Modern Baja: Different But Still Lots of Fun

When the best all around dirt rider I ever knew, Alan Dietor, and I began riding in Baja Norte in 1974, there were very few paved roads and what pavement existed was pretty bad. It was easy for the late Niles Ussery to set up a Tecate 500 course to and from San Felipe without using much pavement. Niles would have a difficult time avoiding pavement in 2014. Many of the dirt roads Al and I traveled while trophying several times in the Los Ancianos Tecate 500 Mile Enduro are now paved.

The other day while returning from Ensenada on paved Highway 3, I stopped and took a picture one mile south of Valle de Las Palmas. As you can see, it depicts a new highway and bridge being built. Al Dietor would probably recognize that the new road has wiped out part of an old abandoned rocky one-laner that took us over the mountains to El Testerazo during the 1976 Tecate 500.

The good news for ADV Baja travelers is that a very rough narrow road, once impassable for all but a few heavy, knobby-shod sport-tourers, will soon be a wide paved road cutting through scenic mountains to El Testerazo and ultimately to Ensenada.

For those who are afraid to go to Baja because