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Into the Dust - riding the New Mexico BDR

tricepilot

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Joined
Sep 25, 2007
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8,822
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Cibolo, Texas
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Bob
Here is a quick video of the New Mexico BDR trip with our group. It was an awesome trip and made me realize why I do not do this often. so the next trip is August to Colorado. Life is short make the best out of it. Please excuse my video editing skills as I am a beginner and still learning how to combine videos together :)

Also, I wanted to say big thanks to Richard for organizing this wonderful trip and providing an opportunity for some of us to join. We really appreciate it.

Being into video myself, I was super impressed with the whole production of this one. I realize I have a long way to go. This video does what videos should do - bring the viewer back to the experience. Well shot, well edited. Very nice job.
 

Tourmeister

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Huntsville
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Scott
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Friday
Residual fatigue is not a trivial matter. If a rider is not used to day after day of this kind of riding, it can sneak up on them and cause serious problems. The older I get, the more I like the notion of a "day off" somewhere in the middle of a trip. I am always torn though because I want to maximize my riding given my limited riding opportunities. But fatigue can cause a rider to start making stupid mistakes and stupid hurts... My other solution in recent years has been to take a big and small bike on a trip, basing out of one location all week, and alternating rides each day between big bike routes and small bike routes with the big bike routes ideally being "easier" so we can recover a bit from the small bike routes. So far, that has worked quite well.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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Buda, TX
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Rich
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Gibbens
Day 5: Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway

Day four marked the end of our BDR riding. It was time to turn south and begin the journey back to Ruidoso. If we took the most direct pavement route it was only 215 miles to Ruidoso. However, no one wanted to ride 215 miles of straight, boring highway. And with it being Thursday, there was no reason to hurry back today. We couldn't get back to Texas before the weekend so let's have another fun day and then head back tomorrow.

When I was putting the route together for this ride I deliberately made today a short day at just 103 miles. My thinking was that a) most of us would be tired after four long days of dirt riding and b) a short day would give us time to do some sightseeing off the bike. The Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway seemed the perfect route for today to accomplish both a and b. It was all pavement (i.e. easy riding) and there were lots of things to stop and see along the way, including Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, and the Gilman Tunnels. After all, we are dual sport adventure riders - which means we like riding both dirt and pavement (as long as it is scenic, twisty, or both).

Of course when I planned the route last year there was no pandemic throwing a wild card at us and shutting down most parks/monuments/etc. So much for sightseeing off the bike. Instead, I came up with an alternate dirt route for my group that was noted on the Butler New Mexico map as a particularly scenic dirt road.

I'm happy to report the Butler map did not lead us astray. The dirt road turned out to be fantastic! It went west across the mountains, taking us up to 11,000 feet in elevation, and included a steep rocky downhill section that was incredibly fun.

In fact, for anyone reading this in the future that wants to re-create this ride, my suggestion is to take the dirt route out of Espanola instead of the pavement route. The dirt route is not to be missed, in my opinion.

Here's the all-pavement route I had originally planned for us to ride.
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This is the route we actually rode.
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Climbing the mountains with Espanola in the distant background.
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The rocky downhill section. Pictures never tell the full story - it always looks less steep in a photo that it was in real life.
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You never get too old to pop-a-wheelie!
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Yes, very true.
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Unfortunately, we could not ride all of the planned route due to some of the dirt sections being closed due to corona. We rode what we could and took pavement bypasses as required.

Once in Bernallilo, it was time for a celebratory beverage, a group photo, and then dinner and drinks.
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This ends my ride report. The next day was a 200 mile jaunt back to Ruidoso. We rode a lot of highway, a little dirt, visited a really cool Pueblo mission (Gran Quivira) - thank you Edwin for suggesting it - and got rained on.

Summary

Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. It was a wonderful trip, worthy of repeating.

However, I would modify the route a bit. First, I would find a potentially fun route between Albuquerque and Truth or Consequences (T or C)and make my staring point T or C, skipping the section between Ruidoso and T or C. Second, I would modify the section from Reserve to Grants, skip the southern loop in the morning, take the road over Black Peak and route through El Malpais. Third, I would make sure to include the BDR section through Abiqui Lake. Lastly, I would take the dirt out of Espanola, rather than the scenic pavement I had originally planned.

Of course, that's just my opinion. As they say, your mileage may vary.

In any case, thanks for letting us share our pics and stories with you.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
2,959
Location
East Texas
Residual fatigue is not a trivial matter. If a rider is not used to day after day of this kind of riding, it can sneak up on them and cause serious problems. The older I get, the more I like the notion of a "day off" somewhere in the middle of a trip. I am always torn though because I want to maximize my riding given my limited riding opportunities. But fatigue can cause a rider to start making stupid mistakes and stupid hurts... My other solution in recent years has been to take a big and small bike on a trip, basing out of one location all week, and alternating rides each day between big bike routes and small bike routes with the big bike routes ideally being "easier" so we can recover a bit from the small bike routes. So far, that has worked quite well.
Very excellent post! Our ride trips in CO usually lasted five-six days and I soon learned a "break" day in the middle really added to the enjoyment. Another point is that we learned to have an easy first day. We usually were in ski/tourist towns and there was always interesting things to stroll around and see. Has worked well for thirty years.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
2,148
Location
Bryan, TX
very nice. Gran Quivira is off the radar to most. I was there last year for about 3 hours and the only other person I saw was the ranger.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
3,908
Location
HUNT COUNTY
First Name
Joshua
Residual fatigue is not a trivial matter. If a rider is not used to day after day of this kind of riding, it can sneak up on them and cause serious problems. The older I get, the more I like the notion of a "day off" somewhere in the middle of a trip. I am always torn though because I want to maximize my riding given my limited riding opportunities. But fatigue can cause a rider to start making stupid mistakes and stupid hurts... My other solution in recent years has been to take a big and small bike on a trip, basing out of one location all week, and alternating rides each day between big bike routes and small bike routes with the big bike routes ideally being "easier" so we can recover a bit from the small bike routes. So far, that has worked quite well.
This is part of the reason I've been taking the Jeep more often, aside from being able to take my daughter with me but it allows me to generally cover a lot more ground in a given amount of time and not feel like I'm burning myself out in the process.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
65
Location
Round Rock
What a great trip you guys!! Awesome! How did the AT and S10 did on this trip? If this is done next year I am in for sure!! It look like you guys had a fantastic time and weather!
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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Buda, TX
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Rich
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Gibbens
What a great trip you guys!! Awesome! How did the AT and S10 did on this trip? If this is done next year I am in for sure!! It look like you guys had a fantastic time and weather!
There were 2 Africa Twins (AT) on the trip (that I saw). One of them went down on day 2 in the steep rocky section and the rider injured his shoulder. Ultimately the rider decided to continue riding but stuck with pavement for the remainder of the trip. I believe the 2nd AT did fine with the exception of its center stand. When I arrived at the hotel in Espanola at the end of day 4 a group of riders were in the process of removing said center stand. Apparently the stand had impacted something (a rock, most likely) and it was damaged and bent to the point of rubbing a large gouge in the side of the swingarm. The field expedient repair was to remove the center stand.

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The S10 seemed to have done splendid. I enjoyed a visit with the owner at the end of day 4 and he had nothing negative to say.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
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Henly, Texas
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Rich
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Emerson
I’m the previous owner of said center stand. The AT is a very capable bike, and did everything I asked it to do. It’s a new bike to me so I chose to bypass sections that I did on a KLR with no problem before but had second thoughts taking the AT on. If my skill level was better, I’d have no doubt about riding any BDR with it. Sand was the only time she took a couple of dirt naps, and it’s probably when the center stand got whacked. By the time I got to Espanola, it was gouging the swing arm and I decided to remove it. Not a deal breaker. Now I just pack an Endurostand.

I packed for this trip like I was going to Alaska, which I plan on doing with a few riders in a couple years. In my opinion, it’s the perfect bike for a trip like that too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

copb8

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Highland Village (Dallas) TX
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Bart
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That center stands seems to be a pretty beefy piece of metal. If you tweaked it on a fall and not yourself then I say you can count yourself lucky!

Good chatting with you while we were there Rich. Hope your ride home went ok. It was hot and a long way to go and I didn't envy you one bit.
 

misterk

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Jul 21, 2015
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Colleyville
That center stands seems to be a pretty beefy piece of metal. If you tweaked it on a fall and not yourself then I say you can count yourself lucky!

Good chatting with you while we were there Rich. Hope your ride home went ok. It was hot and a long way to go and I didn't envy you one bit.
That Rich @JoToPe is hard on equipment! He rides it like a boss!
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
62
Location
Austin
Richard,

Glad you all enjoyed the ride and thank you for a fantastic report (as usual).

I'm with you on much of the NMBDR being very enjoyable, and some not so much. I really liked the beginning sections that you skipped, i.e., from Dell City TX along the Guadalupe Ridge, west through the mountains and eventualy overlooking White Sands to Cloudcroft; also, like you, the ranchland west of Carrizozo and north of the highway; and of course Chloride Canyon. The water in the canyon varies seasonally - on our fall trip, much of the "road" was creek (and it was below freezing overnight in the Gila Wilderness).

Based on the great videos, it's interesting to see the riding style on the mid-size KTM's: High speed, sitting down, dabbing with the foot. I can't do that and control my Ginormous GS - and probably would break a leg. And I doubt I'd keep up with you.

Thank you again!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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Buda, TX
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Thanks, Mike.

Like you, I like the section from Dell City to Ruidoso. We skipped it because I (and others) had previously ridden it and didn't want to repeat. Plus it would have added two more days to the trip, which would have made this event just a little too long in my opinion.
 

RJ2

Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
161
Location
Flower Mound
Great reading on a hot Saturday afternoon.

I was in Ruidoso a couple of weeks ago with my wife and all I could remember was how many dirt bikes were out and about.

Ride safe!
 
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