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On the road . November 2008 . USA and Mexico

map route southern California USA and Baja Mexico

Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico, 07-12-08
License to Chill
Jim's place at Laguna Beach not only has a business license attached to the deed, but it's one of those spots that's licensed to chill: no papers required. Listening to Jimmy Buffet, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, The Eagles or even The Stones sends me way back into my teenage years. At times it's almost eerie, but also nice in a warm, fuzzy kind of way. Many, many ghosts come to visit.

There's plenty of great weather and ample time for tan maintenance, but Ali and I are way too busy updating the website and finding out more ways of letting light into Jim's bedroom, which he has generously given up for us while we are there. Only a few bike rides eventuate but that is fine by us, mainly because when we are on the road, that's all we really do. A household gym in the lounge room and Madonna blaring through our newly acquired ipod Shuffle (a gift that Jim had lying around and couldn't get to work) keeps my muscles from completely collapsing into a total jelly state.

One morning I say "Now Jim, let's go surfing" and he gets all spurred up over taking his board...

read on

dog dazerTip of the month: Daze those damned dogs!!
For reasons unbeknown to me, dogs from all walks of life seem to have an objection to pedalling legs and will dash from far, far away to try and rid the roadside of their pet-hate. Hence, nearly every touring bike forum has a thread dedicated solely to advice of how to get out of this, sometimes very scary, situation.

Now, there are many ways of handling those dastardly canines when they come hurtling towards you, savagely bearing their dagger-like namesakes and looking as if they'll have you and your bike for dinner. The obvious one is to stop cycling, place your bike between you and the offender and try and walk away. If they continue to annoy you, then pick up a stone. Most will immediately cower from this gesture and give you enough time to get out of there fast, but if they still persist, throw it at them. You can also flag down a car and have them shepard you out of the situation.

In our experience, the above methods haven't always worked, especially when a pack of dogs has been involved, and that is why we purchased a dazer. It fits in the handlebar bag and can be used a lot quicker than bending down to find a suitable stone, or hope that a vehicle timely passes by. So far, it has worked on every occasion, except on a mother with newly born puppies (says something for motherly protection) and a couple of deaf dogs, which makes sense seeing as the dazer releases a sound signal that our canine friends don't find particularly appealing. It doesn't hurt the beast and is a much less aggressive way of ridding yourself of an annoying animal.


Laguna Beach (CA, USA) - Guerreo Negro (Baja California, Mexico)
Kilometres: 824 kilometers and 730 meters
Riding days: 9 days only
Alti meters: 6721 meters up: who said Baja was flat?
Weather: mostly sunny (a few rainy spells in Mexico)
Best accommodation: Laguna Beach hide-out, all the mod-cons at our disposal for three full weeks! AND the company of Jim... ;-)

Special thanks to:
NA Gear for a free Primus Omnifuel stove, a Primus fuel bottle, a windscreen and a kettle! Thanks Deanna! • Jim Abraham for everything, including the 3 massive bags of lemon drops! We think of him everytime we have a lemon-drop stop • Jeff for the delicious dried soup mixes sent from Portland • Brian for the totally amazing book: Middlesex by Jeffrey Euginides • Kelly and Tim for putting us up in total luxory for a few nights, the sightseeing around Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the lift to the Mexican border.

20: new tyre Ali
20: new wheel Son
21: flat Ali
28: flat Son
29: 3x flat Son (10 holes: double gee (goat head) prickles!!!!!)
30: 2x flat Son

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