Not the Mexico Most People Picture

Feb 15, 2015
by Nicolas Switalski  
Mexico is a real paradise for MTB enthusiasts, with perfect riding conditions year round, and Oaxaca is it's crown jewel. A few weeks ago, in the middle of "winter", the Bike Logistics/Transition Bikes team went on a roadtrip to ride Oaxaca's millenial singletrack, and this edit documents their lifestyle.

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Oaxaca photo journal - Oaxaca is located 5 and half hours south of Mexico City, and the trip down there is breathtaking.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images

Sometimes life's unplanned events lead to precious moments that otherwise we would have missed, running out of gas in the middle of nowhere doesn't always turn out badly, not with these sunsets. Having the right company at the right moment definitely helps, too.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images

Life in the high Northern Oaxacan Sierra is pretty much as mellow and magical as it can be. Days start with mystical fog and end with beautiful sunsets. Nights full of stars, friends and beers make for perfect, unforgettable moments. Knowing that there is a day full of riding ahead, is just the cherry on top of the cake.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images

Oaxaca is all about colours and textures, be it in the food or in the trails, Oaxaca has one of the most varied cuisine in all Mexico. You can find all type of terrain conditions in one single ride.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images

The trails in Oaxaca are mainly millenial singletracks, used hundreds of years ago by prehispanic civilizations to connect ancient towns. Nowadays they're raw, natural, breathtaking singletrack trails, and definitely some of the best we've ridden.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images

The terrain and climate variation in Oaxaca's trails are truly amazing, most of them starting high in the Sierra's forest, and descending into the arid valleys surrounding Oaxaca.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images

There are very few things better than popping some post-ride cold beers with your bro's in a "tiendita", Mexico's traditional little town stores. Maybe one of those few better things is realizing that that this is our way of life, our lifestyle.

Living the dream Mexican lifestyle story images
© Roberto Del Río

If you want to ride Oaxaca's epic trails or plan a riding trip to México contact Mauricio De Avila, Bici y Monana / deavila.gotes@gmail.com

Film: Gerardo Flores
Photo: Nicolas Switalski & Roberto del Río
Words: Mauricio De Avila & Nico Switalski.
Riders: Diego Sada & Mauricio de Avila
Bikes: Transition Bikes Patrol 2015 @TransitionBikeCompany
Special thanks to: Stephan Sproll & Bici y Montaña


73 Comments

  • + 36
 The negative comments about Mexico are often fueled by media hype and recycled by people that have never been there. Mexico is an amazing country poised to be a giant economic power. It's filled with incredibly smart and generous people and some of the worlds most beautiful scenery. We've traveled all over Mexico by car and by RV and have never had a problem. Awesome to see Mexico becoming a MTB destination. I'm super excited for our next trip back, surfing in Riviera Nayarit and riding bikes in Mascota.
  • + 9
 Thank you for your comments!
  • + 7
 Most people forget, or have simply never been made aware of Mexico beyond Tijuana and other crappy tourist trap cities. They indeed do suck, and deserve all the bad press they get. However, when you get outside the party towns (and to be fair American and European party towns suck and can be dangerous as well), it's an amazing Country. Mexico has so much MTB potential, huge expanses of untapped terrain, awesome food (not just tacos, Mexican cuisine is so much more than tacos), and inexpensive hotels, how is it not a major MTB destination.
  • + 4
 You will love Mascota!!!!
  • + 1
 Thank you for your comments!
Very kind of you for the good comments, invited to mexico with pleasure when they want to know the beautiful siera chihuahua.
www.facebook.com/pages/LUNA-MTB/376581232433713?ref=bookmarks
  • + 1
 @MauricioMesa: you rock Mau "dance moves" Mesa!
  • + 16
 Spent a few months down Oaxaca way, it's definitely one of the coolest places I've been in Mexico. Food, scenery, people are all AMAZING! I got married there and dragged all my friends and family along, nobody had ever been to anywhere in Mexico outside Cancun so their minds were blown as well.
  • + 5
 Yes, there are lots of awesome geographical areas outside of Cancun that are well worth it. Hoping to get back there soon enough. Monterey does the trick for me http://www.pinkbike.com/video/281138/
  • + 17
 A huevo perros que chingon !!
  • + 8
 Never been to mexico mainland. This video reminded me a lot of the empty roads and beautiful wide open untouched landscape. My wife and I use to go camping / surfing down in Baja every year and venture down for lobsters at Puerto Nuevo for day trips from San Diego-- damn I miss it! Haven't been down there since 2003. I'm sure things have settled some with drug wars and kidnappings but now as a dad with kids; my wife doesn't want to take any chances.
  • + 7
 Actually Oaxaca is one of the safest places in M'exico, in this trip, we went to a community inside the Sierra Norte, and they live from ecoturism, you'll be surpised how well thought and organized everything is. I know that we get a lot of bad press, and with good reason, but if you avoid the hot zones and ride along us, the locals, it's perfectly fine. I've been a tour guide for 15 years in Mexico and never had any issue.
  • + 1
 qpcr8tiv Mau12 is right! Unfortunately tabloid folks do have to make a living, one way or another, (even if they have to lie, gossip, and vomit a lot of BS about "our Country" Mexico, just remember that the organized crime poeple are only a few people, that does not includes us 99% of the population) But! as he also points out, if you avoid the "Hot Spots" respect the rules and drive with someone else you are most likely safe. I live in Guadalajara, Jalisco cradle of Tequila; and as "gfowkes" states above, I would also recomend the Mascota trail(s) in Nayarit, they are really cool! And only a short drive away from my hometown.which is a neighbor state to the state of Nayarit.If you live abroad and would like to come down here and ride the Mascota trail, you can grab a flight to the International Gdl airport and from there, rent a car and drive to Mascota! There are several good hotels and cabins there.
You can look them up on the web! or check with other "Paisanos" in this forum. Good luck to you all! and pedal damn it!
  • + 10
 That last pic is hilarious. "ok, everyone look all badass and depressed!" Click.
  • + 7
 Excelente! Keep up the good work! And to all my friends around the world, dont let the media screw your mind. If you want to ride in an insane, epic, unique, historical places you should come to Mexico. Shalom
  • + 6
 Great!!!!! I love Mexico. Awesome People, I rode my motorcycle from Portland, Oregon to Veracruz and back, it was a really amazing experience next time i am bringing my mtb as well. Que VIVA MEXICO nojoda!!!!!
  • + 3
 A huevo!!!!

Lived in the state of Oaxaca for a year - specifically, Puerto Escondido. Pto Escondido is among the top 5 world destinations for surfing (no bullshit, google it). I know there are cattle trails on the mountains above the town and beach - I used to go running there with some local kids. I've always wanted to fly down with a bike and connect the ribbons of singletrack to create a mtb tourism scene...
This has inspired me to think I just might.

Muchisimas gracias por este video! Nos vemos pronto, México!
  • + 2
 Just spent last week very close to PTO, at some coffee plantations a bit further up in the mountains, trying to flesh out trails with my bike. My sister lives close. I think the mountains in that area have some serious untapped potential. I will be visiting again later in the year and exploring further. Everything we rode was quite steep, rocky, and exposed. You might say it ain't for kids.
  • + 3
 excelente, es de lo mejor ver en pinkbike la calidad de la producción mexicana, espero que presten mas atención a este lado del continente, saludos al equipo de bike logistics y felicidades a nico y gerardo por la excelente producción
  • + 5
 I have a ver fond memory of going there as a kid. would love to go back. there's some awesome archeological ruins there. combining culture with mtbing would be awesome...
  • + 5
 It's so sad that Mexico is far far away Frown I really would like to ride in this amazing country Wink
  • + 1
 If you make it acros the atlantic we take care of acomodations, food and travel
  • + 1
 Thanks, but cost of making it across the Atlantic "solves" it Frown
  • + 4
 Riding and the place looks awesome! The video and photos also Rocked!! Maybe some commentary would have made the video even better. Thanks for this Smile
  • + 7
 Thanks everyone!
  • + 5
 Great post. I enjoy Mexico and the great land, people, n food. I have to ask where were all the manege dogs? Just don't seem like Mexico without herds of dogs.
  • + 3
 Ok sorry I seen one
  • + 5
 Me encanto lo de la tiendita. Muy buen articulo. Felicidades. Si no les caigo este año les caigo el que viene c todo mi grupo. Slds
  • + 2
 Never knew that I could love Oaxaca more than I already do. But now knowing that there is some good mountain biking there I think I could live there now. The food, people and culture of Oaxaca is amazing. The last time I was the there I remember looking at the mountains wondering..hmmmm.. i wonder if there is some good trails up there and how awesome it would be to ride all day, roll into the cobbles of Oaxaca and get a cold Mexican beer with some amazing Oaxacan food. viva mexico
  • + 1
 ...and that's just Oaxaca, Right in the center of Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Queretaro and Guanajuato, all have natural trails for all levels of expertise and with all type of environments... And great MTB communities ready to welcome visitors...
  • + 5
 The goat trails are here: www.mountainbikeoaxaca.com
  • + 1
 www.facebook.com/pages/LUNA-MTB/376581232433713?ref=bookmarks
BIKERS VISIT MEXICO FRIENDS, IS A GREAT PLACE TO ROLL IN YOUR MTB BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES AND KNOW IN THE PATHS OF THE MOUNTAINS OF SIERRA Tarahumara IN CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
  • + 3
 Mexico is awesome. Living in Northern Mexico (San Diego), we get to make the trip often and enjoy every minute of it.
  • + 2
 Its hard to notice the black paint job with that beautiful orange glowing in my eyes. The blue handlebars were a nice touch as well.
  • + 3
 Felicidades, excelente video y reseña. Es bueno ver el legado en los hijos de Jorge De Avila... Fuerte abrazo
  • + 3
 Viva México, Viva Oaxaca, Felicidades al equipo.....
  • + 1
 Really Happy to see my country on pinkbike, its amazing how many trails we have and how lucky we are to be able to ride year round.
  • + 3
 The very last part is the Mexico most people picture.
  • + 1
 and probably not that far off. I'm in Argentina and the small towns are all like that. Clearly there are some amazing vistas though.
  • + 1
 Buenísimooooooooooo!!!!!!!! Bien por esos BIKE LOGISTICS!!!!!! Bien Oaxaca!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 My family has spent waaaay too much bribing cops to get him home from Mexico, no thanks I'll take Whistler.
  • + 1
 Que buen artículo Nico ! Fotografías increíbles, chido por promocionar México, felicidades !
  • + 1
 ..Transtion team you don't have to travel that far south....riderz are killing it across the border..
  • + 2
 Mexico is great, minus the diarrhea!
  • + 2
 Muy buen articulo fotos y video
  • + 1
 Chiiido bike logistics!!!!! Gracias por la pic y el clip de la "esquina". Saludos a todos!!!!
  • + 2
 For more information check our Page at facebook.com/bikelogistics
  • + 3
 Dieguito te estas poniendo cacheton!! muchos saludos y un abrazo de tu amigo de siempre.
Muchas felicidades por seguir hablando bien de Oaxaca y de México.

Saludos
  • + 1
 If you guys want to ride the best enduro tracks mexico has to offer you should check MASCOTA JALISCO.
  • + 1
 lo vuelvo a ver y es increíble!
  • + 2
 Totally truth!
  • + 2
 great work!!!
  • + 2
 That patrol is beautiful
  • + 2
 You should ride one! Smile
  • + 1
 I want to very badly! i'm going to try and sell my two current bikes to afford it.
  • + 2
 You won't regret it! I ordered one when it was first announced, it arrived in january and so I sold my covert. It is simply the best bike that I have ever ridden..
  • + 1
 perfect
  • + 0
 It's all fun and games until you get your sh@t jacked. No bueno.
  • + 15
 You're right. Probably better to stay inside then, with your cuddle blanket.
  • + 4
 Correction Mr Bishop its 80 deg outside in sunny California. You can have my cuddle blanket just make sure not to leave any marks Wink
  • + 4
 Better vibe when theres no stereotypes being thrown, Mexico's a wonderful country and just like everywhere else, if you dont wanna get your stuff stolen you take precautions, its fine if you wanna call your cuddle blanket California, leaves cooler people riding worldwide when negative nancies stay at home in Cali
  • + 5
 @lomelibikes, you could not have said it better! Mexico is awesome and I have been going there and riding killer trails all over Baja, Michoacan, etc, for years. Trouble finds people looking for trouble. The terrain is equivalent to everything we have here in the states and more! Big climbs, downhill runs over 14-17 miles, hero dirt! If you can speak spanish then it is so easy to link up with a local and they are more than happy to show you a good time on the trails. No manmade stuff, just straight raw tundra to shred on. It kind of reminds me of mountain biking in the early nineties when everything was not sanitized.
  • + 3
 @zgroove that is exactly what you find outside the US trails...no man made trails, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru , Chile...all with great non-manmade trails...good thing we still have people riding horses and donkeys in our countries...as they are our trail maintenance crew...
  • + 2
 One of the great features Oxacan trails have to offer is that there's nothing built, these are all raw natural trails used now for centuries, many of them were used by prehispanic cultures for trading. Another great plus I'd say Oaxaca has is that is so rich in culture and the city of oaxaca which is no more than 1 hour from where these trails are has lots of first class tourist infrastructure for all kinds of people, you can find first class hotels and restaurants as you can budget places, perfect place to leave your family while you go riding! Please believe me, I live in Mexico City and would move to Oaxaca city to live if my work would allow it. Give Mexico a chance and don't believe everything the news says, Oaxaca is not Cancun, tequila, cactus, sombreros and drug cartels! It is one of the richest cities culturally speaking in Mexico. I'm no tourist guide nor do I live of people coming to Mexico or Oaxaca specifically but am really sad that this article's topic has turned into the insecurity tabloids represent Mexico as! So please step out of your comfort zone a bit and I assure you that places like these will blow your mind!
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