Mountain Bike Trail, Hills, and Headwind

Dave’s ride started in the high desert in Santa Fe, elevation 7200 feet. We needed a shortish ride to acclimatize. I chose a Santa Fe River trail loop for that. The “river” was mainly a dried up gully. At the end of the day, my smarty pants Garmin announced that I had acclimatized to 3450 feet. Does it take blood samples and give Covid vaccines, too?

While I was searching for an acclimatization ride, I found the Santa Fe Rail Trail that went precisely in the direction of our first day’s ride to Moriarty. The guys at Mellow Velo Bike Shop assured me it was a good trail, paved for a while, then packed dirt. Well, it was paved for 5 miles, but then it turned into a stunning, well-groomed mountain bike trail for 10 miles. (Patty, if you are reading, yes, I rode a mountain bike trail.)

The beautiful groomed trail

After those ten miles came two rugged miles of treacherous rocky descents, soft sandy steep ascents, and rocky paths inches from the train tracks. Somehow we made it through. I let Dave go first so I could see what not to do.

Gnarly rail trail

We came out onto a highway and flew downhill for a half a mile, the only easy part of the day. Even better, Connie awaited us at the bottom of the little hill with ice, Gatorade, snacks, and an encouraging word.

We were supposed to be worrying about the big headwind we read in the forecast, but for those first 17 miles, we were focused on trying to stay upright. Without the distraction of terrain, the wind howled right into our faces. We fought our way up hills and I demanded a break at the tops of each. Dave was pretty willing to comply, not that he needed it. At the tops of hills, I heard and saw every little peep and ruffle of birds, having been sensitized to them by my first ever birding experience with a local expert named Cheryl on Sunday, organized by Connie, an avid birder with amazing patience to look and listen.

Ride statistics

Start: Santa Fe, NM

End: Moriarty, NM

Distance: 53.7 miles

Elevation gain: 1785 feet

Wind: Relentless

Strava track:

©2021 Lynnea C Salvo

4 thoughts on “Mountain Bike Trail, Hills, and Headwind

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