Cochiti Mesa Bike Exploration

I’ve been talking with local forest service rangers to get a feel for the current outdoor issues around Santa Fe, and found that the hot item is the proposed new Travel Management Rule. There is a lot of uproar about which routes will and will not remain open to motorized travel. The forest service folks I’ve talked with have indicated that one area they need help with is getting more information on the routes brought up in public feedback that they don’t know much about. To see if I can find some of these routes, I borrow a “bottom-of-the-line Schwinn” mountain bike from our friend Peter and head up to Cochiti Mesa.

I think the bike will enable me to cover more miles, faster. What I’ve forgotten is what torture devices upright bikes are. I did not bring padded gloves or shorts. After about 20 miles my butt is fully tenderized and my hands are blistered. The last few miles I ride standing up, holding the handlebars with one hand at a time.

I also experiment with solar-charging batteries for my GPS receiver. This works somewhat, but I still have some kinks to work out, and I lose my track at the end. I do find some of the mystery trails, both old hiking trails and logging roads. I take many photos of current conditions, and map them at EveryTrail. The area is full of canyons and rock formations that enchant me. Despite the pain and gear failures, I finish the day smiling.

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