They come back to be remembered while their names are whispered, candles are lit to show the way back for our friends and loved ones who have parted early. Prayers are said so that they are able to reach home safely, share the feast, remember old times and drink a mezcal or two. The feast is just a brief encounter, with the promise of reuniting on the other side in given time.
Just before dawn, candles are blown out and spirits are bid farewell, wishing them a safe trip to the other side expecting them to return again next year.Oaxaca City and its Day of the Dead
The day of the dead is one of the biggest traditional holidays in Oaxaca, Mexico. Streets are filled with color and decorated with flowers, fruit, sugar skulls, special "day of the dead bread
" and many other offerings made to honor the souls of the underworld.
Mictlan is the Nahuatl (prehispanic Mexican language
) word known to the ancient Mesoamerican cultures as the place of the dead, a millenary tradition that is born from the miscegenation and gives origin to what we know today as Day of the Dead. Each color and ingredient have an important meaning in this festivity. The Zempasuchitl flower was believed to hold the sun’s warmth and was used to illuminate the way for the departed, the arch symbolises the doors to the underworld, the seven sections of each offering represents the seven levels the soul has to go through to accomplish rest or spiritual peace. All together these elements make these days a great celebration. The streets are filled with traditional dances and the locals dress up to represent death, dance and drink along to live music. Death is seen in a peculiar way in Oaxaca. For decades, satire has been used by Mexicans to mock death and even come up with irreverent verses portraying people as if they were dead. The Mexican folklore, the charm of a colonial city full of culture and traditions, surrounded by high mountains make this place a paradise like none other in the world.Start Your Engines!
The village of Arrollo Guacamaya is 31 kilometers from the City of Oaxaca, at approximately 9,000 feet above sea level. This is where racers gathered for the start of the race. The first liaison was a small 13km ride with few demanding uphills, this made for a great warm up for what the first stage would have in store for the riders. Stage 1 was 7 km long, lasting a bit less than 13 minutes at race pace, this trail covered almost all types of terrain known to riders. The first part consisted of flowy pine needle covered trails, then gradually descended into hardpack, ending up in technical rock gardens that demanded some extra arm and leg strength to keep up with the pace. By the time riders were at the bottom part, heat played a decisive part on their performance, there was no longer the dense cover of the high sierra forest.
The liaison to stage 2 was a 7km dirt road that offered no cover from the heat and this made the riders use all three hydration stages during this ride up to Cieneguillas where stage 2 would start.
Stage 2 was a much more demanding trail even though it was a bit shorter at 6 km, the best time was set at almost 11 minutes. Right from the start there were several pedalling sections which drained the riders from all the energy they had left, the stage then became loose rock and technical rock gardens, ending up in a tricky off camber section. Both stages summed up to almost 24 minutes of racing, which made more than enough time for riders to enjoy a good, complete day of racing. Stage 1Stage 2The Finish Line at San Agustin Etla
The town of San Agustin Etla was founded in 1583 and is now mostly known for its large early 20th-century textile mill that has now been restored as the beautiful Centro de las Artes de San Agustín as an initiative of the Mexican painter Francisco Toledo. This is the first ecological center for arts in Latin America where concerts and art workshops are hosted. For this year, the streets of this little town witnessed for one afternoon our celebration, the satisfaction of having finished a fine day of racing and the great vibe a Mexican party can generate anywhere friends unite and share the same passion as mountain biking can be.
This great race ended up in a great and unique place, the streets of this little town were filled with a great atmosphere, Mezcal and Beer to give an end to this Day of the Dead Enduro. Few places on earth have this magical and festive feel, and to be able to share this experience with a sport we all love is priceless.The Winners
Oaxaca is a natural paradise surrounded by great mountains that have endless trails used by the ancient settlers to get to the central valleys and exchange products from all the different parts of the state.
This network of trails represents potential and a paradise for mountain biking with trails that range in length from 3km to almost 20km with abrupt changes in terrain and vegetation. MTB Enduro with the help of local riders and the local communities have been working to adapt these trails for mountain biking, encouraging eco-tourism and the protection of natural resources, making this an economic activity that allows economic growth for the small towns located on the skirts of these mountains.MTB-Enduro
in conjunction with Bike Logistics
, Yefraín Ram and the local communities organised the 2nd Edition of the Day of the Dead Race and the 6th round of the National Enduro Series. A demanding race with 2 special stages of world class level riding.
This community has set its goal of making this race an international one and to be able to share with the world the charm and folklore of Oaxaca. Stay tuned for news in the near future.