This Sunday (20 September 2015) the Summit Cyclery shop ride ventured into the high country around La Cumbre to sample two super single track trails. An assortment of trucks, vans and cars shuttled riders into the mountains and returned them safely to Oaxaca afterwards. The first part of the outing entailed entering the forest preserve at La Cumbre and riding the “El Cerezo” trail, a super downhill trail to El Punto. This trail has been upgraded recently, and a couple of jumps added to heighten the fun! Kudos to the crew that did the work! The El Cerezeo trail ran 3.45 miles (5.55 km), almost entirely downhill, losing 1730 feet (527 meters) in altitude. (First of the two maps, below.)
Once in El Punto, the group shuttled back up the highway and down a side road to the start of the 204 Trail. This, too, was a sizzling downhill run, made more adventurous by the mud on the trail and the moss on the rocks. Even new tires with stout knobbies were prone to slide around in the goo! Several riders took tumbles along the way, but everyone survived to tell their tale. This second trail of the day’s outing ran 5.3 miles (8.5 km), losing 2711 feet (826 meters) in elevation along the way. (Second of the two maps, below.)
A bright Sunday morning enticed fifteen riders to show up for the weekly ride sponsored by Summit Cyclery, located in the Reforma neighborhood of Oaxaca city. The destination for the day was one of the mountain valleys east of the village of Santo Domingo Tomaltepec. Normally an outing in this area comes with the guarantee of getting wet, as there are numerous creek crossings going into and coming back out of the valley. However, the rains this summer seem to have skipped over this area, as the stream had little water in it and the two reservoirs that supply irrigation water to the community were very low.
Riders left Summit Cyclery at about 8:20 am and traveled 25.2 miles on the round trip excursion, passing through Tlalixtac on the way out and returning by way of Tule — where the group stopped to enjoy nieves of various flavors. In the course of the day they climbed about 1240 feet as they wound along the trail through the woods to the eventual turn-around point.
The crew that manages the ecotourism camp at La Cumbre, in the mountains just off Hwy 175 a few miles north of Oaxaca city, have been busy making improvements this summer of 2015. They did some serious trail work to grade and widen the single track portion of the route used for annual mountain bike races there. And there is a new observation tower atop the Mirador that offers a stunning view of the surrounding countryside. These improvements follow the construction of a new kitchen and dining room two years ago. Kudos to those responsible for this work!
Mountain bikers in Oaxaca have a great selection of local races to enjoy — either as participants or as spectators. But if you are curious about professional races held in the U.S., there is now a way to satisfy that longing. “Mountain Bike Mania” is a TV show that first aired in 2014. Past episodes can be seen at http://mountainbikemania.net/. Check it out!
The village of San Lorenzo Cacaotepec is located in the Etla valley 9.5 miles (15.3 km) north of the zocalo in Oaxaca city and sits near the Atoyac River. The town marked its patron saint’s feast day with a community-sponsored mountain bike race on Sunday, 16 August 2015. The race was conducted under the auspices of ACEOVA, but not ACCREO, and so did not draw as many participants — and none of the major race teams — as most such contests. However, those who took part, especially the kids, made up in spirit for what was lacking in numbers.
The race course was a combination of city streets, country lanes and a bit of single track trail through farm fields. The loop course ran 2.6 miles (4.2 km), with a very modest elevation gain and loss of 254 feet (77.4 meters) and no technical challenges, making it one of the shortest and easiest race venues in the area. Contestants rode the circuit four times to complete the race. On-site race registration began at 9 am, with the race itself getting under way at 10 am.