The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route: Part 5 – New Mexico

GD NM

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New Mexico.

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View from Brazos Ridge.

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Setting your tent up where the sun will hit it first thing in the morning makes a tremendous impact on how the day starts.

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Cold mornings.

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There was some really nice forest in between Vallecitos and El Rito.

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El Farolito restaurant in El Rito. First restaurant meal of the whole trip (excluding Subway in Whitefish). Somebody secretly paid for my meal.

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There was a tremendous amount of climbing out of Abiquiu, but the scenery was completely new and the roads surprisingly enjoyable. A lot of people I talked to afterwards said they didn’t like it, but I can’t see why.

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New Mexico had the most diverse and varied landscapes.

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Sunrise.

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The only water source you’ll find. Ojo Frio Spring.

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You really don’t want to take your bike off the road.

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The Toaster House in Pie Town. The owner moved a few miles down the road years ago and left the fully furnished house open for hikers and cyclists passing through. She even keeps the fridge and pantry stocked. It was such a welcoming place that I couldn’t help but stay an extra night.

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As I was once again dealing with tire related issues on the side of the road, a group of elk hunters invited me to stay at a cabin a few miles down the road where they had killed an elk earlier in the day. My tent was soaked, so sleeping indoors on a couch was quite appealing. The elk steaks and elk burritos weren’t too bad, either.

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The Gila Wilderness.

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At no point in my travels could I have benefited more from the kindness and help I got from Sarah and Nat, a couple from Albuquerque who were riding a week long loop in the Gila region following the same route as me into Silver City.

I had so many punctures in my tires by this point that most of the sealant had leaked out and I was stopping to pump them up every 2-3 miles. Then the back tire wouldn’t hold air at all. This was the lowest point of the whole trip for me and I had no energy or will to do anything anymore. I pushed my bike 3/4 of a mile in the dark to the nearest campground as the skies started thundering. Luckily, Sarah and Nat (who I had met two days before) were camping there as well. In the morning they spent a couple hours helping resurrect my tubes with all the patches we had between us and putting in more sealant. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but I then made it to Silver City.

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