Baja in Mid December

Gonebiking1

New member
Planning a 3-4 week trip to Baja, starting dec 18 or so. Went mostly solo there last year, looking for a riding partner or small group. Cheap hotels and some camping, 200 -250 kms a day depending on the terrain. I'm an intermediate rider on KTM 950 SE which can carry a lot more gear than my XR650R did last year. I have a Dodge Dakota and can fit another bike as well as pull a trailer if needed but space is somewhat limited.
I have Bicimapas GPS maps for BAja which are invaluable. My plans are flexible, look forward to hearing from you.
 

Bones

Member
Hey there Gonebiking1,
How's that 950 treating you? I'm loving the 650, done a few modifications to it and having a good time on some of the tighter stuff, not so worried about falling over. Have a blast down in BAJA, maybe one of these years I will be able to join you down there.
Cheers
Bones
 
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Gonebiking1

New member
Thanks for the post, good to hear the XR is serving you well. The SE is great, makes me nervous in the tight stuff but what a blast. Lots of mods, 30 l tank, 2:1 pipe, heated grips, reinforced the subframe. Hope to find some partners for Baja....give it some thought. Saw the pics from Simon's course, looked like a good time. Have to do that next time. See you on the trails.

Ken
 

r_jackson

New member
I always am layed off from from work for most of December and January. I was planning a similar trip to yours, but after crunching the numbers for fuel etc and hearing about the hostile situation with the cartels, I have been re-considering. Maybe with a few more people it would be safer and there would be some money saved. My plan was to bring my truck and a camper and the DR 350 and drive down, do some riding, and see as much as I can until I have to come back for work. E-mail me [email protected] and maybe we can come up witha a good plan. If anything else I can learn some things from your past experience.
 

zoo

Member
camp and or hotel it

camp and or hotel it

So Gonebiking, you mentioned you went last year and did some camping/cheap hotels. 3 of us heading down in feb. we dont know what to expect. should we pack for both camp and'or hotels? which did yo perfer? Are both readily avialable.
thanks. zoo
 

Gonebiking1

New member
Talk to beaver Steve and the rest of the guys that went down the last few years as well. Hotels were reasonable, some 20 $ a night for OK places to 30-40 for better. My XR's subframe couldn't take the extra weight of the camping gear riding the rough stuff. I camped a few nights before I stored the gear - lots of places to free camp, nice if you're in a group. Near the beaches there are places to camp and they might charge 5$ a night for a basic spot. Speaking Spanish will get you a better deal probably.
Most small towns have some kind of hotel, a BC couple own a great B&B with yurts in San Ignacio, gave me a great rate. The LUCKY jersey may have helped. Some towns have great hotel/campgrounds, in Mulege there is a nice place by the river - tons of BC'ers there.
Hope that helps.

Ken
 

r_jackson

New member
I just got home from this trip. Unfortunately it was an earlier return on a Leer jet to get my spine fixed after crashing near Cabo. Otherwise it was a great time and I will return to ride it again. Still not sure whats happening with the bike, but I think my riding partner has it under control. I'm still walking and thats the most important thing.
 
F

franhoser

Guest
good to hear your okay. did you have a neck brace on? You think that would've helped your situation?
 

r_jackson

New member
I didn't have a neck brace, and in this situation, it wouldn't have made a difference. I broke the t7 and t8 vertebrae which are in the ribcage. If the vertebrae broke in the cervical section or the lumbar section it might have been way worse. I would look at a neck brace, but would be temteped to find somthing that will offer support to the whole spine. My body armour had a long plastic spine protector that would prevent damage from a blunt blow directly to the spine, but my injury resulted from my whole body compressing into my helmet. In the hospital in Cabo they put on a brace that was a set of metal brackets that sat against the sternum and ribs and also on the pelvic bone. It had straps that wrapped around the lower back and i held the spine in alignment while I was flown home. I might see if I can wear that while riding or find somethingn similar.
 

Buckethead

New member
Sorry to hear of your accident. I have broken my back as well, and it takes the fun out of things pretty quickly.

If it's not too personal, do you mind telling us a bit about what happened after your crash?How far out where you when you crashed? Did you get any care on scene? How did you get to the hospital? How was the care at the hospital? I presume you had insurance - How is that working out? How did you arrange the flight home?

Thanks for the insight, and best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

Cheers,
Matthew
 

r_jackson

New member
Overall it was a good experience, or at least as good as a broken back could be. The location of the crash made a lot of difference. It happened on a fairly well travelled part of the road. Half an hour earlier and we were in steep the steep hills, not likely to encounter other, but we had a spot GPS with a 911 button on it that essentially turns it into an E.P.I.R.B. A crash in that location would likely require a helicopter.

My accicdent was the result of too much speed into a corner. I tried to ride it out, but over the edge was nothing but big boulders and I went headfirst into one of them. I remember thinking "this is gonna hurt!"

It knocked the wind out of me, but I saw the bike was pouring gas out from the tank which was damaged in the wipeout. I got up to lift the bike up but still couldn't get a breath of air. I needed to assess my airway. Couldn't breath because I could feel my spine pushing into my lungs. Great, spine is out of whack. I got down and aligned my spine as taugh to me in first aid courses. Ken showed up about this time. We managed to get my broken ass back on the road, cut off my jersey and armour, and put a cold pack on my back. By this time a few people were stopping on the scene. The army happened to be going by and I though they would have a good first aider and a spine board, but no. They just go the bike back on the road. Some other riders showed up who stayed in the area but were American and Canadian. They offered a lot of help. They knew some local doctors and were able to call an ambulance. Unfortunately, the first ambulance had no spine board, was poorly equipped and was not really "allowed" to leave the area. Another ambulance arrived put me on a board, and headed from our location just outside Los Barriles to San Jose Del Cabo hospital.

The ambulance crew were not very concerned with proper spinal imobilization, but maybe that was becausem I was without deficits. Legs and toes were all working right. At the hospital the doctors and staff were very proffesional and spoke perfect english. I believe the hospital was actaully run by a US company. The did x-rays and CT scans and saw the damage to my vertebrae and radius bone (forearm). I was put in a cast and a metal stabilization device for my back. Ken was calling my insurance company at this time.

The doctors decided back surgery was my best option and made arrangements for a jet to take me back to Canada. The Medi-jet company and my insurance company spoke and a jet was dispatched. I was on the tarmac by 9 that night, 8 hours after the crash. It was a lear jet, and I was the only passenger. I got to Vancouver in the middle of the night and was sent to VGH. I had surgery done on my back a day later and was walking the day after that. After 5 days in the hospital I was sent home and am now recovering at my parents place.

If I can offer any criticism, it would be that the ambulance crew could use more training and more equipment. Over the next year Ken and I will be trying to do some fundraising to assist the paramedics that came to my aid.
 

r_jackson

New member
sorry for the typos, but my right arm is in a cast and several times writing this last post I actually deleted the whole thing!
 
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