Words by Andrew Taylor | Photos by Paris Gore
It’s been nearly two years since I stumbled upon this old decommissioned school bus that I knew would eventually take me on some dream road trips. When purchasing the bus I had some big goals in mind, with the first being a road trip north from California to Alaska, and the second being an adventure south, down the entire Baja Peninsula in Mexico. It’s a great feeling sitting here writing this knowing that after some hard work and motivation, both of those dreams turned into a reality.
Although Alaska was one of the best road trips of my life I knew I was missing one thing that could make the next adventure even better. Every solid road trip needs a good wingman. I reached out to my old pal Martin Soderstrom to see if it was something he would be interested in.
Martin and I met near the beginning of our riding careers over ten years ago at a jump contest in England and have crossed paths many times over the years. Whether it was an epic road trip or at a contest, Martin has always been someone that I looked up to as a rider so it was an easy decision inviting him along for this adventure. After a quick chat to lock down some dates we both could swing, he was on board for the Baja journey and I was more than stoked to have him along.
Now that I had a solid road trip buddy on board and the destination picked out, it was time to dig into the research part and find out what kind of riding the Baja actually had to offer. Over the years I had seen some videos and photos from other riders traveling down in the area but I wasn’t really sure what the desert terrain held. Luckily we are living in a day and age where we can use one of many social apps, and the biking world gets that much smaller. We’re able to connect with riders and trails from all parts of the world in minutes. After some research and a handful of messages I had a solid route planned with some locals that seemed more than stoked to show us around along the way. It was time to pull off yet another epic road trip in the bus.
For those of you reading this that don’t know much about the Baja, it’s a peninsula that starts just below San Diego, California in the border town of Tijuana, Mexico. A narrow two-lane highway stretches nearly one thousand miles south, ending in Cabo San Lucas where the Pacific ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.
The region is made up of sparsely populated desert towns with a handful of large cities along the way. With it being mostly desolate terrain, I found that there are few and far actual riding locations but what I did find looked very promising. I find it’s always great to have a somewhat loose plan on trips like this but leaving some of it unknown also makes it very intriguing!
We picked up Martin at the San Diego airport after his long flight from Sweden. We loaded things up and made our way south towards the border at Tijuana. I’ve traveled down to Mexico by plane many times but this would be my first time crossing the border in a vehicle so I really had no idea what to expect. With Martin and I, a crazy looking school bus, an RV and a film crew of three we really didn’t know how the crossing would go. Luckily after a quick X-Ray of both vehicles and some fresh stamps on our passports it was smooth sailing to our first destination just south of Ensenada.