Albuquerque – Madrid – Santa Fe – Sandia Crest – Albuquerque
Ride to Santa Fe with breakfast at El Parasol —East on I-40 to NM 14, south on NM 14 to Santa Fe. Return south on NM 14, west on NM 536 to the top, return to NM 14, east on I-40 to Albuquerque.
The ride was 144 miles with about 3 1/2 hours of ride time.
Sunday June 02, 2013
For several years June has meant basketball, it’s that time of year when high school teams can get together and start building skills for the coming year. For my daughter Allie, basketball is that special sport, one she has put in years of hard work to improve her game.
At the beginning of the weekend Allie’s team played in the Valley Tournament, they played eight games over three days, ending on Saturday night. By the time the last game was over Allie looked like she had gotten the worst of it in a knockdown drag out fight. Going against girls 6 inches taller and 100 pound heavier took it’s toll on her and she was moving very slow Sunday morning.
Earlier in the week Allie told me she had an open day on Sunday and wanted to go for a ride. We had planned on going to a car show in Red River. However after all those games Allie didn’t just feel like putting in a long day on the bike. After looking at the atlas we decided to take NM 14 to Santa Fe and eat breakfast at El Parasol.
It was warm in Albuquerque (mid 70’s), however it was so cool in the east mountains I had to stop just outside San Antonio and put on a jacket. There was a chilly cross wind blowing out of east with strong gusts that moved you a couple of feet sideways when they hit . In the Pecos a large forest fire created a haze that cut our viability with a fog like efficiency. Madrid was completely empty of both people and cars. The perfect definition of a sleepy little ghost town.
We arrived at El Parasol just as they were opening their doors, making us their first customers of the day. We both ordered breakfast burritos smothered in green chile, mine with sausage, Allie’s with no meat. The chile had just the right amount of heat, making all the ingredients work together. After downing our burritos we each had a biscochito. A New Mexico specialty, biscochitos are a lard based cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. If made correctly this cookie melts in your mouth, with a pie crust like texture and amazing flavors. These biscochito were made perfectly!
We reversed our route, this time Madrid was filled with people walking around. There was even a group playing baseball in the old field at the north end of town. Just outside of Golden we passed a large group of bicyclist with numbers attached and a police escort.
The road to the Sandia Crest is great summertime ride, it’s near the city, loaded with sweeping turns and the temperature is cooler. The drought has created a tremendous fire danger for the forest and on the 6th they are going to close the road to the top of the Crest. They plan to keep the highway closed till we get some rain. Not knowing when the road might reopen, we took a detour and rode to the top.
The road was filled with bikes, they were part of the group we saw near Golden. It was the Bill McLain Memorial – Sandia Crest Road Race and the finish line was about a mile from the top. The people riding these bikes were amazing athletes, pedaling up this mountain on a bike would be a achievement, racing up, that’s something else.
We were back home before noon, many of my neighbor still had their Sunday papers in their driveways. This wasn’t one of the best rides I’ve ever done, it was over roads I’ve ridden many times before. The wind never stopped blowing and the smoke totally obscured the scenery. Still the ride gave me a chance to think, let my mind race across the landscape and share a wonderful breakfast with my daughter.