did that the food that we just ate provoked some nauseas. Jorge account was given that that scavenger and sand did not have for when to finish and then decided that one more time we would modify the traveled through doing it for highway for which we return to the edge of “San Felipe” and camp to the edge of the highway. It went very difficult for me to be able to sleep, the heat was too much but the tiredness was greater and achieve to get to sleep by space of approximately 2 hours. To the 6:00 am disarm the camp and we continue bound for Inlet by highway. The idea was not of the all pleasant but necessary upon not counting with sufficient time to try to do it for terracería and sand. One more time I initiated the traveled through of the day,. I rode 60 kilometers and an unevenness of 400msnm, to where my knee said already. It felt me impotent upon feeling me strong but an old wound impeded me to continue. Jorge continuous but with more heat, equal Paty some 30 kilometers, and further on Roberto who traveled through as 70 kilometers, accompanied of clouds and of some drizzle that they cooled it. The spell that pursued always to Paty was very obvious. She always battling with the sun and Roberto enjoying the shadow and of the rain. When they lacked little but of 30 kilometers all we descend to mountain bike ride to arrive together to Ensenada. For my flavor this the most extreme part went of all the traveled through, the traffic was dangerous, the vehicles, small trucks and trailers passed very near us. But that did not it stop and as to the 4:00 of the afternoon the objective was reached: we found us next to the sea in Ensenada celebrating not very effusive, we embrace, we take us photos and video, we could not believe it, we were in the final point of the expedition. When did not yet we digest what passed, we seek a good restaurant and we ate like kings, dirty and tired but happy, we devour all the dishes, while we commented it happened. The desert, the rabbits, the cactus, the sand, the Sea of Courteous and Pacific Ocean were witnesses of the odyssey that pass for the simple fact to be happy and to live the life with liberty without importing what the people say or think of us. One more time agreed of something that my older brother taught me: “If your life is not of the all good, changes of never alive life a sad neither mediocre life” later we seek a hotel and we gather with friends of Toluca that live something near Ensenada and after some talking we went us to rest to the hotel. Day nine. Friday 1 of August 9:30am we raise Ourselves and we initiate the I Return to Toluca. 38 hours of highway they expected us the ones that also in relays handle. We pass for Tijuana, Tecate, Mexicali, San Luis Laugh Red, Sonoyta, Caborca, Holy Ana; when the day was finished we were in Hermosillo, Sonorous. Day ten. Friday 2 00:00am Continue without stopping for Guaymas, City Obregón, Novajoa, The Mochis, Culiacán, Mazatlán (place where we have breakfast and we continue), Tepic and Guadalajara. Day eleven. Saturday 3 02:00am Finally all finished.
Note: the best trail maps can be found at: http://www.bicimapas.com.mx/mapas_baja_1600.htm