Vacuum noise coming from the inside out, followed by a blinding light that sends shivers down your spine. Every step taken is like walking on deep snow, this makes us wonder how deep the rabbit hole really goes. Altitude sickness hits hard when you don't expect it. In the Mexico City range of surrounding mountains or volcanoes. What other countries might consider high mountain, gets a new meaning here.Nevado de Toluca, 4300 meters above sea levelStep One
Breathe as deep as you can.
We set ourselves the task of doing this great trail ride that goes from the top of the Nevado de Toluca to Ixtapan de la Sal that so many people had been talking about. This ride consists of about 34 km of riding through awesome singletrack that descends pretty quickly. Most of the trail is comprised of sweet singletrack downhills with a few pedalling sections that give it the 'Enduro' type ride - well, ok, 'All Mountain.'
The Nevado de Toluca is located an hour and a half drive from Mexico City, it is a inactive volcano. Its crater which is a lagoon now, was once used by pre-hispanic civilians to drop offerings into its waters, nowadays if you can go as far as dipping your fingers into its freezing waters - well, that would be the most religious experience you could ever get out of it, if you know what I mean. Standing beside this giant makes us know how small we are, you kinda lose your dimensionsStep Two
Keep moving: you're almost there, step by step, pedal stroke by pedal stroke will soon get you to the top of the volcano.
There are several ways to start this trail, one would be to pedal your butt up the volcano, which believe me, at this altitude every bit of energy you can save will make the ride more enjoyable - please, XC guys, omit your comments or opinions here, jaja! The other more civilized way is to drive up to the refuge which is the last place cars are permitted and start a one or two km hike-a-bike to the top of the volcano, but don't be fooled, this hike-a-bike is hard, some people will suffer with these heights, the only thing that keeps you going is that you can see the top and know that once you get there it's all fun and games from there!Sandy, dusty anti grip descents is what you encounter on this trailWe can finally see the tree-line, at last, more oxygenStep Three
Enjoy the ride: well, what else were you expecting here? There's no advice or help I can give you if this doesn't come naturally, if you are a mountain biker and are having difficulties achieving this state, please refer to your nearest psychologist. Jorge has fun on this natural berm, we destroyed it after a few runs. Finally naming it "the black elbow revenge"Trademark duckface, take note, this turn will wash you out if you do not pout!This trail is rough on some people... well... animals... well... old cattle about to perish
It doesn't matter if it's your backyard trail or across the world riding, every trail has its special place in someone's bucket list, and I wouldn't dare to say one trail is better than another. While several details make a ride better or more enjoyable, the right company and the perfect state of mind can make a awesome ride something to remember. If you'd like to know more about this trail or any other trip in Mexico, contact these guys from Bici y Montana
in Mexico, they sure do know how to have fun and make fun! Thanks for making my day. Cheers!