First Racers And Ranchers Baja Event Is A Smashing Success! - Dirt Rider Magazine

Racers and Ranchers, a charitable organization aimed at preserving Baja's off road legacy forgenerations to come, hosted its first organized two day motorcycle ride and trash cleanup inNorthern Baja California, Mexico on January 12 and 13. It was an epic adventure and a resoundingsuccess, with over 50 participants experiencing awesome riding conditions, fantastic weather,great camaraderie and new friendships, and being in Baja contributing to a great cause.Coupled with the fun ride, our goal was to conduct a trash pick-up at Hwy 3, Km 77 - a popular race and pitarea for Baja off road racers.48 riders plus 5 chase/pit crews with 4 support trucks congregated at Rancho Santa Veronica nearTecate Saturday morning. Four groups were formed, ranging from super-fast "conejos" tointermediate riders to those just wanting to ride and have fun. Each group leader, a savvy Bajaveteran, conducted rider meetings and took their groups southeast through the mine country andhigh into the Sierra Juarez towards Laguna Hanson. The heavy rains from the previous weekendhad left the ground still moist and the dark brown roost was evident. It was sunny and clear andstarted to warm up nicely. We couldn't have asked for better riding conditions. It was comfortingto know that our ride had 1 paramedic, 4 EMT's, and 2 nurses. Oldest rider was 61, youngest was15 and four first-time Baja riders. 4 gals. One U.S. Marine recently returned from Iraq.Some of the notable SCORE/CODE racers participating were Rudy Iribe, Tim and Jennifer Morton,Ron Wilson, Joe "Hauler" Desrosiers, Cameron Corfman, Westley Garrett, Scott Bloom, LanceKane, Ivan Estrada, Jimmy Lopez and many others wishing to "give back" what many have longtaken for granted.It was an epic morning as each group headed to the lunch stop near El Rayo, where Racers andRanchers was putting on a traditional BBQ with marinated carne asada tacos and all the fixings.Many riders had not experienced some of the single track in the Sierra Juarez and were in for atreat. There was still quite a bit of standing water in the Parque Nacional at Laguna Hanson. Thefirst group arrived at El Rayo shortly after Noon and you wouldn't know it was the middle ofJanuary at 5000 ft. - almost balmy temperatures. After lunch and gassing the bikes, each groupdetermined their route to Todd Clement's Horsepower Ranch, our evening destination.Riders arrived at Horsepower Ranch at various times just before sunset. Appetizers and variousbeverages were broken out while all participants gleefully discussed the day's riding. The MadDog Cantina inside Horsepower Ranch was boisterous to say the least. We were served a tastysteak buffet for dinner, after which the participants were treated to a free raffle from the off-roadindustry: off road gear, clothing, tires, gift certificates, etc.Many thanks to the following for donating for the raffle: Tim Morton (Baja Bound MotorcycleAdventures), Joe Desrosiers (Joe Hauler Moto Carriers), Chip Corfman (Threat Racing), One ShotMetal Products, Dave Manriquez (Winners Edge), Patrick Chicas (Baja.Net), Seve Bourgeois (DPRacing), Cory Hove (Alba Action Sport), Steve Grieb (C&D; Cycles), North County Yamaha-KTM,Del Amo Motorsports, Holder Off Road, Herbal Wonder, Kevin and Karen Gogstetter (KennedyMotorcycles), Carlos Orozco (Baja Pits), Craig Wear (Michaels Cycle Works) and Jim O'Neal(O'Neal Racing).HWY 3, KM 77 BEFORE CLEAN UPSunday morning saw a hearty breakfast as each group then made it's way to Hwy 3, Km 77. This isa popular spot where many off-road races come through (Score, Record) and is a popular pit area.Our groups arrived, and each rider armed with a huge trash bag conducted a mass trash pick-up.According to Racers and Ranchers co-founder Lance Kane, "We really cleaned it up better thanit's been in a long time. There must have been 15 forty-five gallon trash bags by the time wefinished.""It's important that we give something back to the Baja that we all love", said co-founder "BajaRudy" Iribe, "We all want to preserve this place for our future, our kids future and theirs as well.""By removing the trash we made a huge improvement in the area! We also identified somefencing that requires repair, likely due to one of the recent off road events.""Wow, what an epic weekend in Baja", said Mason Gillespie of San Diego, "We got to ride some ofthe best terrain and ride with some great riders. I can't even begin to describe how tasty andgood the food was that was prepared for us in plentiful portions."Through acts of kindness and good deeds aimed at the local communities in Baja where offroadershave had and impact, Racers and Ranchers hopes to ease tensions between the localcommunities and the off-roaders who pass through these towns and areas.MEXICAN AND U.S. OFF ROADERS WORKING HAND IN HAND TO CLEAN UP TRASH AT HWY 3 KM 77BAJA'S LONG OFF-ROAD HERITAGE IS PASSED ON TO GENERATIONS; A YOUNG MS. HAULER EVEN HADHER GLOVES ON.After the trash pick up everyone was treated to a pollo asado lunch, after which the groups madetheir way back to Rancho Santa Veronica. The last group arrived just after sunset. Smiles, highfives,photo ops, and contact exchanges ensued. It was a fantastic Baja weekend.VOLUNTEERS ARE SERVED A TRADITIONAL POLLO ASADO LUNCH UNDER THE AMERICAN ANDMEXICAN FLAGWhat is Racers and Ranchers? Racers and Ranchers is an organization dedicated to preservingthe off-road heritage in Baja California, Mexico. Our mission is to establish and preserverelationships between Baja's land owners and those who enjoy the sport of off-roading. Racersand Ranchers will identify areas of concern and conduct volunteer work parties focused on thenecessary efforts needed in different areas. Founded by off road racers and Baja aficionadosRudy Iribe and Lance Kane, more information on what we do, including membership and futureevents, can be found at AND RANCHERS TEAM GROUP PHOTO