It’s not unusual to meet cyclists riding their way down the Transpeninsular Highway, often as part of longer coastal journeys from Alaska all the way to Panama. While we understand the attraction of this epic cycling tour, we believe the dangers of riding along the highway have been downplayed for too long.
In the early days of the paved road, when traffic was lighter, cycling may have been a safer option, but today motorists, RVers, and truckers drive at faster speeds and in greater numbers. The problem is the width of the road. When two 18-wheelers approach from opposite directions, they pass with inches of pavement between them. If the driver must choose between colliding with an oncoming truck or pushing a cyclist off the road, the cyclist is inevitably going to lose out. Shoulders and guardrails are nonexistent on many of the most dangerous stretches of road.
If your dream is to ride your bike the length of Baja, consider an off-road route à la the Baja 1000. This way, you can enjoy more of the coastal and mountain scenery and avoid putting yourself in danger on the highway.
Some of the best trail riding in Baja awaits in the Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857 , close to the international border. The Cataviña Boulder Field in the Desierto Central  also has some good off-road riding. In Southern Baja, the Camino Rural Costero  between San José del Cabo  and Cabo Pulmo  is a fantastic route along the coast, as is the dirt road between Los Barriles  and Bahía de los Muertos .
Many cyclists have never completed an overnight bike trip before planning a ride through Baja. Though the larger towns in Baja all have bicycle repair shops, here are some of the basics you’ll need before starting your trip:
Bikes are permitted on the Blue Line Trolley (U.S. tel. 619/233-3004), and they may be checked as luggage (if boxed) for no additional cost on Mexicoach and Greyhound buses.
Pedaling South (U.S. tel. 707/942-4450 or 800/398-6200, www.tourbaja.com ), offers a number of multiday mountain biking tours: Sierra Ridge Ride (nine days, US$1,195) and Sierra Giganta (eight days, US$995). Combo sea kayak/mountain bike trips are also available. If you bring your own bike, Pedaling South deducts US$95 from the tour rates. Included in the price are accommodations, ground transport, meals on tour days, camping gear, tents, guides, tracking vehicles, and first aid.