The ride summary from ride captain Andrew on Sunday's ride to South 14. There were 5 riders: Andrew, Val, Craig, Jeff, and Geoff. Sounds like it was a good one!
Our weather lately is just perfect riding weather. After an impromptu request, replete with “Needs: One bottle, Eight Fig Newtons”, five riders collected at the SE Smiths on Tramway and headed out from Old Route 66 in the direction of the illustrious Tijeras Canyon and a general store with promise of breakfast just past the Oak Flats apex. Canyons may not inspire riders so early in our training schedule, but “it’s okay,” Jeff Stevens commented, “because [the route] is mostly downhill.” You bet it is. And so it went as Andrew, Craig, Geoff, Jeff, and Val continued to South 14.
|Val and Andrew: slow and steady wins the day!|
Personally I really enjoy this route because of it’s relaxed traffic, the many other riders seen climbing or descending, and because you – the rider – determine how challenging the canyon climb is. You can sprint up if your awesomeness so desires, or you can partner up and have a good chat until you arrive at your destination. Honestly if I could sprint up the canyon I would, but I very much enjoy getting to know everyone and keeping a brisk pace in preparation for that edible win at our end point.
The clock popped to 8:50AM when we arrived at the general store where we unwrapped granola bars, downed some water, and talked with locals at the picnic table. Someone bought an ice cream Snickers and rubbed it in everyone else’s face. We learned of the Old Tyme Ice Cream Shop a little further down the road and soon headed over there for a fixin. The owner Barbie was en route to church so we noted the hours and promised to come back (hint, hint.. Ice Cream + Bikes + Hot Weather = Yes Please!). Of course she mentioned that their banana splits were too big for one person to eat. Challenge accepted.
|Cruising with Geoff|
And now for the downhill element, which is what makes this ride truly fun. Unless there are 20mph headwinds while you descend the canyon. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. OK So there was. No Big Deal. We ate it up. Just like we’re going to do at the ice cream shop. I look forward to this route later in the season when we combine the Tijeras Canyon climb in the full Roller’s Loop route. It’s a wildly fun day, and I encourage everyone to come along.
NB: We did learn of two shortcuts for skipping busy intersections: one in Tijeras at the South 14 > Old Route 66 intersection, and one at the Tramway > Central Smiths intersection. Check Google Maps and keep these in mind when you’re in these areas.