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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep you got it, BC going on one of his rambles.
Trail Etiquette
My first group ride I did in Baja was back in 2002 and the guy who ran it was my best buddy Joe Lane’s son Joey. Joey is an experienced rider with five Baja Score Championships and ten years of motorcycle tours with Baja Bound (an Off Road tour company) So you can say he knows what he’s talking about.
Well I just thought you just get on your rig and just ride.......wrong......we spent two hours with Joey instructing the group about Trail Etiquette.
Rule one: don’t ride in the guy in front of you dusts...... lay back
Why???? It’s dangerous because you can’t see and if the guy you are following too close crashes, you’re on him.....ouch!!!!! and it ruins your trail experience and quality of your ride
Rule two: if you encounter another group of off roaders approaching from the opposite direction ......Slow Down
Why???? Common Sense
Rule three: know how many are in your group and where you are in relation to the leader (example: I’m the sixth guy behind the leader in a group of eight)
Why??? As the group coming the other direction approaches our leader flashes the leader of the other group five fingers and then two fingers. This tells the other group leader there a seven more rigs coming at his group. The other group leader does the same to our leader. As each rig passes the other groups rig each driver/rider flashes the number of rigs behind him. So if I was the sixth in my group I would flash two fingers this letting everyone in the other group there are two more behind me coming. The eighth guy would flash a closed fist signifying he is the last in our group. You’re thinking what a pain in the butt.......but Remembering Rule one there are times when you may be a mile or two behind the next guy in your group and by using this signaling method it lets the other group know there are more coming.
Rule four: as the leader approaches a change in direction in the trail like a Y he’ll stop and face the next guy coming and raise his arm to signify to the oncoming guy there’s a change in direction and that guy who’s following the leader raises his arm to let the leader know he saw him and waits for the next guy with a raised arm.The leader can now take off while each person in the group waits to signal the next guy and performs this procedure except the last guy in the group.
Why???? Remember trying to find the guy who went left instead of right at the Y....yep the lost guy!
Comment: we do have radios in our rigs but Mark’s died, so back to old school Rule four and no one got lost.

Trail Etiquette or common sense, you decide

Why did I bring this up?
Well yesterday coming back from San Quentin as we came out of the valley east of Punta Cabras pushing around 50 I saw dust ahead indicating someone is coming from the other direction. It was a bunch of Adventure Bikes What did I do?
Rule two: slowed down to twenty
Rule three: as I approached the leader I flashed two fingers signifying two more coming in our group.
Here is what the Adventure Bike did
Raised his helmet and screamed at us “slow down mother F word” while he was in the middle of the trail and flipped me off......thus to me he was indicating there was one guy in his group.
Well that wasn’t true because there were six Adventure Bikers following the leader with about a 10 foot gap between them (breaking Rule one) and appeared totally chocked out with dust from the guy in front of him’s dust. I still flashed them two fingers and moved on. Mark was behind me by a minute flashed them one finger and Bill about a minute behind Mark flashed a closed fist. Trail Etiquette!!!!

So in conclusion I realized that this new high dollar Adventure Bike craze down here in Baja has introduced a new Off Road species “Goonberries”
It’s ok to be an Adventure Bike guy but don’t be a “Goonberry” and use some trail Etiquette

Cheers Baja Charlie

PS the goonberries were heading into one of the most rockiest rutted trails in Baja.....imagine picking up your 600lbs $75 grand Adventure Bike off the rocks twenty times in two miles.....guess they should of read a Lizard Lady report or a Baja trail guide book...........”Goonberries”
 

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Charlie I appreciate you posting this! Our groups try to do the same. Just good common sense! But as you found out there is always that one ungracious Idiot. They are every where it seems these days.
 

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We use the same rules in the winter up here riding snowmobiles. Funny, many we meet just wave, and have no clue what we are telling them, until a dozen sleds go past them.


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Good info to pass along BC. Our club has done this for years so it's "old hat" to us but I recently led a ride for injured veterans who had little-to-no experience in side by sides. A quick briefing before leaving the parking area and several "anybody have any questions/concerns/complaints" at the first few stops along the way and all went well.
 

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Common sense ain't so common any more.

It seems that a majority of the riders in CO don't know the "rules of the road" or don't care to use them.

These are probably the same stupid people that throw their trash (mainly beer cans) on the trails
 

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Rule three: know how many are in your group and where you are in relation to the leader (example: I’m the sixth guy behind the leader in a group of eight)
Why??? As the group coming the other direction approaches our leader flashes the leader of the other group five fingers and then two fingers. This tells the other group leader there a seven more rigs coming at his group. The other group leader does the same to our leader. As each rig passes the other groups rig each driver/rider flashes the number of rigs behind him. So if I was the sixth in my group I would flash two fingers this letting everyone in the other group there are two more behind me coming. The eighth guy would flash a closed fist signifying he is the last in our group. You’re thinking what a pain in the butt.......but Remembering Rule one there are times when you may be a mile or two behind the next guy in your group and by using this signaling method it lets the other group know there are more coming.

Here at HM the general rule is 5 means at least 5. So if you have 7 behind you then you show 5, next shows 5 and so on until the 5th guy who shows 4. Too hard to try to flash 2 signs. So 5 means 5 or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now I know a bunch of you guys are saying “how’s BC know what a Goonberry is?”
Well the old saying “it takes one to know one”. Yep! I’m a former Goonberry.
But..........,,,,,,, it was a long time ago when I had hair and it was black.
I recall my first dirt bike trip to Ocotillo Wells. My buddies had all been there before so when we got there they unloaded their bikes and shouted “off to Blow Sand” and a way we go. I’m riding last on my POS 125 Penton when go over a hill and my Penton sticks in first gear.
Did my buddies stop. Nope!
Did I know where camp was. Nope!
Did I wander around the desert on foot looking for camp. Yep!
Did my buddies come back to where my bike was. Yep!
Did I stay with my bike. Nope!
Was it getting dark. Yep!
Did I find the camp. Yep! Five hours later
Did we find my bike. Yep! But the whole group got lost and two guys ran out of gas trying to get back to camp which we did around 2:30 in the morning
Did we have discussions at breakfast. Yep!
Did I get invited to the next desert trip. Heck yes! We didn’t know we were Goonberries, we were just “buddies”

Well that was many many years ago when I had hair and it was black..............and I vaguely remember that they had common sense back then too, but unfortunately it seemed I missed out.

So I say one of my favorite movie lines about acquiring some common sense “So you’re saying there’s a chance” ( Dumb & Dumber)

Cheers
BC
 

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Rule #3 is an old snowmobile thing....... So I get the fist and then a quarter mile down the trail there is another group...but but I just saw the fist and the one handed rider swerving onto my side of the trail :frown2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well amigos it’s time for the Baja 500 next week and I will be reporting in. It simply amazes me how big the UTV classes are now.
Here’s the counts so far
  1. UTV turbo class - 30
  2. UTV non-aspirated (non turbo) - 11
  3. UTV stock- 4
  4. UTV open (no engine size limit) - 7
Total count as of today- 52.....Wow!!!!
So many on the forum are thinking “what’s the big deal BC, none of them are Generals”
The big deal is the manufacturers all invest many hours and $$$’s to test and develop better machines for us to enjoy. “But BC none of them race Polaris Generals”
Amigos I’m sitting here in my garage next to my General and I’m looking at all the developments that Polaris and all the aftermarket accessories have provided for us to enjoy.
Are they perfect? Nope
Can you make them perfect? Nope
Can you modify them to be bad a_ s? Yes

So amigos I’ll be posting next week’s race results. I don’t work for Rob Mac’s pit crew on the 500 but I’ll be there for the Baja 1000 in November keeping pit times.

Cheers Baja Charlie

PS some of the UTV crews are using Generals for pre-running, so let’s go Polaris!!!!!!
PSS a little picture of my baby
image.jpg
 

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i would sweep the trailer and hand out bottles of water JUST to be in the pits and around that. sounds like a chance of lifetime. looking forward to a report.
 

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Well Charlie, let me add two more things that I have done.

You don't follow the rules of the road. Last time I'll ride with you or you'll ride with me. Got left at a Y twice last year, same group, I'm running towards the back of the pack and looking after those behind me.

Don't come prepared with anything? I've actually written and ended two friendships because I'm not there to be your babysitter. To provide you with drinks, parts, tools, expertise and do all the planning for every ride.

To old for that. Just don't need it in my life!!

Since we ride alone most of the time. We carry, along with the tablet, two Garmin Rino GPS units. (GPS, radio, location sender, geotag camera), cell phones, a Find Me Spot device and Rugged Radios two way radio.
Be a boy scout...be prepared!!
Pirate
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great post Pirate!!
It does get old having to babysit grown people on a ride. Example: we went for a little ride to Len Chenowth’s museum (20 miles???) on a variety of terrain (sand, hard pack trails and fast smooth dirt). I’m driving sweep (last) and the guy leading belt breaks on his XP900. No problem, he’s a good mechanic (ha ha) so I pull up to him and here he goes:
  • Hey Charlie do you have the socket, the extension and ratchet to get the belt cover off?.......ah yes I do
  • Hey Charlie do you have the tool to open the clutch so I can get the old belt off ...... ah yes I do
  • Hey Charlie do you have an spare belt? ......ah yes I do
  • Hey Charlie can you change my belt (because he never has changed one) ........ah yes I do
So guess who changed the belt?

We got to the museum and the dude is walking around bragging how he performed this fantastic field repair on his rig ( drinking about five beers)........
We got home and I started thinking maybe I should change my name...,,,,,,,,

Signed Ah-yes-I-do (formally known as Baja Charlie)

PS the dude’s rig is broke again......Stu-pid!!!!
 
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