Riding with friends

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Five days from Santa Fe and back by bike with friends Lael, Cass and Joe— we hit upon a goldmine of adventure.  There were some fantastic settings…


…and lots of decisions.


Routefinding with four people– one reads a map, one unearths UTM coordinates from an iPhone, the other climbs the hill to look ahead, and the last one looks for a snack.


Some vast expanses


And prescient signage.


Minor misfortunes




And challenges.  Cass won with an even ten.


Cool alpine mornings


And tent packing rituals.


Spirited riding


And diverse grocery stores.




Bikepacking and bushwacking– we enjoyed five days of first-rate bikewhacking.






Riding with friends– a great time in proximity to a bike, if not always upon it.  Thanks for a great trip!


10 thoughts on “Riding with friends

  1. My envy is total! And Cass lives! You wouldn’t know it from his Blog. The sense of a kind of Summit Meeting of the Pros is quite evident. While pull-ups are a fine and valid way to judge worthiness, I certainly hope there were singing and dancing competitions also. But no burping. We are cyclists and we have our dignity.


    • Cass is alive and well, and Joe was especially vigorous in his bikewhacking as I assume he was happy not to be yawning through reading period back at school. As always, Lael can’t be bothered to hurry.

      Aside from a few pull-ups, we’re not a particularly competetive crew. While no dancing or singing, there was much discussion of superhero films, the perfect bike, and coffee. Perhaps the next Bicycle Touring Blogging Summit will be held in sunny Florida. Ocala NF must have some overgrown trails where we could lose ourselves.

  2. Looks like you made it to Los Alamos Smiths among other interesting places I recognize. I would love to talk to you about your route sometime. You really hit a great time to be riding through northern NM. Sorry to have missed you, shoot me an email if you come this way again and we can talk over dinner and beers or something.

    • Thanks for the offer of a place to stay in Los Alamos. I will surely be back at some point, although snow is not too far away. I am planning to spend the winter in Albuquerque, so Cass and I may again wander your way.

      We left Santa Fe via bike path and bike lanes and quickly found dirt tracks on BLM property. We passed through the Cochiti Village and up FR 289, which became St. Peter’s Dome Road. We had planned some singletrack riding, but quickly found that many of the trails on the map had burned, and subsequently, washed out. We camped on Cochiti Mesa that night. The next day we connected with NM 4 to some trail above LA, riding the Wellness Trail into town to hit the Smith’s. Back on the trail, we connected with the Nail Trail and up to the ski area to the Pipeline Trail, to Guaje Ridge, and down to the dirt road near the shooting range. We rolled downhill to 502(?), hopping a few unexpected gates on the reservation. We climbed up to the Nambe Reservoir to connect a faint trail in the SF Nat Forest along Rio Nambe. This began our epic day of bikewhacking. Fires and flood had destroyed most of the trails listed on our map. It was not until we reached the Winsor Trail (Borrego actually), that the trails were again rideable. Good stuff, but we now know the effect of fire and flood. In all, it was a great time. The Rio Nambe canyon was beautiful, and would make a nice hike and camp.

      Dinner and beer sounds great. I will let you know when I am back in the area.

    • Exactly what it was, bikewhacking. I love the concept of bikepacking, but it invites some unusual challenges with a bike, including unrideable steep grades and experimental routes.

    • Lael is surely a badass. She won a tent Twister competition the other night at a Big Agnes afterparty event at the IMBA Summit here in Santa Fe. Steinholding, tent Twister, handstanding…she’s got a lot of useful talents.

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