A quick conference trip to Mexico – with the Tern Verge S27h folding bike

Posted on Sep 13, 2015
181 2
Posted on Sep 13, 2015
181 2
A few months back I traveled to southern Mexico for the International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology conference in San Cristobal de las Casas in the Chiapas region. I was there to do a couple of talks about my own research in Japan. It was a real fly-in fly-out sort of conference - I was only in Mexico for four days, three of which were taken up by the conference.

Last updated Oct 13, 2018

Mexico City, Mexico

Despite the really tight schedule, I decided to take my Tern Verge S27h folding bike (in  suitcase), so that I might find a little bit of time to explore the outer areas of the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. Sitting in the terminal building at Mexico City airport, waiting for my fourth flight in order to get to the Chiapas region from Japan, I was feeling impatient…itching to jump on a bike for a first ever bike ride in Central America.

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

In the end all I did was a three-hour bike ride early in the morning on the first day of the conference: up before dawn and back in time for the first speaker at 9am. Accordingly, the city was still well and truly asleep by the time I got out in the morning.

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

I followed a few deserted streets out until I hit dirt roads, and carried on towards the outer east-side of the city.

Dirt road south of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

 By around 6:30am the outskirts of the city were waking up. Cheerful locals, all heading in the direction of the center of the city greeted me as I cycled past.

I took the chance to take a few pics of the way I had the bike set up for this very bare-bones trip. No rear rack for this trip…just the bare essentials.

Tern Verge S27h in San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

As always, the Tern Verge S27h is great fun to ride on gravel. Despite the small wheels, the fat Schwalbe Big Apple 2.15 tires smooth out the bumps. Just watch out for potholes…they’ll swallow those small tires whole!

Tern Verge S27h in Mexico (San Cristobal de las Casas)

Tern Verge S27h in Mexico (San Cristobal de las Casas)

I back-tracked a little to the west, and took a northerly ring road around the city, and followed my nose up a steep hill to a spot overlooking the city. At an elevation of 2,200m above sea level, it was a brisk but clear morning.

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

Heading further up the hill, I found myself in largely indigenous locals’ areas…small farmlets and the smell of woodsmoke…and locals a little more stand-offish.

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

By this time it was getting close to 8:30am, and I had to high-tail it back to the conference venue for the first talk of the morning. The road I was on looped back downhill, back past a beautiful church, brilliant white against a quarry background.

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

Tern Verge S27h in Mexico (San Cristobal de las Casas)

From there it was a screaming downhill back to the city center, where I headed straight for the conference venue, arriving just in time for the start of the morning session. For which it seemed many registered participants had not bothered getting up!

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

The rest of the four days consisted of two presentations that I had been accepted for, and listening to some other great research by others in the cross-cultural psychology field. Along with, of course, plenty of opportunities to network and make new friends and collaborations, whether it be over a civilized dinner…

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

Or over shots of home-made smoked tequila…this stuff tasted more or less like the smell of the fuel I put in my alcohol stove….

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

Overall it was a great few days which left me wanting to get back to this area of the world for a more thorough exploration by bike.

San Cristobal de las Casas (Mexico)

Comments | Queries | Discussion

2 thoughts on “A quick conference trip to Mexico – with the Tern Verge S27h folding bike”

  1. I was in San Cristobal in 1979 for a Spanish course. Then, the Mayans brought their life chicken and pigs to the market every morning. The church ( I believe the sam)e was in a small Indian village and the men came to church to get drunk on home spirit. 1. What do you do with the giant luggage on such a trip? 2. How is the Alfine 11 holding up? The Berlin bicycle shop said that it is a problem child vs. the Alfine 8. What do the Germans know? Cheers and thanks for reviving my memories.

    1. Thanks for the comment and stories Udo! This trip was for a conference, so I was able to store the suitcase at the hostel I was staying at. As for the Alfine 11 speed, I can see what your bike shop might have been talking about. The hub does not feel as ‘solid’ as the Alfine 8 (I have three other bikes with Alfine 8-speeds on them). The changes are not as solid and reassuring as the 8-speed. Personally, I wouldn’t buy another Alfine 11: the 8-speed is cheaper, you don’t lose all that much range compared to the 11-speed. That said, I’ve not had any problems with the Alfine 11 so far, although I have not done any really heavy long-term touring on it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

See More Like this

Download may take some time

Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

We’ve got affiliate links on HokkaidoWilds.org to help fund the Hokkaido Wilds foundation.

The Foundation gets a small commission on sales from affiliate links, but we only link to stuff we think is worth checking out for people keen on the outdoors in Hokkaido and Japan.

The Hokkaido Wilds Foundation is a fund where 100% of funds are donated to Hokkaido volunteer groups involved in sustainable, safe, and responsible access to the Hokkaido outdoors.

Learn more here


Filter by location

About Filters

REGION: The general mountain/geographical region the route is in.

BEST MONTH(S): Time of year a route is suited to visiting. Some pop all season, some are more limited.

DIFFICULTY: How strenuous a route is, and how technical it is. Full details here.

FREERIDE/SKITOUR: Very subjective, but is a route more-of-a-walk-than-a-ski or the other way around? Some routes are all about the screaming downhill (freeride), some are more about the hunt for a peak or nice forest (ski-tour). Some are in between. 

MAIN ASPECT: Which cardinal direction the primary consequential slope is facing, that you might encounter on the route. More details here.

ROUTE TAGS: An eclectic picking of other categories that routes might belong to.

SEARCH BY LOCATION: You can find routes near your current location – just click on the crosshairs (). You may need to give permission to HokkaidoWilds.org to know your GPS location (don’t worry, we won’t track you). Or, type in a destination, such as Niseko or Sapporo or Asahikawa etc.

Please let us know how we can make it easier to narrow down your search. Contact Rob at rob@hokkaidowilds.org with your suggestions.

A quick conference trip to Mexico – with the Tern Verge S27h folding bike Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



Time ascending













GRADES range from A (very difficult) to D (easy). Hazards include exposure to avalanche and fall risk. More details here. Rating rubric adapted from Hokkaido Yukiyama Guidebook 北海道雪山ガイド.