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Old 02-09-2018, 10:54 AM   #1
Trail Boss
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Racing the Baja 1000

After much discussion and debate, JT and I have decided to race the 2018 Baja 1000 in November of this year. We are still deciding between the Pro Moto 50 (50 and over) class or the Sportsman class.

We will be racing my KTM 500EXC. It needs additional lights for night riding. Aside from that, I believe it is ready to go. (I have already removed all the "adventure" stuff on the bike.)


Our physical training has already begun. (That's not me or JT but that's what we look like when we are lifting weights. In Big Bend. Really. Except for the red socks. And the man bun. We don't have enough hair for man buns.)


This is what I look like when I'm in race mode (Truthfully, that photo was taken a long time ago when I was still racing motocross).



JT is a lot faster rider than me. This is what he would look like racing motocross...if he raced motocross.



Any advice is welcome.
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Last edited by Trail Boss; 02-09-2018 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:01 AM   #2
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Best of luck! Call your insurance agent.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by one Wolf View Post
Call your insurance agent.
I have insurance on the bike..

...that's what you meant, right?
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

"I mean anyone can trail ride the thing for a 1000 miles, but to be competitive in doing it is whole different deal" -Scott Dunlavey
Dust to Glory

I took that to heart when I heard it many years ago, and decided I agreed..
I have trail ridden it, but never raced it..

Best of luck to you
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:47 PM   #5
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

I expect you to capture it all in gory detail in pics and on video so you can share it here

Invest in Ibuprofen.

Start a GoFundMe campaign.

Update your will...

I look forward to it!

Do you already have a support team?
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Kick some ***, you two! Good for y'all.

I like the idea of getting Ibuprofen as a sponsor.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:40 PM   #7
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

I'm in for the support team if you'll have me.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:27 PM   #8
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

You got to quit smoking that stuff Rich. It's getting out of hand
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:53 AM   #9
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Need more than 2 riders, lol.
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:12 AM   #10
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by TossingLead View Post
I'm in for the support team if you'll have me.
Thank you for the offer - that is very kind of you and JT and I both appreciate it. We tentatively have our support team in place but if things change we will let you know.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #11
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Logging tons of hours at the local mx track seems like it would be some of the best training. Congrats on the endeavor!
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Richard / JT:

What oil will you be using?

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Old 02-10-2018, 08:13 AM   #13
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdc View Post
Richard / JT:

What oil will you be using?

More importantly, what tires will you be running?
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:41 AM   #14
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman View Post
Logging tons of hours at the local mx track seems like it would be some of the best training. Congrats on the endeavor!
We have been discussing that very thing. In addition to riding for extended periods on mx tracks we also plan to do lots of riding at places at Hidden Falls and CTOR. I can't think of anything better for training to ride for extended time/distances than by riding for extended time/distances in conditions with similar physical demands.

I have the bike loaded in my truck now and will be leaving shortly for Murphy's MX.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:23 AM   #15
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

JT’s training regimen is a bit different- we are leaving shortly for pancakes and bacon.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:26 AM   #16
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Best of luck you two. This might just be what finally draws me down to Baja, it`s been on my bucket list since before the bucket list was thought up.. I would be up to help support also..
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:30 AM   #17
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

How will you be navigating . Those rallies seem 1/2 physical as well as being smart enough without becoming endlessly lost . Hats off to you guys ! Will you have to mount up one of those roadbook tower thingys?
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:35 AM   #18
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Richard and JT, You two are amazing and I wish you the BEST. Am sure you will have those FUNMETERs pegged. ..W Bob
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:35 AM   #19
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by E.Marquez View Post
"I mean anyone can trail ride the thing for a 1000 miles, but to be competitive in doing it is whole different deal" -Scott Dunlavey
Dust to Glory
...and if you're not really racing it any other week of the year would be 1,000 times more enjoyable and safer to ride it. Not to mention avoiding the traffic, crowds, no vacancies and jacked up prices.

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Old 02-10-2018, 01:08 PM   #20
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Re: Racing the Baja 1000

Wow! That’s awesome you two! Talk about jumping into the deep end.

You asked for advice so I’ll throw out some random thoughts.

Stickers, stickers, stickers and more motorcycle stickers. They’re the Bit coin of Baja. Everyone loves them and you’re the hero when passing them out. I was at a military checkpoint just north of La Paz with an orange sitting in the drink holder next to the dash, next to me, that I had forgotten about. They asked if we had any fruit, etc. etc. I forgot about the orange sitting in plain sight and said no. No problems though, they were happy to keep us moving down the road for just a few stickers.

Is this a point to point (Ensenada to La Paz) year or the northern half of Baja year? The northern half races are shorter but are more of beating per mile due to the north half being used much more often (Baja 500, San Felipe 250) The advantage to the northern half races is that it’s easier to hook up with your crew from time to time. The southern half is smoother but they have open ranges and contain non-reflective cattle.

Speaking of crews, how are you doing your pitting? Did you contract with someone? You need a lot of resources to pit yourselves. Back in the day, Honda charged about a buck a mile (race distance) for their services. This covers gas, two or three mandatory air filter changes, an emergency wheel (not because yours looks bad or is flat but because it’s square now) which you will pay them back for later. Leave a spare rear wheel assembly (tire change) for the pit crew near the halfway point and your lights with another pit crew where you expect to be at a little before dark. A Bib Mousse in the front at a minimum and better if you have one in the rear too. Good luck installing them, if you do it like me; you’re in for a work out.

The day before the race is Contingency Row. It’s quite festive, much like a parade that you pass through. Wear only stuff you can throw away the next morning because won’t pack it along during the race. And you’ll likely be alone from about midday on because your crew had to leave to get down to the rider change location a few hundred miles away.

Be prepared for dust, dust and more dust. Obviously the worst is in the beginning of the race before everything thins out. Put baby oil on the foam portions of your goggles so they will act like an air filter for your eyes. Know where you’re pits are. I repeat, know where you’re pits are. Mile markers used to be placed every ten miles. I predict you will get a sinking feeling in your stomach if the first mile marker sign you see (remember that dust thing) says 80 miles and you suddenly remember pit #1 was supposed to be at 60 miles.

Motocross has whoop sections. Baja has in places, miles and miles of whoops. Practice leaning against a wall in a seated position and see how long you can do this. Than do this again and again for the next 10 months.
Baja also has silt beds; there is no practice for this. Never go less than full throttle until you get out of it. If it’s a northern race only there are less of these.

It’s a very long race. Pace yourselves.

Remember you are not on a closed course. They try to stop traffic at intersections but it’s everywhere. You two know how driving in Mexico can be. It’s ten times worse during the race. If you want practice, I recommend going to downtown Austin during rush hour and ride into opposing traffic. Seriously, the worst is leaving Ensenada at the start of the race during their rush hour. A large portion is two lanes going out and two lanes coming in, divided only by a center stripe. Right as you first leave the pavement onto the dirt is where Team Kawasaki rider Danny Hamel died when a vehicle pulled in front of him. I think Danny was doing about a 100 mph at the time.

Bored locals, standing in the middle of nowhere want to see action. It’s not unusual for them to make booby traps during the race. This usually consists of building a jump on the course. Since they’re not building a jump for them to ride over they don’t concern themselves with some of the finer points of jump building. Like a longer ramp so the takeoff is less abrupt. Remember that dirt had to come from somewhere. Most locals are kind hearted enough and put the jump in front of the hole they just dug.

If it looks like a major league stadium is catching you, it just the lights from a Trophy Truck. I recommend you move over quickly.

It’s a very long race. Pace yourselves.

It can be more dangerous for the crews chasing the race on the roads than for the actual racers. To steal a line from professional wrestling, “It’s pandemonium out there!” And it’s not just the roads, someone could be driving the wrong way on the course too.

I know you plan on racing class 50 but there’s something to be said for riding in the open class. You may start almost an hour later than them and that’s a lot of daylight in the desert to give up.

I hope you get to do some pre-riding. There’s no way you can remember your whole portion of the race but you get an idea of what to expect. And, and it’s so darn much fun!!! Maybe more fun than the race.

Carrying an extra pre-oiled air filter in a zip-lock baggie inside your fanny pack isn’t the worst idea. They may however deform a little bit if you land on your back from going over the bars.

It’s a very long race. Pace yourselves.

Having some type of light on your person is good. I’ve seen them taped to the side of a helmet for example. Good for pre-riding at night and looking at a map for example. Also, should you crash on a moonless night during the race and kill your motor; you can use it to find your bike again.

The proper radios can be very useful.

You’re likely to see famous desert racers anywhere. Perhaps at the next table eating breakfast, standing in a line, stopped on the side of the course while pre-riding or asking if you if you need any help, etc.

If you want to know what it feels like to be Johnny Campbell, Eli Tomac, or Jason Anderson at the end of the race, I recommend wearing your old riding gear. After crossing the finish line throw those old gloves, chest protector or jersey to some kids. Instant celebrity!

It’s a very long race. Pace yourselves.

This is a lifetime experience about to happen. It’s awesome, enjoy every minute guys, I’m jealous.
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Last edited by MacDaddy; 02-10-2018 at 01:16 PM.
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