Of the 23 riders coming out for the day’s ride, almost all of them were with the Summit Cyclery riding club. The gringos drove to Carl’s home in San Pablo Etla where the men of Summit Cyclery met us after their morning warm-up riding from the shop in Colonia Reforma. Nothing like 18 kilometers (11 miles) to get you fired up for the 8.3km climb up 790 meters of dirt road to the trailhead! They breed them strong here!
After the grind to the trailhead, the gang had some snacks and a short rest before jumping into the 17.7km (11mi) descent back into Etla. It would have been a bit longer ride if your esteemed author hadn’t missed a turn for the final side loop up the valley of the flume. Oh well! Once you get that much downhill singletrack rolling and flowing, it’s hard to look for hidden cutoffs (especially ones that lead to a bit of climbing).
A beautiful, sunny day with a bunch of fellow MTBers on an absolutely ass-blast of a trail. We had fun all the way around . . . well, after the climb to the trailhead, anyway. Oh, and then the Summit gang decided to cool off with a ride back to the shop . . . only wimpy gringos need a car to get home after an MTB ride. 🙂
The Zapotec artist Rodolfo Morales is best known for his brightly colored surrealistic dream-like canvases and collages, which often feature Mexican women in village settings. He was born 8 May 1925 to working class parents in the town of Ocotlan de Morelos in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. He studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City, after which he began a 32-year career as an art teacher in the capital. With the help of Rufino Tamayo, an established artist and fellow Oaxaqueño, Morales became a recognized painter. By 1985 he had the financial capacity to quit teaching and return to his hometown, where he dedicated himself to his art and to the community through a program of restoration. He funded the restoration of fifteen churches, including the 17th century church in Santa Ana Zegache. His most important restoration project was the former convent in Ocotlan, which now houses part of his art collection. Two of his murals can be seen in the municipal building in Ocotlan, just steps away from the restored convent. Until his death in 2001 at age 75, he and Francisco Toledo were regarded as the greatest living artists in Mexico. Rodolfo Morales is buried in his restored Convent of Santo Domingo in Ocotlan.
This is a pleasant and easy ride through open countryside over mostly flat terrain. The round trip distance amounts to about 12 miles (19.5 km). If you ride in the fall, you will find the farm fields ablaze with bright colors, as this is the region where the brilliant flowers sold in local markets and used for the “Day of the Dead” are grown.
The village of San Miguel del Valle is one of the gateways to great mountain biking in the high country of the Sierra Norte mountains near Oaxaca city. Tucked into a fold of the mountains on the north side of the Tlacolula valley (one part of the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca state), San Miguel is reached by driving north from Tlacolula and passing through the municipio of Diaz Ordaz. San Miguel itself is part of the valley, but it lays claim to miles of mountainous terrain abutting the Pueblos Mancomunados. Once you have reached San Miguel, you should check in at the ecotourism office on the town square (the bright green building next to the municipal building). There is a 50 peso fee for hiking or biking on communal land. The charge is worth it, though, as there are miles of great trails, most of which are mapped and are well marked with signage — which is rather unusual hereabouts! Guides may also be hired at the ecotourism office for 150 pesos for three hours work. The office may be contacted at 951-520-9105. The person in charge in 2016 is Sergio Lopez Garcia.
The ride that is featured below is a 12.9 mile (20.7 km) loop utilizing dirt roads running through the forest. The loop can be ridden in either direction, but we recommend going counter-clockwise, hitting El Carrizal first and then continuing on to La Neveria and La Ventosa. Why? The road drops rather steeply from the El Pedimento trailhead (again, well marked and easy to find) to El Carrizal, losing 1134 feet (346 meters), with only 651 feet (198 meters) of climbing along the way. This would be a painful climb out if you ride the loop clockwise. The distance from the El Pedimento trailhead to El Carrizal is just 4.4 miles (7.1 km). The road from El Carrizal to La Neveria, on to La Ventosa and back to the El Pedimento trailhead runs 8.5 miles (13.7 km) — a greater distance, but with gentler climbs alternating with some mild downhill sections. An alternative — for those who like to finish a ride going downhill rather than up — is to start the ride in El Carrizal, ride counter-clockwise and finish with the screamer of a downhill back to town. The overall elevation gain & loss riding around the loop is 2219 feet (676 meters).
The community of San Pablo Huixtepec hosted their first-ever mountain bike race today — Sunday, 25 January 2015. This also happened to be the first race of the new year in the Oaxaca Valley. There was also a series of foot races on the same course before the mountain bikers saddled up, so excitement ran high. Contestants came from a number of bike clubs in the area, with good representation from Oaxaca city.
The course laid out for the event ran 3.4 miles (5.47 km) through hill country, with an elevation gain and loss of 641 feet (195 meters) on the loop. At times it felt like more than that, as sections of the climb had a gradient of 14% and parts of the downhill ran a very steep 25% — the latter through a challenging jumble of rocks! The start / finish line sat at an elevation of 5160 feet (1572.8 meters); the highest point on the race circuit reached 5361 feet (1634.0 meters); the lowest point on the course was 4965 feet (1513.3 meters).
The community of San Antonio de la Cal, a suburb on the southeastern edge of Oaxaca city, sponsored a mountain bike ride today — Sunday, 18 January 2015 — and sent out a general invitation to riders and mountain bike clubs to come. Several bike clubs from Oaxaca took part, as did others from around the Oaxaca valley. Approximately 140 riders gathered at the municipal building in Experimental to register at the start of the ride. Then it was off for a ride on city streets and jeep trails in the hills nearby! The day concluded with a hearty free meal for all participants provided by the community.
For riders who started from the Zocalo in Oaxaca, the day’s adventure racked up a total of 18.9 miles (30.4 km). Pedaling up and down the steep, rocky hills above La Cal — where the gradient ranged from 12% to 16% — brought the elevation gain and loss for the day to 1978 feet (602.9 meters).
Special thanks to Porfirio Santos Matías and Lic. Pedro Isidro Santos Matías, the head of the sports department in San Antonio de la Cal, for organizing the event; and to all the people who helped make it a success!
San Antonio de la Cal que es una comunidad a la periferia sureste de laciudad de Oaxaca patrocinó un evento de ciclismo de montaña el domingo 18de enero 2015. Ciclistas y clubes de ciclismo del valle central recibió unainvitación para participar. 140 ciclistas llegaron al edificio municipal enExperimental para inscribirse al evento. Luego comenzamos nuestro paseopor las calles de la ciudad y las sendas de terracería en las colinas cercanas. El día terminó con una comida para todos los participantes que la comunidadSan Antonio de la Cal muy amablemente nos brindó. Para los ciclistas que salieron del Zocalo en la ciudad de Oaxaca, el paseo arribade San Antonio de la Cal era de 18.9 millas de colinas con pendientes muyinclinados y rocosos y de una altura de ida y vuelta de 1978 pies (602.9 metros)