2022 Dirt Riding Challenge

An eating club with a riding problem

2022 Dirt Riding Challenge

Postby SandyBallard » Mon Feb 14, 2022 9:26 am

This year the club is hosting a Dirt Riding Challenge in addition to, and separate from, the pavement-oriented regular Riding Challenge. The Dirt Challenge involves 14 rides spread out all over New Mexico. They are mostly relatively easy rides and are listed below more or less in approximate order of increasing difficulty. If at any time while you are riding these routes you become uncomfortable with the difficulty of the ride, you should turn around. Don’t do any of these rides in wet conditions because lots of them will get super hard super quick if the roads get wet.

To claim credit for each ride, you must complete the entire route and take some photos of you, your bike and some sign or feature along the route. Send your photos to ridingchallenge@loebmwr.org before midnight Sunday November 6, 2022 (the day that daylight savings time ends). Winners will be recognized at the club Christmas party in December 2022. You must be a club member to win. You can join at https://loebmwr.org/JoinRenew.aspx. This is not a race! Everyone who completes all of the rides will share the glory and receive a prize. Folks who complete a substantial number of the rides will receive an honorable mention.

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Link to Google Map

Link to GPX file

Corona to Capitan
Very good, easy road; hard packed gravel. 60 miles one way; all dirt. Take a photo of the No Scum Allowed Saloon in White Oaks and one of the Capitan Mountains near the south end of the ride.

Quebradas Backcountry Byway
30 miles of excellent, hard packed gravel through beautiful New Mexico landscape. Easy-peasy. This is a terrific ride for a sunny winter afternoon. There are prominent signs at both ends of the route. Take pictures of both.

For other, more difficult rides in the vicinity that are not part of the Dirt Challenge, check out this map.

Zuni Canyon
Take a photo of a sign announcing the entrance into Zuni Canyon when traveling from north to south.

Valle Vidal
Great ride through gorgeous northern New Mexico scenery.Take a photo of the sign at the McCrystal Campground near the middle of the route.

Manzanos - FR422
A lovely 22-mile stretch of two-track in the Manzano Mountains between Hwy 60 in the south and the town of Manzano in the north. Take a photo of the Red Canyon Campground sign near the northern end.

This ride has been run many times as the club Dirt Bag Ride. Take photos at the Gilman Tunnels and the Paliza Family Campground. 54 miles which includes some pavement.

Wonderful summer ride with lots of great camping opportunities. 52 miles, which includes some pavement. This ride is part of Leg 7 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route. Take a photo of Tea Kettle Rock and another of Cabezon from the location indicated on the map.

Guadalupe Rim
This ride features some fantastic views across the Jornada del Muerto off to the west. 132 miles; all dirt. The western leg is County Road 506, a good gravel road that goes pretty quick. Take a photo looking west from the prominent pull-off indicated on the map. Take another photo of a sign at El Paso Gap.

This ~50 mile ride was one of two Bonus Rides on the Historic Marker Riding Challenge in 2020. Don’t put this one off, it will get really hot down there in the summer! In winter/early spring expect several exciting water crossings (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CspOP_pEEI8urOdf3wmTpvAGSx02IH_l) on this ride. Take a picture of a large historic marker at the top of the pass about halfway along the route and another photo of the sign for the Slaughter Ranch Museum.

Westside Road
Take a photo that includes a view of the sand dunes in White Sands far off to the west. 30 miles; all dirt. There can be some challenges at the southern end of this route (possible short section of mud / ruts).

Capilla Peak
This is a great ride to beat the summer heat down in the valley. While this road to the top of the Manzanos is only 10 miles long, it climbs about 2500 feet. Take a photo of the sign for the Capilla Peak Campground at the top of the ride.

Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway
Beautiful 32-mile ride through some awesome geology in El Malpais National Monument. There could be some sand on this route. There are prominent signs at both ends of the route. Take pictures of both.

Water Canyon Road
This excellent, well maintained road gains 3500 ft in 8 miles with plenty of switchbacks and awesome exposure. Short and sweet. Take a photo of the observatory visible just past the end of the road.

Chivato Mesa
You’ll need to take 3 photos on this ride: A sign for the Ojito Wilderness Area; the sign for Cabezon Peak located just west of the peak; and a Forest Service information sign located at the west end of the ride up on Chivato Mesa. 53 miles one way; all dirt. On the way back you can get to 550 more quickly by heading out through San Luis.

For those interested in a longer+more challenging ride that is not part of the Dirt Challenge, check out this map.
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