For years I have wanted to make a bike tour out of the quiet backroads and 
hidden corners of SW New Mexico where I live.  But a whole litany of 
excuses, both real and imagined conspired against it—didn’t have the right 
bike, too hot, too windy, too little water, not enough time, not in good 
enough shape, not safe to go alone, and on and on and on.  This year I 
became the new owner of a barely used Hunqapillar and resolved to make it 
happen.  About a month ago I sketched out a rough plan and started putting 
touring equipment together.  Last Thursday after spending way too much time 
agonizing over the final details and packing for my fears instead of my 
confidence, I locked the front door and soft pedaled through town headed 
south towards the bootheel of New Mexico, destined for the Chiricahua 
mountains just over the border in Arizona. 

I figured I could do 50 miles per day, with a mix of dirt and 
pavement—though I haven't had many rides over 15 miles in the last few 
years.  More worrying than my ability to go the distance was the 
resupply—mostly of water, but also food.  Water, like towns,  are scarce 
out here and I planned to pack enough supplies to ride straight through 
each day without needing to count on uncertain water sources (cattle tanks) 
or stores that might be out of business or closed for the day.  I spent 4 
days touring, camping in Forest Service campgrounds or just out in the wide 
desert on BLM land.  

Pictorial highlights here:  Flickr photos 

Route info here: Plotaroute <>

Other than the Chiricahua mountains which are justifiable famous among bird 
watchers (Trogons!) and outdoorsy folk, it was wonderfully desolate out 
there.  Ranch trucks and the Border Patrol were about the only other 
travelers on the roads.   On one 20 mile stretch of dirt road, I spent 
three hours spinning away in the small chainring, climbing in and out of 
small drainages without a car passing me, or even having one in sight.  

The bike did wonderfully—no mechanical failures or tire punctures.  I had 
converted the Racing Ralphs to tubeless about a month ago to make sure they 
would be reliable.  I still didn’t trust them completely and rode pretty 
cautiously to prevent failure out in the boonies.  The bike came with the 
Albatross handlebar, and though I am more used to riding with drops, the 
Albas were fine.  I definitely missed the lack of *comfortable* hand 
positions but they certainly didn’t prevent me from finishing the trip or 
having a good time. 



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "RBW 
Owners Bunch" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
To post to this group, send email to
Visit this group at
For more options, visit

Reply via email to