Chris Vorhies and a group of some 38 riders recently returned from a seven-day, 1,448-mile off-road motorcycle journey that took them from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
The trip took place in early April. It is the 11th year that the “Desert Assassins” (DA) has completed this ride.
Places they stopped along the way were Ensenada, El Rosario, Catavinia, Guererro Negro, Loreto, La Paz and Cabo. Led by Cameron Steele, riders include 11-time Baja champion Johnnie Campbell, Ryan Hagy, Mark Moss, Mathis Riiber and others. Chris was the only one from Canyon Lake this year.
“Every year we create a list of riders,” Chris says. “We accept internet applications as well as return rider recommendations. We call the new riders ‘fresh fish,’ so each year there are a couple, but normally no more than about two or three of them.”
He notes there have been other people from Canyon Lake who have done the ride. Last year Chris Shea was a fresh fish; but due to scheduling issues he was not able to make it this year.
This year’s riders were from California, Maine, Utah, Washington, Arizona and Texas. The group takes the trip every year from either Tecate to Cabo or Tijuana to Cabo. Each year a new route is created that includes new trails and places to see.
One of the group’s traditions is to run into the water in all their gear at land’s end and celebrate in Cabo with all of their families.
“We travel as a band of brothers down the peninsula,” says Chris. “This is not a tour group. We try and find as much new and challenging terrain as we can. Everyone on the trip represents the DA and we do our best to bring goodwill and respect to the people we come in contact with in the Baja.”
He adds, “After riding with these guys for seven days, you create a bond that brings with it lifelong friendships. There is not a guy on the trip that I would not give the shirt off my back for, just as they would do for me.”
The Desert Assassins has been doing a TV show over the past couple of years as well. Last year the TV show aired on CBS on Father’s Day; this year it will air in late June or early July on ABC’s World of X Games.
Cameron Steels also organizes other rides during which participants have a chance to give back to the people of Baja. One such ride is called the Baja Beach Bash, in which he partners with Johnny Campbell and JCR to take as many as 60 riders down to northern Baja, where they donate money and goods to the Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage.
Chris invites readers to see him talk about the trails they travel in YouTube videos under “Rip to Cabo” (youtu.be/PK_HMO-qYj4 and youtu.be/Gk5sl3bDjm4).