Words: Mau De Avila Pictures: Chuck Finlay/Andres Eichman Video: Gerardo Flores
We first met Kyle a couple years ago in a BME Race in Mascota, México, and became good friends thanks to riding bikes and good times. We had been talking about doing a trip to Oaxaca for a while and a couple months back we were able to make it happen; we wanted to do a photo/video article with him as one of our ambassadors and there was a 5 de Mayo race happening in Oaxaca, schedules aligned and it was a go.
For this trip, we picked up Kyle and Chuck (who shot the awesome photos below) at Mexico City's airport after a quick flight from their respective cities and headed to our place, which sits right at the base of the huge mountain range that surrounds Mexico City, some 40 min away from downtown. The next morning Kyle quickly built his brand new, not even officially released Felt Compulsion and we headed for a warm up, shuttled (sorry not sorry) ride to our local trails all the way up to 11,000 ft. Not a lot of people know it, but Mexico City has a big riding scene that grows quickly every day thanks to it's 30 million people, the huge mountains that surround it full of natural trails, and the fact that you can ride bikes in perfect weather conditions the whole year long.Fresh steed, shuttled rides and traditional tamales. Starting the day the right way.Overlooking Mexico City. Where are all the burros?Lush green forests and perfect brown dirt in Mexico City. Mau leading the party train for the shot.
After a great day of riding in Mexico City, we headed down south to Oaxaca for the weekend and the race ahead. Our party van always delivers the good times on the road, and after 6 hrs and some beautiful views, we got to Oaxaca just in time for lunch, although it was more like a full-on feast of delicious, traditional Oaxacan food, Mexico's finest cuisine. Handmade, fresh cooked tortillas. Anyone said REAL tacos?
After a lot of delicious food, we continued our way up to Oaxaca's high Sierra where an ancient world-class trail network patiently waits to be discovered. For the last couple years, we've been working closely with the local indigenous community that owns the land in order to develop the riding scene there, cleaning and building new trails and maintaining ancient ones and getting involved with them in every aspect needed to make Oaxaca a world class MTB destination. Because of their ancient traditions and Mexico's constitutional protection, they have been living autonomously for hundreds of years, always under the community figure. They all have duties in order to make the community work, there's no such thing as property, and everyone is well aware that they have to look and care for each other in order to maintain a common good. We're happy to say that mountain biking is becoming part of their community now, and it's been hugely satisfying helping them getting involved with it. Oaxaca's Sierra Juarez is one of the worlds most biodiverse forests according to the WWF. Kyle enjoying the loam. Mau feeling the pressure.
Race day! After a quick, last-minute course pre-ride, it was time to tackle some of Oaxaca's longest and hardest trails. It was all fun and good times though, as racing should be.
There were only 3 stages on the race, but they were long, raw and hard (the fastest time on stage 1 was 12 min, with very few pedal strokes, dropping almost 5,000 ft). A combination of super high-speed flow on top and raw twisty singletrack at the bottom is what you'll find on most of Oaxaca's ancient trails. Such a blast! Kyle and Mau racing some ancient trails. Mexiloam and one of its loamies. What's the best thing about enduro racing? Meeting people and sharing the ride. Winner winner chicken dinner! Kyle brought some Fly Racing swag to share with the new friends. Kudos Kyle and Fly! New friends and cold Victorias. It's great to see how bikes pull us together.
After a great weekend of riding and racing, we headed downtown to show the boys just the tip of Oaxaca's cultural richness. We hit the huge local market for breakfast and then went for a stroll across the beautiful streets. It was the perfect closure for our trip before heading back to Mexico City and saying hasta luego!
If you want to come down here and experience a fully guided, all-inclusive bike vacation please contact us
and get ready to have the time of your life on and off the bike, we're always happy to make new two-wheeled friends!