Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tour Divide 2014 Day 7 Abiquiu

I knew the ride to Abiquiu was going to be hard and had some dread of it.  Out of the hotel and a short ride up the main street of Cuba, a right turn onto 126 and then out of town.  The road began to climb and I found myself with a Mt Lemmon type climb of about 10 miles.  The grade was a little steeper, but it all seemed to come together pretty nicely.  Near the top the route turned onto a Forest Service road and it was absolutely beautiful.  The grades were not that hard, the surface was good and I had my lunch sandwich of steak and tortilla packed away in my pocket.

As I neared 10,000 feet I began to run into rougher road and finally got to a place that I couldn't ride and just got off and walked.  A little bit of a rock garden.  Just above this the road was rough but still rideable, although hard, with me trying to pick out the right line from one side of the road to the other.  I was surprised at how much of the time on this whole trip that the right "line" seemed to be on the left side of the road...  in many cases it had either less gravel, less sand, a harder pack or a bit of all of those.  Not sure why that was the case, but lots of times I was following the track of the other riders before me and that's where they were also.

So, this piece of road went on for quite some time.  At one place I passed a fellow, his wife and little girl who were collecting small diameter trees, clearing off the limbs and making poles out of them.  They had an old pickup truck and the back bumper was almost on the ground from the weight of all of the poles that were in it.  How that truck would ever get off the mountain stayed in my mind for a while.

All in all this part of the ride went well, with more climbing and a glance at the Adventure Cycling map showed that I had a nice descent at the end into Abiquiu, so I thought I was doing well.  Then came FR27 !   This road started at a bit above 10,000 feet and would take me to Abiquiu.  The first couple of miles were not too bad, a bit rocky, but navigable.  Then I discovered what happens to missing beach sand on the Atlantic Coast -- it gets deposited on this road !   It became one long section ( downhill grade ) of sand and rock ...  reminded me of trying to ride in the Santa Cruz back in Tucson, hard to steer, hard to pedal, no real speed, just slugging through.  And again, when I though I was done, there were still several miles left to go.  But finally a sign showed 7 miles, then 5 and I knew it was almost done for the day.  Then a turn onto Hwy 84 and the search for a place to stay began.  I turned into the village of Abiquiu and found nothing there and looked at Bode's store and it was closed.  Finally asked someone pumping gas and he told me about the Abiquiu Inn just 1/2 mile east of where I was.

I was in luck, the Inn had a vacancy, and the restaurant was open, so I got a good meal, and a place to sleep for the night and get cleaned up.
Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Mountain Trail

Steep and Rocky at about 10,000 feet 

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