baja 1000 map logistics help/info whats where, access

dirtykid

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Some important notes on this comment
- Lead Nav has Bing Satellite, and USGS Satellite maps available, not Google Earth.
- These maps are only available if you are have cell and data service available*

*You can upgrade your maps package for another 20 bucks to be able to download these for offline use. But be aware that if you would like to download the max zoom, you will be downloading hundreds of squares and it will take hours upon hours. If you would like to better capabilities for downloading maps, you are looking another purchase from Lead Nav.

Lead Nav has great features built in for racers and teams, but if all you are doing is downloading a route and trying to overlay it on to a map, don't get hung up on what the cool guys are using and do some research.

Travisfab,

I have been researching a lot into what kind of GPS to use for our chase trucks. Do recommend another economical way to have some sort of navigation for chase trucks with the course overlay. I'll admit I am new to Baja, and don't really know what to expect as far as cell coverage or if a GPS is even needed for chase vehicles. Any advice is appreciated.


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JDDurfey

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How did we ever survive in Baja without cell/sat phones, GPS, Google Earth/Lead Nav or even radios in our chase trucks for all those years?

After every big crash people suggest we get rid of GPS in the race cars. Maybe we should take away electronic devices from the chase crews and see how many of them can make it without getting lost or leaving a race car stranded.

A paper map purchased in Ensenada, some pit notes from Honda, and the race course map is all we used "back in the day" and I didn't start racing in Baja till 2000. When I got my hands on a BFG book I thought I had it made!

You've got to be smart in Baja, putting all your navigation and planning around electronic devices functioning, including radios, is foolish in my opinion. Always have a contingency plan, a meeting point for a "worst case scenario".

Quick story. Pre-running on bikes once we split up and our meet up point was Catavina, with the idea that who ever got there first would leave some sort of sign for the others to show their location. Well due to crazy issues, which included myself and another riding double on my XR 600 for 140 miles we rolled into Catavina after 1 AM. We had only passed through before so went to the main hotel and they had no one there by our guy's name. We asked if there was any other place to stay and the desk guy said no. As we walked outside to discuss our dilemma the security guard pointed out a "hole in the wall" hotel down the road. So we drove down there and found a door with a big "6X" written on it with electrical tape. After some pounding on the door we roused the team mate and three more of us piled in.

I know every team racing in Baja for any length at all has stories way better than this one, and I could sit for hours telling more that happened to me in the few years I was racing down there. My point is, you gotta make a fail safe plan, and stick to it no matter what. And make sure everyone understands the plan. If anyone waivers from the plan then the other party is "lost" too. You have to be smart. Or like Corky McMillin said "In Baja, if you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough"
 

dirtykid

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How did we ever survive in Baja without cell/sat phones, GPS, Google Earth/Lead Nav or even radios in our chase trucks for all those years?

After every big crash people suggest we get rid of GPS in the race cars. Maybe we should take away electronic devices from the chase crews and see how many of them can make it without getting lost or leaving a race car stranded.

A paper map purchased in Ensenada, some pit notes from Honda, and the race course map is all we used "back in the day" and I didn't start racing in Baja till 2000. When I got my hands on a BFG book I thought I had it made!

You've got to be smart in Baja, putting all your navigation and planning around electronic devices functioning, including radios, is foolish in my opinion. Always have a contingency plan, a meeting point for a "worst case scenario".

Quick story. Pre-running on bikes once we split up and our meet up point was Catavina, with the idea that who ever got there first would leave some sort of sign for the others to show their location. Well due to crazy issues, which included myself and another riding double on my XR 600 for 140 miles we rolled into Catavina after 1 AM. We had only passed through before so went to the main hotel and they had no one there by our guy's name. We asked if there was any other place to stay and the desk guy said no. As we walked outside to discuss our dilemma the security guard pointed out a "hole in the wall" hotel down the road. So we drove down there and found a door with a big "6X" written on it with electrical tape. After some pounding on the door we roused the team mate and three more of us piled in.

I know every team racing in Baja for any length at all has stories way better than this one, and I could sit for hours telling more that happened to me in the few years I was racing down there. My point is, you gotta make a fail safe plan, and stick to it no matter what. And make sure everyone understands the plan. If anyone waivers from the plan then the other party is "lost" too. You have to be smart. Or like Corky McMillin said "In Baja, if you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough"

I appreciate your insight. With 2K views on this thread and only 20 replies I feel like I'm not the only one.

It seems everyone has turned to these electronic devices with the hopes of it making their race easier or go smoothly when in turn it could end up doing the opposite. I held out for a long time even getting a cell phone, let alone a smart phone. Now it seems I can't live without it. I hate it.

I would like to know that I don't really need all this stuff if everyone else was on the same playing field. Not that we are in it to win, but definitely would like to finish.

Again, If anyone else has some experience and would like to share it for some first timers.


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JDDurfey

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You don't "need" any electronic devices, if you know how to read a map. The bookstores in Ensenada sell pretty detailed maps of Baja. Between that and the course map, you should be able to get most places you need to get. The other thing to do is ask lots of questions when you are down there. Don't be afraid to ask another race team for help. 99% of all the racers will gladly help others. I have been on both sides of that fence.

As far as communication goes, we went several years without having a SAT phone, while it seemed everyone else had one. I would not go without one now. Rent a couple for emergency. AT&T works pretty good I understand. Radios in the chase vehicles are a great idea, but there are many places where you won't be able to communicate with the race car or other chase trucks.

A good portion of pre-running is figuring out chase logistics for the race. It isn't just about the drivers learning the course, but the chase truck drivers learning where to go and find access points and pit locations as well.

Your chase truck drivers have an important job, I dare say as important as the people in the race car. Their number one job is to get safely from point A to B. I stress the word "SAFELY" So many times rookie chase truck drivers think they are in the race as well and haul ass and cause wrecks or wreck themselves. There is NO ROOM FOR ERROR on the highway in Baja! I have done foolish things and thankfully I didn't get killed, and I am not proud of any of them. If you so much as drop a wheel off the pavement, you could DIE. I may sound crazy and ridiculous, but wait till you see the roads. At night the roads can be littered with cows and horses, hitting one of those can and will most likely ruin your day. It would pretty much suck having to drop out of a race because your chase truck driver screwed up and now can't get to the race car to fuel or repair it.

I was a chase truck driver, mechanic, and helped with logistics for several years before starting to race. I took my job very seriously. I don't think I am anything or anyone special, there are a thousand guys doing the same thing, but the guys behind the scenes in supporting roles don't get the recognition they deserve most of the time.
 
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51rcr

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Thanks for the tip on book store maps In Ensanada. Sorry to whoever told me about the AAA maps I dont remember who it was or if a few of you told me. But checking with my AAA it don't sound available anymore.. Ill have to check some more.
I'm going to hit the book stores here also now.
Feel bad for the younger generations. I have come across lots that have no clue about maps. Just nice to know some at least know what one is. Then Ya ask what's the key say. Or what's the scale or distance and they say what's that?
 

Josh 8

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Well said JD.

I have one nob that is going to san Felipe to pit me. I have him hooking up with an experienced chaser their. And I have taken him SF back in march so he should have an idea of where he is. But your point is 100% correct about getting a tire off the road and jerking back on and then crossing over the line to become a hood ornament for a KW.

That stuff is the scariest part of the entire proposition.
 

JDDurfey

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I had raced in Baja for a few years before I started racing with a team of first time Baja guys in 05. Only one of them had ever even been to Baja. If you recall the course included San Felipe that year and I knew we were going to have to do a rider change south of San Felipe. I knew where the access road was, but I didn't know how to tell them to get to it.

So I left Phoenix and drove south of San Felipe and marked the road with caution tape and even marked out a pit area next to the race course for them. Then I drove to Ensenada to meet up with a group of guys I had only conversed with through email. I worked my butt off that week helping these guys pre-run and get organized and figure out who would go where and when. My best friend came from Phoenix also to ride with us. In the end we finished 4th in the Sportsman class before daylight on a rough course.

Planning and preparation are the key to success, that and having a brain.
 

punchdrunk monkey

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Pick up a Baja Almanic too. One of the best maps available. They are getting hard to find but they pop up on ebay every once in a while. They can be expensive because they have been out of print for years. Once the course is released on google earth, study the GE with your map at your side. So that you can see/find the course on your map. Then you can see/find access road, towns, points of reference. Print these out and have hard copies with your chase crew. They WILL use them. There WILL be a plan B. After 10+ years chasing (with a very well organized team) no pit has ever gone "as planned".
 

Josh 8

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IMG_1708.JPG
IMG_1707.JPG


I have had mine sitting in the "library" for years being read on a studied for ten minutes at a time.

Ewww. Sounds, gross come to think of it. Ahh, I won't tell chase one about that. Just hand him a taco.
 

Speedy Gonzales

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Pick up a Baja Almanic too. One of the best maps available. They are getting hard to find but they pop up on ebay every once in a while. They can be expensive because they have been out of print for years. Once the course is released on google earth, study the GE with your map at your side. So that you can see/find the course on your map. Then you can see/find access road, towns, points of reference. Print these out and have hard copies with your chase crew. They WILL use them. There WILL be a plan B. After 10+ years chasing (with a very well organized team) no pit has ever gone "as planned".
Holy poop!! I looked at a couple of sites to update my Baja Almanac (2009) the lowest price I found was a used 2009 edition for $165. Found others for $700. Top dollar was one for over $2,000!!! I guess I better start taking better care of my Baja Bible
 

Baja Bryan

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Google maps is free and you can download background maps also for free. If your planing to race a lot get a ipad and get Leadnav pro. pack for $200 bucks. Leadnav is kinda tough for newbies could be a good idea to take a leadnav course or practice it a lot at home before you come.
 

PaulW

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Of Interest
The creator of the Baja Almanac passed away some years ago. This means that that source is gone. Meanwhile there is talk of some independent persons recreating that bible. Turns out the real source of the Almanac is INEGI, the Mexican equivalent of our US map service, USGS. INEGI provides online maps for free downloads and they still have the version that was used for the Almanac and it is downloadable. The real problem is formatting that map data into a publishable book. Of course the INEGI maps were greatly enhanced from the authors data base which nobody has access to so far. A new Almanac wont happen any time soon.

My Baja map source is Murdock Navigation who sells a map for Garmin and Lowrance GPS's. For Lowrance the maps work for GEN 2 and older GPS units. GEN 3 have to find a different source. Try PCI Race Radios for your Gen 3. I am sure Murdock will be updating his offering as soon as SCORE releases the real GPS.

I am also using InReach by Garmin, but so far I find the map data lacking and do not recommend it for Baja for navigation. Yup, I will still keep using my InReach because of the great Sat Communication. Read the InReach thread from last week for details.
 

y2kbaja

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I hope someone posts a video of San Ignacio to Loreto. I can’t get enough days off to pre-run my section.


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After a lot of pavement lots of rocks and lots of silt. Not so bad once you get closer to San Juanico
 

Travisfab

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Travisfab,

I have been researching a lot into what kind of GPS to use for our chase trucks. Do recommend another economical way to have some sort of navigation for chase trucks with the course overlay. I'll admit I am new to Baja, and don't really know what to expect as far as cell coverage or if a GPS is even needed for chase vehicles. Any advice is appreciated.


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The one I have been using lately is called Gaia. It's very popular with Overland/Adventure guys

Baja-Almanac.com
2017 updated
$ 24.95

SOLD OUT!!!!
 

51rcr

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All I have seen is the screen shot of the mileage of the pits. Ill put it up when I get it off my phone in a few min.
 
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