Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Riding Singletrack

During the past several weeks while we have been in Silver City, New Mexico, I have had the opportunity to ride some great mountain biking trails. There are four main areas to ride: Little Walnut Trails, Fort Bayard Trail System, Boston Hill Open Space, and Signal Peak Trails. I found time to ride everything except the Signal Peak Trails.

The Fort Bayard Trail System was one of my favorites to ride. A good selection of beginner and intermediate singletrack with plenty of climbing. The trails are marked fairly well and trail maintenance was excellent! I used the Dragonfly Trailhead and the Big Tree Trailhead.

Sawmill Wagon Road/Trail takes you up a very engaging climb and then levels out to give you distant views of the Twin Sisters (in the far distance above). The fun part of Sawmill Wagon Road is that you get to turn right and fly down the Big Tree Trail to the east.

Several of the trails at Fort Bayard intersect at a horse corral. A good spot to regroup and take a break.

Plenty of rocks and small obstacles to ride over along the trails.

Parting shot from Fort Bayard Trails - unusual tree stump.

Just north of Silver City near Gomez Peak is the Little Walnut Picnic Area - home to the Little Walnut Trail system. My favorite loops here were the Picnic Loop and the Wagon Wheel Loop.

There are two ways to climb to teh top of the Wagon Wheel Loop - one way is very rideable, the other way is so steep it requires some hike-a-bike. This chair is at the top of the hike-a-bike route.

On the top of the Wagon Wheel loop - Gomez Peak is in the background to the left.

Within the city limits of Silver City is the Boston Hill Open Space - consisting of hiking and mountain biking trails. This is the view from the very top of Boston Hill overlooking Silver City. The trails at Boston Hill are more intermediate because of the rocks and amount of climbing - mostly up and down, not much flat riding here.

Boston Hill is an old mining area really consisting of three interconnected hills.

There are many canyon-like formations within the Boston Hill Open Space - many remnants of the past mines dating back to the 1870's.

One final note - there are many U.S. Forest Service roads in the area. We were on a ride south of Silver City in the Burro Mountains. I chose to ride back from the edge of the Tyronne Mine of one of these roads. Heather wisely chose to take the paved road back. Heather's distance was 12.5 miles back and mine was 8.5 miles. She got back 45 minutes before I did!

The rocks, deep sand, and climbs were enough to make me cry "Uncle" - my progress was slow and often involved many sections of hike-a-bike.

This "road" was very scenic and remote - but it was a little more challenging than I expected. For this 8.5 mile section my average pace was 5.6 miles per hour.

Parting shot - looking out from the edge of the Burro Mountains, north towards Silver City.