Rumor and myth

Riding the Baja

For years I had wanted to ride a motorcycle down the length of Mexico’s venerable Baja Peninsula, a one-way trip of over a thousand miles. Now I had the opportunity: No job. No home. No future. I was ready!

As rides go, it wasn’t going to be all that adventurous. Sure, there were the usual rumors of bad roads, bad gas, bad food, bad people and military road blocks, repeated ad naseum by people who had never ridden or even put a foot on the Baja.

As for the bad roads, that was a myth. Mexico 5 is paved all the way from Mexicali to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez. Yes, it is narrow, and yes it is rough in spots, but all manner of vehicle, from dirt bike to Winnebago, traverse the road to San Felipe and beyond – while the gas at the most remote end of the pavement is good.

For years while riding to San Felipe I had come across the usual road blocks, manned by kids no older than 18, wearing brand-new uniforms and brandishing M-16s. They didn’t appear too threatening to me, and were mostly interested in my motorcycle and having their picture taken while standing beside it, all the while sporting huge grins.

To date, I’ve not had a meal in Mexico that I haven’t liked.

The people are superb, and my only disadvantage has been that I am unable to speak fluent spanish; however, that’s my problem, not theirs.

So much for rumor and myth.

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