Cycle New Mexico: Santa Fe & Taos

Trip Code: SSXNM

Why we love it

Starting and finishing in the creative hub of Santa Fe, your local cycling leader will introduce you to the town’s fascinating history as you cycle around its most spectacular sights., When you’re not cycling you’ll explore New Mexico on foot, hiking through the dramatic landscapes of Bandelier National Monument, which hide ancient petroglyphs, rock-carved dwellings and masonry walls., Challenge your legs and reward your eyes as you cycle the celebrated High Road to Taos, a scenic path that weaves through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos., Ride through the iconic landscapes that inspired the works of Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe, including the San Francisco de Asis, one of the most photographed churches in the USA., Discover New Mexico’s eclectic art scene as you pedal to the small communities that drive the local culture, including Arroyo Seco, home to artists, sculptors, jewellers and eateries.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding travel prior to booking this trip.

This trip deliberately involves a fair amount of driving – this is designed that you only cycle the very best places and none of the 'transit' legs in-between.

If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort, you have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Important information

1. This trip begins at midday 12pm on Day 1, and finishes around 3pm on Day 6.
2. To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short, the terrain can sometimes be hilly so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember, we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.
3. A Single Supplement may be available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
4. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable sized bike.
5. The included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. You have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) - this must be requested at the time of booking.
6. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
7. For groups of 6 or less clients we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a separate driver and the leader will cycle all routes. Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a backmarker.
8. Accommodation is not included on day 6 of this trip. If you require additional accommodation (or want to reserve your room for the main part of the day) please contact the hotel directly.
9. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.

What to bring/pack

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips.

• Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this).

There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case.

• Padded bike shorts
• Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates.
• Quick-dry socks
• Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall.
• Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road
• Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor.
• Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier.
• Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun
• Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea.
• Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun
• Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding.
• Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike
• Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike

As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases., As space in the support vehicle is very limited we request that travellers bring only a small bag, no more than 20kgs with them., BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE
If you would like to bring your own bike please see the 'Transport' section of your Essential Trip Information.

Physical rating

3

There are regular rest breaks each day, however it is important to note that you will be riding over multiple and consecutive days in a climate and terrain that may be unfamiliar. While it can be tempting to start out riding as hard and fast as you can (we get it!) we recommend taking it easy on the first few days while your body gets used to the rides and the climate.
As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though obviously cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential!
It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle, both solo and in a group environment.

SUPPORT VEHICLE
Most of our Cycling trips include a support vehicle that travels with or close by to the group. This vehicle is available for you to rest for anything from a single climb to an entire day (or more!) of you wish.

CYCLING DISTANCES:
The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions, especially weather. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

The terrain of New Mexico is naturally hilly, and on occasions rises to more than 9,000ft/2800m in elevation. Most climbs are long but gradual, and can be completed by people of average fitness (and of course followed by equally long and fun downhills!). Cycling distances vary from 20 to 50 miles/ 32 to 80 kilometres but are always done at a manageable pace with ample rest stops. Weather can sometimes be a factor, and the heat of summer plus the elevation sometimes makes things feel a bit harder than they usually would be. Note that it generally gets cooler the higher you cycle. We will start earlier or later in extreme weather, and you are always welcome to use the support vehicle should you wish to.

Joining your group

Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, 828, Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, 87501, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Phone: +1 505 424 2175

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, 828, Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, 87501, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Phone: +1 505 424 2175

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 5

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There may be some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the ‘trip notes’ itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Usually we try and stop somewhere local for lunch (so that you can get a better insight into local life) but there are occasions where we give your group the option of doing a picnic lunch when there is somewhere truly scenic to stop along the way. Your guide will ask for a small amount ($5-10 per person) and will purchase the supplies to be carried in the support vehicle until we set up the picnic. For your convenience this is done on a trip by trip basis depending on the weather.

Climate & seasonal information

Santa Fe has a semi-arid climate but the 7,000 ft/2130m altitude keeps temperatures moderate with a high averaging 85°F/29°C in July to well below freezing in January. The highest temperatures in July and August are 80-90 °F / 27-32°C with only 3-6 days per year with 90+°F highs. Even in summer the overnight temperature rarely gets above 55°F/13°C. Temperates in the ‘shoulder season’ months of April, May, September and October are perfect for cycling, with highs ranging from 60-70°F/15-21°C
The rainy season (what there is of it) is generally July through August when thunderstorms quickly come through in the afternoon. On average, there are 325 sunny days per year in Santa Fe. The US average is 205 sunny days. The weather in Taos is generally very similar to Santa Fe, but generally a little drier in summer.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +1 (435) 767-0002

Accommodations

The accommodation we use on this itinerary is a mixture of simple 2 star hotels and motels, chosen for their comfort, position, service, and facilities.

Transportation

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.

Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle

An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.

BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE
While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this trip, please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike, please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you.

SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE
Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on are generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ section of your Essential Trip Information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike.

OUR BIKES
We use Cannondale Quick 6 ‘hybrid’ bikes on this trip. These bikes are a hybrid/fitness bike-style with an alloy frame, flat bars, rim brakes, a fixed front fork and 21 gears. For more specific information please see https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bikes/active/fitness/quick/quick-6

We usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our trips as they are often too large for our transport. In some destinations we can make an exception. Please ask your booking agent if you are interested in bringing a tandem bike.

BEFORE THE TRIP
We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home and contents or specialist insurance policy.

DURING THE TRIP
Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves. Your bike will be secured in the same way as our included bikes. This can occasionally be outside the vehicle (where the bikes are locked together).

In order to reach our destination, it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees.

While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts).

TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION
Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes.

A well-padded bike box (obtainable from a bike shop) is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities.

Many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Due to the large distances involved on this trip - and to best ensure your comfort - we use our support vehicle often to transport us between cycling legs. There are also some long climbs on this trip - you are always free to use the support vehicle, especially in very hot or cold conditions, if you feel uncomfortable.


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