Israel Carrillo: Mexico’s Flourishing Mountain Bike Scene is Unexpected

The bustling city of Guanajuato, Mexico, is full of culture, colors, and an unexpectedly flourishing mountain bike scene. Although too humble to accept this title, Guanajuato local and  Kona Bikes and WTB ambassador Israel Carrillo is one of the driving forces behind this unique mountain bike community. 

Israel wears many hats as a mountain bike athlete; he’s the local bike mechanic, trail builder, and community leader with a contagious stoke that encourages both kids and adults to get out and ride. 

Israel started getting into mountain biking as a means of transportation and quickly learned that racing down the city’s intricate staircases was a lot more fun than simply pedaling to swim practice. Back then, mountain biking was very new to Mexico and there were few nearby trails for Israel to ride. 

Fortunately, the city of Guanajuato sits at the base of the mountains that reach over 10,000 ft, so it didn’t take long for Israel to figure out that his backyard provided the perfect terrain to build bike-specific trails. 

“I mainly started trail building because of the necessity of having trails to ride,” Israel explains as he shows us how his trail building has evolved with the growth of mountain biking in Mexico. 

Israel started trail building simply because of the need for trails and now digs to leave trails that will allow the next generation to ride and progress far beyond what he himself has accomplished.

About Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is a city and a state located in central Mexico. The city of Guanajuato is the capital of the state of Guanajuato and is situated in the southeastern part of the state, approximately 350 kilometers northwest of Mexico City. It is known for its rich history, colonial architecture, silver mining heritage, and cultural festivals. 

Will it be known for mountain biking next? Check back in five years.

Mountain biking is not completely new to the region. For example, you can find established trails on sites such as All Trails or Trail Forks

Urban downhill riding

Guanajuato, Mexico has a growing urban downhill mountain biking scene. Urban downhill is a thrilling form of mountain biking that involves riding downhill through urban areas, such as city streets, stairs, alleys, and other obstacles. This extreme sport has gained popularity in central Mexico, as riders seek out new and challenging terrain.

Unlike traditional mountain biking, urban downhill involves riding down steep and technical terrain, often at high speeds, with tight corners, jumps, and drops. Riders must navigate through the obstacles with precision and control to avoid crashes and stay on their bikes.

Riders compete against each other for the fastest time down the course. These races typically attract large crowds of spectators, drawn to the excitement and adrenaline rush of watching riders take on some of the most dangerous urban terrains.

About the Video

Kona is honored to work with Israel and share his story. His positivity has proven to be a guiding light among not only his community but the mountain bike community as a whole.

Big thanks to Kona Bikes, Maxwell Frank, Ian Glass, and Israel Carrillo for making the project possible.

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