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August 2, 2009 – Taos, New Mexico

Rode New Mexico RT 518 - US Hill









Today was a good day. Today we decided to change plans again .. All good plans are designed to be changed at the last minute. Today we rode from the house here in Taos and decided to take in two hills on RT 518. It was cool at the start of the ride, but that was nice in my opinion. The ride form the house is interesting as all the roads are dirt here. Turns out it wasn't too bad and soon enough we were back on pavement.




The initial part of the climb out of town was rolling with a nice lane on the side that functioned well as a bike lane. Soon enough, we were climbing at a slow rate though the forest. It was a good ride, but no where near as scenic as the rides in Santa Fe or Los Alamos.

























As we neared the top of the climb, we saw this interesting sign. It was quite accurate actually, but the climb never got very difficult.





















After a short descent and climb, we finally crested the climbs nd proceeded along a short ~4 mile descent that was quite fast. It was still a bit chilly, so this descent was a bit numbing. The bottom was steep so it afforded some quick riding. Here are some shots of Bill and Paul descending the the hill at the intersection of Hwy 518 and Hwy 75.












Paul and I were saying how much this area looks like New Hampshire or Vermont. Definitely not what you would expect as an east coaster from New Mexico. Here I am looking happy .. maybe because we decided to turn back just before taking this picture.... 50 miles is enough for one day!



















We had a fairly easy down hill ride back to the bottom of the hill at HWY 75 and HWY 518. That explained why we had to work so hard on the way out when it looked like the ride was down hill! I felt great on the following climb so I pushed a bit for fun. Always good to make yourself suffer on a climb and I haven't felt too good on any of the previous rides, so today was good for me. When we got to the top again, we stopped at a scenic overlook to take a few pics. There were a few groups of people there who seemed impressed that we were riding these hills .. OK, not that impressive really!
















After returning to the house, we cleaned up and decided to explore Taos for lunch. Turns out there isn't a lot to explore. Here is a view of the square from the restaurant wee ate at.




















There was one interesting feature at the plaza. The parking meters were on extremely tall posts.



















Here is the Kit Carson house in downtown Taos ... the height of excitement!