Baja California

Text: Joe Colombero • Photography: Kevin Wing

Baja. In the world of off-road racing and riding few words conjure the kind of reverence associated with this legendary peninsula. For almost 40 years Baja has hosted one of the greatest off-road races in the world, the Baja 1,000. Located on the western coast of Mexico, the state of Baja California is bordered on two sides by ocean, the Pacific on the west and the pristine Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California along its eastern shoreline.

Though only a few miles from the lavish beach communities of San Diego, Baja is a world away, devoid of the prosperity in the United States and, frankly, most of the trappings of civilization. Sections of the large peninsula are extremely remote, water is often scarce, and bandits roam the outer marshes in search of touristos to plunder.

That said - the off-road riding is like none other on earth. But you never ever ride Baja alone. That's why Baja tours are so big. Of all the tour companies that roam here, Chris Haines Motorcycle Adventure Tours is the largest.

For over 14 years, Haines has introduced literally thousands of riders, of all levels, to the joys of off-roading in Baja. And those joys are many. The spectacular scenery of the wild peninsula; the thrill of sluicing, wide-open like a bobsled through miles of sand berms; the mountain climbs and descents into valleys, dodging cattle, and watching the vaqueros rope mustangs along the way. Then there's the great food, riding the Baja 1,000 course, and racing up the road to Mike's Sky Rancho in the rain. Overall, the purveyors of the Chris Haines experience aim for it to be the best time you've ever had on a motorcycle.

They offer several packages that include street or off-road rides in the USA, but the mainstays of the company are the Baja Adventures. Coming in three- or seven-day packages, the rides include the Ensenada/San Felipe/Mike's Sky Rancho trip for 95 to the seven-day, 2,000-mile trip from Ensenada to Cabo for 00. There is also a 10 percent discount for Honda Riders Club of America members.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the Winter 2002 back issue.