North South Divide.

El Paso, Texas, is segregated from its Mexican sister city, Ciudad Juárez, by a fence.

Except that this fence isn’t a wobbly divide between two neighbours. Rather, it’s an almighty barricade and a stark reminder: life is different on the other side, even if the houses that pock the same Chihuahuan desert are all but close enough to peer through their windows.

The Franklin Mountain State Park is part of the Chihuahuan desert. It’s the largest urban park in the country and extends into El Paso from the north, neatly dividing the city into two portions. Aside from being overrun by legions of colourful, otherwordly cacti, there’s a hundred miles of trails ripe for mountain biking – much of which is rocky, challenging… and tyre-puncturing.

Geobetty.com has all the details.

The Chihuahuan desert. Lots of prickly things, with inevitable consequences. As well as sharing desert real estate, both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez lie on the banks of the Rio Grande, once the only physical barrier between the US and Mexico.

The Chihuahuan desert, a 140 000 square mile patch of land across two nations. As well as sharing the same desert real estate, both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez lie on the banks of the Rio Grande, once the only physical barrier between the US and Mexico.

The Franklin Mountains State Park is home to all manner of prickly things, with inevitable consequences. The sooner I go tubeless, the better...

The Krampus likes the desert, but it’s home to all manner of prickly things, with inevitable consequences. The sooner I go tubeless, the better…

13 thoughts on “North South Divide.

  1. gypsybytrade

    Try it with with a 26×2.1 tube first (or 24×2.1+), cut into a rimstrip. With a compressor, the tire may seat fine. If not, then consider something to build up the rim, such as some foam. Jeff has set-up some tubeless Moonlanders recently, and has found that when foam is necessary, a narrower strip down the middle will suffice and makes tire mounting easier.

    Reply
      1. nicholasgault

        Go south, always south. :-) Amazing you don’t even need a backpack now (ref previous post). Your frame bag has been great by the way, appreciate the lend.
        I have a friend who is after a surly troll. Was trying to remember if you still had a used one lying around you might want to sell.
        Happy Christmas to you and family…

        Reply
  2. Wendy

    Hi Cass,

    Thanks for your blog (my favourite) and bike advice – 2 ogres for us for Xmas :)

    Best wishes from down under

    Wendy

    Reply
  3. Alex Bowling

    Just found your blog, great work; both on the blog and on the bike! Lots of very insightful and helpful info on gear selection and set-up. Saw that you were in the Chihuahuan Desert; sorry you won’t be around the Big Bend area in February for the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest. Happy travels!

    Reply
  4. While Out Riding Post author

    Thanks Alex. I read you’re from the UK too – how’d you end up in Texas?! I went and rode Big Bend State Ranch last year, and really enjoyed it. I’d hoped to get back this winter, but it looks like it will have to wait until spring. I’m guessing the desert is in full bloom then? Sounds like the desert bike fest would be cool to attend too. Will definitely return at some point…

    Reply
    1. Alex Bowling

      Emmigrated to Canada with the family when I was a child, discovered south-west Texas while touring down the US Pacific Coast a couple years ago. Have been back here a few times since, including this winter. Though the desert is always a thing of beauty, the colder nights–and recent drought–keep it from blooming right now. Yes, the trails in the Big Bend Ranch State Park really are amazing aren’t they. The Desert Bike Fest is a great time, hope you can join us.

      Reply
  5. While Out Riding Post author

    How do you discover SW Texas while touring the Pacific Coast?!

    If you ever pass by Santa Fe, stop by and I’ll take you for a tour of the trails here. There’s some good stuff.

    Reply
    1. Alex Bowling

      Friends from Canada told me about Terlingua and the Bike Fest, so when I got just north of San Diego, I headed east. I’ll be sure to let you know if/when I roll through Santa Fe, I’ve heard good things. Thanks!

      Reply

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