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throet

Santa Fe - 11 hr drive from Austin

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https://goo.gl/maps/ZxYCpVgntZR2

https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8009343/santa-fe

 

Recommendation from FJsnoozer
Ride:

1. La Tierra- Evening park at Frijole trailhead pump and jump tracks -up to 1-2-3-4-5 Hustle and Flow - Repeat if necessary,13-12 and backmore Jump track until the sun goes down and you cant see.
https://www.strava.com/activities/10...ts/26668707436
2. Same - including one of the "technical trails" after 13-12 = awesome ride
https://www.strava.com/activities/1084625144
1-2-3 has incredible XC flow, Hustle and flow is amazing. The pump/jump tracks have progression for everyone and get stupid big. Here is one of the more advanced lines: These guys are "alright"
3. Winsor Trail, Santa Fe- On the way back, we also timed it just right to make the 3 o'clock city bus/shuttle for $5 that takes you up to the top of Winsor. You have got to do this while driving through!

 

Edited by throet

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Now don't hold me to this one because its been at least 4-5 yrs since I've driven it, although I have done it about 3x's.  But I recall this one being a solid 12hr drive (same for Taos).  The difference is that with the time change, you seem to get an hour back (but loose that advantage on the way back home).  YMMV.  And just for reference on these types of trips, I usually drive about 75+/- and stop minimally.

And just to contribute something more than a random outa-date driving time...here is a link to a website that I like to visit.  Its a grass-roots racing site showing numerous organized events around the state.  The first link is to a big ride in Santa Fe: http://nm-es.weebly.com/santa-fe-big-friggin-loop.html  This ride is a monster, but I bet it could be broken up into bite-sized segments.

Here is a link to the main NM page:  http://nm-es.weebly.com

Later, -CJB

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I drive there at least once a year. It's ~12 hours with stops.

Hustle and Flow is pretty cool. La Tierra and the Dale Ball trails are both near enough to town that you can ride to them if you are near the square. Dale Ball has more climbing. La Tierra has more flow.

I'd also recommend the Galisteo Basin trails south of town especially if its snowing or cold uphill. It sits a bit lower than SF and has ~50 miles of trails. 

I've only ever ridden up  the Windsor like some kind of dummy. Worst day of my life. Didn't even have the energy to ride down it, had to ride the road down. #fail

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We went to santa Fe in June and the SFNF was on level 3 closure due to drought. Didn't even get to shuttle the winsor. I was SO bummed. We did ride glorieta camps thous and did a lot of riding in Taos. But the closure was a huge bummer

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

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Got a "beat the heat" trip planned in late July. Stopping at Ruidoso for three days and on to Santa Fe for four more.

Last time I tried to ride at Ruidoso a thunderstorm hit when I was about a mile in and I bailed. That was probably a decade ago, while in a rush to be on the way to somewhere else.

I've been wanting to check out the Dale Ball trails, Winsor, and now I see La Tierra and Galisteo Basin mentioned. Surely I won't get them all in, but will try to get a sample of as much as I can stand while there. Beginning further research to fine tune trail selection and direction where it might matter.

If anyone has more info than what was already shared, for either destination, post up.

Gracias.

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Dale Ball is pretty great if you want to be up in the hills. It's a bit cooler and you get bigger trees for shade the higher you go. The trade off is that because it's up in the hills and it's a lot of climbing. Bring your lungs and climbing legs. There is a way to connect Dale Ball to the Windsor through Little Tesuque Creek but I've heard it's a pretty tough section that does the connection. Never done it. I think you can connect the Dale Ball to Glorieta too. That would be a big day.

La Tierra for me has the most variety and is probably where I'd head if I had one day. Not quite as taxing as Dale Ball or the Windsor and more fun than Galisteo. Lots of single track and a good variety of up and down. They also have the skills park areas full of jumps and features if you are into that. If you are staying near the square or rail yard area you can ride to either Dale Ball or La Tierra.

Galisteo Basin is neat but mild compared to the rest of the area. There is a ridge for some climbing but overall it's flatter. Galisteo makes a good warm up ride for adjusting to altitude or when you are already wrecked from the last ride. IIRC you can ride there down the rail trail now but I've not been that far down yet. I always drive to Galisteo.

I've never done the shuttle to the top of the Windsor. Maybe this year. It's 3500' down starting above 10K. I did ride up most of it once 😰 I started at Tesuque and made it to the Pacheco fire road but I've also started at Borrego and Chamisa and done smaller sections. Good stuff.

TrailForks has good coverage of existing trails in the area but check out this site for what the area has planned: https://sites.google.com/site/greatersantafe/trails/maps

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Was reading up on Santa Fe and found that the area transit service, RTD, has a bus service with a bike rack (Route 255) that will take you from the Railyard Park to the top of the Winsor trail (Ski Santa Fe) for a sawbuck. TAKE MY MONEY! Bike rack is first come, first served, but photos look like there are racks front and back that might hold 3 or 4 bikes each.

MTB Project shows trails that look like it would be easy to connect from Winsor to take in some of Dale Ball North and South all the way back down to a trailhead, then ride road and sidewalks back to the Railyard Park. On the  bus website they indicate there are nearby free park and ride lots.

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Now considering Santa Fe for an August trip, thanks to everyone for the data here, this is really helpful.

 

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Posted (edited)
THE SHORT BUS
- or -
Winsor down connecting to Dale Ball trails
 
After boarding the short bus in Santa Fe at the South Capital Station stop and putting a sawbuck in the slot we were off to the Ski Area where the Winsor trail head is found. I was the only rider at the first stop, and we picked up four more before departing Santa Fe for the summit. There were two local youngsters dressed in full downhill regalia, full-face helmets, padded shirts, knee, and elbow protection. The others were a couple from Reno/Tahoe area who had flown in and rented a pair of Santa Cruz bikes (similar to what they rode at home).
 
Once at the Summit the couple (Charles and Barbara, IIRC) were the first ones on the trail as the two guys fiddled with air pressures and I added some to the rear tire too, as well as taking advantage of the last restroom I would see for many hours. The guys headed out away from the trail entrance and I figured they might be going on up to the higher section of the Winsor to begin their day.
 
The TH is at about 10K feet and the air is very, very thin up there. I had read that the first section of trail was kinda rough, but hadn't figured in the near absence of oxygen. Rocks, roots, and OMG ... uphill sections, one after another. I was breathing very fast and still felt like I was on the verge of swooning. Several times I had to stop and wait for several minutes to accumulate an adequate amount of O2 to manage a few more steps as there was no way I would try to ride with my head spinning like that ...
 
After some amount of time and distance I crawled out onto an area where the trail came close to the road and there was parking and signage. This was near the top, probably less than a half mile in. I found where the Winsor continued down and the trail was a lot better. After a while I came upon the two locals who I had thought had gone higher to start their ride. This was confusing for a moment. They were stopped in the trail fiddling with more settings, air pressure, and I was scratching my head about how they got in front of me. We talked and they revealed that nobody who knows better ever rides that section I had just done, and they had coasted down the road to the next trail head to avoid all that crap.
 
Very Important Note (VIN) 1 - Do NOT start this ride at the top. Skip the rocky, chunky, rooty bits and give your body a break from trying to wrestle with attempting full functionality without O2 in adequate quantities to sustain the efforts required to get through this section. Unless you just want to experience that rush of asphyxiation. (ala David Carradine)
 
I got around the locals and headed on down. The trail smoothed out and was a joy to ride in comparison to that upper bit. Next was a split in the trail, to the right was labeled "Technical Trail" and to the left was plain-ole Winsor. While I was pondering my choices the guys rolled up said hi again (they were very polite and good natured fellows) and took the right. I took the left. This was the last I saw of those guys, and I'm pretty sure they remained behind me as I heard them whooping and hollering when I passed the point that technical trail rejoined the Winsor.
 
The Winsor is an absolute blast. The section I rode was nine miles of mostly gravity induced grins. Eventually I caught up to Barbara and she heard me and made room, then a few minutes later I rolled up on Charles waiting for her. We compared trail plans and it seemed that they were essentially doing what I had mapped out and we rode together for the balance of the Winsor section. They were my age (well past a half century), and Charles was a very good rider. I stayed close, but wasn't wiling to push it like he was, mostly because I was being cautious and slowing for the potential of hikers or an uphill rider (actually encountered one rider going up) being around the next bend where I couldn't see. We slinkied on down pausing for Barbara a few times, and started looking for where we needed to bail in order to head toward Santa Fe, rather than toward Tesuque where the Winsor finally ends.
 
It got tricky, and Charles had been warned by the folks at Mellow Velo, where they rented, that the trail we wanted was Carol, and not to get on Burn or take Carol to Burn, and that finding Carol could be confusing. Well, it was. Even TrailForks with GPS didn't seem to show me being at a point where there was trail to the right when we came to a Y with no signage. The GPS showed we had completely missed seeing Burn, flying past it on the downhill, but also weren't to Carol yet. Charles scouted the trail to the left while Barb and I took a moment to have a bite and sip some water. He rolled back to a spot nearby and reported it seemed most likely the trail we wanted.
 
"Wanted" being a bit of a euphemism, as sweet little Carol led us on a climb of 466 ft over the next mile. I did meet a hiker wearing a Specialized cap walking down and commented how it may have been a mistake for me to bring a bicycle along on such a nice hiking trail ... the first of several such climbs in my future. After my hike-a-bike on Carol the descent began. Though it seemed like a mirage or, perhaps a lucid dream after that climb. I've always wanted to experience lucid dreaming and just rolled with it, enjoying the front wheel being on the low end of the trail for a change and some wind to make the magic in the Omni-Zero fabric perform magnificently.
 
I never saw Charles and Barbara again. She had been leaning toward convincing Charles to head out to Hyde Park Road by taking the left on Little Tesuque Creek trail at the end of Carol. She wanted to take pavement back to Santa Fe after I had described the elevation for both Carol and the next trail and I'm suspecting that is what they did. Smart folks they are.
 
A quick glance at the computer and I realize how the halfway point for the expected mileage today has now been attained. It is at this time I will take a moment and make note of one aspect of the ride that proved to be a disappointment. The outdoor air conditioning had apparently been turned off, and where I had been expecting highs in the low 80s, I was seeing the temp on the bike computer now ranging up into the 90s and as high as 109 in places as I crawled up Carol, pushing the bike along my hike on many sections. I got to the T and briefly pondered taking the left to easy salvation, then, chose to take the right.
 
Stick with the plan I said, as it included riding some of the Dale Ball trails.
I've brought 4.5 liters of water with me I said.
Columbia's shirt had magical properties that were doing a great job of heat management I reasoned.
(if reason is what that can be called, still, it added to the justification to press on, regardless)
Besides, I've never been keen about riding a bicycle on busy, narrow mountain roads.
 
To the right it was, onto Little Tesuque that takes the rider foolish enough to go this way directly to the La Piedra Connector. More about that in a moment. Little Tesuque trail follows the creek into an environment that was full of lush water-fed grasses. A microcosm in the otherwise high desert surroundings. It was quite lovely, lulling me into a false sense of serenity and calm as I found a nice spot to stop and have a bite, down a fizzy tablet of electrolyte goodness, letting it disincorporate into mouth fulls of water while I bided my time enjoying this cool, breezy, shady respite.
 
Little did I know the onerous task, ney, torture, waiting for me unseen a mere 50 feet away.
 
In Spanish the translation for La Piedra is "the rock" or "the stone" and that is sweet and all, but in the local Santa Fean dialect the translation is more like. "The god-awful chunk of rock that some sadistic bastard of a trail builder carved upon to test the will and very soul of anyone attempting to use La Piedra to connect a pleasant Winsor downhill ride with the Dale Ball trails.
 
This jewel in the cap of Marquis de Sade's crown gains 674 feet over 1 mile of trail that includes a series of ~30 switchbacks with rarely more than 50 feet of very steep trail between turns. There is no riding up unless you have the skills of Hans 'NoWay' Rey or Danny Macskill. Walking up with a bike takes time. On the way I see temps steadily over 100, and was thankful that there were plenty of trees offering shady spots every twenty feet or so to stop, sip water, and trudge onward.
 
VIN2 - DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO CONNECT A WINSOR DOWNHILL RIDE WITH DALE BALL TRAILS just go on down to Tesuque and catch the bus back to Sante Fe.
Really... I mean it... especially in July.
 
I never actually thought I was going to die, but in retrospect I may have just been telling myself that as a way to ease my passing from this mortal coil should it come to that. As near as I can tell by signage and a remarkably stout cedar pole fence toward the top, this connector trail had to be built in a very narrow section between private property lines on either side. There is no other reason for it to have been built this way. Ah, here's a blog post on the construction of the trail.
 
As I'm ascending this marvel of modern trail building I'm hearing the thunder of afternoon storms brewing over the mountain I came down. Big rolling, crackling noises, lightning zip-zapping between clouds, it becomes obvious to me how I'm now headed to the peak in order to offer optimal exposure for a rider seeking to become a high point should electricity be coursing through the nearby air seeking a convenient path to connect to the electrons anxiously awaiting the trip skyward from terra firma.
 
Rolling spritely over the peak I gratefully descend on steep, yet rideable trail leading me to another Y. After study upon the choices on TrailForks elevation profile, I take the lesser climb on the right spur to begin another set of switchbacks that eventually get me the hell off of La Piedra trail.
 
I have attained the goal. I am on the famous Dale Ball trails! Yay.
 
VIN3 - Dale Ball trails aren't named, instead, the intersections and waypoints are numbered. This was quite confusing as the trails are described as "Dale Ball #2-#3" and such. Fortunately, they are well signed and once I became used to looking for the direction to the next marker, rather than thinking of them as trail numbers it became a breeze to navigate. The Dall Ball trails I rode were flowy fun, with an occasional climb. As an added bonus the winds being sucked into the base of the CumuloNimbus making noises nearby brought the temps down to the 80s and made the Dale Ball riding that much better.
 
Here is the order of precedence for the Dale Ball trail markers as ridden post-La Piedra: 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 ...
 
At which point I'd like to mention how the trail crosses Hyde Park Road (NM475) between 10 and 11. When I got there I checked my watch. 1500 hours. I knew the last shuttle bus was just leaving the summit and I could wait here for 30 minutes and flag it down for a ride back to within a half mile of the house.
I deliberated,
I hemmed,
I hawed,
I applied all I know about survival in the wild ...
In the spirit of all my previous decisions along this ride, I took into serious consideration factors such as fatigue, the heat, the dwindling water supply and, as you have come to expect by now, I crossed the road and entered the singletrack, away from the safety and convenience of the returning Short Bus, taking the trail that led, unremarkably, to yet another set of upwardly immobile switchbacks.
 
Bus, schmuss. I don't need no stinkin' bus. I'm quite literally cranking it up, ... to 11, as it were.
 
From there it was on to markers 12, 18, 20 and 24 which is an OMG FUN downhill to Cerro Gordo road. A guy at Bike N Sport had told me the locals will take a left on the pavement and ride uphill a little ways to Upper Canyon Road, then take it back into town because it is mostly downhill and has less traffic. Which is what I did.
 
VIN4 - Do what the locals do and take Upper Canyon. Coasting, I was very nearly exceeding the posted speed limit of 20mph for much of the way.
 
Final tally,
Roughly 6 hours
23.11 miles from the peak to the VRBO
6317 ft descending (TrailForks)
3097 ft ascending (TrailForks)
 
If an ol' fart like me can do this solo, you might be able to as well ...
... just don't cuss me, cuz I done told you it wasn't a very good idea.
Edited by Ridenfool
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Posted (edited)

Photos of "The Short Bus" used on Santa Fe RTD 255 Mountain Trail Route

I had searched trying to find more info on the rack capacity for this bus has and couldn't find a photo. So, decided to take a few and put them out on the Interwebz for others.

Twelve bikes total, 3 front, 3 rear, 6 inside.

See the previous post for details on how you too can use this bus to torture yourself.

 

SB-Front.jpg

SB-Back.jpg

SB-Inside.jpg

Edited by Ridenfool
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Looking at that rack...I had an idea. I have an old biking buddy who has become an old acquaintance. He moved to the great northwest and we lost touch, but every now and then we think of an excuse to communicate. Anyway, last time we talked he mentioned that he just started working for a company who makes mass transit bike racks. So when I saw that rack...I thought...maybe. So I LinkedIn'd the fellow's name, and checked out his company's website. 

 

And wouldn't you know it: https://www.sportworks.com/product/apex-3 

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Yeah, they used to make consumer models too. I had one. Then they sold licensing to Thule for the consumer market and just do them for buses now.

Capital Metro has them on their buses I think. I know they used to use that brand.

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Excellent write up. Thanks for taking the time. 

I laughed out loud at "As I'm ascending this marvel of modern trail building I'm hearing the thunder of afternoon storms brewing over the mountain I came down..." Because I was picturing the cliche movie scenes about the poor sap hero that is having a terrible day asking, "what else could go wrong?" when, of course, it starts to rain on him.

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Wow, this just stirred up an old memory of finishing up a hike in the mountains near Santa Fe and insisting on giving two mountain bikers a ride into town, because a truly violent summer thunderstorm was starting to hit. They hid their bikes in some trees and accepted my offer and were glad they did when it started to hail.  (They'd planned originally to just ride their bikes back into Santa Fe.) 

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And as quickly as our plans departed, we now suddenly are planning to hit Santa Fe, leaving on Thursday morning.

Taking our urban bikes (wife's in a Townie cruiser).

Any tips on town lake-style riding? Crushed granite or paved, no gravel grinding. I see the Santa Fe River Trail and the Santa Fe Rail Trail as good options so far. Will probably be hauling a dog in a trailer as well.

Also, any food/beer recommendations, especially dog-friendly would be appreciated.

In case you are wondering, Low 70's during the day, upper 40's and low 50's at night. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

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For great home cooking New Mexico style, The Pantry. Been there since 1948, they must be doing something right.

Jinga Bar and Bistro has a Trader Vic's feel to it and some tasty grub and a bevy of unique drinks with umbrellas and fruit and lots of happy juice.

We also found Jamba Cafe to be good for lunch. African-Caribbean Fusion might appeal to AB's worldly palette.

Gabriel's is just out of town to the North, and worth the trip for superb Mexican food. Might need to make reservations. They'll make guacamole to your spec at your table if you have a hankern' for such extravagance.

Tune Up Cafe was another good breakfast/lunch spot. A small neighborhood vibe and unique menu. The Pupusas were quite filling. TuneUp had outside dining and is likely dog friendly.

 

Edited by Ridenfool

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The Rail Trail for sure.

Tune Up & The Pantry would be two of my recommendations as well, mostly for breakfast or brunch. The Pantry is sometimes hard to get in to but worth it. It was featured in the 538 burrito bracket.

Second Street Brewing is a good post ride lunch spot and two of the locations are on the rail trail. One at the rail yard across from the Violet Crown and the other on 2nd street. The other location is down by Meow Wolf which is totally worth a trip of it's own. I want to say all 3 have different kitchen options. I like the location on 2nd if you can catch a table outside under the tree with some chile cheese fries... Damn now I want to go.

Tune up and Second Street are probably dog friendly. Actually there's a cool pizza place across the street from Second Street Brewing called Back Road Pizza. I bet they are dog friendly too.

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Just stopped in Santa Fe over Labor Day. if you haven't heard of Meow Wolf, it seems to be the thing to do in Santa Fe. You need to buy tickets in advanced, as it sells out daily.

I got to ride Frijoles early. totally worth it. great trail system. best skills area. Just seeing the trail signage is worth it.

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