June 18, 2006

Zirahuato Archaeological Site + Zitacuaro (Michoacan), 18.06.06

GPS Track Video

Photoset Map

Photoset Show

GPS Track

GPS Cycling Data:

Distance: 185 Km, Ascent: 2400 m, Time: 7:50 hr, Avg Speed: 24.1 Km/hr, Max Speed: 69.2 Km/hr

Travel Report:

This ride was made by 2 groups: the Tezozomoc and the Biciosos groups. Both groups started their ride at the Independence Angel Monument at Reforma, in the heart of Mexico City at 06:00. The group made the ascent to Tres Cruces (over the free highway to Toluca) at an altitude of ca. 3200 m, descending later to La Marquesa, 200 m below, in order to enter at a restaurant to eat a well deserved breakfast. In that location is where I reached them, as I couldn't start my ride with them, making my way to Tres Cruces over Constituyentes and later also over the free highway to Toluca. When I found them eating, I could rest a little and take some shots of the whole group.

After the meal we continued our descent to Lerma and Toluca, where our first casualty occurred: our only girl in the group: Lucía, decided that enough was enough, and not wanting to lower the speed of the ride, she decided to return back to Mexico City by bus. All the remaining fine chaps begged her to re-considerate, but her decision had already fallen. So we ride with Lucia to the bus station and said her farewell :-(

The rest of the chaps continued riding towards Zitácuaro, in the neighboring state of Michoacán. We rode to the western exit of Toluca, taking then the road to Villa Victoria. Up to this town, the ride was a smooth one. Problems raised after this point, on our way to the road to Ixtapan del Oro, since that in front of us rested a climbing of 500 m, but at Km 130 of our route !

Somehow we managed to climb that cruel ascent (at 2900 m) and soon we arrived to the highway to Zitacuaro. From this point comes a steep descent of 800 m in order to reach the city of Zitacuaro. The road was a cyclists dream, so a couple of our friends were able ta attain speeds of ca. 100 Km/hr in that descent !

But we still have not arrived to our destination: the Archaeological Site of Zirahuato or San Felipe los Alzati. After Zitácuaro we still had to ride another 15 Km in order to reach the site. And, worst of all, this almost last leg of our ride was another steep ascent of 200 m (at Km 170), but with the particularity that it had to be made over a dirt track of stones, since in the last kilometers there was no more pavement on the road ! And we had to do it with road and not MTB bikes !

With a lot of perseverance we were able to climb to the top of that hill, just in order to appreciate the beauty of the archaeological site of Zirahuato. As we reached the top of the hill, I was astonished by the sheer beauty of the site. Just image finding in the middle of nowhere and at the top of a hill the remains of a mostly unknown archaeological site !

After a short break at the site entrance, we proceed to its interior (leaving the bikes at the entrance). The view of this Zirahuato site is astounding ! You can have a look at the pyramids in the photoset. Two of us were even lucky enough to climb to the top of the big pyramid and find there a sympathetic local girl whom was friendly enough to cross some words with us :-)

After taking some shots of the site we decided that it was time to ride back to Zitácuaro, distant another 15 km :-( So we headed back to that city, riding our last leg of the travel, leg that included a last 100 m ascent to Zitácuaro, where we arrived at Km 185 of our travel (and a total ascent of 2400 m).

Arriving to Zitacuaro we immediately looked for a well deserved meal, and after that we purchased our return bus tickets to Mexico City, arriving later at home without incidents :-)

Thank you very much for reading. Till the next journey.

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