07/11/06

Location =  Cibola National Forest  
Distance =  32.23
Time =  4:56:18
Ave. Speed =  6.5
Max. Speed =  32.5;
Monthly Dist. =    113.11
Yearly Dist. =  1706.65

The long awaited day of finally being able to ride in the forest, has arrived. The fire restrictions have been lifted, and it's time for some overdue exploration. I hit the trails early, having a day off due to questionable management decisions, and entered at the Mars Ct trailhead. I rode on a couple of Forest Roads, maybe 106, and 321, and took trail 56 down into Otero Canyon. I rode down Otero and then took the trail around to Tunnel Canyon. From there, I went down the highway to the Forest Service Office, took a break, and filled up on water.

After a delicious power bar, I went back up Tunnel Canyon, all the way to the Air Force base, where there is a trail that takes you back down to Otero Canyon. I rode up 56, and then headed for home. I detoured into David Canyon, and then rode Turkey Trot trail, back to Mars Ct. All in all, it was an excellent start on the exploration.

The trails are a wide variety of conditions, from smooth hard packed, to unbelievably rocky. There are plenty of climbs of extreme difficulty, so I shouldn't be getting bored too quickly. I did a little bit of walking, at a few of the harder spots. I also found a number of dead ends, with many of them being at the Air Base boundary. The part on the sign where it mentions "unexploded bombs", is enough to make me turn around.

The trails were suprisingly dry, considering how much it has rained lately, so the earth clearly soaks up the water, and drains, well. There is a small pond as you head up the road toward David Canyon, with a sign that mentions it's restoration. I'll have come back and find out how many weeks water will stay in it. It's pretty full at the moment.

I ran over a snake on a rocky climb, but I came back by a couple of minutes later, and it was gone, so I think that it might have survived. It was a beautiful sunny day, and hot, with temps in the 80s and 90s. It was fun to be able to take the mountain bike out for a spin, where it was truly meant to be.



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