Words: Alfonso Garcia
Photos: Andrew Brodbeck
A city famous for its gastronomy, wine, fishing and beauty, Ensenada Mexico has diversity for all tastes. This is also true when it comes to cycling. Ensenada has a diverse cycling community that includes Cross Country, Enduro, Downhill, Road, BMX and recreational riding such as the famous Rosarito-Ensenada ride touted as Mexico’s largest cycling event.
Rider : Kenny Powders on track
Celebrating its seventh year, the Ensenada Urban Downhill race is an event that takes place through the streets and alleyways of the city. The organized and his team of volunteers and sponsors put on this event that includes some substantial logistical and preparatory undertakings. Fortunately, the organizer Kalid Najera has experience; he shared with us a few words about his history as the organizer of the event:
“I started all of this simply because I loved to ride my bike around looking for curbs or sidewalks to jump off of in the streets of Ensenada. This turned into underground races with friends, most of the time during the evening hours for as to not disturb traffic. This was when I was invited to participate in the first Downhill Taxco event which inspired me to do something similar here in Ensenada. My goal was to form an urban race that could be enjoyed by all, not only the Pros. I think that the urban format is very accessible to the public and the vast majority of racers. The speed that is achieved riding down the stairs, alleys, ramps as well as the spectators cheering on the course is an emotion that is unique to the urban experience.” –Kalid Najera Organizer, 2014 Ensenada Urban Downhill
The track and its infinite barriers
Racers from all over the state of Baja California, United States and even Poland were present. Most of the racers look forward to this event and consider this their favorite event of the season. At the same time, the spectators that show up to support and cheer the racers and effectively contribute to the Downhill scene in Ensenada.
“The Urban Ensenada race is something I look forward to. It’s sort of a mini vacation with a race in the middle. The course is getting better every yeah and more and more people are coming down to participate. The course is challenging but that adds to the overall excitement in my opinion. I really can’t wait to do some more races in Mexico this winter and I look forward to the Ensenada Urban in 2015. I know that it will top this year’s even somehow, it always does!” –Cody Johnson USA
Rider : Tom Bitner
Practice started early and the athletes were on the track familiarizing themselves with the many sections of stairs, dirt and alleyways. At noon it was race time and the event started with the “old school” category followed by the women and the PRO category. In all, eight categories descended the course this year with almost a hundred riders total, the highest number of participants for this event so far! Starting from the area known as “Chapultepec” the riders finished in the tourist friendly area of downtown in front of “Wings Army” which was the host location for the event. The fastest time was achieved by urban racer extraordinaire Jon Buckell with a time of 2:09.14. The podium ceremony was announced by none other than BMX Hall of Famer Bob Haro, the newest fan of Urban Downhill racing.
Rider : Cory Hatch on the stairs
This event has grown more and more every year and it shows. With top notch sponsors and cycling legends past and present attending as well as the support from the city and the spectators, everyone cannot wait to do this event in 2015.
The most exciting section of track
Navigating the stairs
USA’s Cody Johnson
Jerome Lacote, blurring the boundaries
A racer on track
- Jon Buckell 2:09.14
- Cody Johnson 2:11.77
- Michael Daniels 2:12.33