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On Sat 26 Sep 1998, Bruce Binder, Dave Cowan, Deborah Curless, Erik Kenas, and yours truly did the Rosarito/Ensenada bike ride. Steve Espinoza asked how the ride went. Here's Bill's response along with two cents from Bruce.
Steve: Does any one have time to send me a trip report for Saturday's ride?
Bill: First of all, the trip would have been about 10 times better if you'd come along. Well maybe only 1 times better. [Bruce: Well it certainly would have been bigger.]
We were to meet at 8:30pm on Friday night to head to the Butt Hut, I got there at 8:45, but without my ride packet. At 9:15 (after a half-hour round trip to my apartment), we started loading mine and Erik's vehicles with stuff. Then we went to that taco shop across from Good Time Charlie's (I can never seem to remember it's name). [Bruce: Bahia Don Bravo, formerly Bahia Grill (same owner).] Erik filled up with gas (at a gas station, not the taco shop), and we filled a five-gallon bottle with water (rather than filling it in mexico).
We finally got on the road at 11:00, I think. We stopped on the US side of the border to pick up some insurance. There were two places to buy this. One with a long line and one with no line. We picked the place with no line. We rang the bell, and it took about 10 minutes for the clerk to answer it (maybe he was on the pot). [Bruce: I would say asleep/drunk.] Anyway, with our insurance in hand, we zipped across the border and down the toll road.
I think we reached the second toll plaza at midnight, and had to wait some time while they did the end-of-day processing, shift change, or whatever. We probably arrived at the hut at 1:00am. After looking around and noting how "wonderful" and "fantastic" the hut was [Bruce: Under cover of darkness... Also, the ocean was very loud, which, I'm not positive, but I think added ambiance.], we went to sleep: Bruce got to sleep in the trailer for the first time ever [Bruce: The master suite.]. I slept on a couch. Dave, Erik, and Deborah sleep on the roof.
The next morning, a neighbor (Robert?) brought coffee by and woke the roof-sleepers. We had some of Bruce's patented tomato-and-onion bagels, and hit the road for Rosarito.
We started the ride about half an hour late, so we missed the big crowds at the starting line. This didn't bother me because I wasn't too keen to ride in the crowd, but I think Bruce wanted to be at the start.
We stopped at the water stops, but we didn't stop for beers or tacos which means that I have to do the ride again the correct way. The big hill wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. In our group, I came in last place with a time of 3 hours 22 minutes (not counting the first two water stops, [Bruce: I always count the point-to-point time -- about four hours, but it's a ride, not a race.] but counting the last water stop because I forgot to turn off my timer at that stop).
At the party we quickly went through our free beers [Bruce: My favorite kind. Plus a few extras.], had some extremely cheap (and variable priced--plate of rice and beans for Deborah $2--same plate for Bruce $3), but yummy food, had some more beers. Waited for Erik to stand in line for 45 minutes for some churros. Said "no" to about 10 street vendors.
Bruce negotiated a deal for us to ride back to Rosarito in a minivan with a trailer for our bikes for $12 per person, which I think is the way to go, [Bruce: It saved us a dollar apiece from what they were asking and $4 apiece from the official shuttle, which by the way we passed several of on the drive -- one of which was broken down on the side of the road.] although the minivan was probably overloaded with a total of eight passengers. Every so often we'd hit a bump that caused the back tires to rub inside the wheel wells. The ride back to Rosarito had some spectacular scenery, the sky was very clear, and the sun was setting.
The border crossing on the way home was painless [Bruce: Ten minutes, maybe.], and we stopped to have some pizza at Round Table. I think we were back to Bruce's house at about 10pm.