Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Southwest (
-   -   Weather for biking in October/November in New Mexico? (

Philipp 08-29-13 02:22 PM

Weather for biking in October/November in New Mexico?

I'll probably get a few weeks off and I'm thinking about going bike-travelling in New Mexico in the Albuquerque-Santa-Fe-Region. Can you tell me what the weather normally is like over there in this time of the year? I'm thinking about camping. I'm from Germany so I've got no idea...

Thanks very much, Philipp

VegasTriker 08-29-13 05:48 PM

You can look at the average daily weather for any city in the US by going to the website and look at the monthly weather link on the left side of the page. Here's the actual link for Albuquerque: It will give you a good idea what to expect.

DSchlichting 08-29-13 06:47 PM

We did a 10 day tour in NM during the last 10 days of October last year. We had spectacular weather with no rain, but in the Taos area we had low temerpartures in the 20 degree Farenheit range. Before going out, I had watched the local weather for maybe 2 months. What was never repoorted clearly were winds. It was not uncommon to have constant ~15mph west winds during daylight hours. I believe it is still more or less monsoon season out there at the moment, so the current weather may be a little different (wetter) than when you plan on traveling.

StephenH 08-29-13 06:49 PM

Temperature and weather can vary considerably with altitude also.

VegasTriker 08-29-13 09:21 PM

Here's an even more interesting one for Santa Fe in October. It has charts of the average daily temperature and one on how much of the time is comfortable. I think November is for the hardy rider in Santa Fe after looking at the October statistics. For November:

Meibanfa 09-01-13 10:18 AM

AS a long time New Mexico resident I would tell you to expect cool to cold nights and warm days with lots of sun. If you are planning on staying in a hotel or at least not in a tent then you should not have any trouble being comfortable. If you are camping then a good sleeping bag makes all of the difference. Our fall winter weather is pretty mild compared to Germany, but it can get cold at night.

Keep in mind that this is a VERY dry area and the humidity will probably be around 10% at that time of year. You need to plan on drinking a lot of water. The next issue to contend with is oxygen. The elevation in Albuquerque is 1585 meters, Santa Fe is 1935 meters and if you ride up to Sandia Peak (a beautiful and challenging ride) the elevation is 3165 meters. It takes a body quite a bit of time to adjust to the lower oxygen levels.

There is some incredible scenery in the area and a lot of great places to ride. There is a train that goes from Belen, 50 Kilometers south of Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Bikes are definitely welcome on the train and a train ticket works as a bus pass. This will allow you to bypass some of the heavy traffic areas in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque is very bike friendly and has a lot of bike trails and bike lanes see for a map of the trails. Santa Fe is less bike friendly but that is because the city was built for horse and cart travel and the roads are too narrow to allow cars and bikes. See for the Santa Fe bike trails.

There is outstanding mountain biking in the area as well and several shops will rent mountain bikes or road bikes.

I know that is more information than you were looking for but hopefully it helps. I would obviously encourage you to make the trip to New Mexico. With proper planning I think you will have a great time.


Los Lunas, NM

Philipp 09-02-13 03:10 PM

Hello Meibfana and the others and thank you very much for your answers!

Maybe I shouldn't rush my trip to NM and instead plan it properly... What do you think would be the best month to bike and camp in NM? I guess it's easier to deal with cold nights than with hot days. If it's to hot to ride a bike, the trip would be useless... Would spring be a better time for biking and camping?

Thanks very much!

Daspydyr 09-04-13 03:59 PM

For the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area October should be fantastic. The Ballon Festival is World Famous and World Class! Albuquerque gets very crowded.

It has been described as the most photographed event in America. If you are tent camping you could base out of one of the ski resort areas like Sandia Peak. My daughter and her husband ride several times a week unless the roads are wet from rain or snow. October can be chilly so camping in a bit lower elevations south of ALBQ might be an option. But the days should be perfect for riding. New Mexico is part of the Rockies, so you never know exactly what the weather will be like. As we/they say in New Mexico, if you don't like the weather, give it a couple hours, it will change.

If I was travelling to New Mexico October or April - May would be my choices. I lived in the 4 corners area for 13 years. If you do get to New Mexico that is a unique and beautiful area to get to.

Meibanfa 09-09-13 07:46 AM


I would say that Mid September to mid November is pretty ideal. Any time in the Spring will run the risk of very high sustained winds and dust storms. It cools off at night but it is not bad if you plan for it. I would expect highs around 25 during the day and lows around 10 or a little less at night.
I would suggest having an plan on where you are going to stay. There are a lot of places that you can camp, but they will not be close to conveniences or they will not be in-expensive if they are close to conveniences.

The New Mexico Touring Society has a good list of rides in the state with Maps that would give you an idea of what you will be looking at for distance / elevation gain on rides in the state. That list can be found here: It would be worth sending them an email and asking for suggestions. I think that you will find plenty of people that will help you with places to stay and things to do if you can find a way to reach out and make contact.



Again, if there is anything I can do to be of assistance please feel free to ask.

DSchlichting 09-09-13 06:35 PM

Question for you NM guys:
1. Despite all the talk we hear about goatheads, when we were in NM last October, we saw few of them. Is there a "season"?
2. What tires do you run on your road bikes --anything particularly heavy?

NMBuff 09-09-13 08:43 PM

Goatheads are out in full force in Albuquerque, but will lessen over the next couple of weeks or so. A buddy I ride with got 4 flats on a 20 mile ride the other day, but he was running on stock tires (w/sealant too). He's since upgraded to 25c gatorskins and has had no problems (w/o sealant). I run conti 4 seasons with sealant (stans) and I haven't had a single flat all season, but a few punctures that were sealed while riding.

Meibanfa 09-16-13 07:25 AM

Goatheads are very bad this year, but are already on the decline. I ride with Gatorskins or Bontrager Hardcase on all of my bikes and I have Stan's sealant in all of my tubes. I strongly recommend carrying a spare tube as well. Goatheads seem to be able to penetrate the best tires with ease.


AstroEng 09-30-13 12:17 PM

Meibanfa hit it right on. Due to the high desert climate, days are warm (and usually sunny) but the temps drop off quite quickly. On average the temperature swing is about 15-20C between night lows and daytime highs. Also, Santa Fe is typically 5-10C cooler than Albuquerque at any given time. I also second the recommendation for fall visiting. The monsoon rains have died out and the winds are less of an issue than summer time.

October is also a great time for traveling near the river and in the mountains as the trees are changing colors. Albuquerque has a nice trail along the river through the forest (Bosque) and mountain biking on the east side of town near the main mountain range (the Sandias).

If you are looking to save money, avoid Albuquerque from 5-13 October. Unless you want to see the Balloon Fiesta (which is awesome to see), you'll have a hard time finding hotel accommodations and prices will skyrocket.

DSchlichting 09-30-13 06:52 PM

Landing in Albuquerque in 2-1/2 weeks. If I haven't missed the peak of goathead season, I'm hoping my Schwalbe Marathon Plus will offer sufficient, if clunky, protection.

s0ul_chicken 10-01-13 11:59 AM

You should be fine as log as you have some slimed tubes, or at least a tubeless system in place DSchlichting (carry a spare tube just in case). Goatheads are nasty things out here and will stick to anything and everything.

If you never have stepped on a goathead barefoot, it is an experience like no other.

DSchlichting 10-01-13 06:44 PM

I grew up in SW Kansas, so I'm familiar with goatheads. We did a 10 day tour last OCT in NM and had no issues with the Marathons. We saw so few goatheads, we thought we were out of season! Sounds like a much more prolific crop this year!

s0ul_chicken 10-03-13 04:06 PM

Yeah, we (New Mexico) have had more rain in September than we have all year. The big problem is after they have grown into tumbleweeds and start on their travels is when the dispersement of the goatheads occurs. It can also vary with the part of the state you are in as well. The NW corner has far more this year than last, and I have seen some in vacant lots get taller than I am.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:12 PM.