Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour
September 9, 2018
The Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour offers participants the opportunity to tour some of the most scenic areas in the southwest.
You will begin your tour in Red River (elevation 8,750 ft.). Red River is an old mining town that boomed nearly a century ago when gold was discovered in surrounding mountains. Red River, which sits in the midst of the million plus acre Carson National Forest, has long been a popular four-season resort area. It is noted for hiking, fishing, and bicycle touring opportunities in the summer and Nordic, Alpine skiing and snowmobiling opportunities in the winter.
After leaving Red River, you will proceed sharply downhill 13 miles, passing several National Forest Campgrounds and one large Molybdenum Mine operation on your way to Questa.
Making a left turn at the traffic signal in Questa, you continue south toward Taos. Pictures will be for sale in front of the Red River Town Hall. Proceeding south you will climb up and over Garrapata Ridge. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains will change from forest conditions to a semi-arid environment much like the rest of New Mexico.
Approximately 12 miles beyond Questa, you will arrive at the first organized rest stop, just over Arroyo Hondo Hill. Here you can refresh yourself, drop off any extra warm clothing, and be on your way to Taos. The 25 Mile riders will turn around here and return to Red River to finish their ride.
After the rest stop at Arroyo Hondo Hill, you will proceed along fairly flat mesa country for several miles. This is the turn around for the 50 mile riders as well. The first stoplight is the northern boundary of El Prado. Continue straight through this light and proceed towards Taos.
The community of Taos is home to the Taos Pueblo, Kit Carson and many of the nation's finest artists. Proceeding south, you come to the second stoplight and the highway turns into Paseo del Norte. Continuing straight ahead, the road takes a fairly sharp turn to the right. You will turn left onto Kit Carson Road (Hwy 64). Many riders miss this turn so stay alert for the road signs. If you pass McDonalds you have missed the turn. Follow US Hwy 64 out of town into the Taos Canyon.
Century riders will continue on Hwy 64 East back into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You will have a steady climb inside the Taos Canyon for approximately 15 miles to the top of Palo Flechado Pass, elevation 9,100 ft. This road is narrow and traditionally has a lot of automobile traffic. Please ride single file and allow vehicles to pass. When you reach the top of the pass you will find a very welcome and very popular rest stop at the top of Palo Flechado Pass.
READ THE PALO FLECHADO WARNING IN YOUR RACE PACKETS.
Leaving Palo Flechado, you will descend into the Angel Fire/Moreno Valley area. At the bottom of the series of switchbacks from Palo Flechado, you will approach the turn off to Hwy 434 into Angel Fire. At the blinking light you will turn right on to Hwy 434. Head through Angel Fire, traveling 7.3 miles to the Black Lake Fire Station and another rest stop. Here you will turn around and retrace your route back through Angel fire, on your way to Eagle Nest. Passing thorough Angel Fire you will notice the Ski resort and Country Club. Angel Fire also has several shops and activities available for guests and locals to enjoy. They have a very active biking and hiking club and are excited to be a part of the Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour.
After returning to Hwy 64 from Angel Fire proceed ten miles to the small community of Eagle Nest in the heart of the Moreno Valley. Along this route you will have the opportunity to see Wheeler Peak in front of you on the left and Eagle Nest Lake on your right. Upon entering Eagle Nest, turn left at the junction of Hwy 64 and Hwy 38. At this point you will be heading away from Eagle Nest Lake.
At the beginning of Hwy 38 you will experience a steady climb on your way up to Bobcat Pass. Eventually, your climb will increase as time goes on. Along the way, you will pass by the few remaining buildings of the Elizabethtown gold mining community on your left. The final rest stop is on the right immediately before you begin the final grind up Bobcat pass to 9,820 ft. Leaving the rest stop, you will begin the final climb. At the top of Bobcat Pass enjoy a three mile coast down to Red River. The finish line is one-half mile from the bottom of the pass to Brandenburg Park on River Street. You now have finished an awesome physical and mental accomplishment while enjoying some of Northern New Mexico’s incredible scenery.
5 rest stops, 3 SAG wagons, and EMS driving the circle
Starting elevation 8,750 ft. lowest point 7,000 / highest point 9,820 ft on Bobcat Pass
25 mile & 50 mile out and back tour
100 mile tour
Ride through historic Taos, alongside two New Mexico State Parks and three challenging passes: Vietnam Memorial at Eagle Nest Lake, Palo Flechado Pass, Bobcat Pass
Burgers, Beer, & Music in the park from 12-6pm
Packet pickup begins on Friday, September 8, 2018 from 9-5pm & Saturday, September 9, 2018 from 9-5pm.
There will be six rest stops as well as three SAG wagons and an EMS vehicle traveling the 100-mile route to assist riders. Since the weather will be cool at the beginning of the race (mid-high 40's) and 30+ degrees warmer as the day progresses, riders will need to plan on layering their clothing. There will be a "clothes drop" at the end of the first 13 miles as well as every rest stop can be a clothes drop.
Come and bring your family to Red River! The weather and the mountains are great this time of the year. There's plenty of lodging and Red River is known for being a very family and dog friendly town!
For more information, please contact the Red River Chamber of Commerce office, 575-754-2366, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in September!