Baja California, where the cervezas flow like water and the fish tacos seem to multiply faster than science can explain. About two American hours (3-5 Mexican hours) south of the border, where Calexico, CA meets Mexicali, MX, sits the sleepy little seaside village of San Felipe. For one muy especial weekend every two years, the snooze alarm is blown off the nightstand with a handful of M-80s when Biltwell’s El Diablo Run comes to town. Normally a tame fishing village that houses its fair share of ex-pats, San Felipe suddenly becomes a wild buzzing hornet's nest of motorcycles and their operators.
This year mi amigos and I decided to head down a day early, secure a good palapa near the festivities and meet up with the other early arrivals. This took us from Orange County through the hills past Temecula, up to Julian, down to the desert, across the border, and into Mexico. Upon crossing the border a wave of excitement hits. There are different rules down there. Different senses begin to awaken. The smells, the weight of the air, the visual cues on people's faces, they all change as fast as that border crossing vanishes. That’s the beauty of Mexico. It’s a time warp back to a different way of living. Although digital technology exists there, it’s still an analog way of life.
We arrived in San Felipe around 3:30 p.m.. With our hammocks and shanties dialed in the party began. Some of the other early arrivals were some friends that had left a week prior and had gone down the Pacific side of Baja as far as the clock would allow them before turning around and heading back toward EDR. The Baja Boogie crew regaled us with their stories along the peninsula. After a few fish tacos, it was time to put the camera away and head into the town to see the local ballet.
Friday consisted of wave after wave of groups arriving at the venue. Florida, Oregon, Colorado, Louisiana, other parts of Mexico, and Canada were just some of the representatives filling up the town. Friday was much warmer, and everyone arriving looked like cooked lobsters. This was easily remedied con mucho tacos pescados, straw hats, a piña colada and a dip in the ocean. I’ll admit, there are few sights more entertaining than a few hundred heavily tattooed and bearded individuals holding fruity drinks while balancing themselves aboard a child’s inner tube. People continued rolling in well into the evening as the DJ blasted the finest 70’s disco tunes while San Felipe’s Most Talented danced on stage.
Saturday’s hangover didn’t last long, as the sun tends to render you choiceless in the matter. Wake up, the hair of the dog. Hydrate, rip into town for some local fare. Then cerveza, jump in the ocean, cerveza, walk around and look at some bikes, repeat. It is a nice way to waste a day. Un día bueno.
Biltwell outdo themselves with all their events. It’s always Fun First. Gracias Biltwell. But EDR takes the cake by a mile. Maybe it’s because they can get away with a little more in Mexico? What matters most is they walk the walk when it comes to having fun on two wheels. As evidenced by the motorcycle games in the circle of death, plenty of Biltwell employees participated in the games. From slow races to right turn only flat-tracking, the circle of death never disappoints. Luckily this year nobody got his or her skull bounced off the track like a basketball. Once the races were done, the daily routine resumed, followed by nightly carnage and debauchery.
Too bad all good things must come to an end. On Sunday morning, I made the decision to try and make it home to my wife and daughter for Mother’s day. I knew I’d be missing the coctagon, but I also get hit with children’s toys aplenty at home. I know I could’ve stayed in San Felipe and continued drinking fish tacos and eating cervezas in the ocean, but it was time to say, “Adios amigos, hasta la próxima.” Goodbye friends, see you next time. Nos vemos en 2019.
Tentative dates for the next EDR are: MAY 10-12 2019.
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