ZAM 2: New Mexico - Part II

Dec 4, 2013
by zam  
Views: 10,237    Faves: 21    Comments: 1

Full length video of Richard Gasperotti's 2013 visit to New Mexico coming soon!

A view from the road to Los Alamos. The tops of the mountains were still covered by snow.
The view from the road to Los Alamos. The mountain tops were still covered in snow.

After we paid for the entry to Red Mesa Gaspi tried to ride some local snail trails.
After paying for entry into Red Mesa, Gaspi rides some of the local snail trails.

In Red Mesa we spent the whole afternoon in the beautiful weather and we even didn t mention how much we got exhausted and thirsty.
The weather was beautiful in Red Mesa, so beautiful we didn't think to complain once about the exhaustion and thirst we were suffering from.

All kinds of cactuses were Gaspi s great enemies.
Cacti were Gaspi's greatest enemies.

Martin with Gaspi are returning to the parking place after successful day of filming.
Martin and Gaspi return to the van after successful day of filming.

After all that punctures there came a judgement day when Gaspi s decided to change all his tires at the parking lot in front of Walmart in Albuquerque.
Gaspi changes cactus thrashed tires at a Walmart parking lot in Albuquerque.

Gaspi s collaborating with the czech tire producer Rubena which gives him always some reason to test if his tires hold on the edge.
Gaspi pushes his Czech produced Rubena tires to the edge.

Sometimes you have to cross the shadows to get to the biker s heaven.
Sometimes you have to cross the shadows to get to biker's heaven.

A secret trail high over Albuquerque. We promised to our local friend a guide Vincent Sanches not to reveal the exact place where it is.
We met Vincent Sanches at Fat Tire Cycles in Albuquerque. He became our friend and guide and took us to a secret trail high above Albuquerque that he and a friend have been working on for the last three years.

Vincent is leading a chase on his secret trail. Gaspi s right behind him.
Vincent leads the chase on his secret trail with Gaspi on his tail.

Time for a short break. While Vincent is enjoying energy drink Gaspi is going to open a nonalcoholic beer which he s brought with him from Czech republic.
Time for a short break. While Vincent enjoys his energy drink, Gaspi refreshes with non-alcoholic beer which he brought with him from the Czech Republic.

This is how the jump section begins.
Dropping into the jump section.

Gaspi 36 shows that he still could take part in a whip contest.
Gaspi, 36, shows us that he's still got the skills to take part in a whip contest.

Is s always better to look first and than drive in desert. About twenty miles far from Albuquerque we got totally stuck in the sand.
About twenty miles away from Albuquerque we got totally stuck in the sand.

A couple of local people liberated our van from detention of sand with their off road car. Unfortunately we don t know their names but thank you very much one more time dear friends
A couple of locals helped liberate our van from the sand with their vehicle. Unfortunately we didn't catch their names, but thank you very much one more time!

Street art in downtown Albuquerque where we enjoyed best fish and chips of our lives.
Street art in downtown Albuquerque. We enjoyed the best fish and chips of our lives in this zone.

Another trail where Vincent likes to ride. It s about thirty minutes car drive from the downtown Albuquerque.
This is another trail that Vincent likes to ride. It's about a thirty minute drive from downtown Albuquerque.

Rocks and trails of Albuquerque reminded us the the mountainous region around lake Lago di Garda in Italy.
The rocks and trails of Albuquerque reminded us of the mountainous region around Lago di Garda in Italy.

No doubt in which part of year we had a coffee break after riding in the suburbs of Albuquerque.
Can you guess what time of year it is? This guy joined us for our coffee break after riding the suburbs of Albuquerque.

After riding through rough terrain our van cried for adjusting the angles of the wheels so it was necessary to visit a car service with computer alignment.
After driving through so much rough terrain, our van was crying out for a wheel alignment.

Time was running without a big success with our car adjustment...
Time was ticking by and still no success with the van.

After another hour of waiting guys pushed a wrecked car out of the garage a asked Gaspi to show some tricks.
After another hour of waiting the guys pushed a wrecked car out of the garage and asked Gaspi to show them some tricks.

In the evening the car was still not ready to go.
By evening the car was still not ready to go.

Luckily even in the garage there was lot of amusement. The parrot didn t speak but was rather friendly.
Luckily there was lot of amusement in the garage. This parrot didn't speak but was rather friendly.

About 11 PM we left the shop rode about 50 another miles and slept under the stars surrounded by yellow rock near to Gallup.
At around 11p.m. we finally left the shop. We drove about 50 miles towards Gallup, then slept under the stars in the yellow rock.

Gasoline is still cheaper in the United States than in Europe but the old good days are gone anyway.
Gasoline is still cheaper in the United States than in Europe, but the good old days are long gone.

In Mongolia people say that the best view you can get from the horse saddle. In NM it s pretty the same.
In Mongolia people say that the best view you can get is from a horse's saddle. In New Mexico it's pretty much the same.

May be you can laugh at us but the old car wrecks from 50s and 60s is something what we European find very romantic on the United States.
You may not agree, but old car wrecks from the 50's and 60's are something that we Europeans find very romantic about the United States.

The Great Gaspi personally having rest near Gallup.
The Great Gaspi having rest near Gallup.

As we get older one day may be we ll also acquire a brand new pick-up.
Maybe when we're older we'll acquire a brand new pick-up.

One attempt one landing. Everything was fine except Gaspi s ankle.
One attempt, one landing. Everything was fine except Gaspi's ankle.

Gaspi s pedal survived a hard landing without scratch or crack. Good work
Gaspi's pedal survived the hard landing without any scratches or cracks. Good work!

Somebody asked us if we had a helicopter with us. But this is just a view from another peak not far from Gallup.
Somebody asked us if we had a helicopter with us but this view is from another peak not too far from Gallup.

Better light than in NM Probably impossible.
Better light than in New Mexico? Not possible.

Clich but sunset is always something what people have liked to watch since the prehistoric ages. Just the tools are changing.
It may seem like a cliché but people have enjoyed watching sunsets since the prehistoric ages. It's just the viewing tools that are changing.

Show us any European who doesn t want to have a picture on Route 66
Show us one European who doesn't want to have their picture taken on Route 66!

The very last drop and we move back to LA and to Prague our capital city in the centre of Europe.
The very last drop before we headed back to LA and then Prague, our capital city in the centre of Europe.

Camera work and film by Martin Smolik
Still photography and words by Adam Marsal
Full length video of Richard Gasperotti's 2013 visit to New Mexico coming soon!

Author's Note: We did not break any rules, laws or regulations deliberately in New Mexico. In Ghost Ranch, Red Mesa, Santa Fe and other places we always asked local authorities or locals before riding in those zones. When the answer was "no" or some areas were closed or part of a national park we simply moved on to another destination. We share the same spirit of mountain biking as most of the Pinkbike audience and we want to keep our natural heritage intact for upcoming generations.


  • 9 0
 Looks like an awesome trip, great photos and riding too. And I don't speak for all Americans but I find rusted old vehicles very romantic as well.
  • 7 0
 looks like you had a blast. thanks Fat Tire, for representing the 505!
  • 5 0
 The land of enchantment and great riding!
  • 9 8
 The rub is not that you did things that were illegal or that authorities asked you not to do. We would expect you to obey land use laws just like we have to. Much of the land in the west is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is common knowledge out west that you can do just about anything you want on public land managed by the BLM. In the west, we have had enough trouble getting the BLM and other land management agencies to accept mountain biking. When someone goes off and rides wherever they want (which isn't necessarily illegal) it does damage to the relationships that we, in the Southwest have spent decades trying to build and maintain. There are some amazing things happening with trail building in Southwestern CO, New Mexico, and Utah. While what you did is not illegal, it is frowned upon by the local land managers who want to see responsible use so that we can continue to build trails. It is also frowned upon by the local riding communities who have spent many years trying to advocate for responsible use of trails. In the Southwest it matters even more because the land is incredibly fragile. You are not going to get in trouble with the authorities, because you didn't break any laws that I can see. What you are going to do, and have done by the looks of it, is alienate yourself from the local riding communities by going against the land use ethics that we see as responsible.
  • 7 6
 The typical American hypocritical approach. That's all...When it's necessary, have to be the law give way the higher interests...Sorry it's my point of view.
  • 3 0
 I don't see these guys complaining too much...

Here's more fragile desert soil! We be throwing bombs over there, too! lol

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  • 3 0
 You're lucky in the SW to enjoy BLM land and the fact you can do just about anything on that land that you want to. I lived in ABQ and DRO for the last 4 years and when I headed back east its a goddamn miracle if a bike is allowed in a town/city/state park. The NE doesn't have the amount of unzoned land the SW does. For you to say that the land is incredibly fragile is not factual otherwise I wouldn't have seen the types of double track from ATVs, MTXs, UTVs or Pre-runners immediately off the the side of the road on I-40, I-25, 491, 191 and 160. Before you start pointing fingers look in the mirror.
  • 1 0
 Very cool expedition and great to see my home state featured in this write-up. I'm from Albuquerque and moved shortly after college. Sadly, I didn't get too much into riding until just before I left. But I just visited for Thanksgiving and my bro took me out to the South Foothills and showed me the rollers that the freeride guys have built up. Cool stuff. NM really is one great place to ride because it's not humid, but not hot like AZ (never really gets above 100), and it's always sunny! I miss it and hope to move back there some day so I can ride all the things I never got the chance to.
  • 1 0
 where's part one? Does it show him reeking havoc on virgin soil? I don't know about the drops in Gallup but the other stuff all looks legit. Maybe one shot shows him off trail. OR maybe it's the angle, OR maybe the wind scoured the face of recent tracks. Etc. Unless you KNOW for sure the spot and for sure he went off trail, chill...
  • 1 1
 Check out this link to the IMBA southwest Facebook page. It would be great to hear your comments about the project in Caliente, NV

Cheers, Patrick
  • 1 0
 I'd like to add that Vince Sanchez is not only awesome but a super fast guy. Gaspi was lucky to meet him and I'm sure his trip was seriously successful because of Vince. I can't wait for the full movie.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see something about my home, but kinda bummed not to see any of the established trails I usually ride. Should've hit Angel Fire, South Boundary, Tijeras, or White Mesa. Guess those aren't as extreme.
  • 4 0
 Jen tak dál Gaspi!
  • 14 15
 Ref the "author's note" your previous article and this one show you riding areas with no trails, damaging fragile desert soil and creating trail marks which we local riders will now have to deal with in future battles with the anti mountain biking crowd. It's a cop out to say "we asked and no said no", try using some common sense and not just riding wherever you please so you can get a few photos. Please don't come back.
  • 8 3
 Hey, foes, who are YOU actually doing battle with right now? FWIW, making a spectacle on an internet forum RE: "illegal activity" is not very good damage control. Maybe consider messaging them directly next time, instead of bringing about more fodder for the "anti-bike" movement?

BTW, you guys still missed some of the best spots, but at least you tried by seeking the aid of a local yocal! Wink
  • 5 0
 How would this really be any different than hiking or horse riding? Unless all non-trail land is never to be used except for gazing at through binoculars from a view area, then as long as your not out there making rogue trails, this should be ok. And, to be clear, I agree that if it's in an environmentally fragile area this should be frowned on; however it seems like most of the southwest is made of "fragile desert soil."
  • 10 0
 Lot's of PUBLIC land in the southwest is leased to grazing. Cattle do far more damage to fragile soils than mountain biking, IMO.
  • 2 0
 Cattle industry : 85 Billion in 2012, Bicycle industry : 13 million. Small industry equals an easy target. I'm not going to make comments about this particular case as I'm not familiar with the area but you have to realize that the mountain bike community and industry are small. We have to be proactive and sometimes a bit hyper sensitive to protect our sport because we don't have lobbyists and powerful interest groups representing us. The comparison to the cattle damage is a bit absurd.
  • 2 1
 I don't know that I would say absurd. I was referencing fragile soils. They aren't so fragile. I'm well aware the politics.
  • 1 0
 Is that more of a copout than creating a new user profile just to make a ninja in and out comment where you remain more in the shadows than usual? How's that supposed to add to the discussion. Be out in the open unless you've something to hide.
  • 1 0
 Not sure who that comment is aimed at, but I've been a member here since 2005. Been a member at the "other place" for a very long time as well. Unfortunately, my lack of political correctness leaves "them" wanting. lol
  • 1 0
 @foesrider1 has been a member since 2005 and this is the only comment I can see posted. The people of this article must have really f*ck*d sh*t up.
  • 2 0
 I retract my earlier comment. My inattentiveness to the whole of @foesrider1's profile.
  • 2 0
 I'm born and raised in Albuquerque, and I have ridden (and still ride) all of the trails posted in this video with the exception of the trails near Gallup. There are more freeride trails that are being built, with the help of the BLM, about 30 miles west of Albuquerque. In addition, there is a fully supported network being built just outside Santa Fe as well. The only sensitive trail that we are still "battling" is the hidden DH trail that crosses into parts of National Forest in the Sandias, and I guarantee you everyone I have met on that trail is considerate enough to all horseback riders and hikers in the area, all of whom are in completely separate areas of the forest.
I love my trails and the people who ride them, ...well, maybe most of them... and welcome everybody to experience it.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the info Loboapo28. We have the same problem in our National Parks. Somehow the authorities have put equestrians & hikers, before bikers. Frown . Maybe because us bikers are not out long enough to sh*t everywhere?
  • 2 0
 I don't know who Loboapo28 is, but I know of nothing 30 miles west of ABQ besides the reservation, and there are no "hidden" DH trails in the Sandias. Everything DH in the Sandias is on the discussion table with Sandia Ranger District. Fortunately, you won't find many horse people or hikers in those areas. There is, however, a fully sanctioned Freeride/DJ area in Santa Fe called the Trash Pit.
  • 2 0
 What's up mtb123, I'm not sure who you are either, but the 30 miles northwest of ABQ I'm referencing is where you'll find many trials motocross riders on a lot of natural canyon obstacles, mostly around Red Mesa, but heading out towards the Puerco. (No woodwork by the way). And the only reason I said "hidden" DH trail is because that's how the article referenced it, for which there are pictures of that trail in the article anywayl. And yes, the "fully supported network being built just outside of Santa Fe" I am referencing is the Trash Pit. I'm glad to see someone else local supporting it. Cheers
  • 1 0
 Red Mesa is not a DH trail by any means. It's more of a freeride area that we mtb'ers have borrowed from the trials peeps. There's a loop out there, but it's not DH bike friendly. I'm guessing most of the pics in the article were taken on Indian Reservation, since they paid to get in there. The funny thing is you can get a key for free, and all the good stuff is on BLM anyway. Cheers!
  • 2 0
 Thanks guys. Love the article. Fat tire cycles is the only shop I use when I need the expertise.
  • 1 0
 What a poser. If he wanted the scoop on NM, why not hook up with some locals instead of "riding" off trail and tearing things up.
  • 3 0
 looks fantastic!!!
  • 2 0
 Looked like one hell of a trip. So jelly.
  • 3 1
 your not from new mexico unless you have five or more rusting yard yachts!
  • 1 0
 Ha, I live on Route 66. No joke.
  • 1 0
 Yaaah Riiiso nicely done !
  • 3 4
 Please go back to Czech Rep. We do not need you ruining our fragile NM / western US ecosystem with your selfish stunts.
  • 4 0
 I respect your consideration for our environment, but I don't think any of that was fragile. Red Mesa, probably the most unique ecosystem he visited, has several trails and link-ups already running through it. Everything looked like he was on a pre-discovered trail system, or perhaps a breif unridden section of dirt. I welcome all riders and their creativity/style. I don't get the impression anything was destroyed from his visit.

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