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Bike Issue 2014Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by SFR

You can always tell a great bike shop by the techs who are outside making loops in the parking lot to check their work—popping wheelies, bouncing suspensions and pinching brakes. Almost everyone will sell you a helmet and a pack of protein goo for your next adventure, but here are some of the highlights of Santa Fe’s local pedal peddlers:

Local Bike Shops

THE BROKEN SPOKE
1426 Cerrillos Road
992-3102

Experienced bike mechanics are on the job at the shop that has a small collection of used bikes and upward of 200 new ones hanging from the ceiling. The store recently honored by the National Bicycle Dealers Association sports a selection of panniers, helmets, hydration packs and other accessories. One wall is devoted to maps of the city’s trails, the runs at Angel Fire Bike Park and the topography of the nearby Santa Fe National Forest.

MELLOW VELO
132 E Marcy St.
995-8356

Bike rentals at this downtown location regularly send out entire families of tourists on fat-tired Crushers—we know because they share our building. Three tiers of rental bikes mean you can spend as little as $20 a day to just get there and as much as $100 a day to try a late-model preium cycle. The shop owned by David Bell also caters to pros and commuters with sales and repairs.

SIRIUS CYCLES
2801 Rodeo Road, Ste. C-3
819-7311

The only bike shop on the Southside comes courtesy of Clemente McFarlane, whose service is also courteous in every way, by many accounts. The tiny store named for a star has the essential accessories, and also offers repairs and custom builds along with Chrome brand bags and a wide selection of Orbea, Felt and State Bicycle Co. inventory. Se habla español.

CHOICE CYCLE EXCHANGE
607 Cerrillos Road, Space A
780-5685

Española native Maria Archuleta Gabriele and her husband Peter opened the store in August that buys, sells and trades high-end, pre-owned road bikes. All you’ll find here are frames, parts and complete bikes, plus a setup for photographing bikes for their Internet sales plan. No merch. No repairs.

NEW MEXICO BIKE N SPORT
524 W Cordova Road
820-0809

Loads of accessories and clothes complement oldschool repair and no-pressure high-information sales. This 21-year-old business stocks more gloves, gear and gadgets than almost any other store in town. Plus, four techs here have bike-fitting certification from Specialized. Quick tuneups and tire repairs can happen with the right timing.

ROB AND CHARLIE’S
1632 St. Michael’s Drive
471-9119

Bike selection ranges from affordable and easy to exceptional and complicated, including BMX bikes and choices for kids. Pick up a set of valve covers in the shape of peace signs or eyeballs or a new Camelbak or just its bladder, if that’s what you’re seeking. The repair shop is always whirring. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice about which mountain trails to hit up next.

Advocates

CHAINBREAKER COLLECTIVE
1515 5 th St.
989-3858

Learn how to refurbish a bike with this nonprofit advocacy group’s Bicycle Resource Project or donate your spare parts for the cause of transportation equity.

SANTA FE SENIORS ON BIKES

These SOBs are road-cycling enthusiasts who meet on Thursdays for 30-mile rides grouped according to skill level, but they say you can “extend, or to turn around at any point along the way.” Informal rides also leave weekly on Tuesdays from DeVargas Mall. A detailed schedule is posted at santafesobs.com

SANTA FE ROAD RIDERS

This road-cycling group holds weekly rides on Sundays in the Santa Fe area in three skill-level groups. The shortest, C rides, are in the 25- to 45-mile range with average speeds around 12 mph. groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/sfroadriders/info SANTA FE FAT TIRE SOCIETY The local branch of the International Mountain Bicycling Association provides Twitter trail updates with the hashtag #sftrails. It’s hosting festivities in conjunction with National Take Your Kid Mountain Biking Day on Oct. 4. The group meets monthly on the second Monday at 6 pm at REI. santafefattiresociety.org

Go!

GET CONNECTED

Most of the Santa Fe Trails city buses have bike racks intended to help riders make connections to further destinations. In an effort to encourage this kind of multimodal life, the city offers a free annual or monthly bus pass with the purchase of a bike or purchase of bike gear or by providing volunteer services in return for a bicycle from Broken Spoke, Chainbreaker Collective, Mellow Velo, Rob and Charlie’s or Sirius Cycles. (With the purchase of $240 or more, an annual fee bus pass is provided. With the purchase of $20-$230, a monthly bus pass is provided.) Bring your original receipt to the Transit Administration Building located at 2931 Rufina, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, 955-2010

GATHER ROUND

Commuter bikers and wannabes are invited to summit where regional transportation planners will strategize and share information. A keynote lecture is planned from city Councilor Joseph Maestas. 5 pm, Oct. 10 at the 500 Market St. in the Railyard.

NIGHT CRUISE

Illuminate your bike and join the G’Low-N-Slow 5-mile community bike cruise through the streets of downtown. The Oct. 10 festivities start at the Railyard’s water tower where there will be bike decoration supplies, food trucks, a DJ, artists, booths and decoration supplies. The loop ride starts at 9 pm and will return to the Railyard for s’mores, hot chocolate and more. Registration is $20 (kids 12 and under ride for free), and the first 100 participants to sign up will receive a long sleeve, moisture-wicking technical tee. Visit RidgelineRacing.org for more information.

SOUND OFF

The Santa Fe Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization is conducting a survey on addressing the transportation needs of the Santa Fe regional area over the next 25 years. English surveymonkey.com/s/GPK2G6B Spanish surveymonkey.com/s/D3YQSJL

The Lure

Officials target economic gains of outdoor recreation

Bike Issue 2014Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by Julie Ann Grimm

Attracting people to Santa Fe who have a passion for the outdoors could be an economic boost for the region, says David Griscom, Santa Fe County economic development manager.

In 2010, the county identified outdoor recreation and products industries as target areas in its strategic growth plan, a facet shared by both city and state strategies. Griscom says he met with 30 business representatives at an outdoor retail trade show in Salt Lake City last month and is talking up the idea of expansion or relocation in Santa Fe. One push he’s making is that businesses “cluster” with Bicycle Technologies International, a worldwide parts distributor with a newish facility in Rancho Viejo.

“We see this as an emerging industry,” he says, noting that a trade group recently estimated the state’s economic impact from outdoor recreation is something like $6 billion per year. “We don’t know exactly how they get that number, but no matter how you shake it, it’s going to a big number.”

The other reason a company might come here, he says, is the same reason visitors come with bikes, boots, skis and boards in hands.

“We think their employees would like it here. We are really selling the quality of life here,” he says. “You can now ride or hike from the city to the ski area without getting on a paved road. That’s a big deal, and we emphasize that. How many capital cities in the country can you get on a trail basically on the outskirts of the city and access so many miles of trail like that?”

Growth Griscom calls “eco tourism” is also a ring that officials are grasping for. It might be one part reality and one part dream.

“When I’m out on the trails, I stop and talk to people, and I see more and more people from out of state who are coming here to hike and bike,” he says. “Santa Fe has long been known as a cultural center, and that is valid and that has its place, but more and more you are seeing a younger crowd come into Santa Fe with their skis and with their bikes to enjoy what we have.”

Beyond Recreation

Commuter bikers know the revolution won’t be motorized

Bike Issue 2014Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by Justin Horwath

They’ve endured sandpaper scrapes, hairline fractures, dislocated shoulders, bruises and even death. They’ve been honked at, yelled at, threatened by menacing dogs, tailgated by truckers gushing machismo and hit by rocks. But they maintain that kissing the pavement on occasion isn’t so bad once and a while, because after all, what’s better than kissing the wind on your way to work nearly every day?

Meet Santa Fe’s cyclists. In just the last few years, they’ve grown in numbers and political power, bending receptive ears from City Hall officials for better cycling conditions across the region. The advocacy has furnished both symbolic and practical results.

On the symbolic side, Santa Fe is a city whose mayor and longest-serving city councilor issued a public challenge in May to city employees, encouraging them to win the Bike-to-Work Week challenge. And the Santa Fe Police Department now employs a Bicycle Unit comprised of five full-time bicycle officers and a sergeant, along with 17 “auxiliary bicycle officers”—putting a sort of official badge on a mode of transportation that hasn’t taken hold here as much as other cities. Some cyclists point to the the previous administration of Mayor David Coss for jump-starting the movement. “Coss,” says Rob and Charlie’s bike mechanic and salesperson René Van Kuijk, “he was definitely a bike man.”

Practically speaking, cyclists have pushed City Hall to plow taxpayer money into a growing network of trails and dedicated bike lanes that make it safer for both cyclists and motorists to trek across town. Just recently, the city secured $3.8 million in federal pass-through funds to help finance the construction of an underpass in the fourth most hazardous intersection in town, the St. Francis Drive-Cerrillos Road crossing. That’s a plus for cyclists, who gripe about crossing the busy intersection. “The St. Francis and Cerrillos intersection—I’ve never seen anything like that anywhere,” says Veena Vasista, whose riding experience in London, where she lived for 20 years, led her to conclude that Santa Fe’s roads are actually relatively wide.

Indeed, the cycling movement hasn’t taken off here as it has in other cities like Portland, New York and Minneapolis, as Santa Fe still consistently gets snubbed by the national cycling press from its lists of most bike-friendly municipalities.

We’re not on par with other cities using a number of metrics, including size, grid and culture, but SFR asked some amateur and avid cyclists how Santa Fe matches up with them. They’ve had experiences in Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago and Houston, and the cyclists say the City Different is different in many ways—some bad, some good.

At least we beat Duke City, says Rob and Charlie’s mechanic Leo Quintana, who’s almost been hit riding down Central Avenue in Albuquerque. “It could be worse,” he says of cycling conditions here.

Kuijk, the other mechanic at the shop, moved here 12 years ago, spending 25 years in Amsterdam previously. In his time here, he points to a lot of improvements for cyclists, and that he hasn’t been in an accident, but one aspect that never seems to change is the mentality of certain motorists toward cyclists. “Machismo,” he says, noting that he’s been cut off many times, “you never get rid of. The guy with the biggest truck always wins.”

"I’ve even had a city truck behind me honking"

George Bradley, whose 26-inch Giant Revel 2 was being fixed in the shop, hasn’t been so lucky. He bikes to his job at Walmart off Cerrillos and counts four accidents with motorists in the past 15 months, hit-and-runs, and the worst resulting in a hairline fracture in the forearm. He’s been cycling here for seven years, earning previous experience in Houston, which he calls a safer city for cyclists. “I’ve even had a city truck behind me,” he recalls of one incident biking on the trail behind Sam’s Club, “honking for me to get out of the way.”

It’s not going to stop him from riding, however, and he says conditions here have improved recently.

Joe Abbatacola, as a member of the Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee, has advocated for some of those improvements in his five years in Santa Fe. Speaking from personal observation—rather than on behalf of that committee—he says cycling in Santa Fe is not as prevalent of a mode of transportation as it is in Chicago.

Abbatacola is about as avid as a cyclist as they come. In Chicago, he rode year-round more than 30 miles on workdays for his commute. In Santa Fe, he hitches a trailer on his bike, so he can load his groceries or other gear and pedal around town. Once while riding on Agua Fría Street, he had a rock thrown at him. He turned over video footage to police from his helmet camera, which caught both the license plate and the offender.

Despite the incident he maintains that the biggest misperception about cycling—and why people choose not to do it—is that it’s dangerous.

Abbatacola and his peers argue that it’ll become safer as there’s more cyclists on the road. That’s what happened in the Windy City, he says from the phone in Chicago, where he spent the summer.

Motorists there, he says, have become more aware of cyclists as they’ve grown in numbers. There’s a bike-sharing program in which commuters can pay a small fee to rent a bike for short distances. And, he says, motorists have become more aware of cyclists with even small warnings on crosswalks that says state law mandates that motorists are required to stop for pedestrians. “That has really helped for safety for both pedestrians and cyclists,” he says.

Still, in Santa Fe, the latter group continues to grow in numbers, and with them, even the number of bike shops. Choice Cycle Exchange just opened shop off Cerrillos weeks ago. Maria Archuleta Gabriele, an Española native, moved back to the area from New York with her husband, for that purpose.

“I’d love to see more things to make it safer not only for cyclists but also pedestrians,” she says.

Just Keep Pedaling

24 hours fast in the saddle makes her anything but a dull girl

Bike Issue 2014Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by Stefanie Kyser

Midnight is the witching hour for most, but not me. On this night, it happened closer to 11:15 pm, as I clocked mile 97.

I ride into camp exhausted, dirty, grumpy, aching. I literally can’t feel my lower back, and I’m hoping the stabbing pain in my neck is a spike, so it can be removed.

“There’s blood on your knee. Did you fall?”

“I don’t remember,” I reply. And I really don’t.

David Bell

A few months ago at the age of 45, I decided on a goal so ridiculous, I told very few people. But the opportunity loomed, right there, just east of the little train town of Gallup, NM, where the mountain bike gods placed the USA Cycling 24-Hour National Championships. I watched the pros ride in 2013, and my first thought was, “That’s a whole other level of crazy.” But I admired them, and I wanted to be in the crazy club because it was so extreme, painful and so beautiful all at the same time. Imagine, it’s 3 in the morning, you have 160 miles behind you, and you’ve just eaten a wondrous meal of rehydrated powdered protein mix, a brown banana, a handful of pecans and some beet juice. Fifteen seconds of panic has just passed as you learn that tree stump off to the right was not a bear. Your heart rate normalizes at 140. Then you reach the Burma Trail, two miles of screaming downhill in the dark with one working light on your handlebars to guide the way. Maybe 25 miles per hour is too fast in the black pitch of night, but you can’t slow down since it’s your only rest and someone might be on your tail. Or maybe it’s a bobcat (that you can’t see because you’ve lost a contact). Ridiculous crazy.

Having given up running due to injuries, I’ve been riding mountain bikes since 2012, and I’m hooked. As the saying goes, “just as addictive as cocaine and twice as expensive.” Besides the satisfaction of struggling up the mountains and the ecstasy of hurtling myself down on nothing more than some aerodynamically forged metal and some bolts, the thrill of experiencing the beauty and solitude of nature keeps me pedaling.

"At the age of 45, I decided on a goal so ridiculous, I told very few people."

I’ve realized that even the worst day on the bike is survivable as long as I can hear a bird or a stream trickle, see a cactus bloom or watch the clouds roll in. It’s the old bait and switch, except there’s no switch. In running, I felt exposed as a female with the super-short shorts and the long, lonely roads. Ever had some jerk roll down his car window and yell, “Want a ride? I’ll give you a ride!” then break out in maniacal laughter? Charming. Then there’s the coach who suggested I needed to lose weight when I failed to qualify for NCAA Nationals in the 10,000 meter run. (I was 5’5” and 112 pounds at the time.) Of course, let’s not forget the med student who pinched my arm and, based on his millisecond assessment of my body fat, told me I would not make it to the Olympics.

OK, so he was right, I didn’t make it, but my left Achilles should take the blame for that one, not my jelly triceps. Athletic achievement is not formulaic. I’ve always maintained that success in highly competitive sports is a crapshoot. Talent and hard work can only get one so far, and it’s the athlete who avoids turning her ankle, or who lives in a competitively rich area, or who doesn’t eat a bad burrito the night before the big meet, who succeeds. Throw in gender bias and childbearing, and the opportunities for women dwindle significantly. After law school, working, marriage, kids and more work, my time was running out, and I truly began to believe that if I didn’t escape the expectations of my gender now, the naysayers and disbelievers would never be avenged. My 20-year-old self needed vindication. So did the young lady running with mace in her hand and the girl trying to ignore the catcalls as she ran intervals on the track. Having two daughters of my own, my awareness of the young tenderness I still harbored inside was palpable.

Kyser poses with her championship medal alongside Bailey Colfax, also from Santa Fe and a member of a junior team that also won at the 24-Hour National Championships.
David Bell

And so I pedal. It’s about as close to flying as one can get on the ground. Sometimes you fly, seeking freedom, and it’s peaceful and magnanimous, simultaneously, like ice. Sometimes you dive, seeking the depths of unknown courage, and it’s terrifying and awakening, together, like fire. And then you see a deer nibbling a flower. It’s as simple as that.

Simple like Santa Fe, and complicated too. Having lived on the East Coast and in the Deep South for the first 30 years of my life, the openness and expansiveness of Santa Fe provides me a stark but healing backdrop to what held me so painfully quiet and gusseted. “Healing” is self-explanatory, “stark” in that it’s my canvas to paint.

Most cities have a particular construct that serves to define the people who live there. Think “Southern Belle,” “New Yorker,” “Midwesterner,” and stereotypes fly up like startled quail. Santa Fe holds no prototypical citizen, and no real caricature comes to mind. I have no two friends that could be confused for one another, and surprisingly, I actually have very little common interests with those I call my “best friends.”

We are connected by the same calling. My Santa Fe tribe seems to have been lured here by a silent siren song, but instead of smashing us on the rocks of convention and expectation, the song gives us the power to expand and grow and give back again, like a river, infusing us with nutrient-rich loam and then carrying our nourished labors outward in rafts of sacredness and gratitude.

I find that symbiotic taking and giving in the climb and the dirt of the trails surrounding our city. Similar to the brown, brazen roots of the piñon, the mountain and desert trails grasp outward from Santa Fe, giving it support and groundedness, providing it the necessary structure to support the city’s unfettered and beautiful psyche. The trails beckon to me: come out, come play, come breathe, come live. Then, I pedal home, tired, clear, fed and fulfilled.

"Kyser poses with her championship medal alongside Bailey Colfax, also from Santa Fe and a member of a junior team that also won at the 24-Hour National Championships"

Yet I’m anything but clear as I reach 11:15 pm on race night, just over the halfway point. I discuss my current reality with David Bell, my pit crew, soigneur, chef, dresser, aid station, photographer, bike tech, sponsor and friend. I am bleeding and coughing up dirt. I’ve lost a contact and have no feeling in my right hand. The pain in my neck and upper back endlessly stabs at my brain, even though I’ve ditched my water pack and helmet light. My bottom is so raw that, well, we just won’t go there.

“Do you want to sleep for three to four hours?”

I look down at my smelly jersey: Mellow Velo. It’s clean compared to the Shroud of Gallup I’ve created in trying to keep my face fresh and dirt-free as the hours and miles roll by. I am definitely not “mellow,” but in my soul-searching struggle to accomplish this goal of becoming the oldest female national cycling champion, I breathe. Bell and Mellow Velo took me on last November and believed in me and my abilities. Bell didn’t balk at my age, nor my crow’s feet. He didn’t even flinch at my cesarean belly or the fact that my race schedule depends on whether I can get child care. I am humbled by his support of a dream, the realization of which earns a medal, a $75 jersey and our names in the record book. But it’s there, forever. I wanted it there, forever.

“No, David, I do not want to sleep. I’m going back out there in five minutes. I really want this.”

“I know you do; I was just hoping I could sleep for three to four hours.”

Kyser rips through the race course. Racers in the contest try to complete as many laps as possible as fast as possible.
David Bell

I would wake him up for some eggs and bacon in about two hours, and at the 24th hour of my race, after 203 miles, depleting every last energy source my body had to offer and getting a lift back to camp from the forest service, I finally put those requited girls to bed, took my drug test and hopped up on the podium as 24-hour solo singlespeed national champion.

Fighting for the Right to Ride

Bike advocates blaze the trail

Bike Issue 2014Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by JP Stupfel

Store manager of Santa Fe’s REI and founding member of the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society Bob Ward recounts the tale of one summer day back in 2010 when a confrontation between a mountain biker and hiker came to blows on the high ridgetop trails of Atalaya Mountain.

“That was really bad publicity,” Ward explains as he remembers an article in the daily newspaper about the altercation. It just so happened that around that time the, also known as IMBA, was in town offering workshops on trail building, trail maintenance and organizing mountain bike advocacy clubs. Ward, who was sitting in on one of the lectures hosted in his store, recalls thinking, “God, we could really use a mountain bike club right now after what just happened.”

Inspired by the idea of starting a local advocacy group, Ward explains what he did next: “I shot emails to everybody that I knew that mountain biked and asked them to shoot out emails to other folks. I was hoping to get 15 or 20 people to show up. I set up about 20 chairs, but people just kept coming and coming, and next thing we know, we just about filled up the community room.”

The Santa Fe Fat Tire Society has grown into a membership of 221 enthusiasts. The organization focuses on three different aspects of mountain biking: trail building and maintenance, organizing group rides and other events and finally, mountain bike advocacy.

"God, we could really use a mountain bike club right now"

“We’re into building, we’re into riding, we’re also into saving trails,” explains current club president Pat Brown.

The issues confronted in mountain bike advocacy are pretty straightforward: Other organizations and advocacy groups don’t want bikes on certain trails and the mountain bikers are fighting back for their right to shred up a little dirt on their two-wheeled mounts. Anytime fast-moving mountain bikers come face to face with slower-moving traffic, like horseback riders and hikers, it is a recipe for differing opinions about who and what belongs on the trails. However, pushback from pedestrians isn’t the only issue facing mountain biking in Santa Fe.

The mountains surrounding our little high-desert getaway include vast expanses of land designated as wilderness, which basically puts it off-limits to permanent structures, motorized vehicles and, you guessed it, mountain biking.

“Right now we’re working with the [New Mexico] Wilderness Alliance who is bringing in another 154,000 acres around the Pecos Wilderness,” says Brown, speaking about the Fat Tire Society’s efforts to keep mountain bikes in action on some of Santa Fe’s premiere trails that could fall under the new wilderness boundary.

Among efforts by the Fat Tire Society to protect access to trails, they have also turned their sights on establishing Santa Fe as a global hub for mountain biking. In 2012, they had a supporting role when the city played host to the IMBA World Summit conference.

“There’s an awful lot of mountain biking, or I should say people on bikes in this town,” Brown explains as he leans against his car in a dusty parking lot that serves one of the Dale Ball trailheads. As Brown discusses the growing buzz of mountain biking in Santa Fe, his fellow advocates and riding partners tinker with gear and strap on helmets in preparation for the club’s weekly Tuesday night rides.

The IMBA boasts a special designation given to cities with an especially high standard of mountain biking. As of today, Park City, Utah, is the only town in the world to earn a gold star. Santa Fe finds itself as one of just 10 cities to earn the silver star rating, along with towns in Italy, Canada and New Zealand.

“The biggest goal of the club right now, and I think the city would share this, is to get that gold designation,” Ward explains. His vision may be close at hand as an ever booming tourism industry already provides the crucial amenities, like world-class restaurants and lodging, necessary to establish Santa Fe as an outdoor travel mecca. Both he and Brown emphasize their club’s focus on bringing the trails up to snuff in order to clench that gold-star rating.

As the late afternoon sun bakes the red gravel surrounding the Dale Ball trailhead, Brown and his fellow riders crank down on their pedals and kick up fine clouds of dirt behind their tires. The group of a dozen or so men and women perched on top of their contraptions climb up through the shrubby piñon-covered hills, already breathing hard with the effort. Around them, tucked away in the mountains, forests and desert lowlands stretch miles upon miles of trails that they, along with advocates from around the globe, will fight to keep open to mountain bikers.

RIDER’S EYE VIEW

To properly celebrate Santa Fe’s budding mountain bike community we decided to ask local riders for their perspectives on some of the area’s finest trails. From the high peak ridgelines to the sweltering desert beauty, here’s what these dirt-slingers have to say about your hometown single track.

COURTNEY JANAK
Dale Ball Trails

Local mountain bike advocate and avid rider Courtney Janak’s endorsement of eastside Dale Ball Trail system comes with a skull and crossbones.

“I have a love-hate relationship with these trails, which thread around in the foothills of the Sangres and offer beautiful views looking into town from the ridgelines… It’s a great place to learn stuff and get better at climbing, technical riding, switchbacks, going over rocks, etc. Sometimes it feels like every ride is a nerve-wracking near miss with cacti or rocks, a balancing act along narrow ledges or around sharp switchbacks, a lungbusting climb up an endless rocky hill…Every ride seems to have at least one person christening the trail with their blood!”

STEFANIE KYSER
Galisteo Basin Preserve

This Santa Fe local just won the 24- Hour Singlespeed National Championship, and she can regularly be spotted bombing local hills and rocketing up switchbacks so steep the rest of us slowpokes would have to double over and crawl on our hands and knees just to keep from tumbling backward. If you do catch a glimpse of her, it’s probably because she has just passed you and left you eating her dust. One of her faves is the Galisteo Basin Preserve, an area located 15 miles south of Santa Fe just past Eldorado on US 84/285.

“For the sheer variety—cliffs, steeps, chunk, long climbs, arroyos, gravel grinding, dirt, sand, meadows—I love G-Basin. It’s a great trail system to gain some skills without the crowds. When I ride at dawn or dusk, I keep my eyes up to the tree canopies and search for bobcats and mountain lions. It is quintessential New Mexico.”

Kyser then turns her sights on La Tierra Trails system, which boasts more than 25 miles of trails and even includes numerous jumps and obstacles specifically catered to mountain bikers.

“I love La Tierra’s easy access and the ability to ride nearly every day of the year due to its lower altitude. If you want to work on your jumps or your flow skills, the Trashpit on the northeast side has got you covered. I’m not much on flips, but the system is so vast for an urban trail that I can gain over 3,000 vertical feet in 30 miles without repeating a single inch.”

Access La Tierra Trails off NM 599 near Camino de los Montoyas.


PAT BROWN
Windsor Trail

Santa Fe Fat Tire Society club president Pat Brown is not alone in considering the Windsor National Recreational Trail, aka The Windsor for short, one of the premier attractions to mountain bikers in the area.

“It’s what I would consider one of the more epic trails in Santa Fe. It’s about a nine mile climb up, nine-mile descent,” Brown explains.

The Windsor winds its way from Tesuque up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin through forested canyons and hillsides.

One of the trail’s allures is the opportunity for riders to splash their tires in shallow creek beds as they swoop down about 3,400 feet of elevation.

“There’s approximately 19 water crossings across the Tesuque creek— an opportunity to get your feet wet, your dog wet and your bike wet and on rare occasions, your whole body wet when you fall into it,” Brown says with a chuckle.


STEPHEN NEWHALL
Caja del Rio

Manager for Rob and Charlie’s bike shop and veteran cycling advocate Stephen Newhall is the self-proclaimed expert on mountain biking in Santa Fe’s best kept outdoor secret, the Caja del Rio.

“It’s mostly old, funky, ranch double track. We’re just starting to build some single track out there,” explains Newhall as he leans over the glass counter at the shop.

He goes on to explain that while the lower altitude, and therefore warmer climate, makes exploring this desert wilderness a toasty prospect in summertime, it offers great off-season riding. “It’s fall, winter, spring riding,” Newhall explains.

This local, two-wheeled trailblazer really emphasizes Caja Del Rio’s sheer enormity. “It goes from Diablo Canyon all the way down to old La Bajada…There’s something to challenge anyone, and there’s enough miles to challenge even an ultramarathon type of rider,” Newhall says as he describes the dirt-saturated oasis as miles upon miles of trails with some tough, technical sections hidden in the mix.

SFR’s Bike Issue

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

FeaturesWednesday, September 17, 2014 by Julie Ann Grimm

The venerable bicycle has been a part of the American cultural landscape since before its motorized cousins came to rule the realm of transportation. In a city that lays claim to a history that reaches further than 400 years back, that’s means Santa Fe has centuries of bike backstory.

Two-wheeled enthusiasts, though, want to look straight ahead as they strap on their helmets and pedal into the rising sun. What’s on the horizon and how long will it take us to get there? Better still, what will we see along the way?

Bike culture in the City Different can be roughly boiled into three categories: the legion of hard-scrabble mountain lovers who hit single-track trails, traversing rocking inclines for the thrill and the exercise; those who use their bikes as a primary mode of transportation, braving narrow streets to connect between a paved trail network and their places of work and play; and the recreational pedalers who take the kids out on the weekends or meet up with friends for a slow cruise or a long haul.

Whichever column you put your name under, this special SFR bike edition is for you. Get ready to be supremely inspired by the opening essay from our own Stefanie Kyser, who beat women 10 years her junior this summer to win the USA Cycling 24-Hour National Championship. Thinking about picking up some new gear or getting a tuneup for the fall? Find the local bike shop that suits your fancy (p. 27). You’ll also find info about places to connect with other riders and how to weigh in on regional transportation plans, plus a detailed map about getting across the city safely.

Ride on!


The Boys Are (Back) In Town

Make way for Just Lizzy

PicksWednesday, September 17, 2014 by Alex De Vore

The moon landing wasn’t the only amazing thing that happened in 1969; legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy formed (bet some of you didn’t know they were Irish).

Seriously, y’all—you’d have to be stone-cold heartless not to be pumped when just about any song from this hit machine comes on the radio. Tunes like “Jailbreak,” “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” and “The Boys are Back In Town” are, after all, major hits for good reason.

Maybe it’s the dueling guitars that harmonize oh so sweetly, the bitchin’ straight-rockin’ foundation that melds pop and heavy, Phil Lynott’s iconic voice or all of the above, but incredible might not be strong enough a word. And yet, no matter how hard one might enjoy Thin Lizzy, there are people out there who’ve got you beat on that score…people like Swedish tribute act, Just Lizzy.

You’ll swear you’ve hit some sort of transdimensional portal as this stellar three-piece makes folks who aren’t sure about covers come around and think, “Damn, that’s a good-ass cover band!” Lynott died too young back in ’86, so if you’ve ever been bummed that you didn’t get a chance to see this band, Just Lizzy is as good as it gets.

Fellow rock acts Midlife Crisis and Paul’s Alibi open, and there will be great beer. Are you seriously even thinking about whether or not you should go?


Just Lizzy w/ Midlife Crisis
and Paul’s Alibi:

7:30 pm Wednesday Sept. 17. $7
Sol Santa Fe Stage & Grill
37 Fire Place

7 Days

09.17.14

7 DaysTuesday, September 16, 2014 by SFR
1

US Sen. Martin Heinrich to appear on Discovery Channel reality show

Spear-making skills should also come in handy during the next filibuster.

2

SF Public SchooL Board pays 475K for prom body-search settlement

Think of how many iPads that money could buy.

3

Second Street Brewery wins Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown

Up next: The Bizcochito Brawl

4

Pot ballot question remains in limbo

Part of the scheme to bore liberal voters to death.

5

Producers of The Bachelor almost admit they will film here

Spoiler alert: Everyone on the show falls in love with Santa Fe.

6

GARY King says susana Martinez “does not have Latino heart”

More proof that this election season resembles The Wizard of Oz.

7

Then, King loses third campaign manager

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like…

Burning Down the House!

'Happy Christmas': I’m an asshole!

OkTuesday, September 16, 2014 by David Riedel

If Drinking Buddies was filmmaker Joe Swanberg taking a step toward mainstream cinema, Happy Christmas finds him firmly rooted in his natural habitat: mumblecore. (It should be noted that “mumblecore,” along with “torture porn,” is one of the dumbest monikers that has ever been bestowed upon a cinematic movement or genre.)

Petty gripes about labels aside, Happy Christmas finds Swanberg directing some excellent actors on 16 mm film—those who miss movies with grain will be rewarded here—in an improvised story that lets Anna Kendrick stretch into asshole territory and gives Melanie Lynskey a chance to act in her native accent. (Aside: Why isn’t Lynskey in every movie? See also: Hello I Must Be Going)

Just as Drinking Buddies let Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson move out of their respective comfort zones, Kendrick clearly enjoys playing an immature, selfish, borderline-alcoholic. Jenny (Kendrick) has broken up with her boyfriend and come to Chicago to stay with her older brother Jeff (Swanberg) and his wife Kelly (Lynskey), parents of a naturally precocious (as opposed to movie-precocious) toddler. As it happens, it’s the holidays. And as it happens, on Jenny’s first night in town, she attends a party with an old friend Carson (Lena Dunham) and gets so hammered that Carson calls Jeff to rescue them.

That means Jenny can’t babysit the next morning (which was part of a deal she made with her brother). On the other hand, she does get to meet the regular babysitter, who happens to have really good pot. He’s also pretty cute.

There isn’t much point to summarizing further Happy Christmas’ plot; it doesn’t really have one. It feels like an acting exercise/pseudo-documentary—and a good one, as everyone rises to the challenge—but its underlying point seems to be that Jenny has to learn how to say she’s sorry. As far as stories go, it’s not the most compelling.

Good thing Happy Christmas is short. It clocks in at around 82 minutes, and that includes a surprisingly lengthy opening credits sequence. Likewise, it’s a good thing it’s also a showcase for Lynskey, who plays novelist and new mother Kelly with a kind of abashed humility that’s simultaneously sweet and heartbreaking. More compelling than Jenny’s journey to sorry-land is her friendship with Kelly, which grows despite a false start (the babysitting incident) and a potentially enormous accident for which Jenny is directly responsible.

In fact, the best scenes in the movie take place between Jenny and Kelly, the two of them curled up in Jeff’s office, hashing out an erotic fiction novel that Jenny is convinced will make them rich. Kelly is more down to earth about the whole thing, but she’s having fun bonding with her sister-in-law and working in an office as opposed to being tethered to the house.

Swanberg is good, too. He doesn’t give himself an opportunity to be as funny as he was in You’re Next (a horror movie even non-horror fans may enjoy), but he and Kendrick are believable as brother and sister, even if they don’t look the first thing alike.

In the end, Happy Christmas works, bolstered by Kendrick and Lynskey. What would Swanberg do if he had $14 million, I wonder?

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Directed by Joe Swanberg

With Kendrick, Lynskey and Swanberg

The Screen
R

82 min.

Another Day, Another Equation

'The Zero Theorem' is pretty dull

MehTuesday, September 16, 2014 by David Riedel

Watching Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem is like taking a derivative tour through his past movies. Giant chaotic office like in Brazil? Check. Dystopian future like in Twelve Monkeys? Check. Beautiful, unavailable woman like in Brazil? Check. Main character lost in his own world like in The Fisher King? Check.

The Zero Theorem even has the same feel as most Gilliam movies, which is to say it’s a tragedy masquerading as a comedy. How else do you explain the reasoning behind Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz)’s decision to forego love from the woman (Mélanie Thierry) when she finally makes herself available to him? How else do you explain his decision to live in a virtual reality fantasy after living through a cornucopia of needlessly mind-boggling, and mildly amusing, computer glitches?

The problem with Terry Gilliam’s movies, generally, is that he has a wonderful eye for visuals, but he’s not too adept at storytelling. Most of The Zero Theorem takes place on a single, complicated set, where Leth makes things needlessly difficult. He’s ostensibly trying to find out, mathematically, whether there’s any meaning to life. But if you’ve seen one tragedy, you’ve seen them all, and Leth is doomed. It’s a visually stunning kind of doom, but it’s still doom, and you can see the ending coming a mile away. And has anyone noticed Tilda Swinton plays exactly the same character here that she plays in Snowpiercer?

 

THE ZERO THEOREM

Directed by Terry Gilliam

With Waltz, Thierry and Matt Damon

CCA Cinematheque
R
106 min.

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