Matt: It’s hard to believe that nearly two years ago, Jenny and I pinky-swore to take a year off from work and enjoy life together! Fast forward to the end of March 2017, and we were both leaving our full-time jobs to embark on our year of adventure.
Since we have two dogs, or fur-children if you will, we decided that taking off trotting around the globe for the entire year wasn’t exactly what we wanted to do, but instead go on a series of shorter (three-six week) adventures covering a wide spectrum of places and activities. We did decide that at least one of the adventures should be properly “epic” in nature, and being that our lives are bike-centric, we elected to do a lengthy point-to-point ride.
Prep-trip on the Salsa Fargo…
As we began going through the known routes that exist traversing the United States from both east-west and north-south, we didn’t hit one that really screamed at us. We knew that we wanted to be mostly off-road, have camping aplenty, and challenge ourselves with the terrain. For most people, the Tour Divide route would be the obvious choice, and someday I do hope to do this route. However, as appealing as the Tour Divide is, we wanted something newer with a personal connection to us, and hence the Baja Divide entered the picture. I had heard about it when Lael and Nick were creating it, and a friend of mine I used to work with always talked about how cool Baja was. The more I followed their progress online, the more I became entranced with the idea of both the route and its location.
I’ve been out west to the Rockies many times, and I love it, but I wanted something totally new to experience. With the Baja route for bikepacking being only a few years old, I still consider it relatively new and a bit more wild due to its location. That’s why it appealed to me, but for Jenny, the connection is much deeper than that.
Route overview, courtesy of bajadivide.com…
Jenny: I was born in Mexico City to a Brazilian mom and a crazy gringo dad from Ohio. Like many great things in the world, my siblings and I were also “Made in Mexico,” and since I lived there until I was 14, I really embraced being a “Chilanga” Mexican. I love that I get to claim that as one of my homes.
Though by blood I might not technically be “Mexican,” I swear I’ve eaten enough spicy Mexican snacks to have them be literally coursing through my veins. As a kid I had wild aspirations of one day growing up to be either a Mariachi singer or a tamale delivery person, riding my bike through the streets of Mexico, delivering tasty tamales to anyone who’d like them. Luckily for me, Matt is all for riding in Mexico, and though I may not be delivering tamales, I’m so excited to go explore that part of my ”homeland” with the love of my life.
Jenny practicing for tamale delivery…
I’m really excited to go check out the Baja Divide because it’s a part of Mexico that I’ve heard is so beautiful and not as commercialized, spectacularly remote and rugged, and somewhat untouched. Having the advantage of being fluent in Spanish, I’m so grateful I can bring that skill to our team. Sharing the beauty of the people of Mexico with Matt is something I’m really looking forward to. Usually, he’s the one leading our rides, planning the route, and getting the bikes and camping equipment all ready.
I know we work well as a team, though I mostly only provide entertainment, but this time around knowing the warm embrace of the Mexican culture and having the language skills, I’m excited I’ll be able to contribute on that front to our “Aventura por Bici” as well.
Bikepacking is in our blood…
Being part of a unique ride that I’m sure will not be easy, but definitely challenging and fulfilling, with all the delicious snacks along the way, I’m looking forward to all the lessons I’ll be filling my body and soul with. Propelling myself with my own two legs, and traversing two lands I consider home is going to be such an amazing experience. I have so much love and gratitude for the people and land that welcomed me as a fuzzy brownish baby, and fed me the best food, and taught me the tastiest and most satisfying swear words.
I love that we’ll be bikepacking and we’ll be carrying everything we need with us. It really opens up the world to any possibility of adventure because we have no excuse to not go check out what’s at the end of that bumpy road, or stop at that beach, or climb that rocky hill, what’s the worst that could happen? I can hop off my bike and plop down for a siesta if I need to with a bag of Ruffles Queso, some tacos, a Tecate, and Matt by my side. All on Mexican soil, what a treat!
Being able to go now as an adult who’s found her love for traveling by bike, in the home I grew up in with the love of my life by my side, is the best of all my worlds colliding into one. It can’t really be put into words, and I can’t truly grasp how incredibly fortunate I am to get to experience this, but I’m so ready to soak it all in.
Super excited for all the delicious food!
On our adventure through Baja, the ever-changing expectations, adapting to weather, moods, and mechanicals, while keeping a good spirit through it all with a sense for adventure and an open mind and heart is what I’m really looking forward to. Being able to explore my old homeland will bring back memories, and undoubtedly bring me great new ones with Matt. Being able to yolo with my love is the most exciting thing ever, I’m the luckiest Mexican-Brazilian-American weirdo in the world!
We’re used to all weather conditions. Being adaptable is key!
We have our departure set for November 14th.
First, we’ll head to San Diego where we’ll stay with friends a few days as we make our final prep for the trip. We’ll follow the route as it stands from San Diego to LaPaz hoping to cover 50-70 kilometers per day depending on terrain and weather. Our goal is to not race through the ride, but rather build in some time to take in the adventure and have a few days set aside for bad weather or issues.
The Baja Divide route is designed with a loop at the tip of the peninsula that starts and ends in La Paz. Since flights and logistics are easier for us from Cabo Del San Jose, we will plan to divert from the route there and pedal further down to Cabo San Lucas to make our official finish point Land’s End at El Arco (The Arch). We will have until December 28th to complete our journey at which time we will fly home.
Follow us along on our journey through Instagram (Jenny: @buttcrackjenny and Matt: @attackeracker) where we’ll try to post photo updates along the way, and also post content on the Salsa Culture Blog as we are able.
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