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Any rides from Albequerque?(6 posts)

Any rides from Albequerque?spookyload
Nov 1, 2002 9:02 PM
I am the proud recipient of an assignment to Kirtland AFB. My wife and kids are thrilled, but I on the other hand am extatic. I see it as a fantastic training ground at altitude for both the road and mountain biking. After living for the last four years in Florida, Uncle Sam has come through big time for me. My question is this...does anyone know of a club or organized rides in the Albequerque area? Not looking to road race, mostly just fast group rides for training. I race MTB and use the road as a trainging ground for it. I will be moving to Rio Rancho in specific, so any info would be great.
re: Any rides from Albequerque?terry b
Nov 2, 2002 7:46 AM
Welcome the Land of Enchantment.

Best thing about it is all year riding. Most of the winter is sunny and cool, rarely is it so cold or inclement that you can't get out. The summer is always hot and clear, but unlike AZ it's rarely so hot that you can't be out even at midday. Wind is the biggest challenge here.

Lots of options for riding on the road. I've included three links to local sites describing routes and pick up rides. The touring society does not cater to racers, but the site describes some good routes around town, the local riding calendar and general information. This one is a little more race centric and has a calendar for some additional organized rides. Is the web page for a local team that does have Sat./Sun. club rides.

Albuquerque has a pretty nice system of paved trails that cross the city. Easily incorporated into 50 mile, no car rides. What's especially nice about them is that unlike most medium sized cities, they are generally empty. Few of the normal MUT horror stories. From Rio Rancho (whre I work) you can pick up the trail system at the Alameda crossing of the river, ride the sandy dirt of the west mesa, climb the cinders of the volcanos or even drop down into Corrales (where I live) and ride the flat but fast dirt irrigation roads (20 miles of such.) North on 528 you can ride all the way to Durango on US550 or climb in the Jemez Mountains. From Kirtland you have great access to the parks on the front side of the mountain or you can shoot through Tijeras Canyon to access the backside of the Sandias and the Manzanos as well as the Cedro Peaks area where a lot of the local MTB racing takes place. Most of the LBSs have maps specific to these areas.

Enjoy your assignment!
thanks for the great info!!spookyload
Nov 2, 2002 10:07 AM
re: Any rides from Albequerque?brian
Nov 2, 2002 1:10 PM

I spent my undergraduate summers working at Sandia National Labs, which is on Kirtland. It is a FUN place to live, so you will have excellent riding. There are two major club rides I know of:

Sat/Sun mornings there is a big (20-40 people) ride leaving from University of New Mexico that ride out to Rio Rancho or out through the canyon to South 14 (if I remember correctly). the ride to Rio Rancho is flat, open and pretty fast. The ride up through the canyon is then followed by a looong climb (on the order of 5-8 miles or so, but never really steep) up south 14. this is a cool ride as you wander back through desert canyon up to a high plateau.

Tuesdays/Thursdays lunch ride "The Reaper Ride" - This is an extremely fast hour ride up the canyon to the route 14 and then back. Only the fastest last all the way to the junction, otherwise you get picked up when the fast group turns around (it is an out and back). This is a good sized group of about 40-60 depending on the day. Bart Bowen of Saturn fame showed up on a few of them, as well as kent bostic (spelling?). The meeting place for this is the north gate to the air force base/Sandia National Labs. THere is also a meeting place further up Central/rte 66 but I forget where. i think its the edge of town or so.

My personal favorite ride was to go out central ave to north 14, go about 8-10 miles to the scenic road up to the top of the mountain where the Sandia Peak Tram stops. 5800 vertical feet in approx 30 miles, most in the last 11!!!!

have fun!
re: Any rides from Albequerque?brian
Nov 2, 2002 1:22 PM
I also forgot:

since you are a mtn biker, check out cedro peak (the major area to ride for the city). Another really fun area is the Ellena Gallegos park, which is essentially all the land directly below the mountains on the north/east side of the city. LOTS of fun whoopdedoos and desert twisties. there is a GREAT unmarked small trail maze on Kirtlands base near the golf course. This was created by Tom Mayer, a Sandia guy in the robotics department (the trails are right next to the robotics building). they don't go straight for more than 10 feet, and are no more than 6 inches wide. A total blast for a lunchtime skills session. You WANT to do this just to meet Tom, becuase he rides there just about every day and as a member of the Mtn Bike Hall of Fame he KNOWS ALL TRAILS! last i talked with him he was writing a trail book for New Mexico, so he knows literally thousands of miles of trails. if you want more info, email me and the only downside to NM is all the goathead cactus. get used to either tire slime or lots of very sloooow leaks....

can you tell i'm jealous of your move????


ps- ALWAYS carry your base id while riding on base, the perimeter patrols are crazy strict and will arrest you lickity split! something about what the majority of Sandia's research is makes the guards a bit jumpy ;)
Thanks for all the great tips too!!spookyload
Nov 2, 2002 3:37 PM