Let me tell you… it wasn´t an easy task to do. The challenge, as many others of course, will include a perfectly executed logistics, choosing the right trails considering difficulty, length and altitude loss; beside that, we had to consider how many hours of day light we will have, a well-trained staff, and not less important, a lot of fitness, no mechanicals and a bit of luck.
Just the idea of achieving 10,000 meters of altitude loss in one day was overwhelming. Considering that mount Everest height is 8,849 meters, we wanted to do a higher milestone. You may ask why? We say, why not? We are thrilled by the simple fact that we know we can do it. That’s our lifestyle; the feeling of being able to ride our bikes to the limit its what drives us; and of course, the fact that we are on one of the most epic places to do it.
Now a days, people around the glove its more concern about what they publish on social media rather than what they actually enjoy doing. We love being outside just riding our bikes and forget about all that madness; maybe that’s the reason we committed on this challenging journey.
Our mantra: more riding, less social media
The team: Gua (47), Stephan (40), Pablo (46) and Sam (39); cyclist junkies from long time.
None of us is a pro rider, nor influencer; we don’t even own any decent social media. But that’s not an excuse, we are avid riders who enjoy riding our bikes until the end of our lives.
The Staff: Two drivers, one mechanic, and one photographer
One of the most crucial parts of this challenge was to have the adequate team/staff for the over 12 hours of nonstop riding. Each part of the staff had several tasks assigned; the two drivers were needed to speed up things. Our mechanic was located on the mountain to help us with any mechanical; we also have the supply point there. And lastly but not less important our photographer who documented our crazy idea.
Its not new that Oaxaca became the trail riding/enduro mecca in our country. Just look around the city. The place is surrounded by breath taking mountains, from Etla to Mitla, and further south in the Pacific. Sierra norte and Sierra sur landscapes are magic. Ixtepeji have hosted top notch international races such as the Transierra Norte Enduro. Elite athletes like Richie Rude, Jesse Melamed and Jerome Clementz have experienced and loved the gnar, steep and sweet singletracks of Oaxaca. For the increasing trail network, easy access and lodge options it was the right place to perform this challenge.
Nonetheless this is our favorite place to visit frequently to ride our bikes
Tight Schedule, loamy singletracks and a lot of fun (The Trails)
Trail choosing was a difficult one. But we have our own geek who stood up for us and did it well. Stephan known for its obsession with apps such as Strava and Trailforks performed a well-structured plan for what we have coming up.
We had to consider trails accessibility, shuttle times, and an agenda based on our riding skills that we could do in day light. Since de beginning we had two plans (A and B), as we were aware about the weather forecast. Like I said before raining season was in full swing in México.
SUNRISE 6:58 SUNSET: 20:50
22 Trails on schedule. Starting 7:00 am with a trail called Dragoncito, then Ola Hawaiana, Jabalí, Maritnez and La Imposible, and of course a classic Cerezo. Tierra Negra was on schedule too, and to finish the day Llano Carreta.
Well sh*t happens. All of our plan A was affected by the rain, the damn and beautiful rain… since we arrived at Ixtepeji, a steady shower started, and didn’t ended until later that night. We wanted to do a check up on the bikes, and see the trail status that day, but it didn’t happen as the rain was coming down.
So that plan A wasn’t going to work well…as the rain is a factor for some rideable trails, we had to consider plan B and put it into work.
Major change from plan A to B was ditching a trail called Cerezo an all-time favorite. The main issue was mud, unstable surfaces and it can become somehow dangerous in that situation. Also it’s not a trail fitted for raining time, we can cause a lot of wreck on it.
24 trails: same as plan A, Dragoncito was on schedule; we rode several times Ola Hawaiana, and Jabalí. Martinez + Imposible, Tierra Negra, Martinez + Punta de Piera, closing with Llano Carreta.
What we really Achieved
The day started with high energy! We were prepared and happy to start. No rain, at least for some part of the day, but it was super cloudy. No sun in the forecast, yet more rain in the afternoon.
Warming up its always important. Dragoncito it’s an easy flowy trail which lead us to gain momentum. Team member Gua crashed on the first few meters haha! Nothing too bad, we were all anxious...
So the day started, and we spend it well. Trail after trail, everything was smooth. We were on track to do this amazing challenge.
La Imposible. All time favorite; I wasn’t expecting it was going to be so sketchy and hard to ride. But it was obvious because the rain fallen before. It was a big challenge, physical and mentally. Last part of the trail was in very bad shape, lot of water was coming down, so you can imagine. Ditches, holes and loose rocks everywhere. But we did it.
Oh man, it was a great relief finishing it without any casualties… bikes were good, no one crashed and we thank for the sun that appeared and some heat finally. El Estudiante (where the trail ends) it’s a great spot to have a beer, but we have to keep going, so we did it.
We were right on schedule. We did some more trails before we had our lunch break at 12:30. We rest a little bit. Our hands an body started to feel what is to ride that amount of trails down in one day… The next task was to ride Punta de Piedra. One of the gnarliest trails around. Technical, steep, and extremely long.
To add some spice, rain started when we were riding it
Sored hands and tiredness were visible at this point. We were really anxious about riding this trail, it messed up our minds, and then the rain comes. We finished in one piece; wet, covered in mud, but really stoked to rode it.
It was past 2pm and we had no time to rest; The rain arrived and decided to stay for the rest of the day.
As the hours went by, we kept doing trail after trail, but the rain never stopped. Each time we jumped on the bike to tackle down the next trail we felt more and more tired. It was intense.
Things were really slow at this point. The rain paced us down. We have done so many times Ola Hawaiana at this point that we changed our schedule to do something different mixing it with Tierra Negra. This gave us the opportunity to stop by the pits each time we rode it.
By the fourth time we did that mixed trail, the showers were really hard. So we made the hard decision to stop and finish our day.
Disappointment was in the air. We knew that without the rain factor we have achieved our goal. Nevertheless, we learned from this experience a lot. The group of people, the place and the nerves you need to do it drive us to attempt doing it once again soon.
A very special thanks to Ecoturismo Ixtepeji, and to our staff that despite the heavy rain never had second thoughts doing it: Sam, Choforo, Alexis and Iñigo, thank you.