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.
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.
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!
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.