My mind is still racing… it hasn’t been that long since the adventure of a lifetime ended – the Baja 1000. It’s like a dream with Colin Edwards crossing the finish line after days of the team’s pre-runs, no sleep, and no-holds-bar racing through the desert – the “nothing could prepare you for this experience” race.
Baja is an undulating terra firma that seemed to be straight out of the old cinema flick, “Land of the Lost.” It’s exactly as I was told: The Baja 1000 is a man’s race. It’s not meant for child’s play or for those who wear skirts. To give you an idea of how truly hard-core this race really is the sanctioning body, SCORE International, was quoted as saying that this year’s 1000 was the “toughest in the history of the event.” Almost 900 miles of continuous racing. What the hell were we thinking? Some called us crazy and it seems we are.
It wasn’t that long ago when I heard the words, “So how about it boys?” Those words that still echo in my ears from months past, sitting around the camp fire at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp. “How many beers have we had? Do we even have bikes yet?”
“We’re doing it Fooch,” they said. The guys, Colin and especially Mike Myers, had been dreaming about racing Baja forever. The thought of being able to compete at such an historical event was enticing, I must admit. So many legendary names in motocross and desert racing have graced this competition throughout the years. It didn’t take me long to reply, “Oh, what the hell… I’m in.”
So it began, Team Texas Tornado Boot Camp on a quest to conquer Baja – oh crap, did I mention that not one of us had ever raced off-road before?
Sure, each of us – Edwards, Myers, Joe Prussiano, Steven Bodak, Merle Scherb, and myself have all raced as professionals in one discipline or the other. Even though the majority of us six Boot Camp instructors are road racers, every one of us had our start in the dirt. I told myself, “Yeah, we can handle it.”
Fast forward – forget about the countless hours, days, weeks, and time invested into sponsorship inquiries, bike building, and preparation. ”We have three months until we’re racing Baja. We’ve got this,” said Myers.
As we were crossing the border into Mexico, we were committed. Welcome to the danger zone. We’d arrived, prepared as we’d ever be. Prior to the start of the 46th annual Baja 1000, the team had a week to pre-run and get familiar with the course terrain. Our friends, Race for the Wounded, invited us to join them and stay at their beach house just south of San Felipe prior to the race.
If you want to read more of the Baja Banditos feature, click here