Biking Bad: cycling in New Mexico
After crossing Indiana Pass the route continues through the mountains over La Magna pass before turning off toward the Mexican Border and Crucas Basin Wilderness.
The guide notes warn that that the route after this point becomes impassable when wet. We have learnt over the past 2000 miles that when the notes say something is impassable, it really means it. As we were wondering whether to risk it, the heavens opened for the second day in a row and that made up our minds to take the paved alternative to Charma instead.
As it turns out, this involved a terrific 15 mile downhill to town which, even in the rain, was great fun. Charma is an old New Mexican town centered around an antique narrow gauge railroad. As we rolled in to town the train was venting a huge load of steam behind the rickety wooden store fronts – it really felt like entering Hill Valley, 1885.
We had resigned ourselves to a boring road ride out of town the next day to Abiquiu but it turned out to be a beautiful, quiet, canyon lined road with tall red and orange rock strata which look cinematic in the late New Mexico sunlight.
Our plan from here on out is to pretty much abandon the published route which we have been warned is difficult because of the remoteness and lack of water, and instead find our own way to the border exploring the interesting little adobe style towns along the way.