McCreary Racing International         

2005 Baja 1000

Against All Odds

Learning to Race From the San Felipe Base
(Pre-Running Part 1)

First, we spent some time in the San Felipe area. We took several family trips there in the spring and the summer and found ways to explore various trails and old courses with the kids in Tim's buggy and me on my quad. Since we were with the kids, these had to be "light" trips (which is actually hard core for the average recreational off roader) and in shorter spurts, which is why it took more than one trip. We discovered the beaches, Diablo dry lake bed, Laguna Salada, the famous 20-30 mile whoop section (depending on where you start and end), the garbage dumps, Zoo road, and old course roads by the Puertecitos area (where fortunately some friend's have vacation homes). Our kids fell in love with Pete's Camp because we could camp there for free and they could drive their toys around independently, even right up to the restaurant. We all fell in love with old man Jose and his even older father who live in a shack at Diablo Lake and sell beers, sodas, and candy bars only to the offroaders who know they are there. I did my first night rides alone on the previously marked courses there and Tim and the kids had their experience with a near head-on collision on the highway while chasing me. We worked out the kinks on our communication techniques through the race radios (this takes more practice than you'd expect) and Tim learned to chase and pit for me while I rode alone (it is hard for him to not be there to protect me at all times). Through our many trips, the San Felipe area became very comfortable for me and gave me experience with many types of terrain; whoops, flat fast roads, windy desert trails, sandy dry river beds, gravel and rocky terrain and beach. Using San Felipe as our base, we had great family rides out into the desert relaxing evenings on the beach that allowed us to unwind from the work week. My riding skills in Mexico refined as I learned to always expect the unexpected.