Santa Fe/Taos, New Mexico – September 22, 2012


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Had an early flight out of Wichita today to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a week of road biking in the Santa Fe/Taos area.  After arriving in Albuquerque, it was about an hour shuttle ride to Santa Fe where the tour starts.  I dropped my luggage off at the hotel and walked a short distance to a restaurant for lunch.  After lunch I had the tour organizers (Joe and Chan) drive me to the bike shop to pick up Deb’s rental bike.  (Deb K. from New York).  After returning to the hotel and stowing everything in the room I unpacked my bike from the shipping box and reassembled it. 

The group met in the hotel courtyard at 5:15 for a short meeting and then we all went to dinner together at the Cowgirl Restaurant.  The restaurant is located near downtown Santa Fe in an area called the Railyard.  It has received rave reviews from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cowboys and Indians Magazine and Outside Magazine.  It was recently featured on Rachel Ray’s Forty Dollars a Day and on the Heat Seekers TV show.

I had salmon tacos which were excellent.  For desert most of the group ordered the Ice Cream Baked Potato.  It is vanilla ice cream rolled in cocoa and cinnamon, topped with whipped cream “sour cream”, pistachio “chives” and banana butter “butter”.  It all sat on a base of chocolate syrup.  It was very unique and quite good.

This is a trip done by VacationBicycling.com.  They are a small company run by Joe and Chandra Fox from Athens, Georgia.  We did a trip with them last year out of Tucson, Arizona.  They do all the work and we just ride, eat and drink!  There are only 23 riders on this trip, so it’s a pretty small group.  Several of the people on this trip were also on the Tucson trip, so I knew a few faces. 

Deb’s flight did not get into Albuquerque until 9:00pm.  She then had to wait until 10:45pm for a shuttle, so she got in quite late.  As we did in Montana, we’ll be working on a beer list here in New Mexico.  I managed to check La Cumbre Elevated IPA and Santa Fe Nut Brown Ale off the list at dinner.  After Deb arrived, we both had a Santa Fe Pale Ale that I’d procured at a nearby grocery store. 

We are staying at the El Rey Inn.  It has been in business since 1936 when it only had 12 rooms.  Today there are 86 rooms and suites spread out over 5 acres.  There are many trees, shrubs and flowers on the property and the Inn has its own greenhouse.  The architecture is traditional northern New Mexico adobe.  We’ll be returning here at the end of the tour.

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