15 June 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: New Mexico

I first came through New Mexico riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route back in 2000. We were ready to be done with Colorado and New Mexico seemed pretty mellow by comparison. The northern mountains were far greener and more beautiful than I expected. Riding through the southern part of the state in the middle of August was rough (especially the all-sand days near Pie Town), but still pretty. Several years later, a girl, boredom and the threat of another Boston winter brought me to Albuquerque, where I've been ever since. Coming from New and Old England, the music scene is not really to my taste (and the dating scene horrifying), but at 5500', the weather is pretty darn good (cool at night, dry), the job market pretty strong, the living relatively inexpensive, and the riding awesome. The city is being very proactive about creating and maintaining cycling infrastructure, and more and more pros and pro teams are showing up every winter.

The riding in and adjacent to town is surprisingly good and if one is willing to drive a little bit, there is some fantastic road and mountain biking to be had. Over the past two weeks, the bikefix and Bikeworks crews have done some epic backcountry rides. Over the course of 5 and 7 hour rides (one just outside of Santa Fe), we came across one other rider. After nearly four years here, I still get you haven't ridden there? You've got to check it out! comments. Not all of the riding is for everyone- it can be hard and not all of it is signed, but if you're game, there is an incredible amount to be had.

So, if life brings you this way, bing your bike. I did, and for a stab in the dark, it's worked out remarkably well...


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