Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rio Grande Riverside Trail

Yesterday was a day off the bike. My body needed it. But back on the bike today - I HAD to ride today.

Why, you ask? It was the last day of January and I needed 10.5 miles to break 100 miles for the month (and year-to-date). I decided to continued to explore the trail along the Rio Grange River.

The trail is called the Paseo del Bosque to the Riverside Trail. I parked my car at the Central Ave trailhead. The goal was to complete the trail South from Central Ave.

For almost 7 miles, the trail follow the river. At that point, the trail turns left (East) and is along the South Diversion Channel. The channel arcs to the North. At Bridge St, the trail turns left along the south side of Rio Bravo Blvd.

This took me back to the Riverside Trail. At this time, I was at 11 miles into my ride. It was 5 miles back to Central Ave.

While it was warm (57 degrees) it was a bit chilly because it had been a cloudy day. Back at the room, it was laundry time -- needed to wash my cycling kits.

Today's photo shows my hybrid bike at the junction of South Diversion Channel and a sice channel (the concrete rivers).

OH - and I met my goal. 106 miles year-to-date.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bike Ride with Cousin Don

A great way to spend a Sunday. Met with my cousin Don (an Albuquerque resident) for brunch at the Range Cafe (on Menaul). From there, we took a bicycle ride to explore.

Our destination was the UNM campus. Yes, its not that far, but then I had ridden the day before, so was not looking for a long ride. We toured campus - Don had not been on campus for a while.

Stopped for hot chocolate/coffee. A little more touring in Nob Hill. Then back to my hotel. Good ride. Nice to have someone to ride with.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

North Diversion Channel Trail

Time to explore.

Later breakfast at Village Inn. Another sunny day - into the 40s at noon. Exchanged e-mails with my cousin. We decided on a brunch and bike ride tomorrow 11am-ish. It did not take much time for me to decide to check out the North Diversion Channel trail.

It was a 4 block ride on city streets to get from my hotel to the trail. Surprising, traffic was light. I was concerned as I had to ride a 6-lane (3 in each direction) boulevard.

I started North on the trail. A couple times I stopped to look at my Albuquerque Bicycle Map. Set my goal as riding to the Balloon Fiesta Park.

Had a good ride to the park. With the sun at my back, took most of my photos riding to the park. The photo with this post shows one of the many bridges over channels that feed into the main channel.

I did not pay attention of the slope and wind. When I started riding back South, I found that I was riding into the wind. Glad it was not very strong. Adding to the wind, I saw that feeder channels dropped water against the direction I am traveling. So, any slope of the channel was against me - I was riding up hill!

A good ride, though I could have used an extra layer on the arms and core. The bright sun fooled me - not so warm when out in the open.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Volcanoes at Petroglyph National Monument

When I stuck the door of my room this morning, the sun was shining. Just could not get moving. Thought about ride a bike - check out the trail near the hotel. I was a bit windy, to decided to check out the Volcanoes day use area at Petroglyph National Monument.

This area is at Exit 149 of I-40 and a couple miles North. It was a bit breezy out on the plains. Didn't seem too bad so walked the 1/2 mile to the JA Volcano and the valley vista shelter.

Mountain bike trail web sites had mentioned trails in the area. But, being it a National Monument, I was not sure. Sign at the trailhead showed that bikes are allowed. As I walked, I was thinking how much easier it would be to ride the trail to tak photos.

I did not stay much time at the volcano. The wind was strong from the NW - and a bit brisk and biting. Besides, it gives me a reason to return with my trail bike to explore more of the trails there.

The photo on this post shows the trail to Black Volcano as viewed from the trail to the valley vista.


Starting to get settled into the room. A couple items got checked off Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Stocked supplies for the room. Stopped at a local bike shop for a bike map. Most of the car cleared out.

Bikw Works is only about 4 blocks from my hotel. They had the map and Chamois Butt's. Next week they should have the tub of the "Euro" style version. Word is that sections of the Foothill Trails may be soft from the recent precipitation. They suggested a pavement ride.

While it was a bit cool in the morning (shorts and sweatshirt weather) temp was climbing. By noon, it was over 50 with a bright sun.


Put the hybrid on the rack and drove ocer to the Montano trailhead along the river. Rode the Paseo del Bosque South from Montano Rd. I had ridden to Central Ave. The ride south past there was new for me.

There is a nice park with lakes, sculptures, and landscaping near the narrow gauge railroad. The trail is along the park and railroad. It continues south through an industrial area.

The trail turned away from the roads, staying along a diversion channel. When I reached 8.5 miles, and there was just a long straight way ahead, it was time to turn back.

While I took some photos on the ride. With the sun to my back, I took more photos on the return. Today's photo is of a bench, sign, and bike sculpture along the trail. In the background is the narrow gauge tourist railroad.

When back to the room, I unloaded the bike and crashed into bed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fort Union and the Santa Fe Trail

On the road again - to Albuquerque. Tuesday was a long day of driving. Drove from home to Pueblo, CO (about 680 miles). Wednesday I did not get out of the room until 8am. In Raton, NM (basically the state line on I25) I found the Tourist Information and picked up some brochures.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

While there, i asked what there would be to stop and see along by route. The suggested Ft. Union and the Turquoise Trail. Ft Union is only 8 miles off I-25.

To get to Ft. Union National Monument drive I-25 to exit 337. Take the road to West (NM 165) to the Fort. You can't miss it, because the road ends at the monument.

The fort was constructed and manned to guard the Santa Fe Trail. The trail was an important commerce route between the Indian tribes of the Southwest and the merchants to the East.

Today's photo shoes the shows the rut in he earth caused by the trail. Ruins of the Fort union Hospital was in the background.

Actually, there were 3 different Fort unions. The first 2 were temporary structures. The ruins at the monument are the remnants of the last Fort Union.

The fort had most of the materials for its construction. Sandstone was quarried in the area. Wood was available in the nearby forests. There were mud pits for adobe. In the days if the fort, there was a lake in the area. Fire break was about the only building materials transported long distant 0 that cam from the St. Louis area.

As you walk on the self-guided tour, to can see many more foundations. Unfortunately, scavengers got to Ft. union before the National Park Service aquired it and started protecting the ruins.

Check the the web sire information about Ft. Union. It was a hub of activity. A great break from the boring drive on the prairie of NE New Medico

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Xtreme Winterfest Bike Ride

Yesterday was the 10th annual bike ride. Weather was much better than last year.It was in the mid 30s when the riders started arriving with their bikes at the Western Historic Trails Center.

After a cup of coffee, riders pedaled the 2 1/2 miles on the bike path to Riverside Grill. The Grill offered overpriced chilli, hot dogs, and chips.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flood Aftermath

Fifties and sunny in January - I'll take it! A little cooler yesterday. I could not pass up the opportunities to ride my bike.

Yesterday was the first ride for 2012. I was not up to par - my heart monitor was giving me high readings. I took it easy and rode 9 miles. It was about 45 degrees with filtered sunshine. Glad I wore my extra layer of sweatshirt and heavy tights.

Today it was about 55 when I headed out to ride, with full (for January) sun. Was gonna wear light tights, but they felt too warm. Decided to try the leggings I purchased for last winter.

They were just the trick for the temperature. Being the first time I tried leggings, I was not sure if they go over or under the short-bibs. I started with the leggings over the shorts.

Within 2 miles riding, the leggings were starting to slip down my leg. Stopped along the trail and pulled up the legs of the bibs, lulled the leggings up, and then brought the legs of the bibs back over the leggings. I rode another 10+ miles without issue. Though I did not need to, about 3 miles from the end of my ride I re-adjusted the leggings.

Now, I know what it LOOKS like guys are wearing shorts over tights -- its leggings!

Now, as for the ride it self - I rode from the Wabash Trace Trailhead or to I-80 behind the Trails Center. I wanted to see what looked like since the flood. I had seen photos, wanted to see for myself.

Not sure who all worked on clearing the mess - but they have done an awesome job. Thanks for your efforts!

The trees near the lower section near the levee have been desecrated. Looks like a tornado went through the area - trees every which way. (upper photo)

At the benches along the trail, I could see the sand dunes that were deposited during the flood jutting into the pond. They must have been sand bars some 6 feet thick! (see lower photo)

Stopped in to the Trails Center to sign the visitor's register. Jam and Bread was just getting going, so kept my visit short. Picked up a flier for "Xtreme Winterfest" bike ride - being held Saturday morning.