The Joy of the (Half) Day Ride

Dirt lies 8km from my front door. And a short climb later there's this...

The weather’s been a bit fickle of late… which always adds to the inertia of trying to get out on solo rides. Most of my recent outings have been quick up and downs to the Microwave Towers – as per this ride – catching a breakfast memela or three on the way back down. Like this example:

Thankfully, Colin and I locked into a date. Colin’s always so very appreciative of the scenery in Oaxaca, so I figured he needed to experience the climb up to San Pablo Quatro Venados at 2400m. Not all of it, because one of my favourite local ‘roughstuff’ routes is the up-down to San Cristobal, a little community on the elbow of a bend before the summit attempt to Cuatro Venados itself.

The ride up is straightforward dirt ‘n gravel. Best bits? The bamboo alley, ever more impressive Etla valley views, especially at this time of year. But the descent! First it straddles a mini-landslide, then it’s all dodge-the-rock riding on an abandonned jeep track… Halfway down, I sometimes like to turn off onto an even more rutted offshoot. So knowing Colin loves his trails, that’s what we did. Fern waving parties were out in full force, too. What a gregarious and social plant.

Rainy season lushness. Too damn bucolic.

I’m working on a “Corrugated Shacks of Oaxaca” series.

Also, Sam at Buckhorn Bags in ABQ, New Mexico, makes some sweet bikepacking gear! Love his colourways, too. And yes, that’s a 29×3.25in monstruo up front! Corrugation by Jumex, who would have thought.

Best news? The Mendoza paletería was open!

So we stopped by for a pick-me-up. Then we topped up the fuel tanks with Oaxaca’s best torta as rated by me, using a complex algorithm of price, kimchi, and quality of mushrooms. The vegetariana is where it’s at! Think 65 pesos, sourdough ciabatta, melted cheese, knock-your-block-off salsa, and avocado. Plus the kimchi/mushroom/price etc as mentioned above.

I like to enjoy it as a picnic on a stoop outside El Volador. Normally I have my Stasher bag. But at least Boulenc’s take away packaging is all compostible. Nice one, Boulenc peeps.

Images taken with that nifty Fuji x100V and processed in LR.

And here’s our track. It’s actually similar to this one. It just has the extra rough ‘n tumble descent.

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