Los Lunas Century

This Sunday turned out to be the perfect day for a century bike ride.  I followed the old Camino Real south on Hwy 314 winding through the agricultural landscapes of the lower Rio Grande valley.  About 30 miles south of Albuquerque I turned northwest on Hwy 6 in Los Lunas.  That connected me with Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque.  All I had to do from there was get home again.  A classic loop fueled by two convenience store stops involving starbucks, mountain dew and snickers, plus the two rice balls and banana/apple/sunflower/raisin snack bag I packed.

I'm faster than a tractor, this tractor at least

I’m faster than a tractor, this tractor at least

Lots of open road today.  This is the Tour of the Rio Grande Valley route

Lots of open road today. This is the Tour of the Rio Grande Valley route

On a bike the textures and scents of the landscape come alive.  Manzanos in the distance

On a bike the textures and scents of the landscape come alive. Train tracks, field, Bosque, Manzanos in the distance

llama hanging out.  I saw a lot of animals today including an adult pig playing with a dog (or the dog was playing with the pig)

llama hanging out. I saw a lot of animals today including an adult pig and a dog playing together.  Many horses

There was a big rain storm that woke me up last night.  There were puddles everywhere today and the fields smelled of wet soil and fragrant desert brush.  The air in the valley was soft.

About 40 miles into the ride leaving Los Lunas, when I still had energy left

About 40 miles into the ride I still had energy left.  Leaving Los Lunas and the river valley behind heading west

 

The Sierra Ladrones are a compact range near Socorro

The Sierra Ladrones are a compact range near Socorro

Highway 6 is a spectacular ride for scenic grandeur.  The landscapes takes me on these rides

Highway 6 is a spectacular ride for scenic grandeur. Let the landscape enfold me

These cows are not so used to people and took off stampeding.  Grass fed and free range exercised

These cows are not so used to people and took off stampeding as I rode on by. Grass fed and free range exercised

The open space comes through OK on these photos but remember when you’re biking the sky is your canopy in all directions.  You don’t have any “A pillars” blocking your peripheral view like you do in an automobile.  Mai asked me if I feel lonely out riding all day but it is just the opposite, I feel engaged and observant all the time.  The vegetation textures, rock color bands, the interwoven road.  Learning the terrain in this enormous space.  The beauty, the true colors, the depth and lighting don’t fully come through on these photographs.  New Mexico’s landscapes are best seen by bike.  What a way to get oriented!

I entered Laguna Pueblo lands and the volcanic mesascapes work in tandem with the sky

I entered Laguna Pueblo lands

Open

Open

BNSF freight lines and the Amtrak Southwest Chief lines run through here

BNSF freight lines and the Amtrak Southwest Chief lines run through here.  Train is on the left in this photo.

The other way to see New Mexico is by train.  The Amtrak ride I hear is very good here.  If we had Japanese style light rail, which is like flying on rails but even smoother than air travel, that would be awesome.  The nice thing about trains is you can mellow out and let someone else do the driving, and put your full attention to the window, your friends, work, a book, the computer.

I love New Mexico

In New Mexico, rocks can be scenic attractions

In New Mexico rocks can be scenic attractions

You ride 12 or so miles of Interstate 40 from Hwy 6, and then hop onto a frontage road

You ride 14 miles of Interstate 40 from Hwy 6, and then hop onto a frontage road.  The interstate’s shoulder is OK

Nothing like a looming sunset to make Mark ride as fast as he can

Nothing like a looming sunset to make me ride as fast as I possibly can.  Almost six hours on the bike tunes you up

I took Central Ave down la ceja of the West Mesa and back on into Albuquerque.  100 miles of new roads today.  Satisfied.

I took Central Ave down la ceja of the West Mesa and back on into Albuquerque. 100 miles of new roads today. Satisfied.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s