Loop Ride: Oaxaca / San Bartolo Coyotepec / Rojas Cuahtémoc / Oaxaca

Rick B. laid out a great 33 mile (53 km) loop ride through the countryside south and east of Oaxaca city for the Nitos ride on Sunday, 2 August 2015. Most of the route was relatively level, so the going was easy — even though we followed dirt roads most of the way rather than riding on the highways. The start/finish point in downtown Oaxaca has an elevation of 5083 feet (1549.3 meters). The low point on the ride was 4989 feet (1520.6 meters), while the high point crossing over the mountain ridge separating the Zimatlan and Tlacolula valleys topped out at 5912 feet (1802.0 meters). The climb up to the ridge was a bit of a challenge, but the going down the other side was great fun! The total elevation gain and loss going around the loop came to 1877 feet (572 meters). The group left the church of St. Agustin in el centro at 8:00 am and finished the ride at the same point just shy of 2:30 pm.

 

 

Mountain Biking In Colorado

Mountain bikers who live in Colorado are a lucky lot. As is the case in many of the western States in the U.S., a large part of Colorado’s territory — 35%, or over 23 million acres — is public land. These public lands include national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, monuments, wilderness areas and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Most of these lands are owned and overseen by the federal government. But whether under the umbrella of federal, state or more local authority, these lands may be used by the public for recreation. Residents of Colorado spend millions of dollars of tax revenue every year to preserve, protect and improve their public land. In the mountains near Denver there are dozens of city, county and state parks where people may hike or ride mountain bikes. In most places, trails are well mapped and equipped with signs. Most trails are well maintained, either by governmental agencies or local volunteer groups. New trails are always being proposed and are generally built in a collaborative manner by local interest groups (i.e. mountain bike clubs) working in cooperation with government agencies. The result is a terrific network of trails which mountain bikers and all outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy. 

Today’s outing was a ride in Golden Gate Canyon State Park in the mountains not far from Golden, Colorado, the western-most suburb of the Denver metro area. The loop ride on the Blue Grouse and Mule Deer trails covered 11.2 miles (18.0 kms), with an elevation gain and loss of 1500 feet (457 meters). The trailhead sits at an altitude of 8400 feet (2560 meters) and the highest point of the trail crossed the 9400 feet (2865 meter) mark. Nine members of the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Boys bike club took part. After completing the ride, the group stopped for lunch and liquid refreshments at a local brewery in Golden.

To view a map of the trail network at Golden Gate State Park, click here.

4th of July in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Most of the mountain towns in Colorado were founded in the 1800’s by hard rock miners looking for mineral riches. Steamboat Springs, though, was established in 1876 in the lush Yampa River valley as a ranching community and still cherishes its cowboy heritage. The city has flourished over the past 50 years because deep winter snow makes it a world-class ski town. More recently, mountain bikers have discovered that the miles of back country ski trails make excellent bike trails in the summer months. The Rocky Mountain Bicycle Boys chose Steamboat Springs as the destination for a multi-day trip over the 4th of July Independence Day holiday in 2015.

To view the Steamboat 2015 Bike Guide with descriptions, maps and photos of the many trails in and around Steamboat Springs, Colorado, click here 

The Bailey Hundo

Oaxaca is just half the size of Denver, but boasts more mountain bike clubs and more frequent races. However, there are some really classic races to be had in Colorado. The sixth annual Bailey Hundo took place on Saturday, 20 June 2015. This 100 mile cross-country race on the looping trails of the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area in the Pike National Forest is fast becoming a legend. Four hundred eager riders jostled for a place at the starting line in the little community of Bailey, which sits in a mountain valley about an hour’s drive west of Denver. Enthusiasm ran high — perhaps to counter the dread of having to pedal 100 miles before the day was out! The weather was ideal and trail conditions excellent for the day’s contest. Riders ranged in age from late teens into their sixties. Both female riders and fat-tire bikes were well represented. Congratulations to all who took part in this very challenging event!

To view a trail map showing the route of the 2015 Bailey Hundo, click here.

Pilgrimage to Moab

Moab, Utah is widely seen as the Mecca of mountain biking. Every cyclist wants to visit there at least once in a lifetime. The lucky members of the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Boys go there every spring for the Memorial Day holiday the last weekend of May — a tradition going back to 1997. Somehow the magic of Moab never fades, and the attraction of the trails there never lessens. The author is spending several months this summer in Colorado, and so reunited with old friends and biking buddies to savor again the charm that lures thousands of mountain bike enthusiasts into the desert country around Moab.

To view maps of some of the trails in and around Moab, Utah, click here.

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