Bikensurf Baja the Movie!!!

Hi friends, family, and surfers!!! Wherever you are, I hope you are getting stellar turns, waves, or rides!! I am back in Montana searching for pow, and Abe is in Tahoe climbing Mount Whitney with Lance (AKA Channel). Upon popular request, the Bike N Surf Baja full length film is finally finished and ready for your viewing pleasure!!! I hope it gives you a good feel for our trip and that it might inspire you to get out and do something crazy!! For example, the domain, Bike-N-Base Jump.wordpress.com is still available, and I would love see someone tackle it!! Due to the length of the film, I have broken it into Three parts. Check it out!!!

Peace and Love

Bob-n-Abe

Hurricane season in Montana!

In light of recent developments (monetary shortage, please send cash!) Abe and I have temporarily postponed our quest to bike and surf through Central America, and headed back to the states via a 28 hour bus ride from Cabo. We both agreed that the bus ride was far more dangerous than our bike ride on the same roads. Our bus drivers cruised over 80 miles an hour on the steep dirt roads that we precariously climbed on our journey. I closed my eyes, prayed and woke up in Tijuana unscathed.

Sad to see our journey come to a temporary close, Abe and I ventured back to South Lake Tahoe and Montana to work (Snowboard mostly) for the winter season. Without snow in Montana, I agreed to a bike-and-soak adventure to Norris Hot springs, 40 miles from Bozeman. Typhoon (Man, myth, or legend/my dad) and I left Bozeman in nice 35 degree sunny November weather, expecting a cruiser 40 mile ride to Norris to join my mom and grandma for a nice soak in the hotsprings. 20 miles in, as we approached the Madison River, we began to experience a pretty bad side headwind. We slowed down to a frustrating 10 miles an hour going down a hill. I realized as we approached the river that we were about to turn 90 degrees directly into a strong headwind. Sure enough, we made the bend and were hit instantly!!

On our trip, people often gave me puzzling looks after I told them I was from Montana. “How is the surf in Montana?” People would joke. I would joke with them and respond, “I have to get back soon, there is a swell about to hit bozeman!” Little did I know that truth to my own words. We turned the bend and were blasted in the face with 30-40 mile an hour winds, sending me directly into the ditch. “Holly shit” I thought as I got back onto my bike. Struggling to stay moving, we put our heads down and cranked for 20 minutes, occasionally getting a gust that would put us back into the ditch. We approached a bend in the road, and felt the wind subside. Without wind, I was finally able to hear my dad. I biked up next to him and said, “Wow that was Fn intense!”. “Its not over yet” He said. He pointed at the river ahead of us and exclaimed, “We are in the Eye of the Storm!!! Look out!”

Sure enough, from our calm cove on the side of the road, we watched as gusts of gail force wind picked up entire sheets of water from the river and hurtled them at the road. We could tell by the ghost like sheets of 80 mile an hour water that we were about to get annihilated. We exited our hiatus into the heart of the storm and continued our battle with the wind. At first we were able to ride, peddling full force to achieve 2 miles an hour. Since the wind was coming slightly sideways, you had to lean into the road to avoid being sent into the ditch. Typhoon (I’m convinced is a super human) was leaning at a 45 degree angle into the road while peddling. While watching this unbelievable feat, Typhoon pointed ahead at the river and yelled, “Its coming, look out!!!” 200 yards away, we saw a silver wall of water hurtling towards us, indicating an impending attack from the wind! WHAMMMMM! Immediately I was blown off my bike and tangled into a bush. Typhoon, who had remained on his bike, was slingshotted by the wind demon off the road and up an ungodly steep hill (Unclimbable by mere mortals). From this point we tried pushing our bikes in the ditch, traveling less than 100 yards in ten minutes, getting sprayed in the face by the river. The next big gust nocked Typhoons bike 10 feet out of his hands and lifted my bike straight up into the air with my holding on with one hand. WTF

On our trip, Abe and I would always curse steep hills and exclaim, “You will never win hill!!!” With 2000 miles of biking under our belt, Abe and I never encountered a road too steep, too sandy, or tooo dangerous to pass!! Typhoon and I had met our match. We hunkered down in the ditch and waited until a Ford 250 stopped in the middle of the road to our rescue. With their help, we were evacuated 10 miles up the road to Norris Hot springs, where the wind was a mere 20 miles an hour and let out a big sigh and got into the steaming hot water!

Today, our speculations of wind speeds were validated by the news, which reported over 90 mile an our gusts of winds and a wind warning advisory for the Madison River Basin. Laughing about our experience, my dad exclaimed, “Life is always an adventure! Thanks for staying posted at Bikensurf.wordpress.com for our adventure and I hope that you can get outside and have an adventure of your own. As I said, the end of our adventure is only the beginning, as should all of life’s journeys. We will be back on the road in the distant future, biking, surfing and loving life as always!! Thanks, and stay posted for the full length video of Abe and I’s Baja adventure sometime late January!! Much Love!

Abe and Bob

Don’t eat Mexican Soup at 6 AM before Biking!

In La Paz, Abe and I were determined to go out on the town and party on a Saturday Night. The plan was to get tacos, drink beers, watch a boxing match, and stay up until midnight flirting with some cute local girls. We were well on our way; eating tacos and drinking beers at 7:30 PM, when we hit the wall! Shoot, in bed at 8:00 PM. Unfortunately, this bike and surf thing has gotten us into the habit of falling asleep as soon as the lights go out. Luckily, this habit also gets us up at the crack of dawn for big waves and fresh pavement (OK not super fresh pavement when your ridding on dirt….less big trucks maybe). In any case, we left La Paz for Todo Santos nice and early after I had a big cup of Menundo (Mystery Mexican soup). This soup did not sit super well, and I was dragging super slow on my bike. To my disadvantage Abe had 8 cups of coffee and was like, “Bob, lets pick up the pace!” So, when he wasn’t looking I let a bunch of air out of his tires and we were back on the same pace. ha ha

After a full day of ridding, we made our way to the final surf destination of our trip, (Playa Cerritos). Our friend Matt, suggested that we stay at his surf hostel, Los Cardonnes (300 yards from bed to barrels). We arrived to find Matt’s parents Mike and Maureen working full force to finish the place. We landed a job helping with construction in return for a free stay in a nice palopa on their property! Every day after a surf sesh, we would come back and help for a couple hours. I was assigned to collect garbage and stack cinderblocks, while abe was assigned to design the control panel for the solar power electrical system, and offer technical advice on the benefits of an external pluming system. Who knew that Abe was a construction genius. Sucks to be me on the bottom of the todum pole. For example, one night, they even made Abe the hotel manager, collecting money and introducing guests into their rooms. WTF. I didn’t want to be manager anyway. Instead, while Abe was managing the resort, I went surfing, getting the nastiest barrels Mexico has ever seen. Just kidding, but seriously! Three days later, with killer sun burns and blond hair, Abe and I bid our Mexico Resort careers farewell and hit the road, for a super chill 40 miles to Cabo. Unfortunately, the ride was not chill at all. With terrible road construction, we sucked in dirt from mad truck drivers for 6 hours under the blazing hot sun. Not Stoked! Soon the stoke returned as we arrived to the glory of Cabo San Lucas. I will let Abe go into more detail in a future post, but here is a quick gimpse. ha ha

 

 

Double over my head and triple over Abe`s!

Robin and I were riding through the flattest stretch of road we have experienced in all of Baja. Strong side winds were keeping us at a slow crawl through the otherwise unbearable heat. Up to this point we had seen one other biker, a sad and struggling Eli and who knows what happened to him. All of a sudden another bike tourer passes us, not uncommon given the ridicoulus amount of gear we carry, but in this section of Baja desert it felt very strange. Then another one. Almost as if they weren´t riding together but maybe they were, they continued down the road separately until we lost then in the mirage.

We stopped for a late lunch at a little restaurant on the side of the road. We still had 30k before we hit out projected camp spot for the night and needed a bit of fuel. Sure enough two bikes were outside the food joint. We walked in got some food and started conversation with the two Americans. Brian, an almost too smart for his own good kinda guy, had ridden from Alaska and was bound for Patagonia. It turns out Brian was Stenographer for the Obama Administration and couldn´t take it anymore. Being an avid cyclist, Brian said Fuck it. He flew to Alaska and is determined to have the experience of a lifetime. I would say this is one way to do it. Brian met Larry in Ensenada at a warmshowers host home and they started riding together. The two couldn´t be more different but somehow the dynamic duo was working. They had ridden nearly 600 miles together, Ok not really together, but they were there to keep each other company at night. Funny how things work out.

Larry, Oh Larry. He gets his own paragraph. Larry is from Sierraville, Ca. Need I say more. Wait a minute I know some one from there. While riding with the U.S. Snowboard team, teammate Jason Hale grew up in Sierraville. ¨Hey Larry, do you know a guy named Jason Hale…¨   ¨Dude that’s my best friend!¨ While eating lunch Larry continued to explain the significance of this connection or coincidence while I just sit there already knowing how small this world actually is. There are no coincidences just synchronicities, Thank you psychedelic Ryan.  Larry is one of the happiest people I have ever met. Seriously. It turns out Larry lives in Reno and loves to fish, chucker hunt, and ride his bike. We exchange stories while we eat our much needed meal. After lunch we all decide to camp together and this decision would later turn out to haunt each and every one of us. Larry is about six foot four but has the longest legs I have ever seen. They make Robin´s legs look short. His frame had to be near a seventy inch frame. He was on a Salsa frame that he had spent many hours customizing. He even built a frame bag for all of his tools, which was super unique and sweet right until it came time to grab a water bottle. Shit. He rigged a solution up for that problem. Solve it when you need to mentality. Gotta love it, Larry was on a different type of plan then Brian. ¨I am going to ride until I am out of money and then I will figure it out.¨ Solid Plan Larry.

It became very apparent that Larry was livin on the edge of his pants when it was time to find a camp spot. After lunch and stocking up on beers we all rode together for a short distance in order to find a camp spot. We were all just riding along when all of a sudden Larry darts of the road in super soft sand towards a dry stream bed below the road. Instinctively we all follow. Robin and I thought we had cutty camping down. We were wrong, Larry has got it down! He sigged and sagged around the sharpest of Cacti until bailing off of his bike and pushing through sand and cacti patches until we were well out of sight of the road. ¨This will work¨ he says. The three look around and all have the same stuck in a Cacti prison feeling. We all knew that know body was going to dare bother us. But how the hell were we going to get out in the morning. O well. That night we all did a good job of getting drunk and telling stories past our bed time. It was all so much fun until I woke up in the morning to a nasty hangover and flat tires galore. Every single one of us had a flat! After pushing out of the Cactus Den, as Robin later named it, we fixed our flat tires and headed out. With a super late start we all had hangovers to burn off and no surf in sight for hundreds of miles. Just Desert. Hot, Hot Desert.

Pinto Conejo

We arrived to Punto Conejo in the heat of the day, sweaty, sun burned and exhausted after a nasty 10 mile stretch of dirt road that took us over 3 hours! We stopped at a run down fish camp and asked if there was any spot to get water. The old fisherman looked at me like I wash crazy and just shook his head. F$%k!! we thought as we looked around at the flaming hot  sand dunes and blown out surf. Luckily we ran into a local expat surfer named Mike, who gave us the low down. “Before doing anything, go set up a camp site and get out of the heat”. Where we thought. There is nothing here! We found out that all of the camp sites rest underneath ten foot tall dense shrubs that cover the low ground beneath the dunes. We road our bikes over to the shrubs, to find dope little camping nooks sheltered completely from the sun from the thick branches. Mike also told us about the surf situation! “You are in for a treat! The surf is going to be off the hook the next two days!!”

The Surf

The next morning, we woke up before sun rise, some trail mix and rushed out to the beach. With no one in the water, Abe and I stared in awe at perfect head high sets of left breaking waves bending around the point for a quarter mile! With out hesitation, we were in water, ducking warm waves, and looking down at the reef through crystal clear water. A truly good surf session is a very rare occasion. The right people, good conditions, and the luck to catch some good waves all combined to my all time best surf session ever. I felt like a pro, cranking down the line, picking up speed, and arching turns at the top of the lip! Wow, I could not have been more stoked!! Despite my excitement, the locals suggested that the surf was about to get a lot better! “Pick up the surf? Wasn’t today good enough?” I asked a local surfer. “It was just ok” he said. “Wow” I thought, I couldn’t imagine how the following day was going to be! With this in mind we got up even earlier, in anticipation of the arriving swell! We walked to the beach with the full moon illuminating our trail through the shrubs. We arrived, and I could not believe me eyes………………There was one surfer in the water, looking like a fly on the wall of a double overhead glassy wave. My heart skipped a beat, and I may have had a small stroke! Just kidding, but seriously. I could have been staring at a magazine, our watching Endless summer, but I was there! “Shit” I told myself, as I came back to reality! “How the hell am I going to surf these waves” I look over at Abe, and he is no longer standing next to me, but all ready a hundred yards out into the ocean.  All right, here I go!!! Nervous as all be, I ducked several waves just in time to see Abe paddling into a monster wave (Tripple overhead for Abe, maybe double for me). Abe got to his feet, and skipped down the face because it was moving soo fast! Soon the pro surfers from La Paz showed up, and the talent began to shine, with people ripping the waves apart. Unfortunately my talent did not shine today! Instead, I put on a clinic of unique and radical wipe outs, falling in ever imaginable way. The crowd favorite was when I made it down the wave balancing one foot, because the other was not cooperating with my leash! This ended in an all out face plant at the bottom of the wave. Stoked at having experienced such an epic day, I fished my surf session by enjoying watching Abe and the pros from the shore taking some pictures!!

Nardo

While resting in between surf sessions, we conversed with the local camp host, Nardo (One of the most interesting, compassionate, and far out individuals I have ever met). Nardo is a flamboyant, Gay, Mexican, Cowboy, with an expertise in medicinal plants, cooking seafood, and the local gossip. Nardo invited us over to his place for dinner two nights in a row, where he cooked Manta ray Machaca, and Octopus Tacos. He entertained us with wild stories about his 20 years living in Punto Conejo, while cooking over a fire, and fending off wild dogs with his whip! The food was quite good, but very intense. Abe suggested that it was his most extreme culinary experience ever! We bid Nardo and Punto Conejo Farwell as we got  ride back to the main highway, bypassing the nasty dirt road we road in on. (Its not cheating if you have already ridden the road, ha ha). Krissy and Steve, two local shredders loaded us up in the back of their 1980s van, and blasted up the dirt road. We enjoyed the ride, rocking out to Def Lepard and Iron Maidden while drinking several Tacate Lights. Thanks Krissy, Steve and Nardo for an awesome time in Punto Conjeo! Back on the road, we bushwhack camped in the desert in another patch of cactus and made it to La Paz, where we are enjoying the local flair before heading back to the Pacific for more surf! Thanks for reading and stay posted!!

Fish Tacos and Expats

 

Leaving Coyote Cals, we ventured back onto the roads, encountering some scary trucks and many more dogs. Although we have not figured out a way to avoid the scary dogs on the roads, we have found that most are not trying to bite, and would rather chase. Therefore, if you ride super slow, they are not interested. We are not sure if this tactic works for other wild animals commonly found on the Mexican Road ways. For example, along highway one, there are many cow crossing signs. These signs do not portray a docile friendly American cow, but an angry looking bull with horns. We did not buy into the idea of an “angry bull crossing” until today when we encountered an angry-looking bull staring at us in the middle of the highway. Luckily he found eating garbage to be more exciting than charging us, and we passed un harmed.

After crossing the desert, we found ourselves on the Sea of Cortez, home of the fish taco. We settled into a palapa [ thatched hut made out of palm leaves] at Coyote beach, where the water is 70 degrees, and a beautiful emerald-green. Nestled in a small cove, the beach is surrounded by jagged peaks covered with huge cactus. With dreams of catching and eating a fish, Abe and I took the day off and rented sea kayaks and spear. Without a clue how to spear fish, we headed out to a group of islands in the cove and began to dive. floundering around in the water, we were not even close to getting a fish. I think I even heard a fish laughing at me under the water. Tired, I got of the water onto the kayak and let Abe have a turn. “Good luck” I said. Thinking that Abe was going to suck as bad as I did, I relaxed back in the kayak to soak in some rays. About ten minutes later, I heard Abe yelling from underneath a mask and snorkel. looking over I see Abe holding up a big red snapper stuck on the end of his spear freaking out, having no idea what to do with the fish wiggling on the end of his spear. After successfully getting to the shore we went and bragged about our fish the local Expats, who were drinking beer and smoking cigarettes outside the local bar. We bought fresh tortillas, limes, tomatoes, cilantro, and some cheese and waited for the chef to cook up our fish. Mmmm, the fruits of our endeavors were sweet. Stuffed, we went and passed out in the Palopa, ready of another day of biking, moving towards Loretto! I swear we are still trying to surf! Unfortunately the surf was neither good in the central desert or on the Sea of Cortez. Stay posted as we move back towards the Pacific Coast! Stoked!

Dirt Roads and Dangerous Dogs!

The Pursuit of Waves.

I must say the last few days have been the most challenging of the entire trip. Since entering Mexico all of my normal conveniences have gone by the wayside. Phone, internet, and good ice cream are all things that are no longer so easy to come by. Yes they are all here but much harder to find. It has been really easy to get ourselves in deep and lose civilization entirely. Things that we normally take for granted become things we crave and constantly think about; connecting with loved ones becomes a constant thought. I so badly want to tell those people I am O.K. on a regular basis. I also am so used to having their support at the drop of a dime and I am so grateful for that. Instead I have have Robin….

After pedaling through the border we had the beauty of staying at the Dutton’s Trailer at K38 just south of Rosarito. For me, it doesn’t get better than this place. Three different waves within 30 seconds of the door. The bed to barrel factor couldn’t be higher! We spent only one day and two nights here, which included possibly the foggiest surf session of all time, but it was heavenly. Staying at K38 for a long stay is an easy thing to do and I am still bummin we are not there right now just kickin it. For me it is home. At least home on the ocean for I will always be a mountain boy! I caught so many waves, greatly improving my surfing. Making drops, doing cutbacks, and hackin lips; we were ready to start shredding the pavement. On the Bikes again…

Some days I really do wake up and wonder if pedaling from 9 to 5 is worth the endless search for waves. Some days I agree with the looks people give us…. That 180 degree head turn with a dropped jaw followed by the side to side head shake seen on a regular basis by older Mexican folks.  Mexico is a very challenging place with poor quality roads and no shoulders. Thankfully so far, most drivers have give us adequate space on the roads. Unfortunately the wild dogs have not. Several days ago, we had a German Shepard chase us full speed. Luckily we are fast as shit, and outran that sucker; avoiding an inevitable dose of Mexican rabies.

Taking things one day at a time is super important when a lot is on your mind. Baja is a huge place (over 1000 miles long) and envisioning our task on a map is very daunting. Robin has been my hero and savor in reminding me that life is all about now. “Abe, you need to take this one day at a time. Think about the things you are grateful for now, i.e. lunch, the views, or my sleeping pad. Just get your head outta of the clouds and think about the now.” Robin is a very strong person and without him I would be really struggling or even back at home. Thank You Robin.

Yesterday we rode over 50 miles which doesn’t sound like much, just another typical day. The catch was 30 of those miles were on dirt. We stopped for a relaxing lunch on the side of Mex 1 before hitting the dirt for the remainder of the day. The Plan was to get to Punta Cabras, a right hand wave that was suppose to be very good on a west swell which is what we had.  Both Robin and I were very confident on our route finding and directions that we received along the way. We knew we had to climb about 1000 feet of rough road before things leveled off. We rode about 10 miles on the dirt before things started to get tough. I took my first major fall over a cobblestone section. I have almost ridden 2000 miles and I still can’t get out of my pedals fast enough. The second fall came while climbing uphill. I thought I could make the section but didn’t have the necessary steam. Talk about being rattled to the core. Robin also took two falls, one of which was very scary fall and was a more high speed crash. Luckily I had my Go-Pro out to catch the tail end of the spill. I did go help him dust off and get back on his feet. We finished the ride last night just as it was getting dark only to find out the all of the land around us was fenced off by barbed wire. Without any spot to camp we decided to climb over a section of barbed wire and set up right on the beach. About 20 minutes later someone appeared outta nowhere. We hadn’t seen human life for hours. Where did this guy come from? Unnerved beyond belief, we gave an “Hola” looking into their headlamps. It turns out he owns the land and was happy to let us stay there, for a small fee of course! Scary! We woke up to find out we had taken the wrong road and were still 5 miles out of Punta Cabras, o well. After pedaling for a couple more hours past Punta Cabras we found some great surf and a hostel called Coyote Cal’s. A gringo owned hostel that is not to far off of being completely rad. Something died close to where we were told to set up our tent but besides that we have all of the luxuries of home.

All in the pursuit of Waves. It only takes one good drop or one good turn to get the stoke back up and have the head to keep on pedaling. The water is getting warmer, home is getting farther away, and English speakers are becoming less and less. We have finally entered the last frontier of California. The Baja. Tomorrow we will continue our journey and attempt to pedal another full day until we reach San Quintin. We have some killer photos and videos that we can’t upload right now, but stay posted!!

Thanks for all of the support
Love Always
Abe

Synchronicity!

Reflecting on our journey thus far, we have encountered many amazing people. Whether friends of friends, or new friends all together, the people surrounding us have truly propelled us down the road. In a way these people have come into our lives just at the right time and place when we have needed them the most. Early in our journey we were introduced to the term “Synchronicity” and have found it quite appropriate to describe the interconnected, and slightly haphazard, coincidences that keep falling into place on our trip. Here are several examples:

Mike and Lisa Hutton

After leaving my Uncle’s place in Long Beach, we ventured into Seal Beach, where thought we had a place to stay. Unfortunately, the time share we had in mind, was occupied, leaving us stranded. To my surprise, it just so happened our Tahoe friend Lance Dutton, (One of the best people I know) had a place in Seal Beach. After several phone calls, we found ourselves in the company of Mike and Lisa Hutton. During our several day vortex in Seal Beach, we went paddle boarding around Treasure Island with Mike, enjoyed Lisa’s famous tacos, and watched some of the world series with them  both. Thank you Mike and Lisa, you guys are really amazing and generous people!!

Park City Bob

After a hectic bike ride from Seal Beach to Dana Point, we arrived at a campground in Ensenedas, thirsty and without groceries. Before we could get off our bikes, and man walked up and handed us beers, “Gentlemen, you look like you could use these”. After chatting with Bob, we realized that his wife graduated from Westminster College, where both Abe and I went to school. Bob also happened to be a Park City resident, where Abe and I spent many years snowboarding. It so happens that Bob knew some our good friends including The Wintzers and the Slettas who also live in Park City. Our crazy connections lead to a dinner invitation and more drinks at Bob’s trailer overlooking the Ocean. Thanks Bob!!

B and L Bikes.

After Leaving Ensenedas, we put together a pre-Mexico to do list. One of the most daunting tasks was to find 4 new shifters to replace our sets, which were ready to deteriorate. Worried that we were about to splurge hundreds of dollars on new shifters, we stopped at the first bike shop we passed. Walking into B and L bikes, we immediately knew we were in the right place. The friendly and knowledgeable crew were really interested in our trip, and graciously donated four shifters to our cause!! Thanks guys!

Psychedelic Ryan

Probably the most incredible synchronicity of the whole trip has been our encounters with Ryan the Psychedelic Warrior. If you remember, we first met Ryan in Monterrey, where raccoons broke into his weed stash. Throughout the last 500 miles, we keep running into Ryan in various places. In Malibu, it so happened that he showed up into our camp spot after a full week of absence. Blessed by Ryan’s tales of metaphysical journeys, and vast knowledge of obscure and interesting subjects, we were sad to bid Ryan fairwell, expecting to lose him in the chaos of LA and San Diego. Today while staying with our friends Dustin and Val in Dan Diego, Abe and I ventured to who knows where to a Best Buy for  some camera equipment. On our way home, we became even more disoriented in an effort to say hi to Abe’s buddy Russ. In the midst of 3 million people living in San Diego, on an obscure neighborhood street, we look up to see…..none other than Psychedelic Ryan on his way to Mexico!!! WTF. Wow! “I can not believe we ran into you again” I said. Given that Ryan introduced us to the term, “Synchronicity”, his response did not surprise us. “It does not surprise me at all” Ryan exclaimed. “This world is full of beautiful coincidences”! Thanks Ryan for your Wisdom, good luck on your journey and hope to see you soon!!

Flooded with encouraging words of support from our friends and family across the world, we journey into Baja tomorrow morning. We are stoked and fully loaded with fresh bike parts sent express from Tahoe Sports LTD (Thanks Arron, Bryan, Patrick, Kyle, Eric and the Whole Crew…PS The Mexican Flag painted on our bike tires is sure to be a winner with the cronistas!) Keep posted as we journey into Mexico! And as always, thanks for your support, we could not do it with out you!