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).

Llano Grande in the Rain

It was bright and sunny when 29 members of the “Nitos Ciclistas en Movimiento” bike club set out from Oaxaca at 7:15 am for a day ride at Llano Grande on Sunday, 25 October 2015. A caravan of ten cars and trucks hauled the riders, family members and their equipment the 42.2 mile (67.9 km) into the Sierra Madre. Unfortunately, heavy cloud cover rolled across the mountains and light rain began falling mid-way through the ride. The fog and rain prevented the group savoring the vista from the mirador, but made the forest vegetation seem more lush. Temperatures were mild, so everyone seemed to enjoy the outing, despite getting quite wet and muddy. The mud made for slow going; and tree roots and wooden bridges were especially slippery and dangerous. However, everyone made it safely through the ride and then enjoyed a hot lunch at one of the comedores in town before the group returned to Oaxaca.

Guides from the ecotourism camp at Llano Grande lead the way on a double loop through the dense woods. The route covered 9.95 miles (16.0 km), with an elevation gain and loss of 1812 feet (552 meters) for the day. Llano Grande sits at an altitude of 10,143 feet (3091.5 meters). The mirador was the highest point of the day, at 10,941 feet (3334.8 meters), while the cascada was the lowest point at 9635 feet (2936.7 meters).

 

Riding the San Felipe del Agua Trail Network

With the great trail network in the hills above San Felipe del Agua so close to Oaxaca city, it is not surprising that lots of people go mountain biking there, especially on Sundays. The gang at Summit Cyclery chose to ride there on 11 October 2015. There were 17 participants in this day’s outing — mainly young riders, but with one old guy (the author) plugging along, taking photos and GPS measurements.

The ride circuit covered 14.7 miles (23.6 km) start to finish, with an elevation gain and loss of 2146 feet (654 meters). At its highest point, the trail topped out at 6306 feet (1922 meters). The group rode several of the well-established trails on the mountainside, including some that have suffered significant erosion damage in the past year or so.  (Note to self:  we need to get a trail maintenance crew out there!)

 

%d bloggers like this: