Suggestions, Tips, Ideas, etc. for better riding in Oaxaca
- Use tubeless tires. Thorns and spines are measured in centimeters here…and they are on EVERYTHING. If you can’t go tubeless, put Slime or other sealant in your tubes. Carry a bike pump and a spare tube, in any case.
- Hire a guide, bring a map or (map-loaded) GPS. Trails are not marked and often are covered by intersecting social trails. See our Links page for Mountain Biking Guides, Tours, and Shops.
- Buy something from the people whose land you’re using — i.e. support the local economy!
- Be aware of the altitude. At an elevation of 5,124 feet (1561.8 meters), Oaxaca is at a low point in the terrain around here. You may find yourself gasping for breath on trails that run at 8,000 to 10,000 feet (2438 to 3048 meters).
- Dress appropriately. If you are heading into the mountains, you will find temperatures to be 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than in the Oaxaca valley; also, fog and drizzle are commonplace in the rain forest even in the dry season.
- Watch out for the sunshine. Oaxaca’s blue skies and balmy temperatures through the winter months are a boon to bikers. You can get a nasty sunburn at this altitude, though, if you don’t use sunscreen liberally.
- Carry plenty of water. You may dehydrate faster than you expect when riding this high in bright sunlight and at extremely low humidity in the winter months
WHERE TO RIDE
- EASY RIDES – The Tlacolula valley to the east of Oaxaca city has lots of wide open, flat terrain that is ideal for people new to mountain biking or who are acclimatizing to the altitude here. Mainly dirt roads in the countryside with occasional single track trails.
- MODERATE RIDES – The rolling countryside of the Etla valley west of Monte Alban offers lots of possibilities for a pleasant ride on either paved or unpaved country roads.
- CHALLENGING RIDES – The dirt roads that connect the various small villages in the Pueblos Mancomunados in the Sierra Norte mountains north of Oaxaca city are excellent for getting a good workout amid stunning mountain scenery. There are lots of single track trails here, too; but it is a good idea to hire a local guide to keep from getting lost in the maze of logging roads in the area.
- SINGLE TRACK TRAILS – The best places to find single track trails near Oaxaca city are on the mountainsides above San Felipe del Aqua and San Pablo Etla. (See both the “Trails” and “Rides” pages on this web site.)
WHEN TO RIDE
- Whether you want to take an easy spin around Oaxaca, go exploring in the countryside nearby or are looking for a challenging biking adventure, Sunday is the best day to go. Vehicular traffic is about 80% less on Sunday than on other days of the week. Plus, you’ll find lots of other people out biking and jogging on Sunday. If you want company on your ride, consider joining one of the many bike groups that regularly ride on Sunday. (See the “Groups” page on this web site).
If you have additional suggestions, please share by posting a comment (below):