My Father’s Dirt-bike Adventure

The Baja 1000


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The Baja 1000 is one of the most intense — and dangerous — off road races in the world. It is  held each year in the heart of Baja California. There are over 20 different classes of vehicles that race. The main classes include dirt bikes, UTVs, ATVs, Trophy Trucks, and Sport Buggies. In 2012, a Clairemont father named Aaron Kralovic, raced the Baja 1000 on a dirt bike with some of his close friends. The race is not one for the timid of heart. 

The Baja Peninsula is home to some of the toughest terrain in the world, but it’s not just the terrain that’s dangerous. Spectators of the race set traps in the course to try to get racers to crash. During the 2016 Baja 1000, eight people died. Yet, knowing all the dangers of Baja, Kralovic still wanted to race the 1000.

“Once you get down there, it’s like you enter another world. There’s music playing, little kids asking for stickers, and everyone is just having a good time,” explained Kralovic with excitement. The 2012 Baja 1000 started in Ensenada and finished in La Paz. Contrary to the races name, the Baja 1000 is actually 1100 miles instead of 1000.

The format of the start of the race is a bit weird. The dirt bikes and quads leave early in the morning on Friday. The UTVs and buggies leave in the afternoon around 12pm, and the trophy trucks and sport buggies start at dusk. Aaron and his team waited to see there first rider leave the starting gate. They packed into a truck and headed off to the next checkpoint where Mike Evans would hand the dirt bike off to Aaron. He would then have the hardest section of about 100 miles of silt and another 150 miles of Baja’s gnarliest whoops and rocks.

In the end, the team did not finish the race within the allotted time. He crashed twice but the dirt bike made it to the finish line in one piece. Overall, Aaron’s first time racing the Baja 1000 was a success.

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