The Trans Sierra Norte is about more than just racing bikes with good friends on good trails—this year it was held at the same time as Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that honors those who have passed away and helps them along on their spiritual journey.

Racer Branham Snyder, who grew up in Mexico celebrating the holiday, but now lives in the U.S., returned south for the Trans Sierra, and reflected on how organizers paid tribute to the holiday, which typically honors lost ones with offerings of food, drink and decorative altars left at grave sites.

“TranSierra Norte adheres to these traditions by celebrating and giving thanks for what’s left behind by those that came before us,” Snyder said. “In this case we’re talking about long, beautiful, technical trails that, for many, represent the often-elusive definition of ‘perfect singletrack .’ This event has changed my perspective on what races can look like and how fun they can be. I can say with confidence that it’s a guaranteed good time and life-changing experience for anyone who takes part.”