Brooks Forester Interview: ‘The Bachelorette’ Alum on Filming ‘Baja and Back’ + Remembering Eric Hill [EXCLUSIVE]
When Brooks Forester was asked to participate in a 2,062-mile motorcycle ride from San Diego to Cabo, Mexico, he jumped at the chance -- despite having nearly no biking experience. What made him agree? The opportunity of a lifetime.
'The Bachelorette' alum (from Desiree Hartsock's season in 2013) spoke to PopCrush about the journey, recalling a few close calls and that one time a chef actually electrocuted the group. (Yep, you read that correctly!) Brooks also spoke about another member of the project, Eric Hill, who tragically passed away shortly after appearing on Andi Dorfman's season of 'The Bachelorette.'
From exhausting treks on the road to learning how to ride a motorcycle, Brooks gave us all the details on the project, which was filmed for a new web series called 'Baja and Back.' (And Brooks spilled about his recent appearance on 'Bachelor in Paradise,' too!).
When you were asked to join the trip, you didn’t even know how to ride a motorcycle, right?
Yeah, I had ridden a little in high school because my friend and his father had two motorcycles, so I would ride just around town for fun. So they asked me to go on this motorcycle trip and at first I thought, “This is a really dumb idea because I don’t ride motorcycles.” I don’t even have a motorcycle, but I knew my friends would talk about that trip for years to come. I’m like, “I don’t want to miss out on that!”
So I tried to get a motorcycle from a friend of mine a couple of days early, just to kind of ride around, but it was having some mechanical issues. My actual first time on a bike since high school was on our way from San Diego to Mexico. I was kind of relearning how to ride as we were on the ride.
Well, you seemed to fare OK! No big injuries.
No, but there was a couple of times though that I had overshot a corner or I was going around and I got too close to the gravel, so there’s some close calls. I’m surprised I didn’t end up in a hospital, to be honest. Now, I’m obsessed with riding motorcycles. I love it. Anytime I get, I’m on my motorcycle.
So what made you say yes to the trip?
Maybe just the fact that I knew I would get to have this trip with my friends, which I don’t get to have very often. The added bonus of it being kind of an unusual trip, where it’s riding motorcycles down. It was really well thought-out and planned. We had the chance to stay at HomeAway.com. Which, I’d done that before and vacation rentals are the way I like to travel because you get a little more culture. You get to meet the locals or the meet the people that own the houses. Show you around, show you all the cool spots instead of looking at some kind of book, like, “Oh, this is a main attraction.” They can tell you the kind of things that they like to do and that’s really fun.
Some parts of the trip seemed pretty grueling. Was there ever a point in time where you felt completely overwhelmed?
Yeah, on our way back especially. Once we got there, the trip down was really fun, but to turn around to go back, it’s like so [tiring]. “I do not want to be on this motorcycle another minute.” You kind of get in this dazed kind of mood where you’re not really awake, you’re just staring at the road. Things are just passing you by and you’re just like “Whatever is in front of me, don’t hit it.” That’s really your only thought process.
During one of the episodes, a chef at the restaurant where you had dinner brought out these medal probes and electrocuted you guys! Can you explain what was going on there?
I don’t even know, to be honest. We were eating and he came out with this electric thing and told us to hold hands. Obviously, the electricity runs through everybody in the group and he just kept turning it higher and higher to see if we could make it to 10. I think we only made it to seven. Totally random. Like, usually chefs come out and they’re like, “Hey, here’s how the meal’s prepared, blah, blah, blah.” And he’s like, “Hey! Who wants to get electrocuted?” And, honestly, we were all like, “That sounds awesome!”
Watch the Group Get a "Shocking" Surprise After Dinner
During the journey, you met Eric Hill, who sounds like a pretty inspiring person. Do you have one memory of him that really sticks with you?
I think we had both gotten up early and were watching the sunrise over the ocean. And we just sat there and didn’t say a word. At the end, we just kind of looked at each other and went, “This is unforgettable.” I just remember sitting there thinking “This is a pretty cool trip.” Sitting there watching that sunrise, knowing we’d ridden our motorcycles all the way there and I could enjoy that with a new friend I’d connected with so early, was awesome.
You were recently on an episode of ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’ We were so excited to see you on the show! When you signed on, did you know that you would only be on there for a week?
I didn’t know that I was going to be on for just one episode, but I did know that I was coming in late.
How was your experience?
You know, with only one date, I didn’t really have a lot of context to maybe other people’s experience. I thought it was fine. I was pleasantly surprised that Jackie was there. I wasn’t expecting her to be there and I knew her from earlier. We had talked outside prior to the show, but she had a boyfriend at the time … So I was really surprised to see her. But it didn’t work out and I was a little bit bummed, but what can you do?
Watch the First Episode of 'Baja and Back'