ENCHANTED CIRCLE CENTURY TOUR

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2014 - RED RIVER, NEW MEXICO

37th Annual Enchanted Circle
Century Tour
Due to a high volumn of requests the tour will remain on Sunday!


ABOUT THE RIDE...

 

 

 


PALO FLECHADO WARNING


WEATHER & CLOTHING

MILE BY MILE TOUR DESCRIPTION

TOUR PROFILE

Mass start at 8:00 a.m. in front of the Red River Community House, Main Street in Red River. Medical assistance and SAG wagons are available. Extra t-shirts will be on sale on Sunday, September 9th at the BBQ and Expo in Brandenburg Park. SAG wagons and rest stops are for registered riders only.  All participants must register and sign the waiver/release form before any tour packets will be released.  Tour packets include the rider’s number and course information and will be available for pick-up starting on Friday, September 7th at 10:00 a.m. If you cannot make the race and still want to receive your t-shirt, please have someone pick up your t-shirt or send $6 for postage.  Due to the increase in the USA Cycling insurance we raised the registration fee $5. 

TRANSPORTATION

If you are planning on doing only the 25 or 50 mile ride to Taos, you will need your own transportation back to Red River.  If this presents a problem, try to team up with another rider with transportation who is also doing only the 25 or 50 mile ride.  We do not provide transportation. 


SAG WAGONS
Sag Wagons will be on the course throughout the tour.  They contain tools for repairs, first aid supplies and also carry water.  If help is needed, flag down a Sag Wagon.  If a medical emergency exists, get help by calling the EMS vehicle that will be driving the Enchanted Circle until 6:00 p.m.


SAFETY TIPS – PLEASE TAKE NOTICE    
 
  

  • Please ride single file on the highway

 

  • Ride as far to the right as possible. The highway department has passed laws making it illegal to ride anywhere but the right side of the road.  Penalty for breaking this law is a $500 fine or 30 days in jail
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  • Use hand signals
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  • WEAR A HELMET!
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  • Assist motorists in passing as soon as possible
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  • Drafting is very dangerous on mountain terrain
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  • *Beware of Palo Flechado Pass; there are very difficult hairpin turns on the descent
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       TOUR PROFILE  

      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.  At the Lama turn-off www.Southernexposurephoto.com will be positioned to catch you in action.  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. 

       

      After the rest stop at Arroyo Hondo Hill, you will proceed along fairly flat mesa country for several miles.  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 of the Taos Pueblo, Kit Carson and many of the nations 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.  Watch for Kit Carson Park on your left.  This is your next rest stop. Take caution, you must turn left into the park across traffic, watch out for oncoming traffic. After refueling, leave the park, turn left and continue south about one-tenth of a mile past the third traffic light to the fourth traffic light. On the right is the entrance into the Taos Plaza. 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.  Another 8 miles from the end of Kit Carson Road is Valle Escondido, where the half-Century riders will finish.

       

      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 BELOW.

       

      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 added to 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 pass the Red Eagle Golf Course and 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 Town Hall.  You now have finished an awesome physical and mental accomplishment while enjoying some of Northern New Mexico’s incredible scenery.

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       PALO FLECHADO WARNING

       

      Riders, BE AWARE when descending Palo Flechado.

       

      In the past, this treacherous pass has been the site of several accidents and injuries. ALL were caused by cyclists going too fast.

       

      The road is rough, narrow, has gravel on the shoulder, steep, and has hairpin turns you wouldn’t try at 15 mph in a car. In short, it can be dangerous if you are going too fast!!  New Mexico motorists are not accustomed to sharing this particular piece of road with bicyclists.  Neither are the log trucks.

       

      Absolutely DO NOT swing out into the other lane.  Avoid the temptation and need to avoid rough pavement by SLOWING DOWN.  Pull over frequently and let the motorists pass.  Ride single file, slowly. 

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      “CHECK AND/OR ADJUST YOUR BRAKES AT THE TOP OF PALO FLECHADO”

       

      You cannot “win” this tour by “going down”, which is what you’ll do if you don’t carefully descend Palo Flechado.  After a careful decent, you’ll have the beautiful, flat Moreno Valley/Angel Fire area in which to make up time.  Bobcat Pass will give you an awesome opportunity for setting new personal downhill speed records. You can do this safely, coming towards the finish line.  Be aware of the rocks on the highway of Bobcat Pass as well as the last few turns.

       

       WEATHER & CLOTHING INFO FOR CYCLISTS

       

      It is 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  It is a brisk 40 degrees at the starting line. Off goes the gun, and downhill go the riders.  With speeds up to 50 mph for this portion of the ride, you should dress warmly.  You leave Questa, and immediately face a long substantial hill.  Time to shed clothing. The only thing consistent about the mountain weather is how fast it can change.  In 30 minutes it can rise or drop 15 degrees. It can hit 65 or 70 degrees during the sunny part of the day, and then turn around and rain and on rare occasion snow a half hour later.  Coming down the Palo Flechado Pass and through the Moreno Valley you might begin to feel some fatigue.  This is your period of greatest hypothermia risk.  Before that occurs, EAT & DRINK! Eat and drink all the way up the canyon.  Put on clothing before descending.  Be advised, at 3:00 p.m. the temperature will begin to drop.  Ahead lays a three mile brutal uphill climb to Bobcat Pass. But you can do it! Keep Spinning! Shed clothing only if you need to at the crest of the summit at 9,820 ft.  You are at the top of Bobcat Pass.  It’s fantastic, but cool.  Three miles of near straight downhill road lay ahead to Red River and the highly anticipated finish line.  Be careful, there are lots of rocks in the road. When you cross the finish line, be sure to replenish body fluids immediately (up to three quarts) and put on warm clothing.  Congratulations!  The training paid off!  Whether this is your first Century ride or your twentieth, consider yourself a winner! Congratulations and come back next year!

       

      Any extra clothing can be left at the Questa or Arroyo Hondo rest stops.  Clothing left at any rest stop or with the SAG Wagons will be brought back to Town Hall. 


      Any questions or suggestions can be directed to the Red River Chamber of Commerce at 575-754-2366 x 1 or call toll free at 800-348-6444 x 1.

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      MILE BY MILE TOUR DESCRIPTION 
      (Distances given are approximate)

       

      Cum. Hwy  Dscrp.                                                                                       Elev. 

      Start 

      0.0          Red River Community House                                                    8,750 ft.
      5.1          Chevron Mining - Molybdenum Mine

      7.3          Columbine Campground

      11.1        Eagle Rock Lake

      12.4    25 Mile Loop Stoplight Turn left on NM 522 to Taos             7,392 ft.

      13.5       Rest Stop - Front Porch Deli (Questa Rest Stop) Clothing Shed Area

      13.7        Red River Bridge - Questa

      16.1        Red River Fish Hatchery

      17.3        Lama, NM

      18.0        Top of Garrapata Ridge (Southern Exposure - Smile for the camera!)

      21.6        San Cristobal, NM

      22.0        D.H. Lawrence Marker

      25.9      50 Mile Loop Arroyo Hondo, lowest point of tour              6,813 ft.

      26.9       Rest Stop - Arroyo Hondo

      32.9        Stoplight - Continue straight to Taos

      36.2       Rest Stop - Stoplight  (Kit Carson Rest Stop)

      40.6        Stoplight - Taos Historical Plaza (turn left on to Hwy. 64)

      45.8        Shady Brooke

      56.4        Palo Flechado Pass                                                                      9,101 ft.

      57.1        Palo Flechado Rest Stop

       8-12% DOWNGRADE AND SHARP TURNS

      *59.8    Stoplight - Angel Fire Junction (turn right to Hwy. 434)

      67.2      Rest Stop - Black Lake Rest Stop (U-turn back to Angel Fire)

      73.6       Stoplight - Angel Fire Junction (turn right to Hwy. 64)

      74.7       Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial

      79.0       Wheeler Peak View

      82.0       Eagle Nest (turn left on to Hwy. 64)

      87.5       Mile post 24 - Elizabeth Town

      90.3      Rest Stop (Moreno Valley Ranch)

      91.1       Wheeler Peak View

      96.0       Top of Bobcat Pass (Whew!)                                                            9,820 ft.

      97.8       Mile post 15 - Start of 6-8% downgrade (Watch for Rocks!)

      100        Tour ends - Community Housel in Red River (You Made It!!!)

      * The turn at Angel fire at Mile 59.8 out to Black Lake and back is in order to complete the 100 miles.

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