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Click HERE for instructions on how to register properly for this event!
Come spend Memorial Day Weekend far away from the shopping malls, freeways, television, and hubbub of modern urban America. Instead, ride your bike on 166 miles of rural roads, through tiny quiet towns with no stoplights (in some cases not even stop signs), past farms and ranches, over rolling hills, beside winding streams, and across a couple of summits with commanding vistas. On the road and at the end of each day's ride you'll have the opportunity to share the camaraderie of the other cyclists on the tour, plus you'll meet some of the friendly small-town folks who help GABA put on the tour. And at some point during the weekend you might be reminded of all the thousands of other little towns across the US, each with a flagpole in the town square, and next to that a granite stone with names engraved on it.
Day 1 travels 48 miles of rolling hills and grasslands from Springerville, AZ to Quemado, NM, a ranching town with a handful of businesses on the highway, a school, a landing strip, and a lot more cows than people.
Day 2 travels 55 miles up into the Gila National Forest and over a summit in the Gallo Mountains, down alongside Apache Creek through a scenic valley to the "town" of Apache Creek (a store, a stop sign, and not much else) and west to Reserve, NM. For an extra taste of US geography and an extra 32 miles, you can take an optional unsupported side trip along highway 12 through the settlement of Aragon and up to the Continental Divide--one of those choice spots where you can claim to have cycled to the divide without actually having to do much climbing.
Day 3 travels 63 miles through the Apache National Forest over several summits. After you surmount the first and most difficult, you reach a scenic overlook, then enjoy an exhilarating descent to the town of Luna (a store and a handful of houses), then climb a second, easier summit and descend to the reservoir of Luna Lake, visit the towns of Alpine and Nutrioso, pass Nelson Reservoir, and cruise back to the starting point, having encountered no stop lights and only a single stop sign between Reserve and the outskirts of Springerville.
The basic ride fee provides two SAG stops each day (plus an extra one on the final day) with fluids, munchies, and healthy carbs; camping and showers at Quemado High School the first night; camping and showers at the Hidden Springs Inn in Reserve the second night; showers at the end of the ride in Springerville; a vehicular sweep to help out in case you have mechanical trouble or need a lift; and baggage transportation.
All group meals are provided in your ride fee. There is a $55 Non-Rider fee for those who are joining you but are not riding. This fee covers all of the meals and camping locations. You can also opt to arrange your own indoor lodging in either town. You may arrange for your own camping in Springerville on Friday night at Reed's Motor Lodge by advance reservations with proprietor.
The meals and camping in Reserve take place at the Adobe Cafe and Hidden Springs Inn, located on the route about 8 miles beyond the town of Reserve proper. The cafe is outstanding--they routinely serve artisanal baked goods and gourmet coffee in the middle of a forest, and for us they will cater dinner as well--but capacity is limited, so we will eat in two shifts. If you elect to stay in the town of Reserve but purchase the group meal at the Adobe Cafe, GABA will provide shuttle service. Subtract 8 miles from day 2 and add 8 miles to day 3 if you stay in town.
Schedule (although NM observes daylight time, all times in this schedule are AZ standard time):
Check In: 8am AZ time Saturday at 39 S Main, Egar (Erin"s Country Market); Located near the intersection of Hwy 260 & US 180 Business (which is 1.7 miles from the light on Hwy 60 in Springerville. Baggage vehicle departs 8:30am AZ time Saturday.
Click HERE for lodging in Springerville, AZ.
Lodging details for Springerville, AZ, Quemado, NM, and Reserve, NM, click Lodging Info 2017
Want to help? Everyone needs to take a turn to help make all our GABA rides a success! You could help at registration before the ride, or at a sag stop along the course, or as a sweep vehicle to help cyclists with problems. Please contact the Ride Organizer using the information below or click HERE for more information on the positions.