Story and Photos by Brendan Lutes
Lets face it; no one started riding a dirt bike on a perfectly prepped motocross track. As virgins to motocross, we all loaded up and headed to the desert or local trails to learn a thing or two on a dirt bike. It's those infant years aboard a motocross bike that many riders regard so fondly. And for the past three years now, FMF, DC Shoes, Spy, Toyota, Troy Lee Designs, and The Desert Assassins have put together a ride of epic proportions south of the border in Baja, Mexico, harking back to those early years of riding when it was all about fun with your buddies.
Affectionately named the Baja Bonanza, this three-day trip brings racers, motocross industry peeps, and friends from all backgrounds together for the time of their lives. This year, the trip began at Horsepower Ranch just outside of Ensenada, climbed into the mountains to the infamous Mike's Sky Ranch, then headed out to the coast for a night at Coyote Cal's before wrapping up at Horsepower Ranch again on the final day. For this year's ride, numerous current and former racers showed up for some fun. Included in the 40-plus man riding train were Jeremy McGrath, Kurt Caselli, Michael LaPaglia, Kyle Redmond, Geoff Aaron, Colton Udall, Kendall Norman, Danny LaPorte, and Matt Eddy.
What you'll find in the pages of the following post is a breakdown of each day and a humongous photo gallery at the end. We're already looking forward to next year's ride...
After spending the first night at Horsepower Ranch, the crew geared up and hit the trails for the next destination--Mike's Sky Ranch. The day consisted mostly of desert roads and some of the Baja racecourse, but nonetheless, everyone still had a blast transferring up to the next stop. Once up at Mike's, those who didn't want to immediately hit the tequila and beer went for another ride on some virgin single track up a nearby river. MC himself even took his brand new CRF450R and climbed a nearly impossible hill full of rocks, cactus, and more rocks. You'll have to check out the photos, though, to get a full feel for what went on once everyone hit the bar after dinner.
Everyone was greeted with snow falling outside for the start of the second day of riding. The beginning of this day was a little cold, but it quickly warmed up as the crew headed down to the coast.
After a few stops to goof around and get some gas, everyone made their way down to the coast where McGrath, Kendall Norman, and Colton Udall found a very fun step-up jump. After hitting it a few times and cutting some fresh lines into the beach, the group rode some single track before hitting Coyote Cal's where they spent the night. Be sure to check out the photo gallery to see some shots of MC, Norman, Caselli, and Redmond freeriding.
The third and final day was very abbreviated and mainly used to get back to Horsepower Ranch where everyone was to load up and head back across the border. After goofing around on the beach again, a quick jaunt up the coast and a few miles of highway was all it took before the crew was back at the trucks.