Santa Fe, NM riding advice

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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53x12
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by 53x12

Going to Santa Fe, NM with family for a vacation. Looking for any riding advice or routes to go on.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

beatle
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by beatle

There is a nice climb up to the ski area. Easy to find on a map.

by Weenie


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LeDuke
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Location: Front Range, CO

by LeDuke

I've only been mountain biking there.

But, the ski area north east of town, as mentioned by beatle, is pretty nice. Lots of USFS roads out there, and 475 is nice way to get out of town and up into the mountains.

What kind of bike will you be taking?

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53x12
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by 53x12

beatle wrote:There is a nice climb up to the ski area. Easy to find on a map.


Thanks, I'll definitely plan on that.


LeDuke wrote:I've only been mountain biking there.

But, the ski area north east of town, as mentioned by beatle, is pretty nice. Lots of USFS roads out there, and 475 is nice way to get out of town and up into the mountains.

What kind of bike will you be taking?


Yeah the 475 route to the ski area sounds like a perfect route for a ride. Definitely will do that. This trip I'll only be taking my road bike with.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

golfsierra
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by golfsierra

Up to the Ski basin is a fun climb, going out to Camel Rock is a pretty straight to the point ride as well.

11.4
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by 11.4

There are lots of roads you can take for interesting and scenic rides. But first, do be aware that people speed, often with alcohol, and there's little or no respect for cyclists. It's not a particularly bike-friendly area. And there is limited street lighting so it gets very dark very quickly. Outside of town, don't expect too many gas stations, water stops, that kind of thing -- which is normally a plus except when you need one. And rains can cause a lot of partial washouts where the road surface suddenly becomes loose sand and gravel for a bit.

All that said, you can ride south towards Galisteo and Madrid. The road to Madrid is a simple out and back, but the views are beautiful and it's mostly uphill heading south, so you get a nice fast return. Madrid is always interesting.

If you go up past the Lodge you quickly get into Tesuque, a beautiful area with lots of paved roads cross-crossing the countryside. Rollers but nothing serious. If you go farther out, you start heading uphill and can gain a fair bit of elevation quickly.

If your road bike is gravel-ready, there are many additional roads with some tough climbs and great vistas as you go off the main paved roads. You don't need much more than, say, a 27 or 28 mm tire with a little bit of tooth to it -- it's typically dry and mud clearance or mud treads aren't necessary. In fact, I'd suggest that if you want the most options close to SF, you might just fit as big a tire as you can on your road bike with a good textured tread -- not knobby but something reasonably light and fast but with grip in hardpack.

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spookyload
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Location: Albuquerque, NM

by spookyload

As mentioned the best bang for the buck that isn't a pure climb is highway 14 to Madrid. Also known as the Turquoise Trail, some good climbs and beautiful scenery. Keep in mind it is monsoon season, so afternoon thunderstorms are common. Plan on riding in the morning. Also, elevation starts around 6,000'. Hydrate or die. For a good loop from Santa Fe, google the Santa Fe Century map. The 100k route is what you want

prebsy
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by prebsy

53x12 wrote:Going to Santa Fe, NM with family for a vacation. Looking for any riding advice or routes to go on.
Shoot me a PM i can get you in touch with some of the fast guys there.

Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk

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53x12
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by 53x12

Thanks guys. I ended up doing the NM-475 route up to the ski area, did the Turquoise Trail to Madrid (past the current and old state prison) and biked into Bandelier National Monument from White Rock. Overall had a very pleasant time good riding weather while there. Also ate my full share of red + green chile, red enchiladas and chile rellenos while there.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

youngs_modulus
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by youngs_modulus

53x12, I'm glad to hear you liked it. Were you able to get enough oxygen at the top of the ski area? (It's at 10,000 feet/3050 meters for those of you who haven't been).

I went to college in Santa Fe, and I have a lot of affection for it. But 11.4 is telling the truth:

11.4 wrote:Do be aware that people speed, often with alcohol, and there's little or no respect for cyclists. It's not a particularly bike-friendly area.


You can say that again. New Mexico has drive-through liquor stores, and they're pretty popular. I was once tailgated down a hill with a stop sign at the bottom. When we got to the sign, I turned to tell the driver my feelings about his tailgating. Then I saw that he had an open beer in his lap and his girlfriend/wife had their baby in her arms, not a car seat. No one was wearing a seatbelt, of course. The guy just blinked at me, and I realized he had no idea he was tailgating me. Seeing how concerned he was for the safety of himself, his wife and child, I figured he wouldn't be moved by my complaint. I kept my mouth shut.
11.4 wrote:If you go up past the Lodge you quickly get into Tesuque, a beautiful area with lots of paved roads cross-crossing the countryside.


Yeah, and to your first point, that's the only place I've ever been hit by a car in 32 years of racing and training. I was descending past Bishop's Lodge...at the bottom of that hill, the road bends right. There's an embankment on the right, so it's basically a blind turn. I was going about 35 MPH, and a woman coming the other way cut the corner (crossing the yellow line by a lot) and hit me head-on. She stopped, but wouldn't give me her license and insurance info. Despite a witness (the driver behind me) saying I was in my lane when we collided, the cop didn't ticket the other driver (except for failure to give me her license/insurance info). The cop was wearing a bolo tie, of course, and was pretty sure bikes weren't supposed to be on the road in the first place.

11.4 wrote:If your road bike is gravel-ready, there are many additional roads with some tough climbs and great vistas as you go off the main paved roads.

I hadn't considered it before, but you're right: Santa Fe is an ideal place for a gravel bike or gravel-ready road bike. If I ever move back, I'll have to pick one up.



Edit: corrected "neters" to "meters."
Last edited by youngs_modulus on Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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53x12
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by 53x12

youngs_modulus wrote:53x12, I'm glad to hear you liked it. Were you able to get enough oxygen at the top of the ski area? (It's at 10,000 feet/3050 neters for those of you who haven't been).


I think the ski area is right around 10,300 (at least according to my GPS bike computer) at the ski resort and also a little further down the way where the overlook area is. Luckily we spent about a week in Colorado prior to going to Santa Fe, so I had a bit of time getting acclimated with riding + hiking in CO. I definitely still felt the elevation but didn't have any major issues as I made sure to stay well hydrated and fed.

Definitely had a great time visiting and had great New Mexican food. Top notch stuff.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

youngs_modulus
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Location: Madison, WI USA

by youngs_modulus

OK; now I'm curious: where'd you eat?

I'm a fan of Maria's (kind of kitsch and everyone likes to say it has gone downhill, but I still love their carne adovada) and especially Pasqual's. There are a zillion other great options, like The Shed and The Bobcat Bite. What places did you like?

Now I'm craving green chile. In Wisconsin.

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53x12
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by 53x12

youngs_modulus wrote:OK; now I'm curious: where'd you eat?

I'm a fan of Maria's (kind of kitsch and everyone likes to say it has gone downhill, but I still love their carne adovada) and especially Pasqual's. There are a zillion other great options, like The Shed and The Bobcat Bite. What places did you like?

Now I'm craving green chile. In Wisconsin.


Tried The Shed, which was ok but the place felt a little hyped up for what it was. The flavors really didn't stand up to what I expected. Probably would never go back if I'm ever in town again. I really enjoyed Tomasitas and La Choza (heard this was owned by same people that own The Shed?). The food at both of these places just felt authentic and had the bold flavors (+ heat) that I was expecting. There was another place that I can't remember that was also very good. Also tried chile rellenos from a food truck that was amazing. Also spent some time in ABQ and might have had equally as good food at Las Ristras Restaurant and El Pinto. Both were very good.

Also should say, I was very surprised how great the green chile cheeseburger at Blake's Lotaburger was. That thing was phenomenal for a quick bite. I wasn't expecting much, but wow that thing was incredible.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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kytyree
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by kytyree

I passed through in June, and took the MTB up the Windsor Trail, I think that tops out in the area you all are talking about. Very pretty, I really enjoyed it.

I'll go back for some road biking soon, it's not perfect but the mountains are a welcome change from riding across the prairie here.

by Weenie


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