Mountain Biking in Toluca – 2013


Every Thursday night Los Escarabajos meet in the Zocalo of Toluca for night rides through the city. Routes vary, but we seek bumpy roads, mountainside villages, floodlit church squares, cobblestone streets, sidewalks of smiling people, and long dips into offroad and singletrack.

We do our best to avoid snarling stray dogs and dried-up riverbeds that masquerade as bike-worthy trails but rapidly deteriorate after midnight.

Last Thursday we went to the nearby zoo Zacango. It was a 3-hour ride: first straight out of the city on a main road to Capultitlan, the first distinct small town south. Next a long climb then descent into dark streets and even darker two-track roads through farms and village outskirts.ImageImage


On a good night, a friend (Samuel) invites us to his house for tortas, Mexican sandwiches. On a bad night there’s rain:


But really there are no bad nights.


Thanks Javier for the photos above.

Si vives en Toluca y quires rodar con nosotros, o quieres leer esto en espanol, dejame un comentario abajo por favor. O si eres un cuate de los Escarabajos, ¡dilo!!!


By day Toluca is mountain biking paradise. This was a long Sunday morning into the foothills surrounding el Nevado de Toluca Volcano, AKA Xinantecatl.Image

What goes up, must come down.Image

Below are photos the 100 km Ultramarathon here in Toluca last fall.



The leader of Escarabajos Toluca, El Gallo, organizes big rides though and around Toluca. Many of these people are from Mexico City. The group there, friends of Escarabajos, is Ciclismo Para Todos Mexico.

Every time I go to Mexico City I see more cycling – lanes, free bike rentals, promotional billboards – once a policeman on a street corner handed me 20-page cartoon pamphlet on the benefits of urban cycling.

Here in Toluca, one lane in a long loop of downtown roads is shut off Sunday mornings from 10 to 1. Kudos for Carlos and his non-profit Fundacion Tlaloc for pulling that off.

We might not have permanent bike lanes, not yet, but it doesn’t stop me and lots of other folks from having a hell of a great time.


About Ted Campbell

U.S./Canadian writer, translator and professor in Mexico. Travel stories and practical tips on my blog No Hay Bronca: // Twitter: @NoHayBroncaBlog // Contact: nohaybroncablog (at)

Posted on February 11, 2013, in cycling / MTB, Mexico and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Hola TC!
    Oye, ¿Van a rodar este domingo 18 de agosto a Taxco?
    Si van ¿Podría rodar con ustedes?

  2. Guillermo Avilés

    Hi there, i live in Toluca, and i’v been reading your blog, anda i was wondering if i can join you guys, para alguna rodada, soy de Morelia Michoacán, pero trabajo y vivo aqui en Toluca. So, please let me now if it is possible to join in one or more rodadas.

    • Hola amigo, bienvenido a Toluca! te recomiendo dos rodadas, algo mas facil y con mucho gente empieza a las 8 de la noche cada miercoles en la glorieta de la aguila. Es organizado por un grupo se llama Fundacion Tlaloc. La otra, en que participo yo, sale del zocalo a las 8:00/8:15 de la noche cada jueves (pero esta semana no porque es semana santa). Este grupo es Escarabajos Toluca. Saludos y gracias por leer mi blog!

  3. I do love riding my bike at night, during the day, through narrow and wide roads, easy and hard to ride, but the best thing about it is all that fun we have together as a cyclist community in Toluca! I wish everyone could have these beautiful experiencies and enjoy them as well as we do on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

    Thanks to Los escarabajos, Fundación Tláloc and to all those happy cyclists who are enjoying and living Toluca

  4. Don Sheasby and Lorna Quinton

    For Lorna and I it’s not too bad – we’re self-employed, work from home – I’m a silversmith and she’s a gem-cabochon cutter. But, out in the hood, it’s pretty grim with murders and rapes the order of the day. We spent a far-too-short 8 days in México City and Mérida in November 2006, and were SOOO entranced that if we didn’t have our daughters here, we would have seriously embarked on the idea of emigrating to México. (Lorna has been fascinated by the México since a young girl). I accompanied her, as an interested travelling companion, on her ‘pilgrimage’, but was absolutely stunned by the country – and for me, more particularly by the people. Longing to get back there !! Saludos

  5. Don Sheasby and Lorna Quinton

    ¡Hola Ted! – mi esposa y yo vivimos en Ciudad del Cabo, (Cape Town), Sudafrica. Gracias por su ‘blogs’ de México. Every time we read them we feel homesick for México – even though we’ve only been once, we’re working to get el dinero together for the next time. Hasta pronto y saludos. Don y Lorna

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

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