20080424

Location =  Tijeras NM  
Distance =  12.67
Time =  1:46:05
Ave. Speed =  7.1
Max. Speed =  20.5
Monthly Dist. =    299.31
Yearly Dist. =  1231.67

I drove over to Tunnel Canyon to take part in a Thursday night group ride. I talk to a woman on the phone who works at a law firm, and it turns out that she is friends with my boss, and is the main coordinator for this ride. The timing is great, because for the last three years I have been playing softball on Thursday nights, but this summer we are playing on Tuesdays. Perfect!

I was early for the ride, so I stayed on old 66, rather than driving on the freeway. That was a stroke of luck, because there was a crash on the freeway, and traffic was at a standstill. I was early enough that I put all of my gear on, and rode down below Tunnel Canyon to check out a trailhead where I have seen people park, but I have never explored. The beginning of the trail has quite a bit of broken glass, and spent bullets and shotgun shells. Then it turns up into a rocky arroyo, and goes??? I only went a short distance on it, and then turned back. It's worth returning and hiking it, to see where it ends up.

I went back to Tunnel Canyon, and then waited for other people to show up. Almost everyone was late, due to the traffic jam, but they finally showed up, and off we went. Being a newcomer I started in the back, and took it easy. It didn't very long for some of the ladies to stop at little hard spots, and I was able to pass them, and join up with the front group. We stopped a few times to let the slow riders catch up, and had a final regrouping at the top of Otero Canyon to decide what route to take back to the trailhead. A couple guys said they were going to continue onward passed the closed signs, and since I had never ridden there, I opted to follow after them. I didn't have the nerve to ride there on my own, but I figured that there was safety in numbers.

It was just the three of us that took that route, and there was some fun singletrack. It climbed for a little while, and then leveled out, climbed some more, and finished up with a long descent back to the parking lot. There wasn't much light left when we finally made it back, but we made it.

Becky, the leader of the ride, lectured me a little bit about the dangers of trespassing beyond the signs. I know the risks, and sometimes they are worth taking.

It was a nice evening, but a little bit cool, with temps in the 60s.



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