Archive for Loop Ride

Ride to Santa Fe


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

Google Maps

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.

Ride to Pueblo Pintado

Albuquerque –  Bernalillo – Cuba – Pueblo Pintado – Grants

Ride to Pueblo Pintado—North on NM 313 to Bernalillo, then North on US 550 to Cuba, then south on NM 197 that becomes IRS 9, then south on NM 509, then south on NM 605 to Grants, then east to Albuquerque.

The ride was 282 miles with about 5 1/2 hours of ride time.

Saturday May 25, 2013

Google Maps
Almost every weekend I get on my bike and hit the road, most of these outings are loop rides that bring me home after a few hours. For me the perfect ride is around 6 hours (300 – 400 miles) on the bike. With a 6 hour ride you don’t run out of daylight in the shorter days of winter. In the summer it nice to get home before the afternoon sun makes it look like you wet your pants. In my opinion the New Mexico late afternoon summer heat is more difficult to deal with than any winter day above freezing.
Last week I discovered a seldom traveled 300 mile loop that took me through some amazing southwestern landscapes (canyons and desert). So it was no surprise that I’d want to ride that route again. Only this time I was going to travel the route in the other direction. I was anxious to see what it looked like going the other way. Because my daughter had a basketball tournament I couldn’t plan the ride till after her Friday night game (they lost).  When I found out her next game was late Saturday afternoon I called Chuck Lane, he had expressed an interest in doing this ride with me.  We planned to meet at 8:00 for breakfast at Murphy’s Mule Barn. Chuck and his girlfriend (D.D) split a chicken fried steak, it was so big it didn’t fit on the plate. Sorry no food picture, I forgot to bring the camera into the restaurant.
 The ride up US 550 was like moving through rush hour traffic, lots of people getting out of town for the three day weekend. But when got onto NM 197 all the other cars disappeared, this is really a road less traveled.
Just before we got to Pueblo Pintado a flock of sheep made their way across the highway.
Pueblo Pintado [Spanish for “Painted Town”] is located on summit of a ridge at the base of Chaco Canyon. The ruins are visible from the ISR 9. The dirt road to the ruins is near ISR 46 (it’s the only paved road). The ruins are about 2 miles up  a gravel road, the road wasn’t too bad for us on this day, but washboard sections on it gave us a good shaking.
There is a parking area you access by a short rutted road. The Pintado ruins are very impressive and are well worth the extra effort to get to them. Pueblo Pintado were the first ruins encountered by early expeditions as they approached Chaco Canyon from the east.
About 5 miles from the ruins in a sandstone canyon area, we came upon a herd of wild horses.
After we had ridden down NM 509 a few miles we passed through a large mining area. They have built overpasses on the highway so their equipment can cross the road.
Just before we got into Grants we were treated to watching a train crossing our path heading west. We stopped for gas and then headed east for home. It was nice day and I had a great time. Thanks to Chuck and D.D. for sharing this adventure with me. Don’t think I would have done that dirt road without you.

Ride from Grants to Cuba NM

Albuquerque – Grants – Pueblo Pintado – Cuba – Bernalillo 

Ride from Grants to Cuba–west on I 40 to the NM 117 exit, then old RT 66 through Grants to NM 605, north to NM 509, north on ISR 9 that becomes NM 197 to Cuba, south on US 550 to Bernalillo, south on NM 313 to Albuquerque

The ride was 282 miles with about 5 1/2 hours of ride time.

Saturday May 18, 2013

Google Maps
Last week when riding to Casamero Ruins I came across several roads that I wanted to further explore. This part of New Mexico has unique type of beauty, it’s dry hot/cold, windy and empty.     However some of the views I experienced last week motivated me to try out these roads.
Took the Interstate out to Grants, then went north on NM 605. From Grants to Cuba it’s a 118 miles and there are no stores or gas stations. Make sure you have everything you need to make the drive (water-gas) before leaving Grants.
After 18 miles you will come to NM 509, here you make a left and continue north. When I got home I was very disappointed in my pictures on this trip. They totally failed in relaying the vista’s that I experienced along this route.
On NM 509 you find a couple of underpass built to take heavy equipment across the road for the mines.
 NM 509 takes  past several interesting sandstone formations carved by mother nature.
At ISR 9 you take and right for the last leg into Cuba.
In Cuba I filled up and started south on US 550 for home. This is a great time of year to ride these highways, just before the heat of summertime. The hot sun would take some of the joy out of riding this route.
This loop makes a perfect day ride. You get started by 7:00 and you can be home in time for lunch. The roads between Grants and Cuba takes you across land that is still wild and untamed with almost nobody else around.