New Mexico Bike Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
   
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

New Mexico Bike Tour

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Please click here to jump to the Overview section with all tour details including pricing.

Norte de Nuevo México Bike Tour: Highlights

Our Norte de Nuevo México (Northern New Mexico) bike tour is designed for cyclists who seek the Land of Enchantment’s best climbs, enjoy bike-friendly routes, savor chile verde, appreciate great lodging, and relish luxurious hot springs. Our New Mexico bike tour is quickly becoming one of our favorite trips.

Lizard Head Cycling’s owner, John Humphries, lived in Norte de Nuevo México for a decade. As a result this tour reflects his favorite roads, hot springs, lodging and restaurants in Nuevo México! Please join us for a highly enjoyable local’s tour of the high plains and southern Rocky Mountains. It is guaranteed to please.

Click Here to Read A Journal by a Guest on This Tour

6-Day and 4-Day New Mexico Bike Tour Options

Lizard Head Cycling Guides offers both a 6-Day and 4-Day version of our New Mexico Bike Tour. Both tour options visit all the fantastic locations.

A Carefully Crafted “Locals” New Mexico Bike Tour!

Norte de Nuevo México Bike Tour: Testimonials

Read what previous guests on our Northern New Mexico Bike Tour have been saying…

The guides, Eli and Will. Great team. Easy-going, efficient, personable, had a great feel for the group. We had time to relax, enjoy, and build community. The accommodations were all above average to excellent. So were the meals. This was overall the best group I’ve ridden with, and I’ve ridden with some really outstanding persons. – Milt

Heather and I very much enjoyed our New Mexico Tour with you guys. Your guides did a fabulous job of accommodating the most diverse group possible. The food was great, the lodging good… really everything was excellent. – Jennifer

Leslie and Dave were fixated on making their guests comfortable. It’s the first supported trip I attended that the meals were in concert with fitness goals. That is, for the most part natural and or organic lunches were in line with my preferred meal habits. Lizard Head Cycling Guides communicated agenda – route – meeting locations – resources available quite well. The route was well chosen and researched to give a great feel for the geography. – Ed N

The trip was fabulous and unforgettable, thank you for all you did to make it so enjoyable for us all. Really, the riding was secondary to the amazing camaraderie of the group, for that we were most fortunate to have such a fun group of friends, old and new, and for your guidance and care in our journey of souls. I will look forward to our next adventure! – Norris

Norte de Nuevo México Bike Tour: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

To easily register for a particular tour, please click the Book Now! link after the tour date listed below. This will select the tour name and the appropriate date on the registration form.

NOTE: Any of the New Mexico tour dates can be opened as either a 4-Day or a 6-Day tour. Whoever opens the tour first determines if it is either a 4-Day or a 6-Day version and those will be the dates we funnel riders to until rider minimum is met.

2022 Tour Dates

  • July 24 to 29, 2022 (Book Now!)
    A new moon on July 28, 2022 means dark stargazing skies at night!
  • July 31 to August 5, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • September 11 to 16, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • September 18 to 23, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • September 25 to 30, 2022 (Book Now!)
    A new moon on September 25, 2022 means dark stargazing skies at night!

Tour Status Notes: NO STATUS = Date set, no riders have signed up. TOUR OPENED = Tour opened, rider minimums not met. TOUR A GO! = Rider minimums met, tour is GO! SOLD OUT = Rider maximums met, tour full.

Norte de Nuevo México Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

6-Day Tour Length: 6-Days Cycling/6-Nights Lodging

4-Day Tour Length: 4-Days Cycling/4-Nights Lodging

Starting Town: Albuquerque, New Mexico (Albuquerque International Sunport – ABQ)

Ending Town: Santa Fe, New Mexico (guests shuttle to Albuquerque International Sunport – ABQ)

Total Miles: 150 up to 315 mileage options. (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Daily Mileage Range: 29-77

Ability Levels: Intermediate (2/3) , Upper Intermediate (3) , Advanced (3/4) – (Easily accommodates all levels)
Easily accessible mileage options covering a combination of intermediate to advanced routes. Tour options include two hikes (2 to 10 miles), optional rafting on Day 5 (versus the Enchanted Loop). For mixed groups the Norte Nuevo Mexico is fully customizable. Don’t Worry!

Group Size: 6 to 15 riders

6-Day Tour Cost: $3,095 per person.
NOTE: An additional  7th night of lodging in Santa Fe is optional. Please add $150 to the tour cost if you plan to stay this night in Santa Fe. If possible, let us know at time of booking.
* Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

4-Day Tour Cost: $1,995 per person. * Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.
For groups of 4 or more, a $125 discount is available, note during registration.

2022 Special Offer: Register for a 6-Day or longer Spring or Summer 2022 tour by October 15, 2021, or an Autumn 2022 tour by November 15, 2021, and receive a $200 tour discount plus a $100 bike rental discount!
(NOTE: New reservations only. Not stackable with other discounts)

Non-Riding Spouses & Partners on Tour: If a non-riding spouse or partner would like to join you on tour and they have their own transportation, they can stay in your room for the cost of the tour's single room supplement. Non-Riding spouses and partners can join a tour's meal plan of three meals a day for $85 per day.

Single Room Supplement: *For the 6-Day tour add $595 total for a private room that includes 6-nights. If cyclist is willing to share a room with a same sex cyclist and there are none available, then add $325. *For the 4-Day tour add $395 for a private room that include 4-nights.

6-Day Tour Includes: 6-Days in length with 6-nights of lodging, all meals (aside from one dinner & one breakfast), guide service, park entrance fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles and mechanical support.

4-Day Tour Includes: Ride either Day 1 through 4 or Day 4 through Day 6. 4-days in length with 4-nights of lodging, 3-dinners, 4-lunches, 3-breakfasts, guide service, park entrance fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, in-tour shuttles and mechanical support.

*Alcoholic beverages, bike rental and massage are additional.

6-Day Tour with 6 Nights Lodging: (subject to change)

4-Day Tour with 4 Nights Lodging: (subject to change)

  • Depending on your chosen package, the 4-Day tour lodging is either Nights 1-4 or Nights 4-6 as shown above.

Meeting Hotel and Ending Hotel reservations and costs are NOT included unless specified otherwise. Guests are on-their-own to make reservations at the Meeting Hotel or Ending Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

Road Bike Rentals

The Scott Addict 10 Disc was designed from the ground up with those longer days in mind. With geometry that is less focused on racing and more on enduring, the Addict 10 will be your go to when you’re looking to put the miles in.

The Scott Addict 10 Disc features: Carbon Frame and Fork, Shimano Ultegra 2x11 Drivetrain, 34x32 Compact Gearing, 30mm Tires, and Hydraulic Disc Brakes. Approx. Weight: 16.89 lbs / 7.66 kg (without pedals)

Learn More: Click Here to learn more about our Road Bike Rentals including pricing.

Road E-Bike Rentals: Click Here for more information on our Road E-Bike Rentals including pricing.

Take Your Rental Bike Home! Click Here for more information.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free Road Bike Rental per couple for a one week tour. ($250 value. Pedal bikes only. E-Bikes excluded.)

Tandems and Recumbents Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on our tours.

If you have any further questions, please read more on our Rental Bikes FAQ page. You can also email us at info@lizardheadcyclingguides.com or call us at 970.728.5891

Meals On Tour

Lunches: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Dinners: Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post-ride element.

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

Definition of Ability Levels
= Intermediate (2/3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 1 to 3 times a week for a total of 50 or more miles.
= Upper Intermediate (3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 2 to 4 times a week for a total of 75 or more miles.
= Advanced (3/4) Rides and/or takes spin classes 3 to 5 times a week for a total of 100 or more miles. Has ridden multi-day tours and done a century ride.
= Expert (4) Rides 4 or more times per week totaling 150 or more miles. Rides E.F.I. with regularity. Has done numerous multi-day tours, century rides and races.

How Fit do I Have to Be?
If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equalling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

Do the Bump!
Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a "bump" via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time. After the bump the rider is "off the front" and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They'll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options
Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tour – something we're well known for in our business. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. 🙂

Slow or Fast?
Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up, but then they're surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine! Slow and Fast only exist relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!

Please also see this blog post for more information.

Overall Route Map

Norte de Nuevo México Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations, road construction, and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as a general outline as to what to expect on this tour.

4-Day Itinerary: Depending on your chosen package, the 4-Day itinerary is either Days 1-4 or Days 4-6 as outlined below. NOTE: Guests choosing the 4-day option that start must shuttle to the Taos to start the tour. NOTE #2: Guests can choose days Days 3 to 6, but have to shuttle to Ojo Caliente. Contact us for details…

Day 0 (Saturday): Arrival in Albuquerque, NM

Guests either drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico, or fly into Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) or Santa Fe on the day prior to the tour start. The designated meeting hotel is  the Courtyard Albuquerque Airport. NOTE: If you fly to Santa Fe, you take the shuttle to start the tour. The tour ends in Santa Fe. If flying to Albuquerque you shuttle from Santa Fe to Albuquerque at tours end.

Guests are on-their-own for accommodations this evening either at the Courtyard Albuquerque Airport, or at other nearby hotels. The Courtyard Albuquerque Airport offers a complimentary airport shuttle from Albuquerque International Sunport. Guests are also on-their-own for dinner this evening.

Day 1: Gallina to Abiquiú
Standard: 37 miles with up to 1,750 feet of climbing
E.F.I.: 52 miles: Starts in Cuba, NM and climbs to Gallina

We meet early this morning at the Courtyard Albuquerque Airport to greet fellow riders, load gear and fit bikes. We then shuttle about two hours north to the western edge of the Sierra San Pedros and start the riding from the tiny town of Gallina, New Mexico.

As we head east we soon find ourselves in the painted desert of Georgia O’Keeffe country – the very terrain which helped inspired her artwork. Along most of today’s route towers Cerro Pedernal (or simply “Pedernal”), Spanish for “flint hill”. Pedernal was the subject of many of Georgia’s paintings and her ashes are scattered on its top.

The destination today is the New Mexican town Georgia called home, Abiquiú. As we near the end of our ride we navigate around Abiquiú Reservoir and end descending into Abiquiú Inn, our accommodations for the night.

 

Elevation Profile: 37 mi +1750 ft / -3345 ft

Day 2: Abiquiú to Ojo Caliente
Standard: 30 miles with up to 1,910 feet of climbing
EFI: 55 with additional of Canon Plaza Ride

Today the ride starts from the Abiquiú Inn and heads norte into Carson National Forest to the historic Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. This is a beautifully empty route through southernmost foothills of the Sierra San Juan Mountains. The Sierra San Juan Mountains start in southwestern Colorado near Lizard Head Cycling’s namesake Lizard Head Peak.

Steeped in myth and legend, the ancient springs of Ojo Caliente have been a gathering place and source of healing for thousands of years. Ancient peoples, the ancestors of today’s Native American Tewa tribes, built large pueblos and terraced gardens overlooking the springs. Surrounding the springs are the ruins of the cities populated before the birth of history. Hike to these ruins while staying at Ojo.

 

Elevation Profile: 30 mi +1910 ft / -1660 ft

Canon Plaza Out & Back – Elevation Profile: 43 mi +2450 ft / -2450 ft

Day 3: Layover Day at Ojo Caliente
Optional Ride #1: Canon Plaza – 30 to 43 miles with up to 2,450 feet of climbing
Optional Ride #2: Tres Piedras – 59 miles with up to 4,800 feet of climbing

With a layover day in Ojo Caliente, relax at the mineral springs, take a leisurely hike on the trails to a 1,000 year old Anasazi ruin above Ojo, go for an out and back ride to Canon Plaza or go full E.F.I. with a mountain stage ride from Tres Piedras and back. The ride from Tres Piedras (“Three Rocks” in Spanish) is a beautiful out and back to the Brazos (“arms”) range of the Sierra San Juans that tops out in the golden aspens after climbing 4,500-feet in 29-miles (58-miles Roundtrip). In the fall these aspen groves are the golden beauty that John Denver sang about. 🙂

The Tres Piedras ride ends at one of our favorite green chile cheeseburger spots in all the Land of Enchantment – Chili Line Depot!

 

Canon Plaza Out & Back – Elevation Profile: 43 mi +2450 ft / -2450 ft

Tres Piedras – Elevation Profile: 59 mi +4800 ft / -4800 ft

Day 4: Ojo Caliente to Taos
Morning: 29 miles with up to 1,635 feet of climbing
Afternoon E.F.I.: 20 miles with up to 2,210 feet of climbing

After a relaxed morning at Ojo we’ll ride from the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs to Taos, New Mexico and stay at the Inn on La Loma Plaza. Along the way we’ll have lunch at the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and can even visit the Earth Ships of Taos.

Taos is an artist’s destination of international acclaim and home to the Taos Pueblo Indians.

The afternoon E.F.I. ride is from Arroyo Seco to the best ski area in the Rocky Mountains, Ernie Blake’s Taos Ski Valley. After the ride we head into downtown Taos and our lodging at Inn on La Loma Plaza.

 

Ojo Caliente to Rio Grande Gorge Bridge – Elevation Profile: 29 mi +1635 ft / -865 ft

Arroyo Seco to Taos Ski Valley – Elevation Profile: 20 mi +2210 ft / -2210 ft

Day 5: The Enchanted Circle
59-miles with 2,925 feet of climbing
79 miles with up to 4,310 feet of climbing
E.F.I.: 99-miles

This is the showcase ride of New Mexico bike tour. The route starts at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The ride follows a loop around the fabulous Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway back to Taos showcasing the Sierra Sangre De Cristo. Cyclists enjoy big mountain views that display the topography of Norte de Nuevo bordered by the majestic presence of the dark and mysterious Rio Grande Gorge.

 

Elevation Profile: 79 mi +4610 ft / -5245 ft

Day 6: A Pilgrimage to the High Road to Taos – Taos to El Santuario de Chimayo
45 miles with up to 4,050 feet of climbing 

Another highlight ride of the New Mexico tour! The riding commences at the historic San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church and then follows the scenic High Road amongst the southernmost peaks of the Sierra Sangre de Cristo range. This destination ride includes pine forests, cottonwood valleys and plenty of climbing. Praying that you can make it is encouraged as there are 5 mission churches along this pilgrimage.

The High Road ends at a special place, the El Santuario de Chimayo, a historical church in the old village of Chimayo. At this location a tiny shrine that is built on the site of what many believe to be a miracle associated with the crucifix of “Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas” (Our Lord of Esquipulas). El Santuario de Chimayo is also the site of “el pocito” the small pit of Holy Dirt which many people attribute as possessing remarkable curative powers.

Tonight’s lodging is steps from the Santa Fe plaza in the quintessential New Mexican lodging of Chimayo de Santa Fe. The farewell dinner this evening is at Estevan’s, one of our favorite dining experiences.

 

Elevation Profile: 45 mi +4050 ft / -4825 ft

Day 7: Optional – Exploring Santa Fe

After our farewell dinner at Estevan’s on Night 6, guests are on their own to explore Santa Fe on Day 7. Lodging is optional on Night 7 (add $150 to tour cost) or guests can choose to depart on this day. Since you are positioned only steps from Santa Fe’s historic plaza, art galleries, restaurants and music, guests have the opportunity to enjoy a whole day in Santa Fe, go for it. If you have the time while in Santa Fe check out Meow-Wolf!

POST-TOUR (Day 8): After the optional 7th night of lodging, guests arrange for their own transportation back to Albuquerque via the convenient scenic Railrunner train or on many regularly scheduled shuttle services. For more information regarding transportation to Albuquerque, please visit www.riometro.org or groometransportation.com.

Norte de Nuevo México Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.

Tour Support: A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment supports Lizard Head Cycling’s tours. Cyclists keep a day bag that is accessible within the support vehicle.

The vehicle will sag and then pass riders to set up aid stations every 20 to 25 miles. This allows cyclists to linger at the back and then take a ten-mile, fifteen-mile or whatever mile “bump” forward to catch-up or get ahead of the group. Energy food, drink mixes, and fresh fruit are available throughout each stage.

The Daily Schedule: Cyclists ride their own pace. Lizard Head Cycling does its best to support riders in their varying desires and efforts. Cyclists can either use our tours to simply support their tour experience or to engage in a guided experience along the route.

Cue sheets with directions, profiles and locations of aid stations are given out for each day.

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through TripAssure. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:

https://www.tripassure.com/main/?welcome=LIZA0855CO

  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.
  • For information on Coronavirus, please click here.
 
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