Mexico City to Toluca by Bike

A mountain ridge called La Marquesa separates Toluca and Mexico City. It’s a several hour drive in a car; therefore a grueling, awesome bike ride.

We left from Naucalpan, not exactly D.F. (Mexico City) but right next to it. First we rode the highways, starting with a big police escort. The police changed as we passed through different states, cities, and municipalities.

Thanks to support vehicles, throughout the 6 or 7 hour trip we usually had the right lane to ourselves. At one point, bombing down an exit ramp that cut through the mountains, we had the whole highway to ourselves.

Luis “El Gallo,” leader of Escarabajos Toluca, plans these trips, invites me on them and drives us all there in his van. Good dude:

Then we climbed high, high, high in La Marquesa, the mountain range the separates Mexico City from Toluca.

We are almost to the top and it’s been several hours of pure uphill. This is me on my heavy pawn-shop mountain bike:

We had our last break on the way down to Toluca. I never realized this before but from the bottom of the Marquesa back up to central Toluca is a gradual uphill:

Almost there! (this is Toluca):

Success!!!!!

Big thanks to the good people I ride with, Escarabajos Toluca. We do weekly night rides in Toluca and longer trips on weekends. This particular trip on November 28 2011 was organized by Escarabajos Toluca, Ciclismo Para Todos Mexico, and Fundacion Tlaloc. If you live Toluca or D.F. or are even just visiting (you rent free bicycles in D.F.) and are interested in trips like these, write a comment or send me a message. Seeing Mexico by bicycle is an enormous pleasure.

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About Ted Campbell

U.S.-Canadian writer, translator and university teacher in Mexico. Travel stories and practical tips on my blog No Hay Bronca: nohaybronca.wordpress.com Twitter: @NoHayBroncaBlog // Contact: nohaybroncablog (at) gmail.com

Posted on January 20, 2012, in cycling / MTB, Mexico and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hello there! I hope you will see this. I am from Singapore, and will be embarking on an exchange to Mexico, Puebla in January 2015 for about 5 months. I am currently thinking of arriving in Toluca, and cycle to Mexico City where I will receive transport from the host university to Puebla. Would greatly appreciate it if you could share more insights on cycling from Toluca to Mexico (eg. how to get a bike etc). I am actually thinking of purchasing a cheap bike (if there is) during my stay. Is it advisable?

    Cheers,
    Sally

    • Hi Sally, unfortunately bicycles are expensive in Mexico – many Mexicans travel to the U.S. to buy their bikes. You could look for one online. The best resource here in Toluca is a facebook group called “Venta de bicicletas y componentes en Toluca” – you might find one there.
      The ride from Toluca to Mexico City is quite difficult and long – about 6-8 hours across a mountain range, and it’s a little dangerous to do alone. Plus, once you got to Mexico City, you’ll probably get lost. I’ve done the ride many times now, and it’s a lot of fun, but especially if this is your first time in Mexico, arriving at the airport, finding a bike, and then riding to Mexico City would be pretty tough.
      During 5 months you will have lots of chances to ride. There are cycling groups in Puebla, and if you want to do the Toluca-Mexico City ride, write me when you arrive and I’ll tell you when we will do it.
      I hope that helps!

  2. Hello there! I hope you will see this. I am from Singapore, and will be embarking on an exchange to Mexico, Puebla in January 2015 for about 5 months. I am currently thinking of arriving in Toluca, and cycle to Mexico City where I will receive transport from the host university to Puebla. Would greatly appreciate it if you could share more insights on cycling from Toluca to Mexico (eg. how to get a bike etc). I am actually thinking of purchasing a cheap bike (if there is) during my stay. Is it advisable?

    Cheers,
    Sally

    • Hi Sally, unfortunately bicycles are expensive in Mexico – many Mexicans travel to the U.S. to buy their bikes. You could look for one online. The best resource here in Toluca is a facebook group called “Venta de bicicletas y componentes en Toluca” – you might find one there.
      The ride from Toluca to Mexico City is quite difficult and long – about 6-8 hours across a mountain range, and it’s a little dangerous to do alone. Plus, once you got to Mexico City, you’ll probably get lost. I’ve done the ride many times now, and it’s a lot of fun, but especially if this is your first time in Mexico, arriving at the airport, finding a bike, and then riding to Mexico City would be pretty tough.
      During 5 months you will have lots of chances to ride. There are cycling groups in Puebla, and if you want to do the Toluca-Mexico City ride, write me when you arrive and I’ll tell you when we will do it.
      I hope that helps!

  1. Pingback: Do Not Visit Mexico Until You Read This | no hay bronca

  2. Pingback: Mountain Biking in Toluca – 2013 « no hay bronca

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