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Considering retiring to New Mexico..

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Considering retiring to New Mexico..

Old 03-08-17, 05:18 PM
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AlexCyclistRoch
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Considering retiring to New Mexico..

So, how is the cycling out there?
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Old 03-08-17, 05:39 PM
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Funny, my wife and I were just talking about the possibility of moving to NM yesterday. What area are you looking at?

Having grown up in Tucson, I would imagine the cycling is pretty decent, what with lots of sunshine and dry conditions in the Southwest, in general.
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Old 03-08-17, 06:18 PM
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Goatheads.
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Old 03-08-17, 06:47 PM
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Never encountered goatherds when I spent my summers there, but it was a while back.

My experience was Santa Fe, the areas up around Truchas and west towards Loa Alamos as well as SE towards Pecos. All good road riding. Not as many road choices as say in upstate NY, but still plenty of options. ABQ is actually a bit more limited as it's got Sandia Crest to the east, Indian reservations and an AFB base to the south and north, as well it's a much more crowded city.

Everywhere else ?, nothing to say except it's beautiful everywhere, so what roads there are, are sweet. Note that south of ABQ is lower in elevation and much hotter in summer. North is higher and cooler.

Mt. biking everywhere and possibly the options are better then road riding. Technical single track everywhere or just roll down dirt roads in the National Forests. A gazillion miles to choose from and all scenic.

A HUGE MF Camelbak is your friend though.

As for retirement, my wife and I spent on/off 10 years there when she worked for the SF Opera and to state that NM is the one place where we found our souls belong is an understatement. It's just beautiful everywhere and it's a special place to us. We would move there in a heartbeat except, and this is big, they have a water problem and have been in a drought for near 20 years. Not thinking that with global warming it's going to get better. Thus living out in the country may see issues with a lowering water table and that's something to research. The cities of SF and ABQ have the Rio Grande as well as wells, so may or may not develop as serious long term issues, but I'd be reading up on it before moving there.

Oh, and as to weather. SF and the north can have a serious winter as the altitude is 7,000 ft. It has gotten (in SF) to -18 F in 2011 and can have cold winters with snow. So up north the winter road riding means you have to wait till noon for it to warm up. Check out regional temperatures.

Last edited by Steve B.; 03-08-17 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 03-09-17, 10:08 AM
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I wanted to retire there but my wife didn't like it "that" much.
I saw several riders out preparing for the Santa Fe century that was the following week. They were riding on the Turquoise Trail. Be prepared for some serious winds.





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Old 03-09-17, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Never encountered goatherds when I spent my summers there...
That's 'goatheads', not herds.

Last edited by BassNotBass; 03-09-17 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 03-09-17, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
That's 'goatheads', not herds.
Yeah, typo.

I knew what they are just they had not made a presence into the Santa Fe or ABQ area when I was riding there 10 - 20 years ago. I assume they are now much more prevalent ?.
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Old 03-09-17, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I knew what they are just they had not made a presence into the Santa Fe or ABQ area when I was riding there 10 - 20 years ago. I assume they are now much more prevalent ?.
No more prevalent than before, but they are seasonal. Very few in the summer, a lot in the fall.
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Old 03-09-17, 12:12 PM
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Are there any dental floss farms in NM??
If not, maybe a move to Montana is in order....
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Old 03-09-17, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6 View Post
Are there any dental floss farms in NM??
If not, maybe a move to Montana is in order....
Yeah, but he's trying to retire, not become a dental floss tycoon.
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Old 03-09-17, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Yeah, but he's trying to retire, not become a dental floss tycoon.
I was just trying to me Frank............
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Old 03-09-17, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Yeah, but he's trying to retire, not become a dental floss tycoon.
BTW, do you know where St. Alphonso's is? I hear they are having a pancake breakfast....
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Old 03-10-17, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6 View Post
I was just trying to me Frank............
But your name is Ron, isn't it? Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.


OP: NM has a history of high drunk driving. I understand its been getting a bit better, but I think it's still high up there.
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Old 03-10-17, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
But your name is Ron, isn't it? Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.


OP: NM has a history of high drunk driving. I understand its been getting a bit better, but I think it's still high up there.
I guess the subtle context of that remark escaped you?

https://www.bing.com/search?q=frank+...ZI&form=MOZSBR
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Old 03-10-17, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6 View Post
I guess the subtle context of that remark escaped you?

https://www.bing.com/search?q=frank+...ZI&form=MOZSBR
Guess t did. Never have been a big Zappa fan, but I have ridden in Montana on several occasions, including in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016, and I will be heading back there again in June for two weeks:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19192705
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Old 03-11-17, 07:11 PM
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I've lived in Taos the last six years. Road cycling is generally dangerous and boring. Dangerous from road conditions and impaired/angry drivers and boring from lack of variety of roads. Then there is the wind... Mountain biking is good and getting better all the time. My wife and I think the weather is pretty spectacular all year long, except for wind season, which is coming up.

The one good road cycling area north of Taos is the road up to the ski valley, and its been pretty much destroyed by heavy trucks doing construction at the ski area. Younger guys I've spoken to in Santa Fe have told me that the roads there are very dangerous due to road conditions and distracted drivers. Espanola between SF and Taos, well, you don't even want to drive there. Albuquerque has had numerous cyclist deaths.

Road cycling is huge in Boulder (we were there recently and I've visited numerous times) but again, dangerous due to limited roads and distracted drivers.

Road cycling in the west is generally not that great. Limited number of roads, crappy roads near town, windy roads outside of town. This is from someone who's traveled all over the country/world and ridden in a number of areas. Where we lived in NJ, just north or Princeton, was heaven for cycling. Endless roads (see njbikemaps.com) and one of the highest per capita income levels in the country (fewer angry/impaired drivers). Problem is - too expensive to retire there for most people.

If you like to hike, ski, snowshoe, mountain bike, want to be within driving distance to some of the most spectacular areas of the country, move to northern NM. You also get crappy roads, impaired drivers and huge disparity in incomes. We love it.
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Old 03-12-17, 02:06 PM
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Hey, Ron, I immediately recognized the shot of Madrid, although it kinda got yuppified after a college buddy of mine went and shot "Wild Hogs" there. I liked it more when it was more hippy-dippy, settled by cannabis growers seeking cheap, remote land in the old mining towns. The turquoise trail is a wonderful ride.
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Old 03-12-17, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
So, how is the cycling out there?

Alex, it's spectacular. While I haven't ridden on my self-powered bike (and I want to, badly) I've been out there many times on my motorcycle. The advantage there is I can cover a lot of backroads in a short amount of time.

Sante Fe has some the best food in the country, from expensive haute cuisine to local unpretentious cantinas the locals all recommend. For breakfast there, it's the legendary Cafe Pasqual's. Be sure to order the right chillies, though. They won't accept returns for food that is too hot.

I agree, with Terex that some of the roads around Taos are kind of rough and drinking out there seems to be a recreational sport. Although US 64 from Taos to Shiprock is a beautiful, winding, smooth ride over the mountain and then down into desert around Shiprock. As a side note, if you are truly into pain and hell on a bicycle, US 491 between Shiprock and Gallup had been US 666. It's a devil of a ride through the desert.

US 380/70 (Known as the Billy the Kid trail) between Roswell and Corizozo is a gorgeous ride. Much of it following the Riodoso Rio, peppered with cottonwood trees along its bank, it flows along a valley surrounded by gorgeous desert hills. The great thing about riding around Roswell is that if you ever get tired, you can always have some aliens beam you up. Roswell, though is situated in some very sparse desert.

For retirement, my wife and I have had our eye on Mountainair. It's situated near the middle of the state, at the eastern foot of the mountain range that runs north and south through New Mexico. State road 55/14, which runs from just north of Corizozo into Mountainair, is smooth, flat-to-rolling hills and beautiful high-desert scenery. Just be careful coming over ridges and through curves. The antelope population there likes to bask in the warmth of the asphalt as day cools into night. They'll crawl under the barbed wire just to get there, but when you startle them they panic, running back and forth between the fences trying to escape. Fun to see, but keep your distance. Also, last time I was there I ran across this wonderful cantina with some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. But brush up on your spanish -- this is real Mexican food. Also you could get buzzed by extremely low-flying fighter jets out of White Sands, which is quite the earth-shattering experience. There are also old native ruins along the way that are good to visit; you might have to travel over gravel to get to them, though.

Another beautiful area to ride is down near Silver City (where New Mexico Maidens play guitars and sing songs about Billy, the boy-bandit king). The town is on the southern edge of Gila National Forest, which is a wonderful ride.

Those are my recommendations. Just be sure when you buy a property you have good access to plenty of water.

--Rick
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Old 03-12-17, 11:15 PM
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Spent a week in Santa Fe over Thanksgiving 3 years ago. I got lucky with the goat heads, I guess. I rented a nice 29er MTB from Melo Velo LBS (recommend) and rode some trails plus a 45-50 mile road ride out of town and up the highway to the ski area. Lots of climbing on a MTB and an eye-opening descent as I hit a few small patches of ice on the way back down. No goat heads, though, or at least no flat tires. Maybe the local LBS had their rentals wired with good flat protection tires or something...
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Old 03-13-17, 02:58 PM
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As kid, we used to go to Santa Fe often. How are real estate prices between Albuquerque an Santa Fe?

Oh, do they still burn Zozobra at Santa Fe each year?
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Old 03-13-17, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Terex View Post
I've lived in Taos the last six years. Road cycling is generally dangerous and boring. Dangerous from road conditions and impaired/angry drivers and boring from lack of variety of roads. Then there is the wind... Mountain biking is good and getting better all the time. My wife and I think the weather is pretty spectacular all year long, except for wind season, which is coming up.

The one good road cycling area north of Taos is the road up to the ski valley, and its been pretty much destroyed by heavy trucks doing construction at the ski area. Younger guys I've spoken to in Santa Fe have told me that the roads there are very dangerous due to road conditions and distracted drivers. Espanola between SF and Taos, well, you don't even want to drive there. Albuquerque has had numerous cyclist deaths.

Road cycling is huge in Boulder (we were there recently and I've visited numerous times) but again, dangerous due to limited roads and distracted drivers.

Road cycling in the west is generally not that great. Limited number of roads, crappy roads near town, windy roads outside of town. This is from someone who's traveled all over the country/world and ridden in a number of areas. Where we lived in NJ, just north or Princeton, was heaven for cycling. Endless roads (see njbikemaps.com) and one of the highest per capita income levels in the country (fewer angry/impaired drivers). Problem is - too expensive to retire there for most people.

If you like to hike, ski, snowshoe, mountain bike, want to be within driving distance to some of the most spectacular areas of the country, move to northern NM. You also get crappy roads, impaired drivers and huge disparity in incomes. We love it.
We are now full-time rvers snowbirding in SW Florida and I deeply miss pedaling Central Jersey.
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Old 03-14-17, 11:01 AM
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Water issues and the lack of road variety seem to be downsides to a number of SW locations. And what about construction traffic when they begin building The Wall?
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Old 03-17-17, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rickbuddy_72 View Post
Alex, it's spectacular. While I haven't ridden on my self-powered bike (and I want to, badly) I've been out there many times on my motorcycle. ...
Those are my recommendations. Just be sure when you buy a property you have good access to plenty of water.

--Rick
Motorcycling is awesome in NM. My buddy has a Harly and has ridden all over the west. Probably a better place for motorbikes than bikes. We remote camped north of Silver City between the Gila and the Also Leopold a couple of years ago. Really nice area. When they have enough rain.
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Old 03-17-17, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bent4me View Post
We are now full-time rvers snowbirding in SW Florida and I deeply miss pedaling Central Jersey.
Yeah, me too. We lived in NJ for over 10 years before I started riding again and was amazed at the scenery and how great the riding was. I never would have appreciated the beauty of the state without covering much of it on a bike.
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Old 03-18-17, 03:52 PM
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For someone who has lived east of the Mississippi river, it is hard to appreciate how dense the
road network is compared with states to the west. Equally hard to appreciate is the wind
difference, with winds in the east usually 5-15mph, in the west they are 10-20mph.
A gravel or ATB bike would expand the ride opportunities significantly.
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