Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca, Mexico 2015 - Photo Epic

Nov 12, 2015
by Nicolas Switalski  

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.


Castle in Mexico

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

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.

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015


Stage 1


Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015


Stage 2


Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

The 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.

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
The Centro de las Artes de San Agustín.

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.

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015


The Winners


Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
In the women's podium, Demis Vasquez 1st, Gema Santillan 2nd and Addy Cecilia Resendiz on the 3rd step
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
In the junior's podium Fabian Alcantar 1st, Miguel Adrian 2nd, and last but not least Eduardo Silva

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
1st Javier Lopez, 2nd Memo Cervantes and 3rd Ricardo Peredo in the elite category

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Masters 40: Eduardo Soto 1st, Carlos Lara 2nd and David Peman 3rd
Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015
Masters 30: 1st Benjamin Plasencia, Jose Luis Padilla 2nd and 3rd Andres Ruiz

Day of the Dead Enduro Race in Oaxaca Mexico 2015

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.


MENTIONS: @nswitalski




61 Comments

  • + 56
 Where is James Bond??
  • + 11
 I really liked Spectre
  • - 102
flag GH29orBust (Nov 12, 2015 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 I know I shouldn't say it, but articles like these are only fun to read if the people in the photographs are on pimped out drool worthy bikes. But I guess this race was in Mexico, so you can't really stand an argument for lame bikes... But other than that this would be a sick race!!! Props to everyone involved!
  • + 42
 @GH29orBust Trump supporter sigthing
  • + 8
 @GH29orBust doesn't drool over full carbon enduro bikes. I'm generally erect for the Santa Cruz 5010 (I think... looks like 130mm in the front), Yeti SB5, Knolly Endorphin, and my personal centerfold Transition Patrol. Shoot man, what the hell do you want?
  • - 47
flag GH29orBust (Nov 12, 2015 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 well now that i look at the other bikes toward the end of the article, those ones are pretty nice. But not gonna lie, I only read these articles to look at the nice bikes! My all time favorite is the Marin Attack Trail, @zeerob. The Transition is awesome, too. Not a fan of the SB5, too mushy and bottomless-feeling. But other than that anything carbon has my name on it!
  • + 5
 hey guys ! I really really enjoyed the movie too,, so sick !!! did you notice that the very first scene of the movie in Mexico was taken in ONE PIECE and is like 4-5minutes long ??? (with no cuts!!) It made me thing to Brandon Semenuk in Unreal, it so 'WOAW!'. Gonna watch it a second time I think Big Grin Go watch it if you didn't go yet!
  • + 0
 Woa I didn't notice that. Apparently the helicopter bits were all real stunts with no vfx. Pretty crazy.
  • + 4
 did you guys really liked Spectre?, I did notice the first scene being filmed in one piece, that and the part in which Bond says to the security guard "Stay!!" were the only good moments of the movie IMO.
  • - 1
 no
  • + 2
 I loved it, it fits the stories from the first DG bond films together really well. But I have seen every bone film so I might be bias
  • + 1
 Spectre isn't a patch on Casino Royale, which was dark and gritty. Spectre was more like a cheesy comedy, it felt like well performed action scenes stiched together with not much of a storyline. 5/10 at best.
  • + 23
 Dia De Muertos....Has to be the coolest most colorful holiday anywhere...have to make it down to celebrate one of these dias.
  • + 9
 oh I si what you did there...
  • + 10
 I seriously hope Oaxaca adopts mountain biking to its fullest potential so that it can generate some financial growth to help the people living there, my town of Durango Mexico has the same potential but unfortunately much of the rich and beautiful back country is inhabited by some shady characters. Oaxaca is beautiful and very mountainous and is begging to be explored more so on two wheels come on Oaxaquenos si se puede!
  • + 10
 One of the best races i´ve been part of. The mountains in Oaxaca are a gift, but the combination of the sport with the local culture is what really sets this race apart from others... kudos to the organizers and hats off to NickS on the pics!
  • + 8
 Mexico is so nice! I don't get why they want to move to USA it's not that great :/ we should all move down there and flip the tables on Mexicans. We will make Mexico so much better economically and they will all be crawling back. Hands down Mexico has some of the best landscapes/ land
  • + 10
 What a great article and man the pics were awesome! Great job guys.
  • + 5
 ¡Que chingon se ve ese recorrido! Quisiera saber con quien se puede hablar o poner en contacto para tener algo de informacion sobre el acceso a las pistas y cualquier otro apoyo que se pueda. Esta conmadre poco a poco ver mas exposicion de lo que se puede hacer en la bicicleta en Mexico. **Track looks awesome! I would like to know if anybody has any information on how to access the trails and ride them. It´s encouraging, to say the least, seeing more exposure on Mexico and all the posibilities it has to offer for riders who enjoy riding on 2 wheels!
  • + 3
 @Joseluis con Bici y Montaña o Mau de Avila, te pueden llevar a estos trails y otros más!
  • + 9
 Whoa.....Mexico is gorgeous!!!! I wanna ride there! Awesome Pictures.
  • + 5
 It looks like a photographers dream there. All the color and costumes, and the biking also. I would no doubt come back with several thousand snaps to sort through. Great work on the article and the photos guys!
  • + 6
 excelente trabajo a todo el equipo organizador, y por supuesto, felicidades a nick S. por la excelente calidad del reportaje.
  • + 4
 @nswitalski such awesome photos of Oaxaca! God damn i love that state. Everything I could ever want in life is there. Epic mountains, epic surf, awesome coffee, awesome beer (If you are ever in Oaxaca make sure you check out La Santisima Flur de Lupulo!)
  • + 6
 Oaxaca, Mexico, looks incredible, who wouldn't want a giant beer for a trophy, Nicolas Switalski excellent photography
  • + 1
 I want a giant beer for a trophy
  • + 6
 Track looks primo! Nice and natural, great views and I can almost taste that beer. rad!
  • + 3
 Muy buenas fotos. Quiero recalcar que en mi estado, Zacatecas Mexico para ser presisos en mi pueblo juchipila... Se encuentran unos paisajes y montañas impresionantes, con acceso a carreteras interestatales que facilitan el acceso rapido, es el lugar para todo tipo de disiplinas DH, MTB, o RUTA. Tenemos buenos talento e incluso campiones. Ojala con este mensaje ejecutivios y patrocinadores. Pondan sus ojos en este hermoso lugar.
  • + 1
 Yeap.....
  • + 7
 Enduro is really taking off down there!
  • + 2
 Last year it was by far the best race of the season. Not only the trails, but the ambient, people, hospitality and also the food, everything was amazing. This year I missed it, everyone comments that it was even better and all I can do about it is hit my head in regret. For sure next year!
  • + 2
 Few moments better than sitting at the portales to enjoy a cup of great Oaxacan cofee after a day of paracticing or racing in the Oaxaca Mountains and watch the sunset. My first DH race in Oaxaca was at least 15 years ago in Montealban and its always magic to come back. Felicidades Diego, has recorrido un gran camino. Saludos
  • + 5
 Gran articulo bro! felicidades
  • + 4
 yeah que buenas fotos Nick
  • + 2
 These pictures just put this race on the list of places I want to go to... Looks like great riding, big beers and you know the food is going to be off the hook...
  • + 2
 Awesome! and amazing photography...Oaxaca is, without a doubt, my favorite place for riding, but the very best places MUST remain top secret Wink
  • + 5
 Awesome
  • + 5
 Preciosas fotos, Nick!
  • + 4
 The Osprey logo fits surprisingly well with the Day of the Dead style.
  • + 5
 So awesome!
  • + 2
 Cannondale rider needs to duck extra hard with that ridiculous camera mount.
  • + 2
 Woow!!! amazing place!! I would like to ride there
  • + 1
 Thanks Pinkbike and Nico for showing more of Mexico!! Great job there! Chingon!
  • + 2
 Great media cover Nicolas! Congratulations!
  • + 3
 Que buen evento!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Nicolas, what a great job capturing this event and the community!
  • + 2
 Such an amazing part of the world.
  • + 1
 Felicidades por otro articulo impecable Diego y Nico!!
  • + 1
 deep eyes on all the dead
  • + 2
 Chingón Switalski
  • + 2
 Nicolas - nicely done!!
  • + 2
 Too HDR appy.
  • + 0
 Chavez got robbed!
  • + 0
 Trump 2016 !!!
  • - 1
 Chris Johnston & Zach White got robbed!!!! jajaja
  • + 1
 And Chavez also!! jajaja
  • + 2
 What about the BME crew? Brandon as well and Alvin dropped in the mountain with a broken collarbone with no paramedics to help him out...
  • + 2
 You're right!!! Brandon got robbed too!!! And so bad about Alvin!! Come to Mascota soon!!!
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