Day 1. Arrival Day
After an airport pickup at OAX airport, we’ll check into our Oaxaca City Hotel, and have a casual dinner to meet and get acquainted. While the Mezcal bars will be tempting, we’ve got mountains to get to and bikes to build or demo bikes to fit.
Day 2. Sierra Norte
After breakfast at the hotel, We’ll head off the tourist track, into the Sierra Norte Mountains, where we’ll drop our gear at our simple Eco Lodge and head out on our first trail, Cucharilla Completa. Starting with a shuttled descent on piney goodness, the trail eventually flattens and becomes more cross-country as we go. We’ll have lunch in a local village before returning to our lodge to settle in and toast our first day together.
Day 3. Llano Grande
After a simple and delicious handmade hot breakfast and coffee, We’ll head out for round two of the Sierra Norte, tackling Sendero Encantado.
These first couple of days are a great way to unplug and revel in life's simple pleasures. I couldn't help but feel fortunate and grateful to be able to experience it all from the seat of my bike.
After lunch in Benito Juarez town, We’ll hit Las S’s, a ripping fun descent. Not the most technical, it's a fun trail to chase friends down, playing leapfrog, hooting and hollering every time someone misses an S. The trail eventually opens up to a farmstead before dropping into rooty goodness and the trail's namesake S’s, with fall line sections broken up by the last 9 challenging switchbacks.
Tonight we’ll BBQ around a bonfire and dine Al Fresco to celebrate a great day.
Day 4. Peak to Valley
After breakfast, we bid goodbye to the rustic lifestyle of the “lungs of the world” and after a shuttle to near 10,000 ft, we climb the last 100 ft to the top of Mil Rios, with over 3,000 ft of ripping descent.
Starting with a ridgeline flow trail, the course has natural wallrides and optional ledges to drop, like a downhill skatepark. Coming out of the trees, the trail changes character and gets rocky and technical. We finish with a fun, rocky river trail dropping us down to the valley floor.
After lunch We’ll hop in the van for to visit the natural "waterfalls" and mineral pools at Hierve el Aguan before returning to Oaxaca City and our base for the rest of the trip.
Day 5. Cumbre Ixtepeji
Today, We’ll drive 40 minutes out of Oaxaca to ride 3 different descending trails, El Cerezo and Llano Carreta first, with some fast descending, rooty sections and optional drops. We can then shuttle or pedal a couple miles up to 204, a 9 miles single track with switchbacks and rock gardens mixed in with pedally sections.
On the way back to town we’ll stop to see how Mezcal has been made for centuries, and taste a couple different types.
Day 6. Etla
We save some of the best for last, as we head to Etla, a crowd favorite on the Mexico National Enduro Series.
We start with Cruz de estazas, celebrated as one of the longest descents in Oaxaca and a grueling stage on the National enduro series, this one aims to please all but your brake pads.
Climbing to 10k among the pines, you can feel the anticipation rise among the group as we pedal the last few vertical feet to the top. From here it’s 4,500 ft of bliss. Starting with piney forest loam, the trail gets rockier and rockier as we go with some epic rock gardens and loose corners as the trail finishes with open grass lands back to the valley floor.
Our guide Yefra maintains these millennia old trading passages, still used by locals for firewood collection and travel today.
Afterwards we’ll tackle Cieneguilla, starting with a fun forested warmup, it eventually turns down, getting techier and loose before opening to faster fun singletrack and eventually dropping us back into Etla, 3,000 ft below.