Baja Divide: A Film by Tales on Tyres
A stunning new film documenting one couple’s experience while bikepacking the Baja Divide. Plus the route in their words alongside a beautiful collection of photos…
Back in 2012, Franzi and Jona realized that they wanted to see the world more than anything else. So they quit their jobs in Hamburg, Germany, sold all our belongings and took off to New Zealand. After walking 3000km across the country, they worked for five months and backpacked through India and Nepal. Once their feet grew tired — and they were inspired by a few traveling cyclists they met along the way — they took on their first bike touring adventure from Iran to Mongolia. They’ve since ditched the panniers and lightened their load to bikepack off-road through the Americas from top to bottom.
We took note of Franzi and Jona’s photography in our 2016 Bikepacking Awards, and now — in collaboration with OSM Films and Bombtrack Bicycles — they’ve helped release a new film about their Baja Divide experience. Watch the film and then scroll down to see a beautiful collection of photos as well as their words about the Baja Divide.
The Baja Divide is a new established 2735km long off-pavement bikepacking route, starting in San Diego, USA and following the length of the Baja California Peninsula all the way to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
It crosses the Peninsula several times, connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. On its way cutting through beautiful backcountry deserts and major mountain ranges. Using already existing roads and tracks, of which more than 95% are unpaved, the Baja Divide leads into the remote wilderness of Mexico’s Peninsula. This often requires the rider, to carry 2-3 days of food and up to 12 liters of water. The condition of the route varies, between graded dirt roads to rocky or sandy jeep tracks and this makes the riding tough and sometimes technical.
It’s essential to pack light and make use of the warm, dry climate between November and March. When we heard about the Baja Divide, we immediately knew that we wanted to ride it.
Finishing the Great Divide in the USA, we not only wanted to explore more bike packing routes on our way to South America, but also to ride something even more challenging. Excited to test out our comfort zones and physical boundaries, we started the Baja Divide at the beginning of November, as one of the first ones ever riding the route. It took us more than seven weeks to ride from San Diego to La Paz, the covered daily distances varying between 50 and 80km.
The riding was tough, beautiful and breathtaking in every way. We enjoyed being surrounded by vast desert landscapes and days, passing without coming across towns or many other people. The Baja Divide is mainly about being in the backcountry, but nonetheless specially in the south part of the route, we passed through small Spanish mission towns, with an abundances of history, palm trees and charm, basic fishercamps or bustling highway towns, Which give you the opportunity to refill your resources and enjoy some worldly comforts. The Baja Divide felt raw and bold to us and we can only recommend to take on the challenge and ride it. Be aware, that this Route requires special equipment and some previous bikepacking experience, for more information, click here to view the route.
Riders, Filming & Voiceover Recordings: Franzi & Jona (tales-on-tyres)
Production: Tina Lagler & Blaž Miklič / OSM Films
Sounddesign: Guido Craveiro at Pork & Rabbit Studios, Pulheim
Graphic Design: Marko Šajn / markosajn.com / cognitive-state.com