FASS Bikes: a desert oasis for us bikepackers
When we picked up our new Tumbleweed Prospectors from Daniel in Oakland, he suggested that we have them checked over by a pro after we had put a hundred or so miles on them. We never really had the chance to do that before leaving the States, but now, 300 miles into the Baja Divide, we were fortunate to find ourselves at a well-stocked bike shop right on the route. Of course, we didn’t locate FASS Bikes by accident; we knew exactly where it was. FASS is a stopping point for, I have to imagine, every single rider working his/her way down the Baja Divide route.
We reached out to Salvador, FASS Bikes‘ owner, when we were still a couple of days away from Vicente Guerrero, looking for intel on a good place to stay. Because we arrived on a Saturday though, after his shop had closed for the day, we weren’t able to connect in person until this morning.
When we finally met up at his shop, Salvador gave both of our bikes a thorough going over, spending at least a couple of hours with us and our rides. He swapped out our rear brake pads (imagine that, we had almost worn through an entire set), and completely cleaned our chain (he removed the oil that we had been using as, according to him, it attracts dust, suggesting that we use a dry lube instead). He also swapped out the bottle racks on our front forks so that we can carry larger water bottles, taking the ones off his personal bike to accommodate us! This upgrade will be a real benefit, if not a necessity, for the upcoming long legs with slim water access. When we left his store, we did so with very happy bikes!
It may be some time before we come across such a well-stocked shop, with someone like Salvador who understands the needs of bikepackers traveling on such a remote route. The care he gave our bikes, and the intel that he shared for the upcoming sections, are like gold to us.
Salvador taking care of my steed.
What’s on for today?
Today’s plan is to ride from Vicente Guerrero to San Quintin. Our resupply chart says that the distance to San Quintin should be 21.8 miles, but that is recorded from the point where we left the route to come to town, and we’d have to backtrack approximately 2-3 miles to get back to that spot. We also found out from Salvador that the first portion of the route outside of Vicente Guerrero is no longer accessible, the access to the private property now having been closed off (much of the route apparently travels on private property, accessed by permission from the owners). This means that we’ll need to take an alternate course from here before we can meet back up with the actual Baja Divide track. What does that mean milage wise? We have no idea. My guess is that the day’s ride may end up being a tad shorter, but we won’t know until we get out there.