Our dramatic 3 day escape from tornado valley brought us here, to New Mexico, and the best day of riding yet.
We’ve had an account on instagram for years, but recently started posting about our rides and bikes in the last 6 months or so. Somehow, through a tag or otherwise, we found a rider out of El Paso, Texas – Tim, who is always posting great pics of his rides, his crashes and his overall progress riding similar bikes to our own. When he found out we were in the area, just 80 miles north in Alamogordo, he invited us to meet up with him and some of his riding group in Cloudcroft, NM, about 20 minutes from our RV park. The ride would be an all day ride on single track and old logging roads in Lincoln National Forest. The ground would regularly be loose rock littered with logs and branches, things we didn’t have much experience with, but were more than willing to try. We’ve ridden sandy roads, packed gravel, muddy trails and of course street, but never loose rocks (large or small) nor have we had to ride over so many logs and branches.
We must have underestimated our skills because we both kept up great, only passing up a couple steeper rocky hills that we probably could have done if we tried. Almost everyone fell at least once, some of us on the same hill climb trying to get around a fallen tree, and by the last half my legs and arms were starting to weaken from standing and fighting the handlebars against the rocks. We rode about 6-7 hours total, stopping for a couple breaks to take in views and for lunch. A New Mexico resident, and our guide, Martin, seemed to know the way to every part of the park, nearly every trail, how they connected, which trails were more advanced and which were more our skill level. Hopefully this ride will be the first of many and we’ll just continue to get faster and braver each time.
Next week, we both get new sprockets and gears for our bikes, giving us time to recover and our bikes ready for our next big ride*!
*cheese factor 11!