Dennis Brandt (LAM), Annette Weyrauch (TR)
Jennings, Chris Horley, Chuck Peper, Annette Weyrauch, and Dennis
here (all slideshow and report photos by Chris Horley)
Los Alamos Tuff Riders and Los Alamos Mountaineers joined forces for
a very successful mountain biking adventure in the Gallup New Mexico
area. We camped at the Quaking Aspen camp ground in the Cebola
National Forest, just six miles south of Fort Wingate. This is a
beautiful campground with well-spaced mature ponderosa pines and
modern facilities (but no water). Each camp space includes a
concrete picnic table, metal fire pit, toilets, and spacious tent
platform. Also, it has very light use so it's pretty quiet. There
are also many excellent undeveloped campsites along the various
forest service roads in the area.
Playing on awesome
Gallup area slickrock.
Chuck, Chris and I drove to the Quaking Aspen campground on Thursday
evening, arriving around 9:00 p.m. The next day we rode the Quaking
Aspen Classic ride, which is an wonderful mix of woodland trails and
some pretty technical bedrock in a canyon bottom. Chris' freewheel
had a problem so we drove into Gallup to get it repaired at High
Mesa Bikes & Gear, where he experienced excellent and fast service.
It was raining hard at this time so we had no choice but to seek out
a local tavern, have a couple of draughts and shoot some pool. After
the rain, we drove to the west side of Gallup and rode the 1st Mesa
trail. This is a high speed desert single track with beautiful
scenery and terrific trail conditions.
Friday evening Annette and Patrick joined us at the campground. The
next day we rode the Red Rock trail, which starts out in mixed
conifer and aspen forest and ends up on a dome of exquisite exposed
orange sandstone. The top of the dome is covered with pinon-juniper
forest but the shoulder is fully exposed sandstone. There are some
great rollercoaster waves in this formation. Unfortunately I
executed a particularly graceless dismount during the return leg of
this ride and pulled a hamstring muscle. We still had 5 ½ miles to
ride to get back to the cars. Unable to walk, I managed to ride back
slowly, when I realized it was either ride or be eaten by coyotes.
Fortunately Annette is a physical therapist. She worked on my
injured leg when we got back to camp, which helped considerably.
Sunday, the riders with the exception of myself rode Plush Trail.
They reported that it was a moderate forested ride with a couple of
short technical sections.
the weekend we rode during the days and had dinner in Gallup. We
were all quite pleased by the nice restaurants and taverns we found
in the old downtown area. Gallup has certainly become a much nicer
destination over the last few years.
in all, this was a highly successful joint venture by the Tuff
Riders and Los Alamos Mountaineers. I highly recommend the area for
riding during the cooler months of the year.