Saturday, December 20, 2014

50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

This year now nearly gone past was an interesting historical marker for public lands, especially here in the western states. The year marked the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, illustrated beautifully with a timely piece of legislation passed by Congress just last week to permanently protect the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness north of the Taos Ski Valley. This year was also the 90th Anniversary of the Gila Wilderness, east of Silver City, the nations first, hand-picked by Aldo Leopold himself. And it was the 20th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust here in Santa Fe. For this last reason I made it a point to attend this year's annual SFCT Gala Dinner. Officially it's the Stewart Udall Legacy Dinner which is rad because Udall is and was a giant.

A small part of what drew me to the event was that I really wanted to see the interior of the National Park Service Building. My trail-running takes me past this beautiful place on a weekly basis. It's an absolute marvel of a structure, clearly adobe, early pueblo revival style. Turns out the building houses a tremendous collection of art and artifacts. It was fascinating. Mom was my plus-one on this evening and she was in full agreement, we exchanged hi-fives.

National Park Service Building - Santa Fe
The primary reason I attended (other than to support a first-rate organization) was to unabashedly rub shoulders with the many outdoors luminaries and icons I knew would be there. Dave Foreman and Jack Loeffler were walking around; Margaret Alexander and Bill Johnson were two of the award recipients, Bill deBuys and Don Usner were signing books (as was Jack) alongside Dorothy Massey the owner of Collected Works; Kent Little formerly of Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works was shaking hands and doing the rounds as a board member; Rod Tweet of Second St. Brewery was presenting a partnership with the Trust through the development of their new beer, Boneshaker Bitter; Tim Rogers who pulled together the Santa Fe Metro Master Bicycle Plan was there; Charlie O'Leary of course; I sat at a table with Mark Allison and Tisha Broska of the NM Wilderness Alliance. I am a huge nerd for these kinds of things, and to meet and talk to the very people that have built this culture and its guiding ideas was something I thoroughly enjoyed.

Many of these fascinating people write books. I highly recommend reading them, or gifting them, or name-dropping them. Here is some help:

Related Posts:
 - The Colorado River and the Politics of Water
 - The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act
 - The NM Pika Monitoring Project

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

End of Year Charitable Giving to Area Outdoor Organizations

SFCT and the Trails Alliance - Since 1993
Several of the organizations that take care of our area trails and around northern New Mexico are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, meaning, that if you're looking for a few end-of-year tax deductions (or are just feeling generous) you ought to consider sending a few $$$ their way before end-of-day on the 31st.

The two organizations that (far and away) provide the most improvements and volunteer days on our trails are The Santa Fe Trails Alliance (the volunteer arm of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust), and The Santa Fe Fat Tire Society. Both terrific groups that could use a Saturday of your time as well as your financial support. In a joint effort this summer, these two groups along with the Santa Fe National Forest installed at least five new bridges along the Winsor Creek. If you've used a trail in the Santa Fe area over the last 20 years, The Conservation Trust is who you want to give thanks and appreciation.

SFFTS - Since 2011
As far as the running community and support for running programs and events in and around Santa Fe, the most active organizations are the Santa Fe Striders, Girls on the Run, and WINGS of America. Most of the overflow revenue generated by the Striders is directed to the latter two organizations so you might consider just contributing to them directly.

The Santa Fe Watershed Association has taken an active role in beautifying the Santa Fe River and in turn the Santa Fe River Trail which now includes several miles of trail with more planned for next year.

The Southwest Nordic Ski Club is the engine that powers nordic skiing opportunities in the state. Most of their work goes into grooming and maintaining the track up at Pajarito. They also promote and help organize large events including the Chama Chile Ski Classic, the Mt. Taylor Quad, and various events at Enchanted Forest.

Most (All??) of these organizations are setup to accept funds electronically via the links below. I'm certain they accept checks by mail or in person too. Give them a boost and do your part to support the outdoors in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico:

  - Santa Fe Girls on the Run
  - Santa Fe Trails Alliance and the Santa Fe Conservation Trust
       (also supported by the Banff Film Festival; La Tierra Torture, XTERRA Glorieta, 2nd Street Brewery)
  - Santa Fe Fat Tire Society (via membership)
  - WINGS of America
  - Santa Fe Watershed Association (manages the SF River Greenway)
  - Southwest Nordic Ski Club (nordic ski trails in Los Alamos)
  - The Santa Fe Striders (via the button below)

Related Posts:
 - Drink Beer - Support Local Trails (and the SFCT)
 - Local Trail Improvement Updates - New Tab!
 - Trail Improvements to Winsor and Galisteo Basin

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Adventure on the Winsor Trail

Winsor Meadows
Had an interesting outing on the mountain bike this summer. Up at the crack of dawn with the plan of motoring up Winsor for the first time this year. Arrived at the Chamisa trailhead, rockin’ some Aerosmith (great band or best band?)*, when it became clear that a key piece of equipment didn't make the trip - my mtb shoes. Generally speaking, this wouldn't be a huge deal if I had been wearing shoes of some other type, however this was not the case. No, I had left the house wearing flip-flops for some strange reason. Effin’ flip-flops. FLIP-FLOPPPSSS!! [KAHHHNN!!] Desperation and denial stabbed at my mind: Can there be any imagined scenario in which Aerosmith wears flip-flops? No. fuck no. Not one. Well, there’s a lesson there. 

This is how this works - I have a sleeping 2yr old at home, so I have a short window at the break of dawn to run/ride/(ski sometimes) or, with searing remorse and regret I can rollover and go back to sleep. This being the case, driving back into town to get my shoes meant no long workout and probably no ride till the following weekend. An hour of running would have to replace cycling the Winsor as option A, and my mind that day was not calibrated toward running it was geared-up for cruising in the mountains on the summer’s first ride along the creek up the Winsor. 

So this happened…  >>>
There is literally a skull on my sock and a bell on my handlebars

Can’t possibly be the first time this has ever happened to someone heading out for a ride, am I right? This must happen all the time! How do folks generally resolve this kind of problem do you suppose? I reasoned that they probably just hope for the best, ignore the discomfort of missing gear, and ride - very carefully keeping an eye on toe-crushing rocks and tree branches. A very real danger that I'd simply never considered since it would otherwise be reckless to ride Chamisa/Winsor in open-toed shoes. (Sidenote: I have biked around at a party shoeless before. This is such a bad idea. I cannot caution strenuously enough how this should not be tried). 

Below Pacheco Canyon
Back to the current shady cycling story...Aside from potentially seriously injuring myself, my secondary concern was the possible embarrassment of seeing people see me riding along like a jagger in socks and flip-flops. Not a real danger, I calculated. Nobody’s going to be out this early on the middle stretches of Winsor. Wrong. I saw 23 people that morning [KAHHHNN!!]. 15 cyclists, 6 hikers including a woman who stopped me to ask if there was water up-trail for her dog, and 2 runners. I’m certain of this figure because I counted each one, my face screwed-up in a sideways cringe of awkwardness at each addition. 

It all worked out for me in the end, although I couldn't handle the steep climbing that leads up to NORSKI. I did see two ptarmigan (grouse) in one section, got too excited then veered off trail crashing into some bushes. There were also a few slips in technical sections where I pedaled out of my flop and had to avoid the pedal-whip-into-the-shin hazard. A very acceptable level of harm, all things considered. And it all makes for a good story as well as an important takeaway to share with others - that a cavalier attitude toward footwear has the potential to ruin your entire week. You’re welcome.

Old crossing at Bear Wallow, now much improved
Guerrilla-built drop above Pacheco. Since removed by the NFS
Firecracker penstemon
* I kid, i kid. Zeppelin will always be the best band, Halen a distant second.

Related Posts:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Gunning for a Big December

Dorothy Stewart Trail and the Sangres in morning light
Strava tells me that my running mileage for the year is at a disappointing 409mi. The good news is that I have five weeks to adjust this total. I've come up just short of 500mi in both of the last two years. This is humiliating enough to admit without adding a third year and 50% more failure to the total. Gotta bring it home with 20mi weeks in December. A pathetic goal but every journey begins with the first step.

Mini-Dirt running with Waltz and

I opted toward a long mtb ride yesterday morning rather than the annual Turkey Trot, but later I brought the little one out to the race (Atalaya) thinking he'd enjoy all the activity. Well, mini-me went crazy with the running. I'd peg his morning running at close to 2mi in random loops, back-and-forths, and roughly half of the Kids 1K race. He got away from me once so that he could run through the finishing chute. He got away from me a second time which prompted an abrupt announcement to my friends, "Shit, I lost the 2-year old". I found him though. He was running. The little fella actually cried later on our walk to the truck because 'I wouldn't let him run'.

Related Posts:
 - Mileage: How Much is Not Enough
 - Year in Review 2010

Friday, November 21, 2014

Trading the Downhill Skis for Nordic

Setting down tracks in Pagosa
The nordic/cross-country ski scene in New Mexico is not well established. Trails are sparse, the knowledge base is sparse, ski partners are few. For these reasons there's a frustrating dynamic in that decent and affordable used gear is simply not available for a newbie looking for an inexpensive entry to the trails. Alpine Sports or NM Bike N' Sport are great places to pickup a nice starter nordic setup for $400 and up, but there aren't many that will make this leap when you can flip that same coin for a seasons pass at the local mountain. A serious economic barrier to entry.

There is however one fine resource in town to bridge this cost/knowledge gap - Mr. Kelly Kellstedt. A one man outdoors shop with loads of used gear, personal tech services to swap out bindings or boot pairings, and the occasional buyer for un-used equipment laying around in storage. If you've ever browsed the nordic selection at the annual Santa Fe Ski Swap, Kelly's the guy selling 90% of what's available. He's an annual fixture there and he'll gladly talk you up and give you one of his cards because selling directly is better business than working the Swap. The man's also got a wealth of stories about river trips and general adventuring. I've prodded him in hopes of learning of unknown 'secret spots' in the backcountry. He offered several superlatives for the Colorado River. Not so secret, but hard to disagree with.

I think this season is going to have solid snow cover up here in the sierra norte, and I think I'll be out on my skinny boards quite a bit. I think other outdoorsy types want to be out there too if only they had the beta to make it work. I think this will help.

Related Posts:
 - Cross Country Skiing Santa Fe
 - Enchanted Forest Ski Trails
 - Ski Season Cometh - Santa Fe Ski Swap
 - Area Nordic Trails Listing

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ski Season Cometh - Santa Fe Ski Swap

New terrain at Taos Ski Valley
Stopped by the ski swap this morning. I love the swap if only just to get fired-up for the coming winter wonderland. Chatted with friends, mostly loads of unsupported speculation on this season’s snow estimates; quick conversations about yurt trips and Colorado trips that may not happen and general super-psychedness… Good stuff. Picked up a helmet for the two year old. He now looks like a two year old astronaut. His helmet already flashing a fresh new decal for Crested Butte. The ambition appears to be high with that one.

Lots of New Mexico ski news this off-season including new lifts at Wolf Creek and Taos (Kachina Ridge!), and the change of ownership at Purgatory which was bought by the ownership group that owns/manages Sipapu, Pajarito, and Sunbowl in AZ. Their marketing team was at the swap giving out vouchers for a free day at Sipapu in exchange for email and contact info. SOLD! Worth the price of admission.

Also scooped up something called the New Mexico Extreme Ski Card. It offers buy-one-get-one lift passes at Taos, Pajarito, Sipapu, Angel Fire, Purg, Crested Butte, and a free pass at Enchanted Forest, all for $89. A spot-on deal for a guy that can only get out for a few days of downhill each season and likes to hit the xc trails. Plus, the card’s transferable to my dirtbag friends. SOLD!

Related Posts:
- Taos Ski Valley Bought up by Wall St. Financier
- Colorado Yurt Trip - Neff Mountain
- New Mexico Ski Season Arrives Early (2013)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Something Wicked This Way Comes


Best holiday of the year, on a Friday no less. Free frights and restless sleep provided via this list of scary-as-hell stories from reader submissions over at (h/t to the Desert Babe). Happy spooky reading...

Related Posts:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Arroyo Washout

Two foot+ drop in the arroyo floor at the St Francis Dr. crossing
My weekend run was along the Arroyo Chamiso. I'd seen in passing that the arroyo channel was destroyed near the house and I wanted to tour the rest of the carnage. Storms like the one that produced this flood happen every couple years but they're always a source of awe and excitement.

Massive scouring and drops in some areas; other areas collecting the tons of displaced sand resulting in rises of several feet. Debris in trees at levels above shoulder-height. Amazing stuff.

On the return trip I stumbled on two young graffiti artists in the culvert of the Old Pecos Trail crossing. They called me sir. I critiqued their work and ran on. Good kids.

Storm debris at the bridge along Gail Ryba suggests the flood level was above the bridge deck

Heavy debris (entire chamisa bushes) wrapped on railroad pylons up to 6ft in height

Helpful sign along Gail Ryba:  Don't enter the arroyo when flooding
An up-arroyo property armored with willow and cottonwood plantings. Erosion minimal.
A recent Dia de los Muertos themed piece near the museums

Related Posts:
 - RAIN! - NM River Levels Spike 30x Avg Flows (2013)
 - Come Hell or High Water - Monsoon Season (2013)
 - Floods Ravage Bandelier and Cochiti Canyons (2011)
 - Santa Fe's Arroyo Systems

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Santa Fe's First Snow of the Season - 2014

Aspen Vista Trail Oct 13, 2014 - courtesy of NM Bike N Sport
This year's first snow fell lightly on the high peaks along during Friday and Saturday's storm. Perhaps only just cold enough in the high-country for snow though nearly as cold here in town.

Accumulation was not obvious from lower elevations other than early morning views of Santa Fe Baldy. As always, the excitement of first winter marks the abrupt end for peak aspen colors. As such, the bad tempers the good, or good tempers good if you're a snow-hound.

We've been making note of the first fall for the last few years. In some cases I've noted the first fall in town rather than at 12,000 feet. If you're mobile it's all the same - pre-winter has made its mark. One added mark that parallels the snow gauges - HDD notched its four year anniversary on Oct. 1.

Yay snow!

Related Posts:
 - Santa Fe's First Snow 2013 - Oct. 12th
 - Santa Fe's First Snow 2012 - Nov. 16th
 - Santa Fe's First Snow 2011 - Sep. 10th
 - Santa Fe's First Snow 2010 - Nov. 10th
 - High Desert Dirt Turns Three

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Urban MTB Downhill - Taxco, Mexico

On the heels of Macaskill's new cycling vid atop a remote island (The Ridge), thought I'd contrast that ride with this incredible technical descent through the narrow urban alleys of southern Mexico. The rider is Australian Kelly McGarry, a runner-up at the RedBull Rampage a year or two ago. The folks that dreamed up this course ought to get a medal for straight-up genius.

Related Posts:
 - Winter MTB Descent of the Rio en Medio
 - Ski Commuting British Columbia (JP Auclair 1977-2014)
 - Macaskill MTB - The Ridge

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Macaskill Cycling Zen

A new Danny Macaskill video is out - a cutmedia production entitled The Ridge. Danny of course, doing sick things with his bike, navigating the Isle of Skye and some stomach-turning ridgeline exposure. Not a week old the video unsurprisingly has millions of views.

He exploded on the outdoors scene a few years back with his biking mastery in Way Back Home. His kit is now fully commercialized and pinned with logos. Good for you Danny.

Related Posts:
 - Art Filled Sky
 - Ski Commuting British Columbia (JP Auclair 1977-2014)
 - Macaskill - Way Back Home

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Acequia Trail Underpass - Queued Up

Last week's Santa Fe Reporter was the bike issue. Terrific read. Everything bikes and trails and bike shops. Lotta great stuff including a piece about the west section of the Railyard and its old derelict caboose, (a personal favorite of mine). Embedded in the article was mention of $3.8 million in Federal transportation funding that very recently became available for construction of the often discussed Acequia Trail Underpass connecting the Railyard to the Baca Street District.

This was the first I'd seen or heard of this new money. After a quick search I found a Julie Ann Grimm piece, also in the Reporter, confirming the new funding. It means that ground breaking on the new underpass/trail connector is a go, possibly in the spring or summer of next year. Planning and designs for the project have long been in place and the public comment process was completed this spring (underpass preferred to overpass). The remaining hold-up was funding, or rather, a priority mis-match in spending this great sum for the benefit of a critical yet relatively low-demand section of the trail network. The city will need to come up with $500,000 to cover remaining project costs, and this funding happens to be immediately available due to a June City Council decision to defer construction on the Alameda Underpass (Santa Fe River Trail) and instead re-allocate the $1.9 million in bond funds for that project across several smaller projects.

Coincidentally, one recipient project of the re-allocated funding will be the western-most terminus of the Acequia Trail, the connector that will feed into the Santa Fe River Trail from South Meadows Rd to ~San Felipe Rd and Agua Fria. This portion of the River Trail is an orphan section built-out last year with available federal funds targeted for The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. This western end of the River Trail falls within the National Parks Service alignment of the historic Camino Real, and the federal dollars became available before the County could work on the surrounding parts of the trail network. An additional recipient project of the new funding will be the planned spur from the Camino Real section to the soccer fields at the Municipal Rec Complex along Caja del Rio Rd. The tunnel under NM 599 is already there, built along with the road. I've been through it but it's literally choked under several feet of tumble weeds. I imagine this new money will be used to clear out the weeds and chamisas along the trail itself, and add a few signs so you know where the hell you're at and where you're going.

Conceptual designs of the new underpass - from above and at path level.

Related Posts:

View Acequia Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Drink Beer - Support Local Trails

Awesome squared
Stopped off at 2nd Street Brewery last night. They're canning some of their beer now which is a terrific addition. They're also featuring a special batch of brew with the handle, Boneshaker Bitter, which is being marketed in tandem with the 20th anniversary of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. $.25 from each pint or can will go toward support of the SFCT and their mission to preserve land, build and maintain some of our largest rec trails on said land, and advocate for starry nights.

It's fitting that the two organizations are working together. Both 2nd Street Brewery locations sit along the Rail Trail, and though they're located on the city maintained sections, the Trail as it extends south of town toward Eldorado was one of the first efforts of the fledgling Conservation Trust back in 1994 (along with the build-out of the Dale Ball Trails). 2nd Street's campaign aims to raise at least $5,000 in funds for the Trust, in addition to providing a marketing platform for greater public support of their programs.

The Trust currently does more for area biking/hiking/running trails than any other organization in Santa Fe. Through their trail maintenance arm, the Santa Fe Trails Alliance, they organize and manage regular volunteer trail maintenance days on lands they hold in trust (Dale Ball, Arroyo Hondo) and those they don't (La Tierra, Winsor, Atalaya). A large pool of their volunteers is comprised of the good folks from the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society who - very appropriately - appreciate a well made beer from time to time.

Related Posts:
 - Craft Beer in New Mexico
 - The Santa Fe Rail Trail Re-Imagined
 - IMBA World Summit - Santa Fe, NM

View Santa Fe Rail Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Sunday, September 14, 2014

4th Annual Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon - 2014

On the starting line - courtesy Google images - Teaboon Hills
As often happens, I found myself at this morning's pre-race. Not so much stretching or warming up - mostly drinking coffee and slowly crushing the donuts at the volunteer table. Saw pretty much everyone else in the local running community prepping for go-time.

The race grows larger and larger each year. Talked briefly with Nike athlete Alvina Begay and race director Joseph Karnes, as well as friends prepping for Chicago, NYC, and Boston. Made me really want to get out for a run! I'll need to substitute afternoon arroyos for Pojoaque and Buffalo Thunder this year.

We'll follow the race via Twitter in the feed below. Use hashtag #runsantafe to post your own pics, comments, results, donut-stories, etc. Best of luck to all today's runners.

Full race results will be posted here
SFNewMexican writeup and results here

Related Posts:
  - Buffalo Thunder Half Race Report - 2013
  - A Brief Meeting with Billy Mills (and Steve Gachupin, 2012)
  - Santa Fe's Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon  (2011)

View Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon in a larger map

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon - 2013

The 4th running of the Santa Fe Half is just a few short days away. A fine time to recap the prior year's race, particularly when a timely race report never made it to completion the year before. Previously the Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, the race has shifted its marketing to highlight our lovely town and the more recognizable name of Santa Fe. Solid decision, the miles need to be run just the same.

Last year was my first view of the course. Started out from town on a perfect fall morning for running - a bit overcast, cool, with rain the night before. I ran with Leigland and friends Dan and his wife Cheyenne who had traveled up from Alamogordo. The gun sent us off, starting with two miles of climbing on Old Taos Highway. We ran these fairly leisurely and I think they split at 8min30 then 8min even. Chatted with folks we knew as we worked through the field. Mile 3 started the descent into the Rio Grande valley which went at 6min flat. My watch might as well have just flashed 'DANGER!'. The old run-like-hell-early-and-control-massive-damage-at-the-end strategy was being penciled into the day's schedule.

At the start - bag check
Cruised down into Tesuque Village at about mile 5, stopped for a photo of the outstanding surprise of Bellydancers, then out past the Pueblo and Camel Rock Casino at about mile 7. The grade flattens out quite a bit at this point and the field had thinned into lonely areas of no-man's-land. I was also now carrying a piano on my back. A runner with a cop mustache and a state police shirt passed me. This impressed me and I told him so. Also, the guy was probably carrying so I wanted to be sure I was on his good side.

Fabulous Mile5 Bellydancers
Miles slowed to 6min50s. Sounds fast-ish but the down-slope was a significant aid. A steady moving runner came up on me and I was fortunate to latch on which then carried me through to mile 11. My man blew-up at this point and disappeared (*poof*), but I was near enough to the runner just up the road that I pressed to catch him and we ran it in together from there. Turns out he was a top age-grouper out of Socorro (John Leeper), finishing 2nd in the 55-59 age group just behind the legendary Senovio Torres. My chip time actually edged Torres even though he finished a good 30sec ahead of me. Good company to be in.

The 12th mile was a faded 7min10s but I might have closed the final mile in around 6min45s. Finshing time just north of 90min. An unexpectedly fun and enjoyable morning. High fives all around, except from my quads which were understandably upset. The race organizers have put together a really solid event that I hope will continue to grow.

BTH 2013 - Race results here
Photo album courtesy of Max Mujynya - here (

My crew at the finish - Dan and Leigland
Finishers list
Related Posts:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Atalaya Mountain in August

Atalaya Mountain - the 'watchtower' in archaic Spanish
MTB on Atalaya this morning. Clouds and a supervillain fog-bank up on the summit ridge were my prize. It's a fine morning when you can sip an IPA at breakfast and know you're good for it.

This morning's climb followed the blue route.A lot of obvious work on the trail from this month's maintenance crews. Bless those folks. Lots of volunteer trail days on the fall calendar.

View Atalaya Mountain Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Related Posts:
 - Early Morning on Atalaya
 - Picacho Peak - Climbing the Ladder
 - Moon Mountain Trail

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cycling's Grand Tour comes to Colorado - The US Pro Cycling Challenge

The US Pro Cycling Challenge kicks off today, a week long stage race through the Colorado highcountry. This would be year three of the event. I'd love to get up and check out some of the racing someday but the whole taking care of a toddler and having a job thing remains a bit of an obstacle for me.

Stages kickoff from Aspen, Crested Butte, Gunnison, the Springs, Breck, Vail, and Boulder. Many of the teams riding this tour are Grand Tour teams, BMC, Cannondale, Saxo-Tinkoff, etc. Riders focusing on the upcoming Vuelta won't be riding (Horner, Sagan, Quintana, Contador) but the entry list does include Teejay Van Garderen, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Michael Rogers, Ben King, and Tim Danielson. Follow the racing via live-tweet with @Cyclocosm or on Tumblr at

Here's a looping vine of a wicked crash from last month's Tour of Utah. Garmin-Sharp's Phil Gaimon clips a side road marker and is launched into space at 40+ mph. Fractured his hand but appears to be on the team entry list for this week's Pro Challenge. Umm - Holy Shit!! The guy gets up from that spill... only to run down the hill to fetch his bike!! I think back to this summer's World Cup and the image of grown men rolling around on the ground sobbing about their shitty haircuts, and I shake my head disapprovingly.

Related Posts:
 - The Tour was Better with Armstrong
 - Santa Fe Century and Gran Fondo

Monday, August 4, 2014

La Luz Trail Run 2014 - Results

Via the summit tag board
Official race results haven't been posted just yet, we'll link to them when they are. Colorado's Rickey Gates (5 time member of the US Mountain Running Team) and Jon Severy (CU alum - Go Buffs!) showed up to run and both motored up the trail with a quickness. In the women's field, Rachel Cuellar cleared the field and added to her seven previous titles with another stellar win.

From yesterday's tag board, the unofficial top ten:

1. Rickey Gates (CO), 1:21.32
2. Jon Severy (CO), 1:22:12
3. Kris Houghton, 1:25:16
4. Dustin Martin, 1:26:10
5. Stuart Lisle, 1:26:50
6. Salvator Perdomo, 1:30:16
7. Tony Clement, 1:31:35
8. Marc Esposito (Santa Fe), 1:31
9. Tom Mescall, 1:33:19
10. Rachel Cuellar, 1:34:24
11. Andrew Hahn (?) 1:35

W1. Rachel Cuellar, 1:34
W2. Brandy Erholtz, 1:35
W3. Erica Baron, 1:39

Race day photos and comments streamed from Twitter are up here.

Related Posts:
 - La Luz Trail Run (2014) - Live Blog
 - La Luz Start List (2014) - Pre race comments
 - La Luz Trail Run (2013) - Recap

View La Luz Trail Run - Albuquerque, NM in a larger map

Saturday, August 2, 2014

La Luz Trail Run (2014) - Live Blog

The stairs of infinite sadness
La Luz, it's here once again. Now in its 49th year. Driving down with Leigland at 5am. A fair number of Santa Fe runners in the field this year which is something grand to look forward to.

The start list is no longer available, but when reading through it last week I recall Kris Houghton looks to defend his title up front. Simon Gutierrez is out, but Rickey Gates of Colorado is in. Gates is very good. Jesse Armijo and Dustin Martin look to be at the start as well. Jesse's back from injury; don't know much about Dustin's current status.

Erica Baron was originally wait-listed but I believe will be on the starting line. She is the one to beat in the women's field. Uncertain if Alexandra Darling will defend her title.

Additional pre-race comments were put up here.

We're going to use Twitter once again to post updates, photos, and results as the morning unfolds. The news feed below will capture traffic tagged with #laluztrailrun, anyone can post to the feed using the tag.

Bueno suerte y hasta la cumbre.

Related Posts:
 - La Luz Start List 2014 - Pre race comments
 - La Luz Trail Run (2013) - Live Blog
 - La Luz Trail Run (2013) - Recap

View La Luz Trail Run - Albuquerque, NM in a larger map

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Santa Fe Multi-Use Trails Update

Santa Fe Rail Trail at the Railyard Plaza
As published in yesterday’s Santa Fe New Mexican, the City Public Works Committee voted to recommend to the City Council that the proposed bike/pedestrian underpass at Alameda and St Francis be shelved in favor of re-allocating the roughly $2 million in bond funds for an assortment of other improvements to the trails system.

All of these various additions are queued up in the current Santa Fe Metro Bicycle Master Plan (yes, some of us do actually read these things). As an avid trail user, old and new, this shift in spending priorities looks to be a very favorable exchange. The following are the projects under current discussion to be funded by the new allocations - UPDATED, with Sept 23 projects officially approved by City Council:
1) $300,000 $100,000 for at grade improvements at Alameda/St Francis (in place of the underpass)
2) Canada Rincon multi-use Trail. connecting the neighborhoods near Zocalo to Calle Mejia (better access to Gonzales Community School) .32miles/ $132,000 $200,000
3) Arroyo En Medio Trail. connecting Gail Ryba Trail at Zia Rd. to Sawmill Rd. .25miles/ $200,000 (access for Capshaw Middle School, Little Earth School and SF Girls' School)
3) Municipal Rec Complex Trail, connector from the Santa Fe River Trail to the
culvert underpass at NM 599. Will ultimately extend to MRC, $150,000
4) Arroyo Mascaras Trail. connecting the Mascaras to west San Francisco St. / $150,000
5) Tierra Contenta Trail (n. Arroyo Chamiso Trl). connecting Buffalo Grass to South Meadows. .38miles/ $300,000 (safe routes to school access for Sweeney, Ortiz and others)
6) Acequia Trail at Otowi Drive .10miles/ $80,000
7) Acequia Trail at S. Meadows/Rufina to SF River Trail(end of Agua Fria) 1.0mile $660,000 $113,800
8) Infrastructure improvements: City way-finding, $30,000 and Safety infrastructure (focusing on dangerous railroad crossings), $10,000
9) Acequia Trail Underpass (with $3.8 million sourced from the Federal Dept of Transportation), $556,200 local matching funds
10) Bike lanes and road widening on Old Santa Fe Trail, from E. Zia to Sun Mtn Rd (in conjunction with new lanes and road widening on the County portion of Old Santa Fe Trail up to El Gancho Way), $200,000
A thank you goes out to Stephen Newhall for relaying these project details. Thanks Stephen!

Update: Take two minutes of your time to fire off an email to your City Councilors (two for each district) and cc: Councilor Bushee (who chairs the city Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee [BTAC]). Let them know you're a trail user, that you vote, and what your stance is on the city's trails network. My email referenced the above along with an emphasis on - MORE TRLS PLZ. 

Related Posts:

View Acequia Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rogue Accountants

Chama River - few hundred yards south
of the CO/NM border
So I put up a new personal record this week that may stand unbroken for years to come.

I spent an evening during the holiday weekend outdoorsing, camping, and emptying a few barley-pops with another CPA. In an uncanny chain of events I got out later in the week for some mtb on Dale Ball with another friend of mine, visiting from out of town, who also happens to be an accountant.

Three accountants, doing dope stuff, all in the same week. A fleetingly rare occurrence, duly documented for the memory banks.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chamisa Trail - Santa Fe, NM

Schroeder and dog cruise the aspen meadow
Got up early and ran out Chamisa last weekend with Schroeder and Therese, plus dog. We were the first truck at the trailhead, there were more than a dozen when we returned yet we saw only two hikers the whole morning. Such is the enduring mystery of trailhead math.

Chamisa is the most convenient summer trail in these parts. It's the nearest trail to town that's forested, so it's cool and shady when the summer temps peg above 85. The trailhead is only two miles up the road from Dale Ball and Little Tesuque, but that's enough to jump bio-zones from high desert to alpine forest. Importantly this includes tree cover, flowing water (Big Tesuque creek), and birds chirping in the canopy above. Lovely stuff.

The running and biking up there is rewarding but not without a challenge. Climbs and descents the whole way with very few flats. It's an easier go than the steeps of Little Tesuque and La Piedra a mile down the road but you've got to bring your climbing legs. 600+ ft climb from the trailhead to the saddle with Sidewinder. A marvelous descent down to the Winsor meadows, then another 650+ft of climbing up to the Bear Wallow/Borrego triangle. Only one creek crossing compared with the dozen fifteen or so below Chamisa, and there's generally very few folks out in this mid-section of Winsor, sometimes only a bicyclist or backpacker. The run back is pleasant until the climb back up to Sidewinder ridge, but it's relatively short and sweet after the long rest.

Distance:  7.7mi
Min Elev:  ~7,700ft
Max Elev:  ~8,480ft
Net climbing:  ~1,700ft

Daybreak on Sidewinder ridge (courtesy Google images)

Climbing Winsor into the day's first sun
Related Posts:
 - Chamisa Trail Loop (mtb)
 - Little Tesuque Trail
 - Lower Winsor

View Chamisa to Winsor Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Elevation profile - roundtrip Chamisa to Borrego

Friday, June 13, 2014

Moon Mountain Trail - Santa Fe, NM

Moon (l) and Sun (r) Mountains stand above the St. John's campus
In recognition of National Trails Day (Sat. June 8), I'm using this week to post write-ups and maps of a few lesser-known area trails. Unlike the more remote settings of the previously posted south-side trails, Moon Mountain and the route up to its summit sit hiding in plain sight among the nearby trail systems of the Santa Fe Foothills.

Moon mountain sits just south of Sun Mountain and just west of Atalaya but gets little love from hikers and trail runners. In fact, those two hikes are the most trafficked within city limits yet across the way on Moon one generally has the whole summit to themselves. One explanation may be that the hike to Moon is a bit longer (than Sun), but the obvious problem is that the trail is a lot less defined, un-marked, and requires a bit of adventure and route-finding to get where you're trying to go. I've never seen a map of the area before, printed or otherwise.

Picacho Peak as seen from the approach
Atalaya as seen from the Moon Summit
Moon summit - just a bunch of rocks until you put some shoes on them
Sun Mountain from the steep west descent off Moon
I prefer to hike/run Moon from the St. John's College trailhead, stretching out on the approach up the Arroyo Chamiso before motoring up the switchbacks to the summit. The trail up Moon's north face really doesn't switch all that much, meaning there's some steep direct climbing and the trail is often in various states of eroded wash-out. That said, roundtrip distance is only about 4mi without extenders.

One such extender is the convenient linkup with Sun Mountain, though combining the climbs can be a tough effort over the ~5mi distance. The trail runner's prize is a four summit linkup of Sun/Moon/Atalaya/and Picacho. Fun, but quite a bit tougher than it sounds.

Distance:  ~4mi loop
Max Elev:  8,085ft
Net Climbing:  ~900ft

View Moon Mountain - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Related Posts:
 - Apache Canyon Trail Loop
 - Eldorado Community Preserve Trails
 - Picacho Peak Summit


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