Everyday Rides: Tres Pistolas & Foothills Meander

Nothing special here, just a post on a daily ride.  I created a new category “everyday rides” for these short posts that document what I see and experience on everyday outings.  You might call them training but they are more than that, or not even that.  Field trips.  Practice.  Fun.  Research.  Geographic Investigations.  Social networking.  Exercise.  Today was even a photography session.  Always an adventure.  Today a prickly cactus spine went right through my leather bicycling shoe into my foot!  Teach me to go tramping amongst cholla and prickly pear to get the right angle for a photograph.

My camera doesn't handle light contrasts well, but still La Luz came through looking pretty

My camera doesn’t handle light contrasts well, but still La Luz came through looking pretty

I started out on my old standby the I-40 trail.  Here’s the Strava Map for the whole ride.  I thought it would be nice to just get on the open road and pedal, but east winds in Tijeras Canyon were strong.  So I tried to explore the little frontage road that I always see winding away down a lonely canyon into the Manzanos.  It is called “Coyote Springs” but I found out why it is so lonely.  There is a gate with an unwelcoming sign indicating there are ‘no excuses’ accepted for entering.  Access denied.  Not sure if it is land grant property, Kirtland base land, or private.

South Sandias above Monticello

South Sandias above Monticello

I tried the other side and climbed up through the village of Monticello to the trailhead for the Tres Pistolas City of Albuquerque Open Space.  It is classic New Mexican high desert up there.  For a little exploration I was rewarded with a nice new climb.  I’ve read lots about the Hawk Watch and birding and springs at Three Guns.  Mai and I will surely have to come to hike soon.  Sweet spot between the Sandias and Manzanos.  It is a nice neighborhood, horses, laid back, pretty country views, neighbors but not too many neighbors.  Keep it mellow and sweet!

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The very top of the road to the Tres Pistolas trailhead is dirt, but completely rideable

I headed back to town and meandered through the foothills.  I’ve found I can ride single track from the Embudito Trailhead over to the High Desert Wilderness Estates (an oxymoron there, wilderness estates, but that’s what they figured would sell) to cross over the arroyo up high without having to return to Tramway between Manitoba and High Desert.  I guess if I’m riding my road bike on single track, “road bike” is oxymoronic too!  Can’t accuse anybody in this world without indicting yourself.


This bike can handle single track.  Honestly all you need is one bike and time to ride.  Adventures galore!

This bike can handle single track. Honestly all you need is one bike that fits you and time to ride. Adventures galore!

I finished it off with a climb to La Luz.  This climb always humbles.  When you try to take it easy it just hurts longer.  After a morning snow it was nice to get out today and put together my first ride of 2015.  Winter is definitely bike season for me in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We had quinoa, unagi, sesame eggs, a kale/brussels sprouts/cabbage salad, and organic chicken for dinner.  Getting everything ready for another ride tomorrow.  I’m hooked on cycling.  Joy!

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