All photos by Corbin Brady and Cjell Monē. Read Cjell’s profile here.
Favorite ride or section? [Near San Evaristo] The descent down into the gulf for the last time before you make your way to La Paz. So fast and chunky! And the views were endless.
Hardest ride on the Baja Divide? [Nearing Santa Rosalillita] What section was the 20 miles of washboards? Got the only saddle sore of the trip on that stretch. Come on Nick! That was a soul crusher.
Please describe your wheel and tire system (tire size and model, tubeless features, etc.). Did it work well for you? Velocity Dually with two wraps of Gorilla Tape for a tighter fit when setting up tubeless. Bontrager Chupacabra 29×3 with lots of Orange Seal, I think I had 6oz in each wheel. Other than a minor sidewall scrub (was able to get it sealed up after letting the puddle of sealant sit on the spot while we ate lunch) I never really had a problem. We both ran higher pressure in our tires for the whole ride. I can’t imagine how much it would suck to have to pull all the cactus thorns out and put a tube in. I brought a 2oz shot of Stan’s as a back up and would definitely double that in the future. Other then FASS Bike I can’t think of another shop until La Paz that would have sealant if you got in a tight spot. There was a group that we passed around section 3 that had a major sidewall gash and got it patched at a tire shop in a small town so that’s always a option. I think the only thing I would change is run a set of Maxxis Chronicles, it’s a heavier tire but way more durable then the Chups.
Note: Maxxis has recently released a number of other suitable tire models in 29×3.0″ including the Minion DHF Plus and Minion DHR II Plus, and front and rear specific pairing. The Surly Dirt Wizard is also a burly tire worth a mention. All are more aggressive than the Chupacabra and Chronicle, but the casings are ready for Baja Divide.
What did you use for navigation? Garmin eTrex 35t. Great little unit that is super easy to navigate around to check out waypoints coming up and it’s got blue tooth so uploading your ride to strava is easy as Bimbo® brand sticky buns. Let’s be serious, it’s all about those KOMs.
Shelter? None, was never allowed in Cjell’s tent (I think he has personal space issues).
Anything else you would like to share? Learn as much Spanish as you can before you head out. I know very little Spanish so I relied on Cjell to do the talking (boy can that guy can talk), so I mostly watched the conversation go back and forth the whole time with a blank stare on my face. Not the most effective way to connect with the locals. I really think it would be hard to get the whole experience of Baja let alone ask where the best place to eat is without knowing the language. If I were solo on this trip it would of been very hard for that reason.
What would you do differently next time? E-bike
What surprised you most? How diverse the riding was. Some of those roads were like really really wide technical single track. Amazing job to anybody that helped link this route up. It has a little of everything.