Donaji Parque del Bosque

Out for a ride over to Huayapam from SFdA with Spencer and Alex when Alex noticed the Donaji forest guard house had its gate open and what appeared to be a new collection of exercise equipment.  Well, sure enough, the whole place has been improved recently.  It may be old news to most of you, but there is new zipline across the ravine, an area filled with a playground and exercise equipment, and picnic areas.  More importantly, the staff at the entrada now welcome visitors ..gratis!

We signed in to the visitors book and rode up the valley to an atypical oasis of pine trees, about .7 mile up the dirt road.   On the south side of that patch of pine trees, there is a new, benchcut trail that heads back down towards town, though now you’ve crossed over the ravine that is normally a PITA to get across.  It would be even easier if they’d let you use the zip line. 😉   But, at least for west-to-east travel, it’s all ridable and even has a nice section of singletrack to end the detour/alt route. No idea yet how the staff would react to bikers going east to west and coming OUT by the guard house.  But regardless which way you go, stop and tell them thank you for building new trail…that generally follows the contour line…except for the very end as it drops to get to the zipline end-station. Maybe offer up a cash donation and ask them to build more trail…perhaps something pushing further up the valley and connecting with the trails above on the west slope of the valley.

 

Breakfast Stop In Huayapam

Today’s Sunday morning shop ride sponsored by Summit Cyclery was essentially a breakfast outing. After a rather mellow ride through the open country between Oaxaca and the nearby village of Huayapam, the group stopped for a substantial and satisfying breakfast at a home-based restaurant in that town. Afterwards the gang returned by a more direct route, stopping for more refreshments at Cafe Brujula, just a few blocks from the bike store.

The total round trip distance on today’s excursion amounted to 10.7 miles (17.2 km), with an elevation gain and loss of 1189 feet (362.4 meters). The Summit Cyclery bike shop was the lowest point on the route at 5190 feet (1582 meters), while the highest point on the trail registered 5636 feet (1717.5 meters) in altitude.

 

Pedaling with the Pedalazos

There is a relatively new mountain bike club in Oaxaca called “Los Pedalazos.” They meet for a group ride twice weekly — at 4 pm on Wednesday afternoons and again at 8 am on Saturday mornings. The Wednesday rides are shorter, given the hour of the day, and may require the use of lights if the group will be out after dark. The Saturday rides are longer — both in terms of distance traveled and time in the saddle. The outings are announced on the club’s Facebook page a day or two before the ride — see https://www.facebook.com/groups/pedalazos/.

The ride today (Sat / 19 Dec 2015) was a long loop running from the Casa Cultural in downtown Oaxaca out to San Bartolo Coyotepec in the Zimatlan valley, then over a mountain ridge and into the Tlocolula valley, passing through the villages of Rojas de Cauhtémoc and Tule, where the gang stopped for a very welcome lunch at a local comedor before continuing back to Oaxaca.

Seventeen riders were on hand for the start of the ride, but one dropped out because of mechanical problems and another in the face of some steep uphill climbs. The remaining fifteen completed the 31.8 mile (51.2 km) loop ride in approximately six hours, counting time spent relaxing and eating lunch in Tule. The low point on the ride dipped to 4989 feet (1520.6 meters), while the high point on the ridge separating the two wings of the Valles Centrales topped out at 5912 feet (1802 meters). There was a total of 1982 feet (604 meters) elevation gain and loss going around the loop.

 

Solidarity Ride

There were 110+ mountain bikers and about a dozen joggers gathered at Parque Donaldo Colosio in San Felipe del Agua this morning shortly after 8 o’clock to take part in a solidarity ride/run. Riders ranged in age from kids 8-10 years old to old codgers like me pushing 70. About 90% were male, but there was a smattering of females. The gang from Summit Cyclery made this outing their Sunday shop ride, and they were welcome. The Nitos group was conspicuous by their absence, but that was due, no doubt, to their sponsoring a night ride from Oaxaca to San Sebastian de las Grutas last night — an ambitious undertaking covering 80 kilometers (50 miles) one way on a very narrow, twisty and sometimes steep stretch of highway.

Today’s bike ride was organized to protest the alleged assaults and robberies which have been reported on the San Felipe trail network in recent weeks. A newspaper photographer was present, and it is hoped the event will be reported in the local news media. One of the objectives of the ride was to pressure local authorities to increase security in the area — though exactly how this might be accomplished is not known.

The actual ride was rather short. From Colosio Park participants rode Loma Blanco up to the Libramiento Norte, then stayed on the Libramiento to the pass, where the grade descends into Vigera. While I would have preferred the group ride the “Toro, Toro, Toro” trail (better known locally as “Carnivoras”) to the top, that was probably not practical with a group so large as today’s. Once at the summit, riders posed for photos; then people broke into small groups for the ride back into town — with some staying on pavement and others opting to ride some of the single- and double-track trails down to San Felipe del Agua and on into Oaxaca.

My apologies for the lack of photos of the event. I loaned my camera to a friend this weekend, and neglected to put my iPhone in my hydration pack.

A Visit To Santa Ines del Monte

The Nitos Ciclistas en Movimiento cycle club set out on a bright Sunday morning in mid-November (the 15th, to be exact) on a cross-country ride through the flat farm fields of the Zimatlan valley, then steeply uphill to the mountain village of Santa Ines del Monte. Unfortunately, my GPS unit malfunctioned, so I was not able to map our exact route. However, similar information is contained elsewhere on this web site (http://www.oaxacamtb.org/wp/2013/03/cuatro-venados-loop/) for those who would like to look it up.

Today’s route covered 38.0 miles (61 km) round trip. The climb from the valley floor to the high point just before entering Santa Ines amounted to 3060 feet (932.7 meters) — which, of course, made for a wonderfully fast descent on a grade that in places was as steep as 13%. For those who like the nitty-gritty details, the lowest point on the valley floor was 5034 feet (1534 meters), while the highest point on the climb was 7868 feet (2398 meters).

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