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  1. #1
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Rosarito >Ensenada Ride Report - Long

    Sorry, this may be a bit long and rambling...Pictures will be posted on my website soon, and i will publish the link in this thread
    This was the first time I have even done this ride. And in fact the first time I have really ever been to Mexico.( I was in Ensenada from one of those 3 day cruises a few years back)
    Everyone else went down thursday. We (dw and i ) drove down Fri AM - our friends who have done this many times stay at a trailer camp ground 1/2 between Rosarito and Ensenada, they do have hotel rooms also.
    Got there and partied a bit...we went to Puerto Nueva for Lobster dinner...but only 2 margaritas for me...I have to ride...
    The plan was to get up and have breakfast in Rosarito...there were 6 riders ( 2 others were staying in Rosarito), but 14 people overall....a bit tough getting everyone together...but we did....got there about 9:15ish...had breakfast..the place is right on the main street..so the line up went right by the restaurant.....
    We finished and jumped in to the pack, and were almost at the back! I figure we were at least a 1/2 mile from the start line...but that was ok....a sea of people...very much like the LA Marathon bike ride...but even crazier outfits and more mtbs/hybrids...
    We could see the start line moving...we have to walk until a bit past the start line before we could mount up...we lost the 2 mtb/hybrid riders in our group immediately...the other 4 of us were on road bikes...
    The road is Hywy 1 sort of their PCH, and it parallels 1D which is the freeway...no big hills..mainly rollers...the road condition itself was pretty good...I saw MarkAJ take off...I tried to stay up, but I get nervous in this large a crowd and worry about getting dumped....Steve was also in front ...I passed Mike, and was in the middle of this big crowd when I hear a crash behind me....I hoped it wasn't mike...well it was...more on him later...because I was in this large group I had no way to stop to see if it was him or if he was ok...I felt bad about that..but didnt know what to do...so I kept going...
    B finally broke free of this group and caught up to steve...I was able to stay with him for about 5 miles...he is way to good a rider for me to hang on to for too long...
    Mile 16.....1st rest stop...I was feeling really good...my foot felt good ( this is really only the 3rd ride I have done since getting back on after my stress fracture)...I slowed down cause everyone was stopping...I was going to blow by, but out of the corner of my eye I spotted my other friends Linda and Debbie...so I stopped to see them...they are going to the porta potties, but the lines were too long...I said the next stop was 10 miles...so off we went...a smallish hil then a nice down and across a bridge...the plan was to stop after the bridge (24miles) to fuel, gel, whatever...since the next 2-3 miles were the nasty 7.5% climb up to the top of the mesa....
    There were some needed potty breaks at that point, but I will skip details...in case the girsl everyt read this...they will not be happy if I tell...
    So up the hill we went....pretty tough...pretty long...since we had now turned inland, the temp was starting to rise...Debbie of course passed me ( shes a sandbagger 1st class) - Linda and pushed our way up to the top...many many people walking...not me...I made it all the way!!
    We stopped at the top for a quick break...then pressed on...it turns out there are a few more climbs like this...we only thought there was one...well I made it up all of them....
    The biggest problem is all the people who dont understand what " ON YOUR LEFT" means, or dont care...some I assume did not speak engish...we heard the spanish equivalent being called out as well...
    But these slow people ride all across the road...by the last hill, the were walking on both sides, and 4 a breast in the right lane...unreal..so the rest of us had to squeeze by on the left...and go around other slower riders...very scary and dangerous...
    By now it was getting onto the 90s...we saw many people dropping from heat exhaustion...and unfortunately a few down riders as well...probably from crashes I didnt see...
    and lots of flats...suprising cause the roads werent that bad....
    We did see one really hurt guy just on the way down from the top ....so bad they had landed a helicopter to pick him up...we had to stop or go real slow to get around it, no idea how that poor guy is, but it did not look good...everyone felt very bad after seeing that scene.....
    The down hill was awesome after all that climbing...but we didnt get too crazy after seeing that accident!
    I waited for the girls to catch up and helped some guy with a flat...he either didnt have a pump or it was broken..so I co2'd his tire for him...
    I always ask riders with flats as I pass if they need any help or anything...I needed someone to help me one time when my pump broke so I feel I need to pass that on as it were...
    Finally down to beach, bit of a headwind..nothing to bad...and onto the highway...the PCH type road they had totally closed for us...but the last 8 or so miles was on 1 lane of the 1D highway...the cars were on the other lane in a huge traffic jam...but people had their windows and van doors open and were cherring everyone on...pretty cool....we got a good pace going into Ensenada....and then we were at the man square and the big party....
    Our group came early and staked out a table and parking spots at a restaurant they know across the street...so we had a nice place to eat and sit after the ride and were able to put put backs on our racks and lock them up....let the margaritas flow....and they did...
    I was pretty pleased with my performance...3:40 min ride time...13.9avg.(See Tracy...I am slow)..I was hoping for more but I was very happy I made all the hills without stopping...but my foot was hurting pretty good by the top......
    (See Tracy...I am slow)
    Steve finished way ahead of everyone...may an hr...he is awesome...mark was only 30minutes ahead of me....which is a good time for me...the girls were right there with me....
    Then a while later...Chad then Henry came in on their mtbs....

    So when I walking into the restaurant...I see Mike...I asked what happened and yes he at the back of that crash, but was fine and finished no problem...so that was great news....I still felt bad I wasn't able to stop...

    Having ridden the LA Marathon I sort of knew what to expect...but I was surprised by the lack of experience of alot of the riders...and how mad most of their equipment was...
    you could hear they chains rattling...gears trying to shift..tires weren't pumped up..etc...
    There was a lot of mtb riders who flew by me....one even kept up with me on a 35mhp downhill...
    The LA ride is 24 miles almost no elevation gain...a couple of hundred feet if anything...
    While this is billed as a "fun" ride...it is 50 miles, we figured 2500 - 3000 feet of elevation and its all at one time on a couple of 7.5% grades...
    I am not anywhere near a great rider, but I can usually manage a metric...this was a medium to difficult ride...
    so I know alot the BF'ers here would just breeze right up these hills, some of us clydes have a harder time...but I can't beleive all the untrained riders who attempted this...
    The other thing I didnt know was...alot of riders carry candy to throw out to the kids along the road...this also creates danger as they press close to the road and sometimes run in to get some dropped candy...

    One thing I can say is if you unfortunately do get hurt...there was medical people and ambulances everywhere...not a good sign on one hand...but you would not have to wait long...
    Also I hate those 3 wheel things that you stand on and go from side to side to get momentum...I saw them almost take out a few riders....they should be banned from bike rides...
    Overall the ride itself was great...will I do it again? I really don't know at this point..It is just to scary and dangerous in this large and unexperienced crowd...

  2. #2
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Oh yes...One thing I left out
    At the first rest stop (16miles) there was a bar and I see many riders coming out with beers...I am sure there was alot of that at the start also....
    Iwould also see riders who parked their bikes at places along the way getting drinks...maybe beer, maybe more...again..scary...
    Overall I had a great time...but I wasn't really aware of alot of these things..I think my friends didnt tell me everything in order to not scare me off...

  3. #3
    okay, maybe... tprevost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbm
    Oh yes...One thing I left out
    At the first rest stop (16miles) there was a bar and I see many riders coming out with beers...I am sure there was alot of that at the start also....
    Iwould also see riders who parked their bikes at places along the way getting drinks...maybe beer, maybe more...again..scary...
    Overall I had a great time...but I wasn't really aware of alot of these things..I think my friends didnt tell me everything in order to not scare me off...

    WOW! Great report! ... and a ride well done I've heard about this ride for years but have not done it due to the issues you talk about in your report... to scary for me

    I'm glad you made it back w/out incident and I'm really looking forward to the pictures!!!

    Trac'

    ps. I'm still slower!

  4. #4
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tprevost
    WOW! Great report! ... and a ride well done I've heard about this ride for years but have not done it due to the issues you talk about in your report... to scary for me

    I'm glad you made it back w/out incident and I'm really looking forward to the pictures!!!

    Trac'

    ps. I'm still slower!

    Thanks..I am glad also...saw a guy with CA plates get pulled over for speeding in TJ..right before the border...very bad I hear...they make you pay immediately...
    Like I said..I did it once.that may be enough...there are enough challenging, less dangerous rides to do...
    not to mention the travel time and the fun time sitting at the border...we left at 6:45A< and it still took and hr...shoudl have left earlier...we were going stay and hand with our friends for breakfast, but when they said 4 hrs on a sunday..it was leave early!!
    We ARE going to find out whos slower!!!
    The 2 girls who I rode are now getting close to passing me...Debbie already can sail by me on the hills...I can keep up on the flats, and they are to nervous downhill and my weight helps...but thats what hurts me uphill....my power to weight ratio is bad!! And Linda is not far behind...but it is good for me..as it keep pushing me...usually cause I am pissed they passed me again!!

    How was your ride?

  5. #5
    okay, maybe... tprevost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbm
    Thanks..I am glad also...saw a guy with CA plates get pulled over for speeding in TJ..right before the border...very bad I hear...they make you pay immediately...
    Like I said..I did it once.that may be enough...there are enough challenging, less dangerous rides to do...
    not to mention the travel time and the fun time sitting at the border...we left at 6:45A< and it still took and hr...shoudl have left earlier...we were going stay and hand with our friends for breakfast, but when they said 4 hrs on a sunday..it was leave early!!
    We ARE going to find out whos slower!!!
    The 2 girls who I rode are now getting close to passing me...Debbie already can sail by me on the hills...I can keep up on the flats, and they are to nervous downhill and my weight helps...but thats what hurts me uphill....my power to weight ratio is bad!! And Linda is not far behind...but it is good for me..as it keep pushing me...usually cause I am pissed they passed me again!!

    How was your ride?

    my ride was great; AND, I think my riding buddy was actually a teensy bit tired when we were done... now mind you, he was riding a single speed w/NO clips AND, going 5-6mph in order to stay w/me (as opposed to just riding up and dropping me!) on the climbs! He's a very cool guy, that's for sure! I think I improved my average by .02 It was a nice ride though and it gets less intimidating each time I finish it!

    I think I'll fit right in to your riding group! I'm kinda mid-range on the descents; definately NOT fast, that's for sure!

    I am really looking forward to riding w/you!!!

    Trac'
    Last edited by tprevost; 10-01-06 at 04:54 PM.

  6. #6
    no more nellie
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    Wow. I second Trac. Great report - very descriptive, so much so I NEVER want to do that ride. Honestly, I'm so down with riding and then partying (which is probably why I'm not a size 2 ), but the lack of experience and shady equipment out on that road would have scared me to death. And I'm sorry, I'm a stickler - NO drinking on the bike You're just asking for it (save the love of liquor for after...). Glad you and your DW were fine and had a good experience if a bit of a chaotic one. Smart man not to share the potty stories (women don't like to share porta potty tales or "tails" as the case may be... )

  7. #7
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Wow. I second Trac. Great report - very descriptive, so much so I NEVER want to do that ride. Honestly, I'm so down with riding and then partying (which is probably why I'm not a size 2 ), but the lack of experience and shady equipment out on that road would have scared me to death. And I'm sorry, I'm a stickler - NO drinking on the bike You're just asking for it (save the love of liquor for after...). Glad you and your DW were fine and had a good experience if a bit of a chaotic one. Smart man not to share the potty stories (women don't like to share porta potty tales or "tails" as the case may be... )

    Thanks..I agree..I am party with the best..and that is part of my weight issue...but never right before or during...thats just plain nuts....and yes..I definitely had my share last night after the ride!

    Yeah..I am safer not telling...they are not members...I am trying...I am using the new gurlie jersey to entice them...

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    Thanks for the report Herb! I'm torn between...ooooooooooh...it's a good excuse for a girl's weekend away at Las Gaviotas and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek...sounds skeery!

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    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy
    Thanks for the report Herb! I'm torn between...ooooooooooh...it's a good excuse for a girl's weekend away at Las Gaviotas and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek...sounds skeery!
    Yeah...I wasn't sure which way to go....I didn't want to scare people or sound negative....but I had to tell it like it was...

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    Nice report herbm! Yeah you've got to tell it like it is. This is one big party ride. This is the type of ride where one would spend a day or two down in Mexico just to have some fun and the riding is secondary........just thrown in there as an added bonus....
    The shear number of inexperienced riders make this ride so dangerous. For most, this ride is like the very first group ride for them........yep, pretty scary. We stopped doing this ride years ago and have absolutely no desire to ever do it again....
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    Nice report herbm! Yeah you've got to tell it like it is. This is one big party ride. This is the type of ride where one would spend a day or two down in Mexico just to have some fun and the riding is secondary........just thrown in there as an added bonus....
    The shear number of inexperienced riders make this ride so dangerous. For most, this ride is like the very first group ride for them........yep, pretty scary. We stopped doing this ride years ago and have absolutely no desire to ever do it again....
    I think you hit it right on the head....the ride is secondary to most of the riders...
    While in our case it was the primary reason I went down there....

    I must also say this is the very first time dw has EVER came on a ride trip....true there were some things of interest...shopping, some close friends, margaritas, and did I mention shopping!
    Of course the downside was after Steve came in they were getting nervous cause we hadn't shown up yet....they dont understand how this works...some of use are not as fast...but we are trying...coming to a ride was a first step...

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    Okay...you're all convincing me that Tiff and I just need to plan a girl's weekend at Las Gaviotas sans bikes!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy
    Okay...you're all convincing me that Tiff and I just need to plan a girl's weekend at Las Gaviotas sans bikes!!!
    I think we rode thru there..but honestly..most of the time..I had no idea where i was....

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    Quote Originally Posted by herbm
    I think we rode thru there..but honestly..most of the time..I had no idea where i was....
    It's between Rosarito and Puerto Nuevo...little community of mostly American owned homes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy
    It's between Rosarito and Puerto Nuevo...little community of mostly American owned homes.

    Then I definitely rode by there...I did a lot of "communities" that were obviously not local...

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    I did the ride in03. Muy first "long" ride. I don't know why, but they didn't start until 10:00 AM. Way too late, in my opinion. Then there was the whole mass start cluster you-know-what. The SAG stops were woefuly inadequate (sp?). And to wop it off, you had to arange your own transportation back or use one of their shuttles for $20. I'm not a big fan of mass starts.
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    Yup, done it about 7 times and everytime the helicopter story is the same!

    Last few time we didi it, we started at the front. We sat in the sides then jumped in when they let the riders go. Just too dangerous anyother way. This way at mile 10, we were pretty much scattered from the crowd.We were lucky as our room was right at the starting line.

    Haven't done it in a few years. Only thing I miss is the lobster at Puerto Nuevo!Mmmmm!

    Nice report!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsits
    I did the ride in03. Muy first "long" ride. I don't know why, but they didn't start until 10:00 AM. Way too late, in my opinion. Then there was the whole mass start cluster you-know-what. The SAG stops were woefuly inadequate (sp?). And to wop it off, you had to arange your own transportation back or use one of their shuttles for $20. I'm not a big fan of mass starts.

    This also started at 10...that is usually a bit late for me..but I guess its to give the friday night partyers a few hrs sleep....
    yes the sag stops only had water...and they handed it to you in cups...I wouldnt drink it since..I really didnt know where it came from....but I am one of those roadies who wears a camelback...yes...ALL THE TIME!!! So with that and my 2 24oz drink mixes I was set....

    Our group had that planned so they dropped us off and met us in ensenada...but Linda and Debbie had to shuttle back...in fact when they saw how they piled the bikes to transport...they asked me to take their bikes home..They are new and they have gotten over that first scratch fear...so I threw theirs on the rack also..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
    Yup, done it about 7 times and everytime the helicopter story is the same!

    Last few time we didi it, we started at the front. We sat in the sides then jumped in when they let the riders go. Just too dangerous anyother way. This way at mile 10, we were pretty much scattered from the crowd.We were lucky as our room was right at the starting line.

    Haven't done it in a few years. Only thing I miss is the lobster at Puerto Nuevo!Mmmmm!

    Nice report!

    Thats a good way...
    Man a helicopter every time.....skeery....

    Yes the lobster was great...dw and I have one steamed and one with garlic...and we split them....yummy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy
    Okay...you're all convincing me that Tiff and I just need to plan a girl's weekend at Las Gaviotas sans bikes!!!
    Wow, been years since I stayed there. Had a friend who owned one of those units. We spent a nice weekend there with some (long defunct) girl friends. Went surfing right out front. Only down side was getting pulled over in town by a cop who claimed my windsurfing mast needed a red flag. Ha! I paid him off about $15.

    I've thought about doing this ride but always hear the crowd is just too insane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    Nice report herbm! Yeah you've got to tell it like it is. This is one big party ride. This is the type of ride where one would spend a day or two down in Mexico just to have some fun and the riding is secondary........just thrown in there as an added bonus....
    The shear number of inexperienced riders make this ride so dangerous. For most, this ride is like the very first group ride for them........yep, pretty scary. We stopped doing this ride years ago and have absolutely no desire to ever do it again....
    Did you do it fixed?

    The one and only time I've done this ride was a couple years ago, and I went down there with a few people from the MTBR boards. A couple of us rode iit fixed and had a great time. We took it at a pretty casual pace and just enjoyed the atmosphere, as opposed to trying to hammer it out.

    I don't think it's *just* the inexperienced riders causing a hazard so much is it the mix of impatient, experienced riders, and inexperienced riders. I lost count of the number of people on "serious" road bikes trying to paceline, or slice through the pack at 20+ within the first 5 or 6 miles. Most of the crashes I witnessed were between these guys, and some noob on a beach cruiser or something just dawdling down the road.

    I'm sorry, but when the average speed of the pack is around 12 mph. with riders of all abilities and levels of cluelessness spread across the road, I don't care how fast or great a rider you are, you need to slow the f*** down until the pack thins out. *Then* pick the pace up, and start hammering. Until then, if you're trying to roll along at 25 MPH you're just as much of a hazard as the clueless guy weaving all over in front of you on the beach cruiser. There are just too many capt. testosterone types out there that can't quite figure that bit out. (Note: Preceding rant not necessarily aimed at any current readers, just based on observations from when I did the ride.)

    I would hope that the new staggered start, with fast riders being staged first, would alleviate some of that, but it sounds like maybe it didn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog
    Wow, been years since I stayed there.
    Tiff and family invited us down last month...it was so nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorInSoCal
    Did you do it fixed?

    The one and only time I've done this ride was a couple years ago, and I went down there with a few people from the MTBR boards. A couple of us rode iit fixed and had a great time. We took it at a pretty casual pace and just enjoyed the atmosphere, as opposed to trying to hammer it out.

    I don't think it's *just* the inexperienced riders causing a hazard so much is it the mix of impatient, experienced riders, and inexperienced riders. I lost count of the number of people on "serious" road bikes trying to paceline, or slice through the pack at 20+ within the first 5 or 6 miles. Most of the crashes I witnessed were between these guys, and some noob on a beach cruiser or something just dawdling down the road.

    I'm sorry, but when the average speed of the pack is around 12 mph. with riders of all abilities and levels of cluelessness spread across the road, I don't care how fast or great a rider you are, you need to slow the f*** down until the pack thins out. *Then* pick the pace up, and start hammering. Until then, if you're trying to roll along at 25 MPH you're just as much of a hazard as the clueless guy weaving all over in front of you on the beach cruiser. There are just too many capt. testosterone types out there that can't quite figure that bit out. (Note: Preceding rant not necessarily aimed at any current readers, just based on observations from when I did the ride.)

    I would hope that the new staggered start, with fast riders being staged first, would alleviate some of that, but it sounds like maybe it didn't.
    No prob...I did my rant earlier and totally understand...I do agree about alot of roadies being as bad...
    The elite group start didnt help us in the back, all it did was put the real fasties out in front...but I agree. I just wait till I see daylight then just cruise thru...no way I would push too hard in those crowds..but it also never really seemed to letup...part of the problem with us starting so far back...I saw a few guys trying to hammer up the left side...saw one get pushed into the dirt shoulder luckily he stayed up...
    but there is some common sense missing here about slower riders on the right...

  24. #24
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    I did this in 04. We stayed in Ensenada and the hotel had a bus took us up to the start. We got there in time to make the middle of the pack, so it was pretty dicey in the start, especially when the first rollers start and the pack jammed up nicely.

    We finally got some space after a 5 or so miles. From there, we didn't hit the gas, but we didn't dawdle either, went all the way to the top of the big hill before stopping. I think that helped us clear the newbies because there weren't too many people walking when we were climbing.

    I definitely saw people at the bars/restaurant at the top of the big hill, I imagine it must've been scary later.

    I think we finished in just over 3 hours including the one five minute stop.

    I'd do this again if I had a bigger group, but I'd want to stay in Mexico for a few more days (1/2 to avoid the Sunday drive back, 1/2 to eat Lobster).

  25. #25
    OMG! i'm a DURT gurl!!!! caligurl's Avatar
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    phew.... this ride sounds exactly like i thought it was... which is why i have no desire to do it!

    great report!!!!
    OCP and PROUD!
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