Good Intentions Gone Awry

Today (Sunday, 11 September 2016) the Nitos group sponsored a ride in the countryside to a presa in the hills east of San Bartolo Coyotepec. It seemed this outing would be a good subject for a new post here at OaxacaMTB.org.  Apparently, the gods of fate felt otherwise.  First of all, my GPS unit failed to map the route. Secondly, because of early morning rain I did not take my camera with me, and so shot no photos of the trip. And lastly, we are having problems with this web site displaying properly right now.

Suffice it to say that the 24 people who took part in the outing (14 fellows and 10 women) had an enjoyable time. The group left the plaza in front of Santo Domingo shortly after 8 am and returned at 2 pm. The leisurely ride took two hours each way, and the group lounged around the presa for two hours, enjoying a picnic lunch and celebrating Salim’s birthday. A few of the more adventurous even went for a swim in the lake.

Sorry there is no map and no photos of the day’s adventure!

Additional San Felipe Trail Maps

In doing trail maintenance work last week, we realized that a couple of short trails around the police firing range just off the Libramiento were not mapped on this web site. Oops! An obvious oversight on our part.

So here are the missing maps:

1.  FIRING RANGE LOOP  —  The loop trail that follows the old jeep road around the top of the hill where there was once a quarry and where the police firing range is now located. This is a very easy trail. It is just .5 miles (.8 km) around and practically flat, with only 28 feet (8.5 meters) of elevation gain and loss

2.  SHORT CUT TRAIL  —  This trail is the shortest and fastest way down for those who don’t want to ride the “Toro, Toro” trail or take the paved Libramiento. This trail takes off from the Firing Range Loop (above) and runs just .4 mile (.64 km) from the top to the junction with the Libramiento. It is rather steep, with an average downhill gradient of 17.3%. The trail drops 367 feet (112 meters) from start to finish.

 

 

Doing Maintenance on the San Felipe Trails

It has been a while since we’ve gotten a crew together to do serious “pick and shovel” maintenance on the bike trails in the hills above San Felipe del Agua, and some of the trails have erosion damage that requires attention. On this Wednesday in early August Larry, Alex, Rafa, Andrés and Phil tackled one of the shorter, more needy trails. This being the rainy season, 1.7 inches of rain had fallen in the past four days. This was a good thing, as it softened up the soil and made it easier to dig new drainage channels to move water off the trail and into the woods. The crew finished their work in three hours time. They hope to return in coming weeks to do similar work on other of the many nearby trails.

Report From Up North: Mountain Biking In Moab

Larry and Deron, the administrators of this web site, have returned to their Colorado homes for at least part of the summer. The purpose of this posting is two-fold:  to report on mountain biking beyond the Valley of Oaxaca and to show that this web site is alive and well, even in their absence. 

For twenty years the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Boys, a Denver-based club, have been making an annual pilgrimage to Moab to kick off the summer riding season, and 2016 was no exception. This year thirteen members of the group made the journey –somewhat fewer than in past years, but still a good representation. The weather gods were generous this year, providing excellent conditions for the occasion. Temperatures were mild and there were no fierce winds, dust storms or thundershowers to interfere with the joy of riding the awesome trails and taking in the magnificent desert scenery of the area.

Back in the 1980‘s when mountain bikes were a new-fangled invention, all of the trails around Moab were laid out by 4×4 off-road enthusiasts who delighted in testing their mettle driving the rugged terrain. So in those years cyclists pedaled alongside Jeeps and motorcycles on such challenging routes as Amasa Back, Hurrah Pass and Flat Pass. In recent years, though, local mountain bike clubs have teamed with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to create a dazzling network of new trails designed for and limited to mountain bikes. This year we rode the Moab Brands and the Navajo Rocks loops, both of which are new areas to be explored. Kudos to all the volunteers whose dedicated work paid off so spectacularly!

For a comprehensive map of the bike trails around Moab, click here.

Turning Bike Trails into Hiking Trails

Oaxaca attracts hordes of winter visitors from Canada and the U.S. each year, many of whom enjoy hiking in the Valles Centrales and the mountains nearby. Now the director of the “Hoofing It In Oaxaca” hiking program is an avid mountain biker, who also happens to be an administrator of this web site. And so it is no surprise that many of the trails used by gringo hikers November thru March are the same trails enjoyed by local mountain bikers year ’round. The hike coordinators are always looking for new trails to add to the dozens of venues presently in use. And so it was that Albi and Larry went scouting on their mountain bikes in the Etla Valley recently, hoping to find a route that would work equally well for a group of hikers. And they succeeded!

The rolling hill country on the west side of the Etla Valley is very scenic and a delight to both hikers and mountain bikers. It is a beautiful area at any time of the year. Larry and Albi pedaled a loop linking San Andrés Ixtlahuaca and San Felipe Tejalápam. The map below shows the route they followed. The trail on the left runs 5.3 miles (8.5 kms) from San Andrés (at the bottom of the loop) to San Felipe (at the top) and offers some great views of the surrounding countryside. The trail on the right is an alternate route which is somewhat shorter (4.2 miles / 6.7 kms) and with a little less elevation gain and loss (a bit over 400 feet / 122 meters). After riding and mapping the route, a group of hikers was mustered to try it out. All agreed it was a great hike.

For more information about the hiking program, visit www.HoofingItInOaxaca.com.

 

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