Video: How To Make The Most Of Your Mexican MTB Adventure

Feb 7, 2023
by Christina Chappetta  



How To Make The Most Of Your Mexican MTB Adventure
With Christina Chappetta

Photography by Hailey Elise



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Tell me you're in Mexico without telling me you're in Mexico. It was a real treat to experience a live Lucha Libre as part of the wrap party at the TranSierra Norte enduro.


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The markets in Oaxaca, Mexico, are truly cultural and culinary experiences of their own. From local mole to cheeses, mezcal, and even crickets, there are many treasures to be found. Around every corner, there are alleyways and paths to explore and friendly locals with inviting smiles.


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A local tapestry maker at work. Art is everywhere! As a shopaholic myself, it was hard to keep from buying all the amazing trinkets and colorful mementos.


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Part of the reason for my traveling south was to partake in the popular TranSierra Norte 4-day enduro race. While that might have been a big chunk of the trip, it was the trails, locals, and experiences that will have me coming back again. Thousands of meters of descending later, we all needed a quick reset before heading back up into the Sierra Norte mountains' loam factory. As someone coming from Whistler with little to no expectations, I'm not gonna lie, they had me grinning ear to ear even more than usual.


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The riding was everything I had dreamed of and more. Luckily, there were plenty of shuttles available to get us back up the mountains where we could pedal off into the sunset again. This memory was from the final day of hitting the trails as the driver navigated the busy streets to get us back into Oaxaca.


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The damp, dank, Mexican jungle was fun to ride in but made for hard work trying to dry the kit for the next day. This was the guys' dorm and thankfully you can't smell through photos.


Oaxaca mountain biking trails

More trails than you could possibly ride in a week's time! Please reach out if you have any questions about a trip like this or trails I loved in particular. And of course, a huge thanks to the TranSierra Norte crew for helping to make this trip as successful as it was and sharing your amazing trails.




Regions in Article
Oaxaca

Author Info:
christinachappetta avatar

Member since Jul 6, 2012
29 articles

55 Comments
  • 40 3
 Speaking of MTB in Mexico; are we all just collectively pretending Freeride Fiesta didn't happen last month or what?
Zero coverage compared to plenty of hype on the past.
  • 6 0
 Fr, the only thing I was able to find was a video Remy posted.
  • 20 0
 Pinkbike doesn't like Freeride anymore unless it's narrated by folks with a BMX background
  • 5 0
 This is a strictly downcountry website. If you want freeride news, you'll have to look elsewhere.
  • 6 0
 Freebie Fiesta is only for core riders who aren't in it for the clicks, so no press releases. Ever.
  • 4 0
 @danielfloyd: e-downcountry
  • 1 0
 Watch dylan stark's edit. good recap!
  • 19 0
 Thanks for the good times @christinachappetta & Hailey! Awesome video & stills!
  • 5 0
 Thanks so much for helping to make it an amazing trip. Oaxaca is such a special place.
  • 2 0
 The best!
  • 7 0
 Thanks for letting me live vicariously through those great photos and fun video. As someone firmly in the second half of life, I don't think there's any way I could take those kinds of risks anymore.
  • 7 1
 I just did a shuttled tour in October at age 51. Some others in our group had done TSDN, which I agree I'm not up for, but the shuttled rides are great.
  • 7 0
 It's worth going and riding some of the mellower trails for sure. The culture, food, and adventures in that region are insane!
  • 3 0
 A friend of ours came with us to Oaxaca to celebrate his 70th birthday, and rode nearly everything at Ixtepeji. After a few laps, you get a taste for the flavor of the trails, and it's not quite so overwhelming if you're not trying to go at race pace.
  • 4 0
 Amazing job capturing the experience Hailey Elise. Wow

It's what we all hope for with our adventure photos but then we look through them and wonder wtf who even took these lol
  • 2 0
 Haha... Yes, i know this feeling ^^
  • 6 0
 Mmmmmm home made tortillas!!!!!
  • 4 0
 Best and most beautiful tortillas I have ever seen!
  • 2 0
 Love the photos. Always like to see if the camera info is attached to the pics in these photo stories. Lol'ing at the use of a $3500 camera body using a dslr mount $100 50 1.8. Probably smart to use a inexpensive lens when traveling abroad.
  • 3 0
 Saw the thumbnail, saw the first photo and read who the author was. Fully expected we were about to learn Christinas side hussle.
  • 5 0
 HAHAHA!!!!! She looked ironically like me, similar size and all.
  • 2 0
 What trails were your favorite? Restaurant recs? I am spending 3 weeks in Oaxaca in March and would love to get more details on all of it!
  • 2 0
 We mostly rode the trail zone La Cumbre Ixtepeji and they were all amazing. Huge descents so a lot of variety on one top to bottom lap. All of the food was amazing to be fair. Tried crickets, that was weird...
  • 6 0
 I hope you're traveling around for those 3 weeks. In Oaxaca City, check out Casa Oaxaca, Sabina Sabe and Boulenc has awesome pizza. I didn't get to try last time but Criollo looks awesome (dude who owns Pujol). Such an amazing place, heading back next month to Puerto Escondido.
  • 2 0
 @mtbneill: We are doing a bit of traveling in the area - we have a car, but we are also working remotely. Part vacation, part work - need to get some sun, it's been too grey in the Pacific Northwest this year.
  • 1 0
 @iamalexm: I'm up in Bellingham, I know the grey pain!
  • 1 0
 @mtbneill: Surf n Turf!
  • 1 0
 I’m planning to do a trip to Oaxaca in April. I’m up for splitting the cost of uplifts and a guide, if that’s at all required . Not sure if that’s do-able but would appreciate the advise! Thanks.
  • 1 0
 I'd recommend an uplift to the top of the mtn at least, then you can pedal around a load of trails and descend back to any of the small villages and to your car. You can usually book in with other groups to. make the uplift cheaper and I'd highly recommend a guy if it's in the budget because they will know what's really really good, as opposed to just good
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Sweet! On a budget for this one so I'll just get an uplift to the top and 'Trailforks' it!
  • 3 0
 No time for a Puerto surf session???
  • 2 0
 Not this time...surprisingly far away from the jungle. But next time I will stay longer and attempt some surfing.
  • 2 0
 Chunky like Pemby trails! Hope you got some mole and chapolinas while you were there. Oaxaca is great!
  • 1 0
 Ah yes, many chapolinas hahah and true, the lower trails were very Pemby'esque dry and rocky
  • 3 0
 Those photos are so Oaxaca, nice
  • 2 0
 Great photography! Looked like a blast. I'd go to MX for this event just to eat the food. The riding would be a bonus Wink
  • 2 0
 The dinners were to die for!! Such an experience.
  • 2 0
 someone photoshop a bike in the luchadores hands, ty
  • 2 0
 Stay out of the cold, next stop Hawaii!
  • 2 0
 That would be dreamy! There happens to be cheap tickets there right now
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Well if you do make it out here, I work at The Bike Shop on the island of Oahu. And could direct you to the popular trails. And I might know some peeps who know the secret trails.
  • 2 1
 i would LOVE to get away and do something like this during the winter, as long as it's not thousands of dollars.
  • 2 0
 It's definitely not. The hotels we stayed at were super lush and quite cheap.
  • 2 0
 Makes me want to go , maybe next winter …… thanks @christinachappetta
  • 1 0
 Do it!!! See you there!
  • 1 0
 what was the total cost, if you dont mind me asking?
  • 3 0
 Entry is about $1800USD but you can save a little if you enter early. That covers everything for the 4 day race, food, travel, hotels, shuttles, etc. If you were to do the same on your own program it would certainly cost more than the entry fee. Highly recommend, well worth the experience. Entry fee + flights and a little bit of fun money is your total cost.
  • 3 0
 Depends what you want really. The race adds more to the overall cost but it was an insane experience and there's no way I could have pushed myself to ride that many trails, and good trails at that, without the energy of the other racers and organizers. You could do a guided trip for less and be on a much more relaxed schedule.
  • 1 0
 This looks so sick! I definitely want to go!
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