The day, and of course our trip, started in a pick up truck. Bikes in the bed, we were provided a lift to the ride start along the banks of the Rio Grande. Once we had our bikes and gear situated, we turned up a long paved climb from the banks of the rio, through housing developments. The journey started ominously when kevin's pedal fell off completely randomly. We thought for sure there would be trouble, but managed to re-thread the pedal and amazingly had no further issues with it. Bullet dodged.
We found dirt surface at the top of the climb and got our first real taste of NM gravel riding. The two track as rough and walled in by thorny brush. We worked our way down a series of dirt and rough pavement roads towards parkland before we found an abandoned farm with a solar powered well and cattle tank to fill water. It was a really cool find, and our first taste of the kind of "very different than the east coast" experience we would be having.
The next section involved a pretty significantly long arroyo hike-a-bike through deep, sandy conditions, some technical climbing and descending, and finally a significant climb up a ridge line to some camp camp site options. The first site we considered was being hammered with high winds, but higher up we ended up finding some old fire rings indicating a possible sheltered site, where we settled in with excellent mountain top, 360 views.
On our first day, we were all really excited to be doing what we were doing - but also a but nervous. I can at least speak for myself in saying that the experiences of the first day kept me a little on edge - Kevin's mechanical issue, the long and extremely arduous bike pushing through sand and up hills, and even the full moon that shone with a brightness not typical of the light polluted and more humid east coast which woke all of us up with a start in the middle of the night kept my hairs standing up. There was a voice in the back of my head most of the day that kept saying "you have no idea what you are gettign yourself into." The most excited things are also ones that put you on edge, and day 1 was no different.
The day's high point: incredible camp site.
The day's low point: that deep sand hike a bike was trying.