Wednesday, July 08, 2009

South Boundary Trail, Carson Nat. Forest, NM, USA

Preface: Last week when I went to Gallup, I left my Litespeed and Vertex with Steiner. He completely rebuilt the Litespeed so that the only original part of the bike is the titanium frame. The new Rock Shox SID and new Avid Ultimate V-brakes are incredible!This past Sunday, 5 July, I finally rode the world famous South Boundary Trail near Taos, NM. Steiner picked Jim and I up around 7:30 in the morning and we headed up the road in his small pick-up. We made a quick breakfast stop in Santa Fe (breakfast burritos for me and Steiner) we continued on north to Taos.In Taos, we met Cory and Sean, brothers who had driven up from Albuquerque as well. We left their car at the Taos Visitor's Center and piled their bikes and gear into/onto the 4-door mini-truck and we all piled in and headed up to our start point at Garcia Park.
We decided to do an out-and-back towards Angel Fire. Not sure what park we ended up at, but we took a break near the high point of the trail, 10,700 ft. We were probably between 10,500 and 10,600 ft above sea-level. To get to that spot, I climbed mostly in my middle chainring, but only when I was going down did I realize how steep it was. No wonder I was breathing hard!Back at Garcia Park we took another break before heading towards Taos.

The rest of the trip was mostly downhill. We rolled through meadows, groves of aspens, and as we decended, thick patches of oak. These miniture oaks grew only shoulder high and had flexy limbs that hurt if they bent back and sprung back to hit you. Their root systems made the trail a bit more challenging as well.
The trail itself ranged from smooth single track, to rooty sections, baby heads (rocks stuck in the ground) and finally a steep, stair-steppy, deserty finish. The last 4 miles of that steep stuff was very challenging, but not impossible. It reminded me a lot of the Gila conditions.

Overall, it was super fun! The Artist's Ale and vegitarian green chile stew made it worth it.
Ready to do some more challenges!


mark scotch said...

I remember those last 4 miles!!

Mimbres Man said...

Killer on a hardtail! I cleaned most of it. Did walk one section, mainly because Steiner was in front of me and was walking. I lost all my momentum and initiative.