PSA: Race opportunities on the Valles Caldera- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    PSA: Race opportunities on the Valles Caldera

    For those that enjoy XC racing, I thought I'd pass along info on a couple races on the Valles Caldera. The Pyro Classic is this Sunday, and the Tremor TT runs weekly on Saturday mornings through Sept. 6. Flyers are (hopefully) attached, as well as a course description. I've no affiliation except that the Pajarito Bike Patrol (to which I belong) is helping out with the race. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming....
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  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting this; I now am very interested in visiting the Valles Caldera in Sept. Had not heard of it before. However, the Web site for Valles Caldera National Preserve is less than helpful with details in describing their trails. I downloaded the map, and it looks to be mostly two track with some trails on the hills and mountains. Is that a fair characterization? Is there any other Web site that has more detailed info on the trails? I'll also download the race directions/descriptions and try to match that up to trail numbers on the VC map.

  3. #3
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    I could be wrong, but I think the VC maps mainly reference dirt roads, although they call them trails. Somewhat less than half of the Pyro Classic was on what were referred to as old logging roads. Today, they are only roads in the sense that they are benches as wide as roads, and follow the terrain in a straightforward manner. Otherwise, they have been effectively reclaimed by mother nature, and the only way to navigate them is to follow the faint trails. If you didn't know it was an old logging road, it might never occur to you. However, aside from the occasional mud bog, shallow stream or downed tree, there is nothing whatsoever technical about them, but they do offer a very deep-in-the-woods atmosphere. But you have to know where to pick them up, and I can't see any instance of them being described on the VC map. There may be 5-10 miles of old logging roads, or many more, but I only know of less than 10.

    Aside from the limited attractiveness of the VC for the seasoned mtb'er (outside of the XC race context), I have to say, positively, without any doubt, VC would be my top recommendation for the person that occasionally happens by here looking for someplace for beginners to just get outside and enjoy nature on their bikes. Light vehicle traffic, limited to 25mph, on graded dirt roads, with fairly amazing scenery in every direction is really what recommends the VC, imo.

  4. #4
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    Just the information that I needed. There is something about Valles Caldera that seems immensely appealing (plus, there are hot springs nearby!) and I want to check it out.

    DH and I are 69 and 66 respectively, and he races Cat 1 XC. We have a fair amount of technical trails here in central Texas, but on vacation, we don't need to be going on technical trails in the middle of nowhere, especially during the week when no one is around.

    We're headed to NM probably the first 10 days of Sept and I'm looking for fun, mellow riding, not the most challenging. We've done White Mesa, which I'd love to do again, and some of the trails above Ft. Wingate: Aspen Trail (the one that leaves from the campground) and Milk Ranch. There are a few other trails in that area I'd like to check out. We've also ridden some of the Mesa loops in Gallup, which were fun. Unfortunately, I think I've lost the Waypoints book that is the trail guide for that area, and it may be out of print.
    Plus, if we're in Gallup, we may as well head up to Phil's World, which is always fun.

    Also joined the FaceBook page for the Tuff Riders (Los Alamos mtn bikers) so hopefully they will be a good resource as well.

    Any other suggestions welcome.

  5. #5
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    If you can use a gps, I can put up the XC course from VC (8mi climb 8400'-10000' on dirt roads, equal descent on a mix of dirt road and old logging roads) on Garmin Connect. I can also put up a 40mi ride in the McGaffey area (S of Ft Wingate), about 25mi of which is continuous singletrack, and the rest dirt road.

  6. #6
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    Garson, thanks, that would be great. We have a Garmin.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    Garson, thanks, that would be great. We have a Garmin.
    Links didn't work, so they're in the next post.

    re: the VC_XC. We started at a spot called the Bull Barn. It's a few miles past the visitor center. I'd highly recommend driving to, and riding from, a spot near the Bull Barn, rather than riding across the valley. I'm sure they have rules about roadside parking within the park (I'm sure we had special dispensation for the race), so it'd probably be prudent to ask them at the visitor center for directions to the Bull Barn (easy) and where you might park and ride.

    re: EF_singletrack_2014. This loop is the singletrack portion of the Enchanted Forest 24hr course. This gps track starts a stone's throw from the paved road (400) about 10mi south of I-40. I love this loop.

    re: Zuni_40. This is a a lot of forested dirt road, as well as the EF singletrack, and pretty much all of the singletrack interior to the EF singletrack. About the first 12mi and the last 6mi of this track are essentially dirt roads.

    Let me know if you have any ?'s, and happy hunting.

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  9. #9
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    Excellent. I'll make sure DH downloads these.

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