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Pussification Of Baja

wayne matlock

Well-Known Member
I grew up going to Baja and listening to stores of Baja races as a kid. listening to all the stories I was fascinated by the adventures and by the struggles. Baja was a place that seemed like the wild west where the men that raced it were tough. It was a place that was harsh, and the races even harsher. I looked up to men like LR, Bruce O, Malcolm Smith and even my father. In my eyes they were the cowboys trying to tame the wild west.
It was racing where men tried to out smart each other and the Baja at the same time. The rules were a little loose, and that is what attracted the men that raced the Baja.
Now I sit here reading about guys complaining. The stories of adventure and the struggles are replaced by guys saying it's to hard, it's to hot, it's not safe, it's not fair.
In none of the stories I heard as a kid did my father or his buddy's ever talk about perfect weather, how safe it was, or how fair it was.

It's Baja!!! it's not perfect, it's not safe, it's definitely not fair, and it's not supposed to be. Stop trying to pussifie it and make it easy so everyone can do it. Because those stories will suck to tell to your kids!!!
 

lil manny

Well-Known Member
Hell yeah Wayne! I thought I was the only one who thought this... specially when I hear about speed zones at the popular spectator spots, I mean do you think spectators come to watch a truck parade OR a Race! The only thing that will cause is for spectators to find another spot where they go fast and most likely mean they will spend more time driving on the race course to get to it!
 

Crusty Shellback

Well-Known Member
I agree Wane. It was one of the alures of going to Baja after my first adventure south of the border with my cousin.
The spectators are going to do what they want to do. Can we try and educate them on the dangers? YES! Will they all listen and be a bit more cautious? Maybe for a bit, until the liquid courage kicks in.
As far as the heat and the toughness. I thought that's why we come to Baja.
I've never raced Baja. But I've ridden a dirt bike all over northern Baja on some single track trails that even horses have problems on. But that was part of the adventure.
Same goes with the pits we used to do. We always told Kawasaki we wanted the pit in the middle of nowhere that they needed but didn't think anyone could get there. You should have seen there faces when they flew in to our pit and saw our fully decorated little city, in the middle of nowhere near Matomi wash. That was the good times.
 

Speedster

Well-Known Member
I grew up going to Baja and listening to stores of Baja races as a kid. listening to all the stories I was fascinated by the adventures and by the struggles. Baja was a place that seemed like the wild west where the men that raced it were tough. It was a place that was harsh, and the races even harsher. I looked up to men like LR, Bruce O, Malcolm Smith and even my father. In my eyes they were the cowboys trying to tame the wild west.
It was racing where men tried to out smart each other and the Baja at the same time. The rules were a little loose, and that is what attracted the men that raced the Baja.
Now I sit here reading about guys complaining. The stories of adventure and the struggles are replaced by guys saying it's to hard, it's to hot, it's not safe, it's not fair.
In none of the stories I heard as a kid did my father or his buddy's ever talk about perfect weather, how safe it was, or how fair it was.

It's Baja!!! it's not perfect, it's not safe, it's definitely not fair, and it's not supposed to be. Stop trying to pussifie it and make it easy so everyone can do it. Because those stories will suck to tell to your kids!!!
Wayne, this is the best post I have seen on RDC in quite some time. Thank You!
I have always thought; if a race is going to be easy, then it's not going to be fun, and I don't want to do it.
Baja racing is as much a survival / adventure game as it is racing. And That, to me is the allure. "A lifetime of memories in one week."
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Good post, it was always hard to explain what it was really like back then. The pre-running was more hazardous then the race in my opinion as you were really away from anybody coming along in a lot of places. We would do prerunning the whole course weeks before then also parts of it a few days before the race. We had many instances of close calls almost not making it back. During a prerun I rescued two of my guys that were on the verge of not making it when after 10 hours of jury rigging a collapsed rear arm and only going a mile each time before it collapsed again, they had run out of water hours earlier.We thought they were in front of us the whole time until we reached a town and realized they were missing and turned back. It was survival no doubt about that. We might have been slower back then but take away GPS, Sat phones, paved roads to jump onto, No Helos. CB radios were only good if you were within a few miles of someone and if you broke not much hope of walking out on your own. The same towns you see now that are now paved with all kinds of facilities were just dusty one horse stops back then. Spectators were not able to get out to more of the isolated areas during the race so you really had a feel for being Out there. You miss an arrow marker at night you were always wondering if you needed to back track or not until you ended up in a blind canyon or washout. I don't think you are ever going to find a course now that you wouldn't be close to someone let alone all the modern support. BUT I wouldn't trade that experiance or those races for anything Lol.
 
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Don't forget that some drivers claim to "Ironman" it when they have a navigator with them the whole time telling them where to go, changing tires and working on the truck for them.
 

bajataxi

Active Member
Amen to that! There was once a time when men were men, the horn was the front bumper , and the only gps system available was a map taped to the roof inside the cab of the race truck. A time when being a winner meant you are not a whiner! Times have definitely changed.
 

iribe51600

Well-Known Member
Agreed 100%
So no more
Stella
Vcp’s
Gps
Lednav
Satélite tracking
Sat phones
Radios
Etc...
Good old map , stub cans and run with it !!
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
If you want to do something from a map with only a heading run the Dakar. The terrain is gnarly in a different way but over the two weeks it will kick your butt. If you make it that long...
 

EMS702

Rescue 1
If you want to do something from a map with only a heading run the Dakar. The terrain is gnarly in a different way but over the two weeks it will kick your butt. If you make it that long...
Or @SonoranRally Its in Mexico and is done with just Map headings.
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
Like the great Corky McMillin said "In Baja, if you are going to be dumb, you better be tough"

I commented in the Baja 500 thread about the course location because I think it is sad that the San Felipe area has been in the last two Baja 500's and there are plenty of other great racing areas to use that have not seen much use the last couple of years.

The heat is a pain in the butt. I think it was back in 06, but the heat at Rancho Coyote was 103, that it is just part of racing. If you can't handle it, go take up bowling. If you want to race in Baja you better be prepared for whatever they throw at you. What does suck is when the course is routed in a way that teams time out while waiting for others to climb a hill in front of them. I know many remember Simpson's in 05, I believe. And then in 07 they re-routed the course a couple of days ahead of the race south of Melling because it was going to be the same scenario. I think changes like that make sense.
 

Whiplash.Rd

Active Member
Back then the fastest vehicles on four wheels were light buggies with Porsche 6 cylinder air cooled engine and the population was much smaller.
The vehicles were not as fast or heavy as today’s top dogs and Baja was less populated.
A 6000 pound trophy truck with 875 hp can endo through the desert for a long time.

It’s all fun and games until YOU kill someone or YOUR family member gets killed. I’m all for adventure and I love baja because of the limited amount of protection and the amazing adventures I get into down there but some wisdom is and protection is needed.
No one wants to pull a 6 year old out from under their vehicle.
 

wayne matlock

Well-Known Member
Back then the fastest vehicles on four wheels were light buggies with Porsche 6 cylinder air cooled engine and the population was much smaller.
The vehicles were not as fast or heavy as today’s top dogs and Baja was less populated.
A 6000 pound trophy truck with 875 hp can endo through the desert for a long time.

It’s all fun and games until YOU kill someone or YOUR family member gets killed. I’m all for adventure and I love baja because of the limited amount of protection and the amazing adventures I get into down there but some wisdom is and protection is needed.
No one wants to pull a 6 year old out from under their vehicle.
In no way do I want Baja to become less safe, and I do think SCORE has taken great steps to make it safer than it ever has been. I also hope they don't stop trying to make it even safer for the spectators and the racers alike. And no I don't think it's all fun and games!!!
The only reason I still don't listen to stories from my father is because he was killed in Baja, now I sit and listen to stories about my father. So yes, I do take safety very seriously and unfortunately I understand the risk of it all.
I am not saying that we need to get rid of the technology like the GPS, and the live tracking. New technology has made this sport way safer than it ever has been.

I hear guys saying that SCORE doesn't like dirt bikes because they run the 500 through the desert in June. It's a desert race, it is in June, and yes it's going to be hot. But guess what, it's been that way for a long time, and it's supposed to be hard. Sometimes the toughest guys are the ones that go down, but the reason they were there in the first place is because they heard about how tough this race was.
I also hear guys complain about how it's not fair because so and so was off the course on a line. They want everyone to go down the same graded dirt road like a BITD race. This isn't BITD and I hope it never turns into that. BITD is great and they do a great job at what they do, putting races on in the states. This is Baja were you are allowed to prerun and use creative lines to out smart your competition. Just because someone did take the time to do their homework and find the lines doesn't mean they cheated, it means they took it seriously and found good lines within the rules of the race.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't change Baja racing for the worse by making it easy so everyone can make it. You can make the sport safer with new technology's without loosing it's heritage.
 

BANNED4LIFE

Well-Known Member
In no way do I want Baja to become less safe, and I do think SCORE has taken great steps to make it safer than it ever has been. I also hope they don't stop trying to make it even safer for the spectators and the racers alike. And no I don't think it's all fun and games!!!
The only reason I still don't listen to stories from my father is because he was killed in Baja, now I sit and listen to stories about my father. So yes, I do take safety very seriously and unfortunately I understand the risk of it all.
I am not saying that we need to get rid of the technology like the GPS, and the live tracking. New technology has made this sport way safer than it ever has been.

I hear guys saying that SCORE doesn't like dirt bikes because they run the 500 through the desert in June. It's a desert race, it is in June, and yes it's going to be hot. But guess what, it's been that way for a long time, and it's supposed to be hard. Sometimes the toughest guys are the ones that go down, but the reason they were there in the first place is because they heard about how tough this race was.
I also hear guys complain about how it's not fair because so and so was off the course on a line. They want everyone to go down the same graded dirt road like a BITD race. This isn't BITD and I hope it never turns into that. BITD is great and they do a great job at what they do, putting races on in the states. This is Baja were you are allowed to prerun and use creative lines to out smart your competition. Just because someone did take the time to do their homework and find the lines doesn't mean they cheated, it means they took it seriously and found good lines within the rules of the race.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't change Baja racing for the worse by making it easy so everyone can make it. You can make the sport safer with new technology's without loosing it's heritage.
TAKING better lines and MAKING better lines are two different things....agree???
 
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