Archive for New Mexico

Ride to El Vado Lake NM

Albuquerque  – Bernalillo – Cuba – El Vado Lake – Espanola –  Santa Fe –  Albuquerque

Ride to El Vado Lake with breakfast at Cuban Cafe in Cuba —North on NM 313 to US 550, then north on US 550 to NM 96, then north on NM 112 (16 miles unpaved) to US 84, then south on US 84 to Espanola, then south on US 285 to NM 599, then south to I – 25, then south to Albuquerque

The ride was 302 miles with about 6 hours of ride time.

Saturday June 29, 2013

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My plan for the day was to get up at 5:00 and ride to Alamosa for some breakfast, but I overslept by a couple hours. Not wanting my breakfast to become brunch I decided to change my plans. Now armed with no destination I started north on NM 313.

Anytime I’m heading north I take NM 313, it’s not as fast as the Interstate, but the personality of the road is so much better. NM 313 is two lane rural, something we don’t have a lot of in New Mexico.

A couple of weeks ago in Bernalillo my wife spotted a giant lizard in a front yard.  Here is a picture of this unique piece of art.

I turned north on US 550 with the idea of riding up NM 04. As I neared the turn for NM 04, the idea of eating at Cuban Cafe in Cuba entered my head. It’s one of those places I always ride past and think I should try eating there someday. Well today was the day.

The food at the Cuban Cafe was average, their version of huevos rancheros was a green chile cheese enchilada with two eggs on top. It was different, but it just didn’t blow me away. The service was outstanding and everyone in the cafe was very friendly.

After topping off my tank I rode north to NM 96. NM 96 is a great motorcycle road that takes you north to US 84, it’s one I ride several times every year.

As I was riding NM 96 I came to NM 112. Now I have ridden past this highway many times, but I’d never been on it. I knew from my atlas at home that part of this highway was dirt. While I love my Valkyrie, navigating unpaved roads are not it’s strong point or mine.

After giving it few minutes of thought, I decided to ride NM 112. The first 17 miles were paved and the road was in good shape. I didn’t see any other vehicles on this section of the highway.

When the pavement ended I stopped and gave myself one more chance to turn around before starting on the dirt.

The first 6 miles of the dirt wasn’t too bad, that’s when I caught up with a truck, the first vehicle I’d seen since leaving US 550. The dust was not blowing off the road, it was covering me. I pulled over, had a drink and waited for the dust to settle before continuing at a slower pace.

If I didn’t have to fight the road, this would have been a nice area to ride. There was great scenery and nobody else around.

The dirt road ended at the El Vado lake dam. The last couple of miles were a little rough, the road was filled with large rocks, the kind that I put my tires over when driving my Jeep. That tactic doesn’t work at all on the bike.

El Vado lake was almost drained of all it’s water, it was sad to see it so empty.

After leaving the lake I made my way to US 84 and headed east to Espanola. Made one quick stop to filled up, but made no more stops for pictures. Took the Interstate back into Albuquerque. hit town around 2:00 with the temperature around 102. It’s amazing how the heat doesn’t affect me till I slow down, then it’s kills me. Nothing like a few red lights to let you know how hot it can get.

Anybody that has ridden with me knows I will go out of my way to avoid a dirt road. So on this ride I surprised myself, but it didn’t change how I feel about riding the Fat Lady on the gravel. This was a good ride, it took me to a part of the state I’d never seen before and brought me home.



Ride to Taos New Mexico

Albuquerque  – Santa Fe – Espanola – – Taos Albuquerque

Ride to Taos with breakfast at El Parasol in Santa Fe —North on I-25 to NM 599, then north on NM 599 to US 285 to Espanola, then north on NM  68 to Taos-Return trip south on NM 68, South on US 285, south on NM 599, south on NM 14, east on I -40

The ride was 270 miles with about 5 hours of ride time.

Sunday June 23, 2013

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My wife and I were planning on riding to Colorado for an overnight trip. But the area were we going to stay was evacuated because of a forest fire. We talked about riding somewhere else, but it just didn’t happen. So we decided to take a ride to Taos for breakfast on Sunday.

We took the Interstate to Santa Fe, as hot as the days have been, it was surprisingly cool in the morning. I really enjoy riding NM 68 between Espanola and Taos. Some people prefer the high road, but I like the low road. What does that say about me? NM 68 runs along the Rio Grande and the morning light can really make the canyon look different.

Seeing these people rafting down the river reminded us of last summer when we rafted down this same section of the Rio Grande.

In Taos we went to a couple of restaurants that already had long lines, we need to start just a little earlier to beat the people leaving church. Not wanting to wait in line we headed over to the plaza and walked around.

After wandering around a couple of stores, we decided to eat lunch in Santa Fe.  So we got on the bike and rode back to Santa Fe for lunch at El Parasol.

El Parasol is a restaurant that I eat at pretty frequently even though it’s 55 miles from my front door. We both had hamburgers and split some fries, the food was good as we knew it would be. Then we took NM 14 back to Albuquerque. We really started feeling the 100+ heat as we got back into the city. We had a great time and it was perfect way to spend a Sunday morning with my wife.


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

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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.