Your mountain biking "trailhead" to Oaxaca, Mexico
Category: Trail Info
Trails are logically distinct components. A trail can be ten meters long or 100,000 meters. Trail Info category indicates a post that has detailed specific information describing a particular trail. For posts describing a suggested route that uses one or more trails, use the Ride Route category INSTEAD.
One of the most popular hikes in the Etla valley to the north of Oaxaca city is the trail that runs along the aqueduct which brings fresh water from a mountain stream into the town of San Agustin Etla. Water from this same stream was once used to generate electric power at a hydroelectric station in the nearby mountains, the ruins of which are now a frequent destination and picnic spot. This loop ride offers access to the old power plant and allows cyclists to ride along the aqueduct for a short distance before returning to San Agustin along a dirt access road. Be forewarned that there is some serious climbing to be done on this route, both on city streets, dirt roads and single track trails. This ride basically follows the first part of the 26 mile (42 km) course used for the famed “La Carroñera” bike race held at San Agustin from time to time.
The route shown on the map below covers 8.9 miles (14.3 km). The ride starts from the parking lot at the municipal building in San Agustin, which sits at an elevation of 5757 feet (1755 meters). The high point on the trail reaches an altitude of 7097 feet (2163 meters). The elevation gain and loss riding the trail amounts to 2034 feet (620 meters).
But, during that work, a new trail was stumbled upon between Trail E and Trail T. Or, more accurately, an old (lost) trail was discovered.
Here is a a screenshot from Google Earth pointing out the potential new trail, as well as the surrounding trails. Active map (and download link for the KML file) is below.
The tread is fairly well established and the vegetation is only slightly grown in. So, with a little trail work, another kilometer of singletrack could be added to The Smoking Section. The exciting part is that it runs across the hill as compared to the other nearby trails and has a gentler grade of <12% as compared to 20% and 18% for Trail E and Trail T, respectively. Also, the area it crosses has some broader sections that would allow for trail re-routing to give an even gentler grade and longer distance. Right now it isn’t rideable, but we’re hoping to get some volunteers out to flag and clean it ASAP. If you’re willing to help, drop us a line via a comment below, the OaxacaMTB.org Facebook page or the Contact Us form on this site’s About Us page.
1) Trail work on “Vela” is done and the trail is ride ready. The upper part is still a bit thick with grass on the tread, but it opens up as you reach the middle and bottom. Get out an ride it as the more it gets used, the better it will roll.
2) I finally got around to trying out my new GoPro knock-off video camera – an MHD (MonoPrice) Action Cam. Earlier efforts using the chest harness were a total fail (unless you’d enjoy watching the trail tread go by with my knees wobbling around). First halfway watchable video that I made is from a run down the freshly cleared “Vela” trail. The video starts on Trail LLL, runs the bit of Trail PC that is used to get to Vela, and then ends as the 1 5meter walkout at the end of the trail where it pours back onto Trail TTT (aka Pista las carnívoras). The lighting is poor, there is a smudge on the camera lens, and I’m not sure I really like the handlebar mount perspective, but this is an experiment for now….
On that note, and with the hope that we will be able to provide a full collection of trail videos eventually, OaxacaMTB.org now has a YouTube channel to share these videos as they are created/provided. That also means there is now a Google+ page to go along with our previously existing Facebook page. We hope you’ll add these additional outlets to your social media lists. Here are the links:
Yuvila is a small Zapotec village in the highlands of the Sierra Norte not far north of Oaxaca city. It is accessible from a dirt road that links La Cumbre with La Neveria. The ride illustrated on the map below is an out & back trip to Yuvila from La Cumbre that covers 9.3 miles (14.97 km) round trip. It is a relatively easy ride, as the road is wide, smooth and not too steep. The bike rider will gain and lose a total of 1472 feet (448.6 meters) in elevation going up and down the hills along the way. We had expected to go longer and further on this ride, but found heavy cloud cover, light drizzle and chilly temperatures in the area when we visited on 14 April, so we cut short our time in the saddle.