“I would say do something local. Do something real, however, small…We need to embrace the idea that we are the leaders we’ve been looking for.” –Grace Lee Boggs, from Bill Moyers Journal
If you’re not going to the Tour of the Gila bicycle events this weekend in Silver City, NM, consider doing something even more local. On May 2 there is fundraising bicycle ride from Albuquerque to Santa Fe that pays tribute to law enforcement officers in New Mexico that died in the line of duty. The classic route follows Central Avenue through the heart of Albuquerque, then braids through Tijeras Canyon before turning north where it follows the Turquoise Trail past small villages set in the finest high desert landscape in America on the way to Santa Fe.
The journey begins downtown on Central Ave. following old route 66 east. Albuquerque is remaking this corridor into a multimodal transit way with a sleeker bus service called Bus Rapid Transit that brings benefits of light rail. This shift combined with mixed use development can transform neighborhoods, enabling residents and visitors to explore and meet daily needs with greater ease and more good travel choices. What would you like to see as you pedal your way down Central Avenue? Central Ave’s iconic resonance plays a big roll in the regional and American imagination, making it a natural magnet for attracting our talents. With strong transit available people have quality time freed up. Propinquity, the nearness to one another, is one of the advantages of cities. Transit puts this to use. People interacting directly–including incidental and spontaneous meetings while biking, walking, and taking transit–can be productive. Face to face interactions spur innovation and creative economic development. Making it better for people bicycling, walking and riding transit is a positive factor for creating a sustainable sense of place that is healthy and alluring. Welcoming people to enjoy life in an attractive and inviting streetscape makes it exciting and safer for everyone. A new era is beginning to take shape on Central.
Leaving New Mexico’s largest city, the transition from the open plains of the middle Río Grande into winding Tijeras Canyon immerses the riders in a geologic wonderland folded between the areas two largest mountain ranges, the Sandias and Manzanos. Six miles later riders emerge on the other side in a piñon juniper forestland and the Village of Tijeras. As you go north this charming desert landscape opens up with enormous vistas across the Río Grande valley to the Jemez Mountains. The small towns you pass through along the way such as Madrid and Golden display unique character. The pine speckled hills of the Ortiz Mountains lend stunning intimacy and great depth. This is a one good way to pay tribute to the sacrifice and service of New Mexico’s finest and open up our hearts to celebrate our way of life, and to say thank you.
Here’s the website to register: http://www.nmlememorialride.org/
Some of this route is used by the Santa Fe Century on May 17. If you love the high desert and community spirit of New Mexico, you’ll like this: http://www.santafecentury.com/