2009 Desert Assassins Rip to the Tip

PAB

40's rock!
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1488.3 miles, seven days of riding, the Baja Peninsula, 20 riders, dehydration, epic trails, angry Gringos, beautiful locations, a couple cracked cases and one dead goat……the short blast that is the 2009 Rip to the Tip brought to you by Monster Energy Drink, Lucas Oil Products and Pro Moto Billet.


Since 2006 Cameron Steele and Larry Badgwell have been hosting a band of brothers the length of the Baja Peninsula each year on their dirt bikes. “It’s an adventure we do as an individual but have to count on the entire group as a whole to conquer Baja” said Steele about the trip that has become a happening each year in early May. The trip became a reality when Cameron wanted to share his love for Baja with his group of close riding buddies in 2006. Those riders have come to be known as the dirty dozen, the OG's of the Rip, and with one ill equipped chase truck they tackled the Baja. This year there were 20 banditos and 6 chase drivers in 3 pretty tricked out chase trucks and trailers as they looked to tame the Baja as best they could.

This is a ride that requires an invite; this is not a tour ride and should not be treated as one. The Desert Assassins Rip to the Tip has goals and they are to always try and ride the most fun and challenging trails we can find, “and we don’t change your oil or wipe your nose” said Larry, even though Lucas Oil as a trip supporter provided all the oil for the riders. The 2008 group had said the route was too easy as it was based on a "Beach Rip" and asked for something a little tougher for 2009 so Cameron along with Rip Brother Jeff Laubscher would spend the next year plotting trails and ideas to give the Rip Brothers what they wanted. Little did they know that 3 of the “OGs” (original gangsters, pioneers of the trip) would be down by the middle of Day Two.

P.A.B. as Cameron is known cruises Baja on average 3 full months a year and logs about 8,000 Baja moto miles per year. His full time job is as a driver in the SCORE desert racing series for Yokohama Tire, Lucas Oil, ATX and Monster Energy Drink in his #16 Desert Assassins Trophy Truck. He also continues his job as a television host on broadcasts around the world and has worked at such at events as Supercross, the Indy 500, Running of the Bulls and today he is in his 11th year announcing for the ESPN X Games.

Cameron wants to share his love of Baja to all and in 2009 he and Larry decided to make the trip a "full" Peninsula “pull” starting by riding their bikes across the border from Tecate USA to Tecate, Mexico. What is normally a wasted travel day became a 221 mile ride to San Felipe where day one would end. Factory Honda/JCR Racing icon and 11 time Baja 1000 winner Johnny Campbell would join the first day and bring along Colton Udall who is quickly becoming Johnny’s protégé. They would roost with an eclectic group for sure, 20 riders in all, which included; 3 rip rookies from Colorado, 6 returning “O.G.’s”, Bruce Hendel from VP Fuels and his party of four that included Baja first timers from Massachusetts and Indiana, and Factory JCR rider OX who is a new addition to the 2009 team among others.

Dirt sample taken near Jamul! “Rider Down” was the call over the radio as the flat light and the dust off other riders ahead would claim Rip co-founder Larry Badgwell and test both his Leatt Brace and his new Mulisha Helmet. Larry unloaded in 4th gear and did the “Nestea Plunge”, a reverse launch making contact with the ground head first on the backside of his helmet. For sure a scary moment as the Rip Brothers came to his aid. Chase three, Trey Piersall, was nearby with our film crew that is building both TV and web-episodes for the 2009 Rip and he was able to meet us and haul Larry to San Felipe for inspection. A “Full Pull” is the coveted accomplishment that each rider shoots for on the Rip to the Tip where they achieve every mile offered on the ride. For Larry to agree to get in the truck and lose his Full Pull was statement to how hard he wadded, no one is tougher than Larry.

San Felipe’s sun rise always rocks and the first 50 miles of Day Two down the beach were epic but a bit of a late start put the riders in a dangerous position as they were headed for the infamous Bill Nichol Rock Trail. Not to mention there was a six rider detour that led to a couple bikes being buried in the muck to the engine cases and beyond that cost the crew even more time. “The rock trail is the real deal” said PAB who had ran it a couple times already in 2009. “There is no shade and it will be 15-20 degrees warmer when we get on the rocks than it is here on the beach” he continued as the crew filled up on fuel and ate at the chase truck “you have to carry enough water to spend a couple days and you have to understand no chase truck can come get you or your bike, there is a way around with the chase truck for anyone not up for this battle, this is a double black diamond” said PAB as the brothers listened just south of the beach town of Puertocitos.

20 riders on the trip and 20 decided to take-on the rocks. First you must battle ten miles of soft, hot and rocky wash to get to the first hill climb into the rocks. By the time we climbed the first trail we could see a couple riders struggle but this was a tough trail. Conner Gilmer and Rusty Espinoza are in excellent physical shape but were starting to waver. It should be pointed out that they spent a couple hours pulling Rusty’s bike out of the muck in a lagoon after a wrong turn sent them off track at the beginning of Day Two. They were already taxed and these OG’s were showing signs of wearing down.

Larry cleans the start of the Rock Trail http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk122/doonin1/Rip2Tip2009/?action=view&current=CIMG7424.flv

The rock trail would see temperatures around 90 degrees this day and although it was not "that hot" the heat for sure played into the problems ahead. “This is a tough trail and those that didn’t mentally and physically prepare will have issues” said Jeff Laubscher who scouted all of the 2009 single track with Cameron over the past 6 months. The crew stopped and Cameron who had an umbrella Velcro’d to his light offered the shade to cinematographer Michael Graber who at 57 was the oldest of the Rip pack, although extremely fit he was melting but it was a fort made of motorcycles, jackets and tow ropes that provided shade for Rusty who needed a break. It was getting late and it was obvious that some riders had not brought enough water for this segment.

Moss and PAB do the rock dance http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk122/doonin1/Rip2Tip2009/?action=view&current=CIMG7423.flv

“I never thought this trail would zap some of the guys that it did and when I saw that Conner who is one of our toughest and most prepared brothers starting to really crumble I knew we had an issue” said Steele. Luckily Conner could man it to the last junction and the crew could start out for water and other supplies at the road where Chase One was waiting in Guayaquil. Rip OG’s Shawn Dolmage and Larry would spend two hours with Conner resting as the crew of Moss, OX and PAB would shuttle supplies back to Conner and get the chase truck coming in as far as it could. Conner was 32 miles from the pavement and the 4x4 F350 fitted with 35 inch Yokohama Tires could come in 29 of those miles before it was single track which the brothers would either have to carry Conner through or he would have to ride......

Check out this web-episode sponsored by Monster/Lucas Oil/Pro Moto Billet.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhKevBnWCqY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UamRbNs8v0E

There will be a couple more episodes and the story will continue soon but I have to work a little to get ready for tomorrow, thanks to all that enjoy the stories and helped to write all of this. Rip Brothers post your stories and pictures, others comment as you wish

More videos and photos soon at Monster Energy, Lucas Oil and Pro Moto Billet web sites. Thanks to those sponsors and the additional support from Alpinestars, Dunlop and VP Race Fuels
 

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EdgeHost

The Voice
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Cam, Wish I could have been there chasing you guys with Fast Eddie. It just looks like an unbelievable adventure.It was awsome just prerunning the 1000 with all you guys and I can't imaging the Awesome journey this must have been and from the looks of the video, It was nothing less.WOW!! Baja is a magical place and I hope I get to experience more of it with you guys sometime soon!!!! VIVA!!!
 

HDRA1

The Godfather
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looks like i missed out on a great time i hope i get to go sometime i wish that word that starts with a "w" and ends with a "k" didnt get in the way glad everyone got home safe where is the next chapter at


hurry up and type PAB:D
 

BANNEDFROMBAJA

2317 Cherimoya Drive Suite A Vista, CA 92084
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looks like you guys had a blast:D
cant wait for next year when my Dad and I are going to do it.

P.S i saw a rip to the tip 08 steeker this weekend at RSV
 

BANNED4LIFE

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i havent ridden moto's at speed in 25 years............but i want to give it a shot next year.......i think ill have my boys riding sweep in my prerunner just incase someone wrecks tryin' to hang with me............
 

sidekicker

RIP Lusk & Ox
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i love new stroy they have goood time out there in baja !!!!!! thanks for update great stroys
 

nimrod

KOOK!
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Duuuude that's SICK!

The only time I'm ever tempted to sell the Alumi-Craft and buy a bike is when everyone gets back from this trip and is talking story. I always wish I could be a part of the ride......Then I remember that I'm 45 years old and have ridden a dirt bike a total of one time in my whole life..........


I'm way too big of a sissy to try to learn to ride now.......Plus I really really like my collar bones just the way they are.

You guys are Awesome Pab! I have so much respect for all you crazy bike guys..........


Yes, even you Laubscher!!!!
 

BANNEDFROMBAJA

2317 Cherimoya Drive Suite A Vista, CA 92084
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Duuuude that's SICK!

The only time I'm ever tempted to sell the Alumi-Craft and buy a bike is when everyone gets back from this trip and is talking story. I always wish I could be a part of the ride......Then I remember that I'm 45 years old and have ridden a dirt bike a total of one time in my whole life..........


I'm way too big of a sissy to try to learn to ride now.......Plus I really really like my collar bones just the way they are.

You guys are Awesome Pab! I have so much respect for all you crazy bike guys..........


Yes, even you Laubscher!!!!
my pops and I are riding all the way for his 50th b-day next year and for an old fart he is pretty good so im sure Nimrod you could do it too :)
 

Dezertpilot

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PAB's esxcitement at the top of the hill is awesome:) #110 was doing what I probably would have been doing HAHAHAHA
 

OxTupid

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Looks like its time to chime in and gloat a bit. yes i just spent close to two whole weeks traversing down the beautifuly unforgiving baja penninsula with the always enjoyable Cabo serving as the light at the end of the tunnel (which happened to be too bright for some, i'll explain later)
The trip for me was so much more than a typical "fun ride". For me at least, dirtbikes are how i make a living and i feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do so but with anything and i mean anything you do to make your money, eventually at some point it turns into "WORK". This trip was so great for me, because out there in the middle of the desert there is no status, every rider is on a level playing field, every rider seemed to bring something to the table. I myself managed to put a rather sizable hole in my engine case, clutch cover and clutch basket. when crap hit the fan i had 3 or 4 of the rip brothers on it with me helping as best they could to get me up and running again. one thing i learned real quik out there is when traveling in a group as large as this years rip group no matter how badass you think you are, you will only be as fast as your slowest guy.
well i will stick with cam on this and limit my writing for now to the first 2 days of our rip trip. speaking of the second day, it started out real nice! jamming down the low tide beach for at least 70 miles was absolutly insane! a deffinate must do! something about riding your dirtbike inches from the gently surging dead calm sea of cortez, so close to the waters edge you can perfectly make out the shapes of rocks under the crystal clear water at the same time glancing over your shoulder and realize you have about 30 new pelican friends flying in a perfect line doing about 50 to 60 mph right there with you, only in baja! well that was the first part of the day, next up we're goin on a trail with some rocks... HA! it wasnt a trail with some rocks, it was a trail made of rocks on top of rocks, with a generous helping of rocks on top of those rocks, ya it was a little rocky! dont even get me started on the 10 mile sand was leading up to these "rocks" the damn wash was seriously made of quik sand!, never rode anything so soft before, the 100 plus degree temps werent helping the bikes much, let alone the ding dongd that decided 1 little bike size water bottle would be enough to make the run. well back to the rocks, so many crazy images burnt into my memory of riders down, riders having to stop from exhaustion and that funny look of absolute astonishment at the fact that what we were bouncing along was supposed to be a trail. looking back now i can say it was almost funny, but out there on the trail itself at the time seemed to be almost life and death. we had about three really bad cases of heat stroke/ dehydration which made us move at a snails pace and zapped our energy further along with what little water we had left. that show "survivor man" kept popping into my head and seemed to make a lot more sense now. somehow we manage to get everyone to the chase truck with the exception of larry's B****, he was still stuck in the desert at nightfall and beyond, having a real tough time, so larry and shawn hung behind with him as cam, moss and myself went to get water and food. everything worked out in the end, the rescue crew and the rescuee all made it to the hotel around 11pm or so absoluty exhausted. now this is when i realized i was surrounded by really great people. the second i got in, all the other 15 or so guys were prepping their bikes for the next day, which after the night i had in the desert with our down brother i was really not looking forward too at all. i got off my bike, and before i had a chance to put the kickstand down it was taken from me, i thought well i guess it was in the way, so i got some food that had been waiting for us which was great, cracked a beer and turned around, my bike had just been washed! there were 15 rip to the tip brothers rallying together to clean, service, filters and do everything needed to the guys bikes that had to stay out helping conner be pulled out from the desert that night. it was so insane that without a word being said, no asking any favors it was just done. great guys, great trip, i am proud to be apart of this brotherhood! more to come, stay tuned!
 

INI

Dan McMillin's fan club
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great story...gj and safe travels in mexico is a plus
 

yellowtop

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Great job DA, I'm so bummed I missed this trip, I love the single track. F-ing work!
 

Josh @ DanZio

Chains
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Damn!!!! I'm gonna have to get out this next year and ride my butt off. I'm so horribly out of practice that when I rode with you, Ox, and lobster at San felipe, I realized how bad I really suck on a bike. But I digress, that was the most awesome didn't I had ever done!! I want more!! After readig the first part of your strory, I am now in suspense waiting for the rest of it!! Hurry up and get typing!!! I'm getting all on edge. We gonna be in Baja in 2 weeks and reading your story is getting me pumped!!!!!
 

JCampbell

"1" time champ
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bummed i missed this ride maybe next year glad everyone made it safe
 

Tipracer

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Fantastic time had by all I am sure, great job telling the story cam....I wish I could ride a bike half as well as some of you guys...but alas I am a truck owner, buggy lover...hurry up with the rest of the story...
 
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