8th Annual NMOHVA Rubber Chicken Ride

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by NMOHVA, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. duggram

    duggram Happy to be Retired Supporter

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    That's a selfie I can't figure out how to take. It was quite a splash. I wonder how our Sherpax trailers would react in a crossing like that.
    Ditch likes this.
  2. ItsDoAble

    ItsDoAble Been here awhile

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    Just registered, been lurking for years. Found me an Airbnb. Ktm 690 ..
    sceep likes this.
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Looks you guys have found some great new stuff. I won't be able to make the ride this year.
    I guess I will be able to see from the tracks where the private land problem is.

    BTW Did the Blue Ribbon Trail ever get burned in enough to be easily visible?
  4. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Not sure, we are planning to ride it this coming weekend to check it out. I will have blue tape again in case it is not. The private land issue is the narrow strip between Bureau of Reclamation and the BLM and running parallel to Hwy 51.
  5. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Here are the eagerly awaited “Suggested Routes” for the 2019 Rubber Chicken Ride. But first, we need to state some important disclaimers:

    1. The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA), nmohva.org, it's officers, directors, and members are not liable or responsible in any way, shape, or form for this post's content, any inaccuracies, use, misuse, or interpretation. The reader, rider, or user is solely responsible for knowing current New Mexico OHV laws, regulations and statutes and public access status. It is the user or reader's responsibility to inquire with the appropriate governing or managing authorities for up-to-date laws, regulations or statutes regarding OHV operation. The reader, rider, or user is also solely responsible for their own safety while using this post’s content.

    2. All riding activities at the 2019 Rubber Chicken Ride are strictly "no fee" and at the event participant's discretion. All dirt road and trail riding requires a plated bike, or a valid NM OHV sticker, or sticker from a reciprocal state. Many of the routes below require a plated bike to access and/or complete. All routes shown below are believed to be legal routes that are open to the public but we make no guarantees as to that fact or the accuracy of the tracks or route descriptions.

    3. We are again using a simple four level “route rating” system. The four levels are, in order of difficulty: Easier. Moderate. Harder. Difficult. It is important to note that we are providing these route descriptions with a “middle-of-the-road” dual sport rider in mind (since that probably describes the author of the route descriptions). We are taking both the difficulty and the length of the route into account with these ratings. We all know “that guy” who can ride a fully loaded 1290 up a 20-mile long track that should only be ridden by a total freak of nature on a trials bike. The descriptions we include below simply won’t apply to “that guy”. Nor will these descriptions apply to someone who believes themselves to be a much better rider than they really. So, as they say in the commercials, “Your results may vary.”

    4. New Mexico has lots of empty spaces. Many of these routes, especially the ones on the east side of the river, are exceedingly “lonely” with only infrequent use by ranchers and very few other travelers. We highly recommend traveling with companions for mutual support. There are NO services available on almost all the routes and cell phone coverage is spotty, at best, and completely absent in many others. All riders need to be self-sufficient with enough food, water, spares, and expertise to get back to town on their own. It is a good idea to let someone know what route you intend on taking so we have at least some idea where to send the buzzards.

    5. Mother Nature continually re-arranges these routes and 2019 is no exception. We were lucky to have abundant moisture for most of the last year. Mother Nature uses water to create mischief and traps for the unwary. Her favorite “trick” is a nasty rut cutting across the road. Another perpetual favorite is hiding a hole, wash-out, or rock just beyond a curve or the top of a hill to catch the unsuspecting rider. WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH: DO NOT OUT-RIDE YOUR LINE OF SIGHT! We mean it, there are some nasty “traps” out there just waiting to catch the rider who is not paying close attention! Captain Capsize said it perfectly – “If you can’t see it, ride it like you are approaching a sheer cliff.”

    6. We have not completed pre-riding all of the routes identified below. We try to ride the ones that are most likely to change but are still working on the task. We reserve the right to continue to update routes as more recent information becomes available. We offer these routes online prior to the event for riders to start thinking about what and where they want to ride in 2019. We will attempt to provide final updates on conditions and availability at the event.​

    Obviously, many of these loops and portions of these loops can be combined to create other potential rides. We chose to identify twenty potential routes that provide a wide variety of distances, challenge, and terrain type. And again, we do the best we can but cannot make guarantees as to the accuracy of the tracks or route descriptions. Riders are solely responsible for identifying appropriate routes for their skill level and desire.

    And now with the disclaimers out of the way, on to the information and tracks! We have again identified twenty (20) loops for suggested routes for this year. Some are perennial favorites and classics, and some are previous routes updated with new options or combinations for 2019. We had a lot of fun finding them and exploring them. We think you will find them fun, exciting, and excellent additions to 2019 edition of the RCR. The route descriptions are posted below with the corresponding tracks at the bottom of each post. With an ADV limit of only four sets of tracks per post, the tracks will be posted in five separate posts.

    What’s new for 2019? In a nutshell, there are several “new” route segments:

    1) An addition to the Mine Tank Loop called West Mine Tank – A very primitive road that was “almost” passable until several hours of pick and shovel work created a single track around a “show-stopper” washout. Seriously, it is now a perfect moto single-track for about 40 feet – the remainder of the route is still "mostly" there although there are several eroded steep, loose hills to negotiate. Check it out in Suggested Routes 10 and 19.

    2) Our first foray all the way through Green Canyon. We are calling this segment “Down the Gullet” in honor of the Chicken! I guess people could try it “uphill” also?!? Trials folks will love it, others…..we will see. It is not as difficult as it looks at first glance but there is quite a bit of very slow, technical weaving through and over rock. This segment is mapped on Suggested Routes 19 and 20 but could easily be incorporated in other combinations in the general area.

    3) A new routing on the north exit of Palomas (Suggested Routes 7 and 20). The former route is now off limits due to locked gates at private property. The “new” routing is legal public routes and still retains the character and challenge of the former.​

    Important Note– All mileages listed are for the FULL/MAIN loop starting and returning from downtown T or C. Some of the loops can be shortened by trailering bikes to an alternative start point and/or by obtaining gas along the loops. In addition to the gas available in T or C, gas is also available:

    1. In Winston at the General Store (they usually have premium or mid-grade available but not always. We will try to update at the event).
    2. At the Santa Fe Diner/Truck Stop at the intersection of I-25 and NM 107. Only regular available, no premium. Even though this gas is about ten miles off the main loops, this is still a potentially useful refill point for the two longer routes north across Mt. Withington.
    3. At the Lakeview RV Park at the intersection of I-25, NM 152, and NM 187. This is potentially useful for those coming back up NM 187 from Tipton Ranch, Broadhurst Arroyo, etc.
    4. At Hatch just south of I-25. This is an appropriate place to top off before coming back from long loops south of T or C.
    5. There is also gas available in Magdalena for Suggested Route 12 and in Bayard for Suggested Route 14.​

    One last item - If you inmates who pick through these routes like a prospector looking for gold find a significant error; please drop me a PM and I will correct it. And here we go!
  6. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Suggested Route 1 - Chloride Canyon: ~130 miles. Rating: Easier. The Chloride Canyon loop includes historic mining and logging ruins, petroglyphs, and is one of the wetter rides around southern New Mexico. The road is in good shape this year even with our abundant rainfall. Expect a few rocks, numerous crossings of the small stream, and a long, somewhat rocky climb out of the canyon. The remainder of the route is the same as previous years (mostly easy Forest roads). The abundant summer rains have also left flowing water and a certain (to us New Mexicans) lushness that is much appreciated. There is an optional loop on the north side of Hwy 59 for those who want to extend the ride. Gas is available in Winston at the General Store and they typically have premium available.

    Suggested Route 2 - St. Cloud + Chloride Canyon + Lookout Mountain + The Nash Cut-off: ~ 147 miles. Rating: Moderate. This variation of the Chloride Canyon loop was first suggested in 2016 and has proven to be the #1 “Rider’s Choice” over the past two years. After a short side trip into Chloride (the townsite), the route swings south past the active St. Cloud mining area (a zeolite mine) and winds its way up and down through the area south of Chloride Canyon. After passing several interesting historical mine sites, the road rejoins the “traditional” Chloride Canyon route about 1.5 miles up from the town site. The route eventually climbs up out of Seventyfour Draw to join the road to Lookout Mountain (where a short spur leads to some great views off this high point) before rejoining the traditional route down Forest 226 toward the Beaverhead Highway. A few miles short of the highway is the turn for The Nash Cut-Off. This is a more interesting route than the last few miles of gravel to the highway. Keep a sharp look-out for the namesake relic. After reaching the highway, there is an optional loop to the north that should be very green and scenic this year. It includes a segment called Adobe Canyon at the north end that is a real gem. Gas is available in Winston at the General Store and they typically have premium available.

    Suggested Route 3 - Mt. Withington – The Full Monty: ~184 miles. Rating: Moderate. This one is for the “iron butts” out there. The loop to and over Mt. Withington is the longest and highest of the standard loops in the area. The route tops out at an abandoned fire lookout at over 10,000 feet! Mt. Withington can be accessed via a variety of ways and this version is the traditional route that has been used by many previous RCR’s. It leaves the pavement at Monticello, passes Springtime Campground, and then follows the infamous “fence line” for many miles north to Highway 107. It then swings west past the historical town site of Rosedale before climbing the Mt. Withington ridgeline. Both fire look locations (Grassy on the south, Mt. Withington on the north) can be accessed and riders can choose between Bear Trap Canyon or West Red Canyon to drop down the west side of the mountain and make their way back to Winston. This ride can be shortened by trucking bikes to Monticello or Winston and gas is available at the Winston store (or by a long-ish side trip to a I-25 truck stop) if fuel range is a concern.

    Suggested Route 4 - Mt. Withington – A Bit Faster and Easier: ~192 miles. Rating: Easier. This variation of Mt. Withington is essentially the same as the traditional route above but skips the slower/rougher fence line section by running all the way out to NM Highway 1 (paved) and using NM Highway 107 (pavement and dirt) to access the remainder of the route. It also includes an additional gas stop at the Santa Fe diner/truck stop for range-challenged bikes.
    Sl33p3 and NMTrailboss like this.
  7. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Suggested Route 5 - Mt. Withington – West Loop: ~172 miles. Rating: Easier. This is the easiest variation of Mt. Withington and is friendlier to big bikes or bikes with smaller fuel tanks. From Winston, the top of Mt. Withington is accessed by going up West Red Canyon and returning to via Bear Trap Canyon. A start and finish in Winston (by trucking or trailering the bikes) shortens this loop even more to a bit under 100 miles. Gas is available in Winston.

    Suggested Route 6 - Palomas Gap (Classic): ~62 miles. Rating: Harder. The standard version of the Palomas Gap loop includes the challenge of the climb up the historic route over the Gap and the outstanding view from the antenna farm at the top of Brushy Mountain. The 7,500-foot summit gives a stunning “bird’s-eye view” up and down the Rio Grande Valley. There are two options: a short optional loop (Easier) that runs past some interesting mine ruins (Napoleon and Carroll/Carolyn Mines), and a more direct (Harder) route that runs from Palomas Gap to the antenna farm.

    Suggested Route 7 - Palomas Gap with the North exit: ~47 miles. Rating: Harder. This alternative version of the Palomas Gap route was first offered in 2015. It has been updated for 2019 as the previous route is now off limits to the public due to locked gates at private property. This version of Palomas Gap is shorter in mileage and skips the antenna farm in favor of additional rugged desert terrain. It features roads that get only infrequent use, some steep/loose/rocky hills, deep sand in arroyos, and requires excellent route-finding skills. Our thanks to inmate Grizzzly for sharing with us!

    Suggested Route 8 – McLeod Hills: ~87 miles. Rating: Moderate to Harder. This was a “new” route for 2018 and we know there are still many riders who have yet to enjoy its charms. It is located further east as the McLeod Hills are the major ridge east of the Caballo Mountains. As such, the “meat” of this route can be accessed by either running fast paved and gravel roads or by climbing up through Palomas Gap. The route uses a combination of very primitive (read “primitive” as hardly ever used!) roads to run along the base of the ridge for about 10 miles first on the west face and then on the east face. We can just about guarantee that you will not see anybody else out in this area! The transition from west to east is accomplished via a very interesting and fun canyon that will have you swearing you have been transported to Moab. The exit joins up with the Tipton Ranch road which eventually takes you back to civilization. Don’t run this one solo!
    Sl33p3 and NMTrailboss like this.
  8. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Suggested Route 9 - Tipton Ranch + Redhouse Pass + Broadhurst Arroyo: ~119 miles. Rating: Moderate to Harder. These routes were first combined in 2016 to provide a “better” (and considerably harder) loop. The Tipton Ranch in the title is a bit of a misnomer as the route bypasses the private ranch entirely. This is true southern NM desert riding with arroyos, rocky climbs and descents, old mines, and an optional short spur to some cool rock art (petroglyphs – look, but do not touch!). If you still have the energy, the return from Hatch goes back out into the desert to ride the Broadhurst Arroyo loop before using the pavement to get back to T or C. Gas/food/water can be obtained at Hatch at the southern point of the loop.

    Suggested Route 10 - Mine Tank Loop + Broadhurst Arroyo: ~89 miles. Rating: Harder. Mine Tank Loop was first offered in 2016 but has mutated and evolved each year since. There are several additional “more difficult” options if you want even more rocks, steep hills, and ledges. This year’s offering includes an optional “West Mine Tank” route that is a little longer and probably in the “Difficult” category. This is very rugged and remote country (and a personal favorite) through canyons that can get mighty warm if the sun is bright. Make sure you have plenty of water and stamina if you attempt this one.

    Suggested Route 11 - Hermosa: ~ 131 miles. Rating: Easier. This caters to the rider looking for an easy, scenic ride or something that is big-bike friendly. This is a long out-and-back to the seldom-visited location of the Hermosa town site. The road encompasses a wide variety of nice scenery and there are numerous interesting abandoned buildings if you go all the way to the far end of the route.

    Suggested Route 12 – Sy’s Circle: ~ 205 miles. Rating: Easier. This is the second year for this additional big-bike friendly route that loops north around Mt. Withington to Magdalena and then returns through the open grasslands of Dusty and Winston. About half pavement and half dirt, there is only one section that can be a bit rocky some years. The northern end offers a chance to see the impressive dishes of the Very Large Array on the Plains of San Agustin. There is gas at the Santa Fe Diner/Truck Stop, in Magdalena, and at the Winston store.
    Sl33p3 and NMTrailboss like this.
  9. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Suggested Route 13 – Hillsboro + Lake Valley + Hatch + the Jornada + Spaceport: ~161 miles. Rating: Easier. This is a mostly paved, big-bike friendly loop through the historic mining center of Hillsboro and then south through the historical site of Lake Valley. After a gas (and perhaps a famous Sparky’s burger?) top-off in Hatch, the route continues north up the recently paved road across the Jornado. The Jornada offers an startling juxtaposition between the historical route used by the Spanish in the 1600’s and new facilities of Spaceport America.

    Suggested Route 14 – Winston + Beaverhead + Emery Pass + Hillsboro: ~206 miles. Rating: Easier to Moderate. This a longer, but still big-bike friendly loop that visits Winston and Beaverhead and then traverses Forest Road 150 (dirt) on a 50 mile corridor between two huge wilderness areas before returning via the twisties of Emery Pass and the historic mining town of Hillsboro. There is an optional gas stops in Winston and the intersection Highways 152/187 (and one off the route in Bayard) to accommodate smaller tanks.

    Suggested Route 15 - Apache Gap + Palomas Gap: ~73 miles. Rating: Difficult. Here is a route for riders looking for even more challenge. The climb up Apache Gap is typically thought of as "difficult" with numerous rocks and ledges encountered on the way up. This version also has an several optional routes to include the high viewpoint from the antenna farm on the top of Timber Mountain. These optional routes can be combined or run in different directions to make this loop even longer and more difficult.

    Suggested Route 16 – Springtime Campground Loop: ~91 miles. Rating: Easier with Moderate Options. The loop past Springtime Campground has long been a favorite of our riders looking for a very scenic but relaxing ride. It offers a unique combination of high desert with a bit of elevation as it crosses a pass at 8000 feet. The ride starts with a tour along Elephant Butte Reservoir (pavement first, then dirt) before heading west toward I-25. The route utilizes the old highway that parallels the Interstate and then dives west into the desert and rolling grasslands that slowly climb, first into pinyon/juniper forest, and then into the bigger Ponderosa Pines. After passing the campground, the road crests the highpoint and descends back toward the picturesque community of Monticello. On the way down to town, it passes through some of the finest scenery around. The rest of the route back from Monticello is paved state highway. The optional Burma Road out-and-back is a worthwhile diversion and the optional Aragon Hill Loop offers a five-mile section of very scenic but interesting riding for the novice rider who is comfortable with dirt roads and wants to try something a little more challenging.
    Sl33p3 and NMTrailboss like this.
  10. trailwerks

    trailwerks Missing Two Wheels Supporter

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    Suggested Route 17 – Springtime Campground + Blue Ribbon Trail + Aragon Hill + Rocky Top Loop: ~111 miles. Rating: Harder. The route past Springtime Campground (above) has long been an easy, scenic favorite. Adding the Blue Ribbon Trail (Harder) Aragon Hill (Moderate) and Rocky Top (Harder) loops adds length and considerable difficulty and “spice” to this new combination. The Blue Ribbon Trail actually uses Forest Road 922 but its lack of use for many years until we (minimally) cleared it in 2018 essentially renders it a single track. Riders loved it last year! The Aragon Loop is on the easy side of Harder but way scenic. The trifecta ends with the 20-mile Rocky Top loop. It includes a long ride up a gravel arroyo, some really tight tree dodging as riders wind down a 2nd arroyo, and then some steep and very rocky ascents and descents. The route crosses the summit we are calling “Rocky Top” for no apparent reason other than it is the highest ground around with views to match. The descent down yet another arroyo leads riders back to the graded county road. This combo route offers enough length and challenge to appeal to most riders looking for a tougher day. By mixing and matching carefully, it can be tailored to be easier and/or shorter if the main loop is too taxing.

    Suggested Route 18 – East Side of Caballo Reservoir: ~73 miles. Rating: Moderate. This was a new offering for 2017 and its difficulty always depends on the reservoir level. It starts with the River Road south toward Palomas Gap but continues all the way down to the Garfield Exit staying on the east side of the river. The challenge is that portions of the road are in the "intermittent flood pool" of Caballo Reservoir. When the water level is higher, riders need to seek higher and drier ground to the east in order to find a "through" route. The road itself eventually climbs to higher but rougher ground before finally returning via the beautiful Red Hills Road. One can also easily access optional loops to the Black Jack and other mines and interesting spur roads from this route.

    Suggested Route 19 – Lyda K Mine + Mine Tank: ~94 miles. Rating: Difficult. The Lyda K Mine portion of this route was new in 2017. In addition to some interesting mining ruins in the foothills west of the Caballo Mountains, it offers some rough and tumble riding up and down steep, rocky hills and winding rocky arroyos. We have teamed it with the Mine Tank Loop which offers more of the same for a day-long adventure that might have you ready for a cold one by the time you get back. And because some of you are total masochists, we have added another “new” option for 2019. We are calling this canyon descent “The Gullet”. Trials riders will smile, others probably won’t but it isn’t quite as hard as it first appears. Since we don’t know just how riders will fare on this new option, there are a plethora easier/faster and harder/longer bypass and exit options.

    Suggested Route 20 – The 2019 RCR Sufferfest: ~130 miles. Rating: Difficult. What is the Desert Sufferfest? An imaginative and taxing combination that links most of the harder and difficult loop options east of the river into one never-ending endurance festival. We first offered this by request in 2017. No one has yet finished the whole enchilada. We have continued to refine and tweak the route and this year’s edition includes both the new Mine Tank West and “Down the Gullet” offerings. If you weary of the fun, we have included many options to bail back out to the highway, town, and beer. Can anyone ride it in one day? We even included an optional gas/food stop in Hatch about midway. Oh, and the hardest sections are toward the end of the day. Choose carefully and plan ahead. Have fun and stay safe.

    And there you have them. Enjoy!

    I can also send Garmin (.gdb) files to individuals who desire the data in that format. Shoot me a PM with your email address and I will send them directly to you.
    Sledred, Sl33p3, grizzzly and 2 others like this.
  11. duggram

    duggram Happy to be Retired Supporter

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    I sincerely hope there will be a planned ride on Suggested Route 8 – McLeod Hills: I rode this once with Trailwerks and NMTrailboss. It's a very satisfying ride especially the rocky creek bottom. I'm certain it won't be as difficult for me this time. Hint: I'm on a lighter bike.

    Monday I rode Suggested Route 18 – East Side of Caballo Reservoir: and the mud flats I saw were dry enough to ride on. This is a particularly pleasant ride with good views of the Rio Grande valley. Definitely a favorite of mine.
    chilejack and NMTrailboss like this.
  12. Pixturethis

    Pixturethis Been here awhile

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    Im in for both 18 and 8. Would like to do the easier of the two Friday and the harder on Saturday, if that works. Never been in the area so don't really know what to expect for the terrain.

    Thanks for the great info on the route, trialweks.
  13. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    Route #8 (McLeod Hills) is definitely the more primitive and harder of the two you picked. The middle portion is very primitive and barely used road that has many ruts and wash outs and used infrequently enough that bushes are growing in the middle of the road in many places! It is a very scenic route but be sure your bike is well prepped and you are able to change a flat should one occur...and as Trailwerks stated...don't do this alone! Possibility of deep ruts across roads that can sometimes come up blind so be cautious!!

    Route #8
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    Route #18 - East side Caballo Reservoir
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    If you see the road near the reservoir look like this, start looking for routes around this gooey mess! :deal
    [​IMG]
    Sledred, Pixturethis, duggram and 2 others like this.
  14. RealSandman

    RealSandman n00b

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    I’m planning on route 5 or 12 on Friday, and 18 Saturday, if anyone else is interested.
  15. Jthewood

    Jthewood Been here awhile

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    Will anybody be available and interested in a ride on Thursday?
    duggram likes this.
  16. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Don't start out on McCleod Hills with a bad battery. We ended up having to shuttle a battery to get one of the guys out last year.
    If you have a KTM be sure to have the battery eliminator capacitor
  17. Pixturethis

    Pixturethis Been here awhile

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    Thanks NMtrailboss. Looks perfect. What is the mud like in The area ? We have very sticky clay like mud here, have to go though it pretty fast. Now I just need a short ride for Sunday. Marc.
  18. duggram

    duggram Happy to be Retired Supporter

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    It’s dry.
    NMTrailboss likes this.
  19. Pixturethis

    Pixturethis Been here awhile

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    Cool, sounds like fun.
  20. bdhudson

    bdhudson n00b

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    Maybe not what you are looking for, but I am going to ride to the event from NW ABQ to ToC on Thursday. I plan to add the Quebradas Backcountry Byway (Escondida to San Antonio) to my route. I have never done this route, but It looks like it should add about an hour and a half (maybe a little more) to the straight shot down 25. I will leave ABQ between 11:30 and noon. That should put me in Escondida around 1:00. Ill be on a KTM1090AR with bags, so my route needs to be big-bike friendly. My goal is to have a nice scenic ride down to ToC. I'd like to arrive in ToC in time to get settled before the new riders' meeting (Assuming there will be one. I saw it mentioned in the 2018 thread. I am new to the area, and this is my first RCR). Anyone interested in joining me is welcomed. I'd be happy to meet up in ABQ or plan to connect in Escondida. Plan is not set in stone yet; I'm open to alternate ideas. - Brian-
    Jthewood likes this.