Woke up late today figuring I needed a good night’s sleep after the long day yesterday. As I left the motel, fueled up and headed north Bob’s performance seemed to be worse than before. Now instead of not being able to go 70 I couldn’t really go much more than 60. I wasn’t too surprised. After the dust storm yesterday I was certain my air filter needed replacing. Had I been smarter or in less of a hurry I would have at least stopped and banged it out a bit. But of course I wanted to make the border and hopefully San Diego BMW in time to get my stuff and new fuel filters and an air filter for Bob. I kept thinking I’d stop for breakfast but as usual that didn’t happen. Bob kept getting worse and worse the more miles I put on him but now time was getting short, the dealer closes at 6pm on Saturdays and isn’t open on Sundays so rushing was what I was doing. I stopped in Ensenada and ate at, of all places, McDonalds. It’s honestly the first time I have eaten there in years. This is what sleeping in gets you, though honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I remembered or as quick. Apparently in Mexico the food at McD’s isn’t made in advance. Hmm. The funny part is that they have some sort of ice cream item there called the McKranky. Apparently that’s for all the folks that are on the other end of the spectrum from the Happy Meal. I had a feeling that the border would make me Kranky enough and passed on desert.
Somehow without trying I managed to get onto the toll roads north from Ensenada. Perfect! Not only do you miss the chaos of city traffic but the road is beautiful, winding up the coast with beautiful views. On the downhill stretches I could really enjoy it but uphill I kept fighting Bob to get him to go even 40mph. For a while I was honestly starting to wonder if I’d make it out of Mexico. At one point I was in first gear doing about 10 just limping to the top of a hill. Thankfully as the border got closer the steep uphills went away and I could get Bob to travel at about 55mph as long as it was flat. Fast enough.
Nearing the border for a while I stayed stuck in traffic until one of the vendors selling things in the road in Tijuana told me to white line it. He helped clear a space and I started cutting through traffic. Normally this sort of thing bothers me. I usually wait my turn with everyone else but with Bob really not running and knowing I’d be either stuck in San Diego or making Joe from the dealership have to meet me later I went ahead and took cuts as directed. A bit short of the border I still wasn’t sure I’d make it and decided to call Joe and give him my credit card info so I could get the air filter and fuel filters even if they were closed. I really hoped I didn’t have to meet him later as he’d been too kind already and it was Halloween and all.
Cutting through I had to duck back into traffic here and there as the BMW is just too wide to white line properly. And here begins the only actual traffic incident in Mexico. I was hit! Intentionally! By this crazy US crack junky woman without any teeth because she was pissed that I was cutting up the middle. CRAZY! Even if you don’t like it you don’t usually go around hitting people intentionally. Somehow even with her hitting me pannier and pushing me I managed not to fall over. The funny part is that after that I cut around the vehicle in front of her to get away from the crazy I saw some border guards who TOLD me to cut to the front of the line. It’s just how it’s done. In the scheme of things it makes some sense I guess but it just made me laugh that her craziness meant I went even farther to the front of the line with full permission. All the while she was honking and screaming. Probably a good way to make sure you really get checked thoroughly at the border though I didn’t stick around to watch.
Not really a scratch on Bob from the incident but a bit of wear on the side of my left pannier from the crazy lady. Can I just say that I’d love to see this kind of person not let back into the US, but then again Mexico doesn’t deserve any more of our problems then it already has so…
Got through the border without too much problem and headed to the dealer. Yet again my GPS provided invaluable as I didn’t have to remember how to get there, and with less than 30 minutes and a bike that was barely running I couldn’t afford to waste any time at all. Poking along the freeway barely doing 60 is a bit unnerving. In Mexico it’s not a big deal as there are cars of all qualities there. Plenty that are brand new but still many that barely run. There riding a motorcycle that won’t do 40 up a hill is just normal. In San Diego not going over the speed limit is just dangerous.
Limped in to the dealer with a about 10-15 minutes to spare and began working on the bike. Air filter was dirty (no surprise) but there was nothing weird with the carb bowls that I could see. Still not sure about the fuel filters. I have the kind you can clean but wanting to push north through LA I didn’t have time for that and just opted to buy the plastic ones for now. Got my junk from Joe, put the new stuff on the bike and packed up. At first Bob was running worse than before. Had I messed something up when I took the carb bowls off? After filling up though he was running like a top and thankfully still is. For some reason the left carb is leaking fuel and I plan on looking at that tomorrow morning, but class=”mceItemHidden”> honestly in the land of plentiful gas, a phone that works, etc, I’m not terribly concerned about it. I can get home, and at more than 40mph so I’m pretty stinking happy.
Made it to Santa Clarita tonight. I am terribly excited to be able to brush my teeth with tap water. I don’t know why that’s a big deal but I’m honestly excited about it. Probably just too tired or something. Tomorrow I’ll push north, maybe to Redding or someplace in Southern Oregon. It’s funny to look at the mileage from here to Portland. Not even 1000 miles which means not even 500 miles a day if I split it equally. After 500 miles in Baja that sounds like a cake walk. Sure, there’s mountain passes but really, nothing super twisty, no military checkpoints, no borders to cross and a bike that runs! Let’s hope I’m not jinxing myself!
Will try to post more pictures soon and maybe write something more coherent. My feeling tonight? Just happy to be stopped for the day and have a bike that responds when you twist the throttle. Oh, and that brushing teeth thing. Definitely that brushing teeth thing.