Bike Riding in San Miguel de Allende

As a roadie looking for road cycling options while in Mexico, I kept coming up short when looking what was out my front door in San Miguel de Allende.

From everyone I spoke with and what I’ve seen, road biking only happens on highways – some of which are designated as bike highways – and mostly only ever in groups for safety.

Trucks tend to drive half way in the shoulder so cars can pass them halfway over the center line. This means the already cruddy shoulder you might mistake for a bike lane will be shared with trucks.

Even in checking Strava segments and routes, there simply isn’t anything for road cycling in the city.

“Why?!” you may wonder? Well. San Miguel is mostly all cobblestone roads and hills and is a rough ride even by car. Anyone riding in town is typically on a mountain, gravel, or fat bike, and even then is typically heading out of town vs around town.

That being said, outside of town there are some good segments, and there’s even a local road race every year.

Bike Rentals and Tours in San Miguel de Allende

If you’re just here a short while or didn’t bring a bike, heading out on an organized bike tour in town is a great option.

Beto (Alberto) of Bici Burro runs a number of great local bike tours that include transportation from his local shop to various trail heads, mountain bikes, helmets, gloves, water, and wonderful local history.

Mountain bike riding out of San Miguel de Allende from La Gruta and into the desert.

His father open Bici Burro as the first bicycle shop in San Miguel and Beto was literally born behind the bike shop.

Of course if you’re looking to buy a bike, need a great mechanic, or just want to pickup parts, his shop has every you need for that, too.

I’ve enjoyed heading out with Beto on a few rides and have met some other like minded cyclists visiting or relocating to SMA.

Bike Riding Routes Near San Miguel de Allende

If you have your bike and a car, there are actually some pretty great options near SMA.

Querétaro – the biggest city just southeast of San Miguel – has a ton of great cycling.

South of SMA is an incredible volcano – Cerro El Picacho – with a few great climbing options.

Riding down to and through Comonfort is another common route.

Running in San Miguel de Allende

Before coming down to San Miguel de Allende, I poured over local Strava segments, looked for local running stores, and tried to find local run groups, all to no avail.

The best information I could find was “some people run in Parque Juarez because it’s flatish” and “there’s a nice track a few miles outside of town.”

I was nervous about running on cobblestone hills, but quickly discovered that it’s not as bad as it sounds and, for early morning runs, the streets and sidewalks are pretty empty.

There are a fair amount of other runners out in the mornings before 9am (San Miguel is a sleepy town where nothing is really open until after 9 anyway. Even coffee shops don’t really open until – get this – 8:30 or later!)

One of my favorite segments is the stairs of Callejeron del Chorro that go up from Parque Juarez to Salida Real a Querétaro. On Strava there is even a segment up the stairs called Jesus Nazareno Climb!

The stairs of Callejeron del Chorro in San Miguel de Allende.

My first time exploring that area I ran down those steps and all the other runners were going up. Now I only run up it. Heading north on Salida Real a Querétaro, you’ll even come to a gorgeous city overlook vista.

Views of San Miguel de Allende from running along Salida Real a Querétaro

Heading west from Centro, you can climb Correo / Santo Domingo all the way to the Botanical Gardens, Charco del Ingenio. It’s a great climb and a good Strava segment aptly named Sto Domingo Climb is at the base.

The best time of day to run in SMA still seems to be the morning – especially in summer when it’s often rainy in the afternoon. Cobblestones on hills in the rain are NOT good for running.

Running Groups in San Miguel de Allende

When looking for local SMA running groups, I tried Meetup, Trip Advisor, and even asking locals, but it doesn’t seem like there are many organized groups that go out.

All the runners I saw out and about seemed to be solo.

WPML and OptimizePress

WPML and OptimizePress can play decently together, but it requires a few under the hood tweaks in their respective admins.

The connection is far from ideal as you’ll be manually editing pages instead of using the built in translation management tools of WPML. This is because OptimizePress stores all of it’s pretty content in base64 encoded JSON encoded post meta data, so… WPML can’t provide easy access to the content.

OptimizePress Live Editor with WPML

After installing WPML, you’ll find that your OptimizePress Live Editor stops working just showing the loading spinner until you close out. If you check the console in your browser, you’ll see a handful of Javascript errors. This is not good.

Fortunately, the savvy folks at OptimizePress allow you to disable plugins in the LiveEditor, so:

  1. Log into your WordPress admin and head on over to Support under OptimizePress
  2. Scroll down to Disable for back-end (Live Editor)
  3. Check the JS and CSS boxes for any of the WPML plugins
  4. Click Save Settings

Now WPML won’t wreck OptimizePress’ Live Editor.

Copying Pages for Translation

Copying the page from the editor or from the translation tools didn’t work for me.

Things I tried that did not work:

  • Checking the Copy OptimizePress Content box
  • Clicking the Copy content from English button
  • Clicking the Overwrite with English content button
  • Setting all the OptimizePress meta fields to be added when a post was copied for translation
  • Marking a copied version of the page for Independent Translation

The only way I was able to successfully copy the OptimizePress page so that the translation would work, too, was from OptimizePress’ Clone Page.

  1. From your page/post listings, click Clone Page/Post
  2. Change the language of your new post on the WPML widget and confirm the popup
  3. Click the Connect with translations link, choose your page, and confirm the popup by clicking Assign
  4. Rename your page, adjust the slug, change it’s status, etc… and click Save
  5. Click the OptimizePress Live Editor button to edit your translated page.

Translation Links

Lastly, if you have the option turned on to show links to your posts in other languages, OptimizePress and WPML end up showing repeat links to other versions after every OptimizePress widget on your page which is undesirable. Disable this from the WPML Language Settings by unchecking the box next to “Show post translation links.”

Fireside Quesadillas

One of my favorite car camping, backpacking, and mountaineering meals is fireside quesadillas. This is usually good for the first night unless you’re in a cold enough area to keep food frozen or chilled (winter or high altitude climbing) or you have a cooler (car camping, canoeing, etc).

If you have a fire and a grill, you can cook these over the fire. Otherwise use a pan. Even a tiny backpacking frying pan does the trick, you just need to fold ’em to cook all parts. Continue reading “Fireside Quesadillas”

Yukon River by Canoe: Route, Outfitters, Planning, Logistics, and More!

We just returned from an incredible 8 days and 304km on the Yukon River leaving out of Whitehorse and finishing up in Carmacks.

It was an incredible journey through the Yukon that included wildlife, sunsets after 10pm, Northern Lights, sinking a canoe in whitecaps, exploring marooned riverboats, discovering abandoned woodcutting camps, finding old gold dredger parts, and amazing food. Continue reading “Yukon River by Canoe: Route, Outfitters, Planning, Logistics, and More!”

Hiking Volcan Cerro de Oro, Lake Atitlan, Guatamala

On the northern foot of Volcán Tolimán is a lesser climbed lava dome, Cerro de Oro (“Hill of Gold”). The hike and summit provide gorgeous views of Lago Atitlan, Volcán Tolimán, Volcán San Pedro, and Volcán Atitlán.

And… we discovered a Mayan ceremonial site along the way, and some ancient Mayan stone statues at the summit.

The most popular volcano to climb is San Pedro, but that requires a good 5am departure and a full day to climb. Atitlan and Toliman are even more difficult to get to, require more logistics, and take a full day plus to climb. Continue reading “Hiking Volcan Cerro de Oro, Lake Atitlan, Guatamala”

Disabling Controls on a Brightcove Video

At last, we figured out how to disable the playback controls on a Brightcove video. It was far from easy to figure out, but it IS possible to do in a few simple steps.

Why Disable Playback Controls?

Why would you want to turn off the play/pause options on a video and disable the scrubber at the bottom?

Well in my case, we often put up sales pages online and a) don’t want folks skipping to the end of the video and b) have tightly controlled timing of things like when the Add to Cart button pops up.

With other players (JW Player, FlowPlayer, EZS3, Easy Video Player and MORE) you can easily disable the controls. Continue reading “Disabling Controls on a Brightcove Video”

Unmerging Two Contacts on Android

AndroidOne day, I went to email a contact on my Android tablet, and as I started to type his email address, a different name came up. Oddly, I noticed that all of Chris’ email addresses were now showing up under Leo’s name (along with Leo’s email addresses).

Additionally, in the Google Voice call log and text history on my tablet, any calls or texts with Chris showed up as calls/texts with Leo.

This was not expected. In Gmail on the web, and in Gmail on my Android phone, both contacts were still distinct, but not on my tablet; they were merged together somehow… Continue reading “Unmerging Two Contacts on Android”

Google Docs – How to Find Documents Shared With Someone

Google DocsIn the old version of Google Docs, you could search for documents shared with someone. In the new version you can not. After much searching, I finally found a list of search codes you can use to search Google Docs and voila, you can indeed search for documents shared with people by using the “to:” prefix, i.e. Continue reading “Google Docs – How to Find Documents Shared With Someone”

Integrating Infusionsoft Links with WordPress

Wouldn’t it be cool if your landing pages that Infusionsoft tracking links and web form thank you page redirects go to could be personalized?

Until now, there wasn’t a WordPress plugin that let you do such a thing.

Infusionsoft allows you to create tracking links and include customer information such as their name and email address in the query string of the URL. Infusionsoft also allows your web forms to redirect to a thank you page on your site and include the web form data in the redirect link.

The challenge is that WordPress sites can SEE this data at the end of the URL , but can’t DO anything with it. So I wrote a plugin that can. Continue reading “Integrating Infusionsoft Links with WordPress”