Monthly Archives: January 2015

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!

2015.1.2 Tres Pistolas 001

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!

2015.1.2 Tres Pistolas 020

 

Los Poblanos Fields Open Space

Coyote in the Los Poblanos Fields

Coyote in the Los Poblanos Fields

Situated at the center of Albuquerque’s cherished North Valley lands, Los Poblanos Fields harbors all kinds of wildlife from cranes, geese, ducks, many kinds of birds, coyotes, and also has great walking trails for people.  On New Years Day we had snow in the morning, but by two in the afternoon the sun had come out and snow was peeling away.  We decided to get out for a walk and take in the day.

Two balloons took flight.  There is a coyote in the field in the foreground.  We saw three Coyotes.

Two balloons took flight. There is a coyote in the field in the foreground. We saw three Coyotes.

Fields are managed with wildlife in consideration.  There is also a community garden here.

Fields are managed with wildlife in consideration. There is also a community garden here.

Two Sandhill Cranes feed.   They eat during the daylight and fly over to the river to roost at night.

Two Sandhill Cranes feed. They eat during the daylight and fly over to the river to roost at night.

I could have gone for a  bike ride today once the snow cleared but walking with Mai at Los Poblanos Fields was just right.  Even though I’m training for a bicycle racing season patience is crucial for success.  Rest and active recovery is an integral part of preparation and the cornerstone of any training program.  Rest food sleep nature friends.  These strengthen you.

Moon up over the Sandia mountains

Moon up over the Sandia mountains

2015.1.1 Los Poblanos 034

 

This guy or gal was in the uncut field.  Unseen until he sprang out.  I also flushed out two pheasants, which startled me!

This guy or gal was in the uncut field. Unseen until he sprang out. I also flushed out two pheasants, which startled me!

This respite from the redundancy of all the stoplights, pavement, and car culture is very nice.  These fields create an island of biodiversity.  And that beautiful band of river lands preserved in the valley make for a nice greenway and wild corridor where people can develop and hone their senses, and make discoveries on everyday adventures.  America, the Land of Opportunity.  I was really glad for the opportunity to take a walk here today exploring this essential American heritage and meeting some of my neighbors.  Love Albuquerque.  It’s more diverse than you think.

2015.1.1 Los Poblanos 035

2015.1.1 Los Poblanos 037

 

2015.1.1 Los Poblanos 022

ABQ Bicycle Rides Index

Here’s my summary page for the Albuquerque area bicycle rides I’ve blogged about in the three months that we’ve lived here.  There are 16 ride descriptions w/ photos.  I hope this is handy for everyone: locals, new to town locals, visitors, friends, tourists planning trips, would be locals scouting out great bicycle cities in which to relocate.  Albuquerque is a most wonderful place to bicycle.  Come join us.  Happy 2015!

https://bikeyogiblog.wordpress.com/about/albuquerque-rides-blog-index/