The 2019 Oak Flats mountain bike race, part of the New Mexico Off Road race series, was held Sunday, August 11 at the Oak Flat picnic grounds in the East Mountains. For 2019 race director Parmenides Orpinel made several improvements to the race format and venue. Most notably, laps were shortened from approximately eight to four-miles making for a more spectator-friendly event by putting racers across the start-finish line more often during each race.
Racers seemed to like the revised course since the shorter laps allowed them to become intimate with every corner, rock and tree with each passing lap. Shorter laps also allowed racers to travel a little lighter since they could pick up fresh hydration at the High Desert Bicycles sponsored water station instead of carrying a heavy hydration pack.
The event included kid-friendly activities such as a kid’s mountain bike race and a portable climbing wall provided by the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department.
And we can’t forget the food from Sanchez Tacos. The carne asada burritos were excellent. If you see them around town make sure to stop and give them a try.
Thanks to Parmenides Orpinel for his hard work as race director. And thanks to all the folks that volunteered for the event: Thomas Mattsson, Dot Philip, Dustyn Ladewig, Stacy Rabel, and Joe Fortin. Apologies to any volunteers I know I missed.