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I arrived at a crazy Mexican girls house late in the afternoon. I’d met her just over 24 hours earlier in the town of San Miguel de Allende. I’m basing myself here for the next couple of weeks exploring the nearby areas. ‘Come mountain biking with me and my friends’, she said. So I went mountain biking Nevada de Toluca.

The brother of this girl loaned me his car to transport us 65km to the large Mexican city of Queretero. It was dark when we arrived. This girl I just met took me out on the town with her sister for dinner then back to her sisters place. At 1am we drove to another friends place. It was like the scene of a Tarantino movie.

It’s 2am. I’m standing on a quiet Mexican street. This crazy Mexican girl, Edith, and I are waiting for more cyclists to arrive. We are driving for several hours through the night to start cycling up Nevado de Toluca.

At 2am Miguel, Dr and Rafa arrived. We threw our bikes in the back of the truck and set off for the long night drive to the base of the snow covered 4800m, Nevada de Toluca. This is Mexico and this is how some Mexican mountain bikers spend their weekend.

I slept little in the truck. We started cycling pre dawn. The temperature was -6C. We all struggled our way up the steep hill at high altitude. We were all breathless which is understandable at altitudes above 4000m. The struggle took almost 2 hours, then the trail was less steep, the views more expansive and the sun was out to warm us.

I’m in Mexico, it’s -6C, we are cycling through snow, there are frozen lakes and in the distance Volcan Popocatepetl was erupting. What an amazing place Mexico is. The diversity of the country is beyond belief. Just look through my previous posts and photos. I’m constantly amazed, surprised and impressed by the country and it’s people.

Mid morning, we cycled down to a frozen lake. Boldly I cycled onto the lake. The ice was thick, very thick, I was in no danger of falling through. Rafa, Dr and Edith follow me. The sound of the ice cracking as I walked on it was similar to a high pitched shrill of a bird. I tried my best penguin impersonation, other tried their best ice dancing. It was a fun place.

Late in the morning we cycled at speed downhill to our waiting vehicle. Cycling without the weight of my panniers was great. So light and fast. This bikepacking craze that is sweeping the cycle touring world might just have another convert. Now, how can I lighten the weight of my gear to half what I have now.

A big thank you to my crazy Mexican cycling friends for allowing a traveling gringo to tag along with you. Muchas gracias.

By the way I’ve made some changes to my website design, let me know what you all think.

MTB Nevada de Toluca

Dr, riding up the steep hills before the sun wakes up. -6C

Sunrise Nevada de Toluca

Pre dawn

Nevada de Toluca

Myself, Dr and Edith with Volcan Popocatepetl erupting in the background

Volcan Popocatepetl

Volcan Popocatepetl

MTB Nevada de Toluca

Dr and Rafa mountain biking Nevada de Toluca, heading for the frozen lake

Mountain biking nevada de toluca

Edith riding through the snow at 4200m Mountain Biking Nevada de Toluca

Mountain biking nevada de toluca

Edith mountainbiking at 4200m on Nevada de Toluca

cycling the the frozen lake nevada de toluca

I’m trying to ride on the frozen lake at 4200m. It’s not easy. mountain biking Nevada de Toluca

Nevada de toluca

Dr and Rafa ice dancing

ice nevada de toluca

Penguin imitation


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21 Responses

  1. yukonhelibiking

    Hey I just read your Robert Campbell highway adventure. Another great adventure bud, too bad we didn’t cross paths up north. I ended up in Nahanni NWT with my mountain bike and helicopter. My wife is a pilot and dropped me off on many extremely remote mountains while she flew out of a hunting camp. I was all alone on those mountains except for the critters I ran into from bears and wolves to sheep and caribou and it was pretty intense. The nearest road,or town for that matter, was hundreds of miles away, truly just me and my bike. I’m just now figuring out this WordPress thing and building a site to document all my adventures. Your site gives me some inspiration, thanks! I do have a Facebook page Yukon Helibiking where I kept track of the fun if you’re interested in checking it out. Good on ya mate enjoy life yeah!

    • BikeHikeSafari

      The Robert Campbell hwy seems so long ago. Intense. Not much traffic. I lost quite a bit of weight during that week. Some amazing places in that part of the world. I thought about the Canol trail but it would have been too expensive and remote for me at the time. Although combining the Canol with a canoe trip on the Mackenzie to Inuvik was appealing. I’ll check out your Facebook.

  2. Aaron

    Those are great people and good friends. I was invited to go with them but being from Michigan, I don’t ever want to see snow again. I’ll wait until summer.

  3. Rafael Arturo Ochoa Navarro

    Thanks Brad gran compañía y amigo, que tengas buenos trayectos a tus destinos y más aventuras.

  4. Sally

    Wow! Amazing. I had know idea there were frozen lakes in mexico. I would not have believed it until now, from seeing your photos. Thx of sharing.

  5. anna

    The new layout is nice! What an amazing place Mexico is. Never knew this sort of scenery was in Mexico. Wow!

  6. Rick Parker

    Hey Shepard!

    I’ve been following your adventure since your PCT launch. I’ve probably been thru your PCT post 3 times as I have been planning my PCT jaunt for April 1, 2016, learning much from your posts. Thank you again for your inspiration. You are a great story teller and writer.

    I really like your new WordPress theme.



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