Off to Ensenada
Day three equals hangover, headaches, and a tough 150-mile ride from San Felipe to Ensenada. Once again, 150 miles may sound like nothing, but aboard old bikes on rough roads, every rider feels like they dodged a bullet by the time they pulled into the hotel Villa Marina in Ensenada. Our local friend Juan Carlos threw a fiesta with plenty of cerveza and carne asada. For the next two days riders indulged in local food, drink, and women or worked on beat-down bikes. Ensenada is different from San Felipe—less laidback and more citified—so the vibe is interesting. The hotel parking lot in Ensenada was ground zero for Diablo Runners, and we counted 200 motorcycles on Saturday evening.
On Sunday morning several groups of LA- and San Diego-based Diablo Runners could smell the border, so 50 or so pulled out before the EDR bike show. After a very informal judging process, McGoo announced the three winners of EDR bike show prizes: Ryan from Big Bear, California, won the La Cucaracha award for his constant struggle with a beautiful but beat-down knucklehead. Canadian Brian won Best In Show with his gorgeous green swingarm shovel, and a young lovely named Cassandra won the Iron Butt award for riding solo from San Francisco on a Sporty she inherited from her grandfather. After another evening of last-minute wrenching, over-drinking, and fine dining, the remaining crew chilled out in preparation for Monday’s assault on the US border.
How Do You Say “Chaos” in Spanish?
Dave’s Canadian Shovel, Best In Show winner.
Baja Highway One running north to Tijuana offers some of the most breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean any bikerider could dream of. However, after daydreaming on two-lane twisties for 75 miles, shit gets real when you hit Tijuana. Splitting lanes in TJ might shave two hours off your ride, but it can subtract five years from your life. Vendors, handicapped beggars, jugglers, and street merchants crowd between thousands of cars at the US entry checkpoint, and the whole scene makes for some hair-raising thrills on two wheels. Some Diablo Runners tell us the 15-minute dance of doom at the TJ border is the most fun they’ve ever had on their motorcycle. All we know is we’re almost home.
We’ve said it every year since day one: the EDR isn’t for everybody. But for those who dig good times on two wheels, there really is nothing else like it. The camaraderie of a little shared hardship, the gritty exotic nature of Mexico, and the fact that there wasn’t a bit of vending or other traditional biker bullshit makes the El Diablo Run way more about the ride and the friends one meets along the way, and that fact alone makes it well worth the angst and heartache. HB