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.

Summit Cyclery Club does Oaxaca Flume

With a visit from mountain bike journalist James Murren, www.MountainBikeOaxaca.com guide Carl Silverberg invited local riders to make a show of force for a group ride on Carl’s renowned singletrack masterpiece, Oaxaca Flume.

 

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.  🙂

 

Zegache to Ocotlan

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.

 

 

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