El Diablo Run 2011 - Street Chopper Magazine
When I got word last year that Bill and McGoo were going to resurrect the El Diablo Run for 2011, I made damn sure to clear my plate for the first week of May. Having missed all the others due to broken-down bikes and deadlines, I was not going to let history repeat itself this year.
After getting shit-housed at Biltwell’s pre-run party the night before, I arrived at the starting point in Temecula, California, hungover as hell at 8 a.m. the next day. This wasn’t good since we had a six-hour to San Felipe in 90-degree heat. In a matter of minutes upon my arrival, more than 130 riders hit the road and almost instantly groups of old and new friends gathered in packs broken up by riding style and engine sizes. The route we chose to take was a combination of California highways 79, 78, and 86 until we hit Mexicali. We barged the border and made it through with nothing more than a passing glance from the Federales.
The first stop we made was to gas up the bikes and slug down a quart of Pacifico. While we were standing there in the shade, we saw the first casualty; a dude came in hot to the filling station and dumped his sporty in the gravel at speed. Lesson number one: Mexican roads suck, so back off the throttle or pay the price.
The rest of the ride to San Felipe was smooth sailing with beautiful views and nary an issue until we encountered sections where there was no road at all. Legions of riders on pans, shovels, and knucks were pin-balling all over makeshift dirt roads for what seemed like forever until we finally hit tarmac again.
Around dusk most of the bikes that started pulled into Ruben’s Campo in San Felipe. The party almost instantly started with booze, drugs, and fireworks that continued well on into the morning hours. Sodom and Gomorra had nothing on the shenanigans that were going on in the beachside darkness.
The next morning most awoke with blurry eyes and altered minds. After some downtime in the sun, out came the wrenches, torches, and hammers to get many of the battered bikes back together for the next leg of the ride. Once most of the bikes were repaired, we cruised into San Felipe and had some lunch, more beer, and many walked the shops looking for discount pharmaceuticals or Mexican-made gifts for those back home who didn’t make it.
When night fell on our second day in San Felipe, it made the first night look like a pre-school nap session. Out came half-sticks of dynamite, endless bottles of Peligroso Tequila, and mountains of Tecate cans. This infused the El Diablo attendees to get wild both on and off their bikes. It all culminated at about 4 a.m. when flashing red and blue lights filled the camp. Lesson number two: Don’t screw with the Federales because Mexican jail is ugly and expensive.
We departed at around 9 a.m. for the third leg of the tour. This was going to be a nice three-hour ride with a few mountain passes and some twisties, until a few of bikes encountered some problems. Nothing that the four chase trucks couldn’t fix or tow, but it did add a few extra hours onto the trip. We arrived at our hotel in Ensenada and barely stepped off the bikes before more beer was flowing and the shit talking began. A few minutes later, a poolside party emerged complete with food and drink. Not being one to turn down some gratis grinds, I had a taco, six shots of Peligroso, and many beers. In no time I didn’t remember the rest of the night. I think there was some teabaggin’ and a trip to the local strip club in there somewhere.
The next morning, on our second day in Ensenada, most woke up rather late, milled about the city, and basically relaxed from the last three days. It was a short night with a great seafood dinner and some old friends.
The last day of the EDR was upon us and we were up early and ready for the ride home. The first miles of the ride were the most beautiful by far. Scenic ocean-side riding smooth-as-glass roads and gas stops aplenty. That was until we got within the confines of Tijuana. Welcome to Thunderdome. We were flying through stoplights and farmer’s markets trying to find a shortcut to the border, which ended up fruitless. Instead we took the empty bus lane as far as we could then lane-split the 2 miles of idling cars all the way to the border. With a bit of scrutiny from US customs agents, we were through and back in the USA. While regaling each other with tales of our individual EDR experiences at the El Centro Denny’s, it occurred to us that the people down south were gracious and always willing to help. Lesson number three: Mexico isn’t a scary place when you have more than a hundred dudes on bikes having your back.
If you have never been on a ride such as this, then you should organize something with your pals. That’s how this ride started and now look at the EDR. It’s the stuff of legends. We were glad to be a part of it. SC
For more info on this trip go to streetchopperweb.com