It started as a visa run and became so much more. El Diablo Run or #edr6 saw the merging of not only bike cultures but nationalities with people coming from Europe, South America, Central America and all over North America.
The ride from Scottsdale to Mexicali was a scorcher. i departed at 6am, fully laden with camping gear a supplies and headed south to run along the Mexican/US border.
I had been in touch with Bill from Biltwell and he had told me they were meeting at a place called Foster’s freeze. I set it in my maps and headed on over. I arrived and quickly realised apple maps had taken me to the wrong place, about 20 minutes from the actual Foster’s freeze. I hooned it on over towards the border thinking I had missed the party only to see a panhead sitting by the side of the road, owner in situe looking unamused. I pulled over and hung out while the dude ran into a store to look for parts before carrying on. I was sure I had missed everyone by now but as I came over the brow of a hill I saw a large golden cock (the chicken kind, not a phallus) surrounded by bikes and beards. This had to be them.
I got chatting to a couple of guys whom I would later befriend and ride with for the majority of our trip when I finally ran into Bill. He let me know they would be leaving in 30 so I grabbed some snacks and mounted up ready to cross the border, a convoy of maybe 20 stoked to ride into the unknown with some fellow soldiers.
The ride down to San Felipe was unbelievable. Every landscape imaginable from scenes similar to mad max fury road to salt flats, mirages blurring the horizon into a seamless canvas of white sand and salt into a cloud free azure sky.
I rode with a couple of Triumphs and started shooting some ride-by’s when my GoPro mount broke off sending my camera tumbling down the freeway at 70mph. The housing broke open and the camera took some damage but fortunately the lens was intact, pretty amazing really, the dudes didn’t stop for me so I was on my own picking up the pieces 100 meters back down the road.
I finally caught up with another group and followed them (hoping they were part of edr) to the campsite. Thankfully it was the same crew and I pulled up next to a speedster and got chatting with a dude named José. We were the first to set up camp on the beach in San Felipe. We started chatting about what brought us on this trip and quickly found out we had a lot in common. As soon as the tents were set up we grabbed beers and tacos on the beach and we pretty much stuck together from there on in.
That night we linked up with another group of people and headed out to check in with the Mexican nightlife. I woke up at about 5am in a million degree heat and ran for the ocean. It felt so good to be back water. At this point it’s the longest Ive been out of the surf since I was 12 years old. Although there were no waves, my connection to the Sea was reinstated and I felt instantly centred. The day consisted of cruising around shooting some pictures and video stuff and eating incredible tacos. Later on we watched the circle of death nearly take a life and the cockagon take some dignity.
Circle of death
The following day we were planning of leaving early to head to Ensenada. We packed up and rode out by 7am but quickly ran into a problem. As we were cruising out of San Felipe a chicken truck passed through an intersection in front of us. We pulled away from the stop sign and something whipped me in the face. I saw an electrical cable on the street which was attached to the chicken truck, the driver had forgotten to detach it and it was now winding up in my front wheel. I was on my brakes as quickly as I could but just before I stopped the wire finally locked up around my spokes and laid me down. It was slow enough that I had no injuries but it had snapped my right pedal off meaning I couldn’t use my rear brake properly and for a long ride through the twisties with my right leg sprawled back on the passenger peg I wasn’t down. Fuck you chicken man, you’re not ruining my ride. A cop saw the whole thing and the guy (stupidly) came back to get his cable, but apparently saying “I don’t have any money or insurance” is a free pass to not paying for anything. After 30 minutes of explaining the intricacies of the law that it is illegal for us to not have Mexican insurance but that its fine for Mexicans I realised I wasn’t getting anywhere and with the legend that is José we rolled out to find a welder for a temp fix. I guessed there wouldn’t be Triumph dealership locally.
Weld job to get me back on US soil
Hung out with these guys after the chicken man incident
We headed back to camp after finding a couple of welders that couldn’t fix the peg and ran into the guy I had stopped for back at the border. It was so rad he was now helping me, the world really blows my mind sometimes. He linked me up with a local who drove me around town for an hour until we found a welder. All this time José was chilling and waiting with my bike-absolute legend! I got the part patched up, it didn’t fit but with a little botching and super glue to hold a clamp shut we were back on the road. José had moved my bike up to a palapa ands talking with a couple of guys. I said hi as I was doing the repair and we ended up gassing up with these guys. Our wolfpack was formed. Aaron, Leo, José, Justin, Blair and myself.
The camp and José
The route to Ensenada was unbelievable. One of my favourite riding days ever. We caught up with a large convoy somewhere in the desert, probably around 200 bikes. Such a rad group to be a part of, bikes as far as the eye can see and nothing but desert to frame it. We fuelled up on tacos and caffeine and cruised onwards, into the mountains where the 40c temperature dropped to the 20’s instantly. A few brake downs and a couple of games of catch up and were back together for the ride into Ensenada.
It felt like weeks since we had been in city. Lane splitting and formation riding kept the traffic in check and before we knew it we were at the giant pink hotel, the car park filled with hundreds of bikes.
Getting into a room with a shower and a bed after sleeping on sand for a couple of days was like heaven. A penthouse view of the pool and harbour out to sea was a nice touch too. That night was mellow, hanging out in a coffee shop sitting on pillows on the floor and a view of a couple of random kids making out under a blanket to keep us laughing.
The next morning we got up early and cruised around shooting and searching for waves (which we didn’t find). We got some decent shots in and had a laugh cruising around with a few off the line races, ending with a pretty epic beach rip song the sand being chased by stray dogs.
We loaded up early morning and headed north towards the border. About two hours in we realised we were missing Aaron and Jonathan (another guy we started crying with the day before). We turned back and rode past what seemed like a hundred bikes heading for the border, after about twenty minutes we stopped and decided that we must have passed them somewhere. A load of failed phone calls and a couple of hours waiting and we continued back towards the border, without either of them. I had an eight hour ride back to Scottsdale where I had left my things, so Blair and I stormed towards the border. After some passport stamping I was back on US soil. I left blair and headed East through some of the most incredible riding roads of the trip, didn’t see another person for ages.
Jonathan’s bike didn’t make it out of Mexico under its own steam
I started flagging an hour later, the EDR and no sleep had taken its toll on my concentration but luckily I was woken up by a cop I went by at nearly 90mph in a 65mph but of motorway. Without complaining about the ridiculously low speed limits in the states I was in the wrong and $200 later I was sure I was. The ride home along boring freeway merged into a blur of hour after hour of mundanity and with nearly 40 degree celsius heat I was happy to be home to say the least.