Author Topic: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?  (Read 287 times)

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Offline Shaun Ivory

I am doing the TransAm this summer, but want to also do a side trip to Taos, NM.

It's important for me to do this as an out-and-back, so I don't want a course change.

After looking at the map, it looks like the best place to jump off the TransAm is Pueblo, CO.

I created a route from Pueblo to Taos that looks reasonable, but requires almost 40 miles of riding on I-25.

I confirmed this section of I-25 is legal for bicycles, using this site: http://dtdapps.coloradodot.info/bike#legend

And, using Google Street View, it looks safe (nice wide shoulders, clear lines of sight, etc.).

Does anyone have any strong concerns about this route?

My planned route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29189947

Thanks,
Shaun

Offline jamawani

Re: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 10:49:52 pm »
I-25 in southern Colorado is fairly old. I know from driving it frequently
that it has some bridges and overpasses without shoulders.
I've cycled a lot of southern Colo & northern NM - wouldn't want to cycle I-25.
Probably safe - but no fun.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29235648

An option is to branch off from Wetmore instead of Pueblo.
If you are willing to do 13 miles of dirt - the mileage is the same.
Services in Silver Cliff then nothing to Fort Garland.
(Nothing west of Walsenburg on US 160 either.)

CO Hwy 159 is pretty good.
NM Hwy 522 had more traffic and lacks shoulders in crucial areas -
Such as the big climb between Questa and Taos. Use caution.

Also, much of this area is very economically depressed.
Very old Hispanic land grants, but considerable out-migration.
Many of the towns have few businesses left and poor housing.
Keep this in mind when you interact with folks.
Speaking Spanish helps.

Offline Shaun Ivory

Re: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 11:00:14 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions!

I looked at that section of dirt road, and it looks pretty good.  Totally doable on 26" x 1.5" touring tires.  I suppose it could be a muddy mess if it is raining, but this is an optional side-trip!

Highway 522 looks sketchy, but there aren't really any practical alternatives.

I am from Taos, NM originally, and I do speak Spanish, but it is still possible to get in trouble.

Offline jamawani

Re: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 11:08:25 pm »
Then you know some of the cultural divides.

Based on your other post, I'm figuring you are headed westbound, no?
Be mentally prepared for some serious headwinds in the High Plains of eastern Colo.

There are some better options IMO, but you said out-and-back.
Cutting south before you reach Pueblo and connecting to US 64.
Then heading north thru the San Luis Valley on farm roads.

Offline Shaun Ivory

Re: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 11:12:54 pm »
Yeah, I am headed west, and I've heard about the headwinds. 

I am sure there will be days I regret my decision, but there are some big positives too.

I'll consider the detour approach, but I really want to do the entire TransAm, and I am a little OCD about it.  It's a childhood dream!

Offline jamawani

Re: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2019, 11:14:42 pm »
I get it.
Out-and-back is the ticket.

Offline Shaun Ivory

Re: Recommendations for an out-and-back route from Pueblo, CO to Taos, NM?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2019, 11:17:00 pm »
Thanks for your help!