Albuquerque has an elegant symmetry to it and you can sense this on a bicycle. The Sandia Mountains and Rio Grande and West Mesa are all in consonance with each other. Today I rode out onto the West Mesa. I have never seen it so green.
Around Christmas I started tracking my rides on a free program called Strava. Looking at the cool maps and training logs Strava creates, I’ve noticed certain habits. I trend toward staple rides. For instance, I like the Sandia Crest, which is the best ride available. I like La Luz, South 14, Gutierrez Canyon, the Bosque Trail. But today I wanted to do something different and I was feeling satisfied having spent ample time recently on all my favorite routes. So I did something new and headed through the southwest quadrant out to the West Mesa.
The southwest quadrant flows in meandering contours in harmony with irrigation canals and pastures. It is part of the agricultural heartland that runs up and down the Rio Grande valley. These rural roads within our metro area make for interesting riding. It is not the straight up grid system we have on the east side. I left my map in my pocket and got pleasantly lost. One thing I notice all over town is how people connect the different parts of the city together. We do it with neighborhood themes and unifying infrastructure such as main streets and greenways. Community emerges from the basics that nature provides. The river, the land, the people. As we make the city more amenable to bicycling we’ll see a more beautiful tapestry emerge.
One of the gifts of bicycling in Albuquerque is the tremendous diversity of riding available. I’ve polished up my skills and learned new ones discovering Albuquerque by bicycle. To get to the best riding in each region of town you end up navigating different types of infrastructure design. The variety keeps me sharp. There’s a little bit of every kind of terrain you could think of finding. Bicycling here is like the best of novels or plays. You can go back for the same pleasures and each time you can discover more. Here’s a link to today’s ride on Strava.