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A Pyroclastic Pedal: Bike Fishing the Valles Caldera National Preserve

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A Pyroclastic Pedal: Bike Fishing the Valles Caldera National Preserve

1.25 million years ago, a volcanic event occurred just 40 miles northwest of what is now called Santa Fe, New Mexico. A large reservoir of magma was emptied as lava erupted from the earth’s crust, causing a massive depression. Upon this collapse, a 13-mile wide caldera in the middle of the Jemez Mountains was formed.

This area is the Valles Caldera National Preserve and is America’s newest National Preserve. The best part about the Valles Caldera is currently, due to the pandemic, it’s open to cycling and closed to automobiles and if bike fishing is your thing, it’s also free to fish, pending a New Mexico Fishing License and a free VCNP fishing permit.

We’ve got a great loop for you to check out that crosses this expansive caldera and brings you right up to some prime cut bank fishing. Check it out in this gallery from our ride in September.

Bikepacking the Continental Divide Trail CDT in Northern New Mexico

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Bikepacking the Continental Divide Trail CDT in Northern New Mexico

DISCLAIMER: Travel is limited to New Mexico at this time and there is a mask requirement. This trip was planned before the recent changes and we adjusted to ensure safe distances and to limit any small community contact. Be safe.

Starting at the border of Colorado and following along the Continental Divide Trail, some friends helped hatch a plan to traverse the central highlands of New Mexico by bike over 3 days, covering 100 miles of unbelievably-beautiful country.

Bikepacking New Mexico’s Ríos del Jemez

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Bikepacking New Mexico’s Ríos del Jemez

The current worldwide situation has forced Kyle and I, along with everyone else, to rethink our spring activities. With mountain bike races cancelled and out-of-state trips a no-go, we were suddenly left with a lot of empty weekends and an excuse to explore more of New Mexico. We finally had the time and motivation to give this bikepacking thing a try, something that had been at the back of our minds for quite some time. Despite both of us having spent thousands of miles backpacking the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mountains, and the canyons of Southeast Utah, we still were new to the world of bikepacking.

Santa Fe Rides: Bikefishing on the Rancho Viejo Backcountry Loop with Tenkara Rods

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Santa Fe Rides: Bikefishing on the Rancho Viejo Backcountry Loop with Tenkara Rods

It’s no secret that the bicycle can be a vessel for linking together with other interests and hobbies. Be it pack rafting or in this case, fishing. The bicycle can get you deep into the backcountry in a relatively short amount of time, compared to hiking, and access areas autos or motos can’t go. With this mobility comes a few problems that require solving first, however. Mainly, how do you carry a fishing pole with you on a bike? Much less a fly rod? Sure, there are a lot of fly rods that pack down to a manageable size, but none are as compact as the mini, yet mighty Tenkara rods.