After 5+ years of building trails, exploring the Sierra Norte, sharing mezcal and long trails with the world, the fifth anniversary of TranSierra Norte is in the books. What started as a simple bike race to show the Sierra Norte region and Mexican culture to the world, has now become a global "Familia" that keeps expanding. Each year we see both new and returning faces, united by the same passion, riding bicycles, exploring nature, climbing up mountains, challenging both mind and body, and riding along with the ones who left us.
For the Fifth Anniversary of TSN, the essence and goal remained the same, we just tried to focus on the details. Secret trails, more Mexican surprises, and more cultural exposure to make sure everyone had the time of their lives. Oaxaca is a unique experience on its own due to its geographical location, history, and amazing gastronomy. We just squeezed the lemons on top of our Tlayudas and made sure everyone had mezcal!
To start the party right, riders gathered at the TranSierra House, where smiles, mezcal, and Tlayudas were shared before the racing began.
Day 1Results Day 1
Day 1 started with a sunny morning in the colorful city, breakfast and coffee were served at the TranSierra House. The excitement to run to the hills and start pedaling was in the air and everyone could feel it. After breakfast, everyone hopped on the party bus and started heading to Ixtepeji to let the racing begin. The nerves and excitement were contained on the bus, but as soon as riders dropped into the first stage and their tires started cutting through fresh loam, those nerves quickly became smiles and laughs. Everyone loosened up and started dancing. After 3 short, loamy stages, riders pedaled up to ride Llano Carreta, one of Oaxaca´s classics; this trail is long, fast, flowy, and can get steep.
After riding down stages 4 and 5, riders had lunch at ¨Miscelanea Las Orquideas¨, a small shop on the side of the road that has slowly become the staple hang-out spot for after-ride refreshments. “Doña Tere” the legendary woman behind this little shop, served everyone with an ear-to-ear smile. There's something about cooling off on a sidewalk in the middle of nowhere after riding some sick trails, it just never gets old.
Riders took the party bus up to set up shop at base camp, where cold beers and day 1 results awaited. The hunger to fight and carry the dead had just started, followed by a classic Mexican ¨Carne asada¨ and a bonfire to finish up the first day. Following the tradition, the "ofrenda" was set up and we were stoked to see some of our riders bring photos of the ones we'd lost. Riders who carried the dead on the first day handed the skeleton to the fastest riders of the day.
Day 2Results Day 2
The second day of racing started with a pedal up to “Nomo”, a fresh-cut loamer that had everyone buzzing. The sunshine and mist of this magical morning combined with the excitement of party-riding in hero dirt left riders speechless. After getting barreled in deep ruts of perfectly moist soil, riders pedaled up to ¨Puma¨ a classic fast and short trail. After that, riders pedaled up again to ride ¨Martinez¨ to ¨Punta de Piedra¨ a long, loose and steep descent that ended at ¨La Tiendita de Doña Tere¨ where Margaritas and Tortas were served.
After 4 stages, riders finished a big day of testing their skill on Beto´s secret trail. This trail was a long mix of fresh loam, fast straights, off-camber sections, turns, a dry technical bottom section, and Mexican surprises that put the rider´s endurance and improvisation skills to the test.
Shapes were thrown at the dance floor!
Day 3Results Day 3
Day 3 was all about the classic trails in Ixtepeji, riders rode up to Jabalí for a solid warm-up, and then pedaled up to ride Peña Prieta, a technical descent with 1,200 meters of vert that tends to get pretty loose once you're up to speed. This descent ended at our favorite chill spot where riders gathered and were served by Doña Tere before heading up to Ixtepeji again for a big second part of the day.
After taking the bus to Ixtepeji, riders pedaled up to the summit and raced 7 Brujas, a short single track that ends just before the infamous ¨Toro¨. Arguably the hardest track in Oaxaca, this trail takes you through all the different landscapes in Oaxaca, from loamy rainforests, to dry desert-like conditions and everything in between. Riders grabbed “El Toro” by the horns and finished up the day with a fresh lower section of trail to keep the stoke high. To keep everyone hydrated after some bullfighting, we enjoyed some beers at a little shop in the town of Huayapam.
Vibes were off the roof in the party bus en route to base camp. Dancing to the rhythm of Cumbias and some Mezcal. It's safe to say, things got a little loose, TSN Style!
Day 4Results Day 4
The last day of racing started with a pedal up to the top of Ixtepeji, followed by a scenic hike-a-bike and two stages. After that, riders traversed to the other side of the Sierra where the fast and flowy tracks of San Pablo Etla showcased some serious party trains. The last stage “Flanders Flow” was just the perfect long and technical track to wrap up 4 days of party racing. After beers and fireworks at a little shop in San Pablo Etla, the celebration of life had just started.
The awards, dinner, and party were hosted at a campsite in San Pablo. Riders indulged in some authentic pork carnitas, with all the sides you could ask for, cold beers, and mezcal cocktails, courtesy of Gracias a Dios Mezcal.
Followed by a Lucha Libre show, the energy of the place was unreal. Riders screamed and cheered for the fighters under the sun. As the sun was setting, the orange skies resembled the tone of the Cempasuchil flower, a symbol of life and death.
After a beautiful sunset in San Pablo Etla, riders enjoyed their last party bus trip of the event.Overall results here!
Sharing our culture, mountains, and food through mountain biking has always been our goal. Celebrating life and the ones who left us through the highs and lows is our way to give thanks, and remind ourselves to live in the moment. The event might be over, but “la Lucha” will continue, and one day, we will leave, only taking these experiences. The smiles and energy of the TranSierra Family are what keep us going back to making these events!
We want to thank all of our sponsors, riders, staff members, trail builders, and local communities for keeping it real! Till next year!
Registration for TranSierra Norte 2023 are Open NOW! www.transierranorte.com
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Special thanks to: Giant Bicycles México, Red Bull, Evoc, DyedBro, Bike Logistics, POC, Bikes&More, WPL, Kaax Outdoor, and Gracias a Dios Mezcal.