Embarking on an Epic Motorcycle Journey: Doin' it Baja (Part 1/8)

Uploaded by vice on 23.10.2012



It's been a couple of torturous days of riding the
dirtiest, sandiest, windiest conditions.
It's nice to be somewhere moist and warm.

How is it?

-This is paradise.
You can't open your beer.
-Home spa.

-Save it.
Save it.

ARTO SAARI: I think Patrick sent me either a text message,
or he might have called me, actually.
And said, you want to go to Baja with a bunch of people,
and go ride motorcycles and skateboard?
And I was like, fuck, that sounds amazing and dangerous.
Yeah, let's go.

I went on a trip with Heath before, an Alien trip.
I've seen Patrick around, but I'd never traveled with him.
Right as Patrick called me, I was reading a newspaper.
I think it was like three newspapers that I saw in the
next three days that all had front page news about drug
cartels in Mexico.
And of course I read them all and I was just so freaked out.
I was like, oh, this is what it's going to be like.
It's going to be all about just craziness.

I felt like whoever's going to come on the trip, they're
going to be fucking badass.
And they're going to fucking stick through it.
And that's it, whoever shows up.
HEATH KIRCHART: This is my main mode of transportation.
I ride a motorcycle like it's A to B at this point.
I don't really care where I go.
I care who I go with, and as long as I'll be comfortable.
Arto had been like on a four day trip.
He was on a tour with Alien and tripped
with us for four days.
And we rode in separate cars.
Like, I didn't really know Arto before this.
They're people I respect.
So they're people I like to know.
And it's good for these trips for that to force me into
that, basically, to get to know them.
I'm old and these trips are gone.
So I take them when I can get them.
PATRICK O'DELL: I think I just thought the more the better.
And anyone that's down, I feel like anyone that you tell, OK,
we're going to ride-- how many miles is it?
2,000 miles or something through the desert.
Anyone that's down to do that should get to come.
Because they're down to do that.

My real name's actually James David Herbert the Fourth.
But everybody calls me Hime.
Patrick sent me a text message that said we're going to Baja
for a few days.
He said two guys from Vancouver were coming.
Harvey and Ky showed up.
I introduced myself, saw Harvey didn't
have a front tooth.
And I knew from that point on this was going
to be pretty epic.
Most people I know without front teeth are pretty epic.
HARVEY FOSTER: And the truth of the trip, too.
Ky told me about the Mexico trip, and I was like, there's
like gang wars and killings and swine flu.
Why would you want to put yourself through that.
He was like, Harvey, man, that's just the TV.
I'm going to do it.
I was like, all right.
I'm with you on these trips.
HARVEY FOSTER: All it takes is someone to plan something out.
I usually jump on board.
ARTO SAARI: As soon as I got on the bike, I was antsy.
I was shit scared until we got 20 minutes
away from the border.
HARVEY FOSTER: I loved it.
When we were riding into Tijuana, I think I was the
only one that noticed that big ass Mexican flag.
And I was like, we're doing this right now.
We're entering their fucking territory.
And then everyone's like, we're going to blast through.
Don't worry everyone.
But the whole time, I was like, I want to just chill.
There's all these Mexicans standing here.
I've never been to Mexico.
I've seen Mexicans in California, but then I just
think they're like now Americans, right?
So I was like, whoa.
They're just sitting on a fence.
Why are they just sitting on-- what?
Are they going to try to make a run for the border?
And everyone was blasting ahead.
And I was like, well, there's someone behind me kind of
going a bit slower.
So can I slow down a little bit, too?
I liked that first day, though.
I had a lot of fun.

ARTO SAARI: Just driving next to the wall coming out of TJ
through the border and cutting across to the beach, with a
lot of wind and a lot of sand in your face between trucks
and cars and this and that.
It's just like [GASPING]
oh fuck.
And I didn't know anything about Baja.
After we got through the first toll booth, it was just like,
oh, it's going to be good.


BILL BRYANT: I think my first time in Baja was 1984.
Came down to help pit crew for a local racer.
And that sort of cracked the seal on the whole Baja thing.
I've been coming down ever since.
This was a different group than what I'm used to riding
with, because no one had ridden
together, as far as I know.
Well, Canadians had ridden with Heath, and what have you.
But there wasn't a whole lot of experience riding together.
One of the first things that I asked, is it a bunch of
spoiled brat kids?
Because you're pretty much on your own and just have to be
And there's not a whole lot of external help.
You can't really trust the police.
You don't know whether to trust the army.
And that's part of what makes me consider it
sort of Wild West-like.

It depends.
In Ensanada, you got to wear your helmet, or they're going
to pull you over.
I've gone everywhere else on the peninsula without it, and
had no problem.
How are you going to prove that there's a helmet law or
there's not a helmet law?
I don't know, you know what I mean?


BILL BRYANT: We've done a bunch of racing down here.
So we've been on a lot of the stuff that you can't pass in a
regular car.
Or some stuff you can, but you would just never go in a
regular car to try and discover it, because you don't
know what you're getting into.

The road to Cuatros I think was a surprise to the guys.
There wasn't a whole lot of information given to everybody
before on what exactly to expect.
We had that little informal breakfast, and
I said a few things.
And maybe somebody listened.
I don't know.
HEATH KIRCHART: I had no idea what he said.
BILL BRYANT: And I don't even know if I
mentioned the dirt road.
Damn it.
We just turn off, and I'm thinking it's like right
there, right off the highway, the hotel was going
to be, or the spot.
But it was miles.
Like you get over a hill thinking, OK, it's going to be
right there.
And then I remember seeing the ocean, and
nothing in any direction.
And I remember seeing way off in the distance some smoke,
and thinking there's no way that's where we're going.
And it was.

HARVEY FOSTER: That was fun, though, man.
And it was kind of like, yeah, totally destination unknown.

-Fucking great ride, guys.
-Nailed it.