When we started the El Diablo Run back in 2006, the goal was extremely simple: do exactly what we liked doing and invite anyone else who agreed. At the time, the majority of custom motorcycle events took place in parking lots and survived off people shopping for trinkets and partying, mixed with a little hero worship of whoever was the TV personality flavor-of-the-month. I had done a Baja trip a couple years before on an old CB550 and met up with some CB750 chopper dudes from Vegas. What those dudes were doing was what I wanted to do. Most of my friends only rode dirt bikes back then and thought I was an idiot for riding a thirty year old bike across the border by myself but they eventually got stoked on it too. To me, that first EDR was kinda like a surf trip or if you've ever been in the Marines, what we called a "Libo Run" as Trent from Atomic Custom reminded me eleven years ago. (Libo is short for "Liberty"which is what a bit of time off is calledin the 'Corps. Liberty is kinda like parole, and generally includes partying like an asshole with a bunch of other, similar assholes.) That first year we had about 40 riders, many of which are still solid friends today.
One thing we said from the very beginning was that we were not going to "measure cuffs" on the EDR. That was a colloquialism from the hot rod scene that was rife at the time with period-correct experts who were gate keepers at certain events and would turn away people deemed not cool enough. (i.e.: cuffs too high, too low, not stiff enough, whatever.) Like the motorcycle scene playing out all over America in Bud Lite-soaked parking lots at the time, we wanted nothing to do with that elitist vibe. Fast forward a decade or so and the custom motorcycle world is in either in it's heyday or going to hell in a artisan-crafted-selvedge denim hand basket - it all depends on who you ask. Us? Biltwell? The guys who started and still run the EDR? We don't give a shit. We don't care if you are a up-and-comer or a already-has-been. We don't even care if you wear pants, let alone cuff them. We like to build motorcycles and then ride them somewhere fun and party with our friends.
We didn't do the EDR for a couple years just to let things settle down a bit. We brought it back in 2011 and decided that an every-other-year schedule would help keep attendance down as it seemed to weed out quite a few of the "I'll just do it next" types. It also made it easier on our friends who come from out of the state and even out of the country. Certain things change at a glacial rate, and the town of San Felipe is one of those elusive time machine places. It's basically the same sleepy spot where in 1983, a teenage me drank booze out of a coconut for the first time after helping a friend prerun the San Felipe 250 off-road race. We stayed at Ruben's Campo that week, and that was before there was a wall down the middle and half was turned into Kiki's. I still dig sleeping in a Palapa and waking up just long enough to see the sun blaze out of the Sea of Cortez as much now as I did back then. Other riders have pleaded with us to just stay in San Felipe instead of crossing over to Ensenada. Not because the ride was that rough, but they just wanted to settle in and stay longer on the "Warm Side". I insisted that we needed the contrast of the Pacific side and the density of Ensenada was a neat change from the lazy vibe of SF. We've done it the same exact way for so long now, that I finally gave in and agreed to change it up hold the event in one location. I think everyone will enjoy it more like this anyway and it'll be significantly easier on us logistically. A bunch of us are still going to ride home through the usual route and stay a night in Ensenada, so if you feel like jumping in, you are welcome to, but make your reservations and pull your own weight.
Listed below are a few EDR basics. Some are old hat, a few are new for this year.
There are more FAQ's answered on this page of the EDR site:
1. OPEN TO ANYONE
See the long winded story above about not "measuring cuffs". But, keep in mind this run was designed for hand-built choppers. Sure, you can do it on your Dyna or whatever but it's more meaningful on something you and your friends built. Adding some "challenge" to this trip makes it way more fun!
2. EXCEPT ASSHATS
If you wanna act like a moron, it's a self policing deal and you'll likely get put to bed the hard way. If the campgrounds or locals have had it with you, they'll call the cops who will gladly give you a wood shampoo and then a suite at the Greybar. Let loose and have fun, but have some respect for our friends down there and your fellow riders.
3. SAN FELIPE ONLY
We are not doing an organized trip to Ensenada from San Felipe. You are encouraged to go home any way you please. This is a three-night event: Friday / Saturday / Sunday.
4. WE ARE NOT ORGANIZING A RIDE FROM TEMECULA
This is the first year we aren't leading a pack from Temecula. Most people know where it is by now, and if you can't find San Felipe, you probably aren't much fun to party with anyway. We're gonna get down there early to get set up, so we'll just see ya on Friday evening. We encourage people to organize their own meet ups and riding groups. Here's the exact location for Ruben's
5. THERE IS ACTUALLY A SCHEDULE. KINDA
Here are the times for the handful of planned events:
Friday, May 12:
Tacos and beer upon arrival in San Felipe
Saturday, May 13:
4-5ish: yard games
5-6pm: open practice for circle of death, all classes
6:16-6:45: rigid class motos and finals
Sunday, May 14:
3-4: open practice for circle of death
4:00-4:30: bike show prize presentation
4:30 to 5ish: circle of death swingarm class motos and finals
Monday, May 15:
Ride yo ass home
6. UNDERSTAND HOW LODGING WORKS.
This is explained in detail on the link above, but I'll make it even more simple here. There are three ways to do it.
A. Show up and try to get a first-come-first-serve palapa in Ruben's Camp for free. Or park at Ruben's and camp on the beach right in front. Either of these options are free.
C. Wing it. Just show up with no plan and find a hotel or something. What's the worst that can happen?
7. PLEASE SAY THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS.
Sponsorship and the cash that Biltwell kicks in pay for a butt load of tacos and beer on Friday night and also the free camping enjoyed at Ruben's. There are no entry fees except for the Coctagon and those proceeds all go to the champion. I don't care if you made a Sharpie t-shirt that says Fuck Your Corporate Sponsors like a middle-aged Kurt Cobain might have, these sponsors are our friends. They get very little in return for their patronage and we require that they actually ride on the run. There is no vending for them (we're not here to shop, remember?) but a few might bring a couple things to hand out to EDR riders, so pay attention and you might end up with something neat. We appreciate 'em and hope you do to.
8. THERE'S LOTS OF OTHER STUFF TO DO DOWN THERE.I'll get around to posting another blog soon with some ideas for day trips and diversions so you don't just drink your bad self to death on the beach. Since we are in San Felipe for an extra day this year, you might as well get out and explore a little.
9. MOM'S GONNA BE PISSED.
Yes we know it's Mother's Day weekend. Bring momma. Please keep in mind that this is an adult event where some adult shit goes down so don't bring kids, motorhomes etc. Please limit four-wheeled vehicles to chase-support-just in case trucks.
10. HIT ME UP WITH ANY QUESTIONS.
If I still haven't answered 'em all by this point, please hit me at EDR@biltwellinc.com
See ya in May, Cabron.