The popular Fast Fifty Loop is a good winter ride that is largely on the excellent bike path system through southeast Albuquerque. This route passes along the picturesque Rio Grande bosque and has wide sweeping views of the Sandia Mountains in the distance, especially from the North Diversion Channel. The Bosque Bikepath is notable in that it has no street intersections for it's 16 mile length (plus the Chris Chavez loop). The bikepaths are very popular. Watch for pedestrians, roller bladers, horses, and little kids especially near access points. In the summer, get an early start to beat the heat.
Thanks to Dorothy for developing this ride.
Getting There: Start at the UNM Observatory, north on Yale from Lomas at the top of the hill.
Distance: 52 miles, pretty flat. The only hill is back up Tucker at the UNM Observatory.
Roadways: The route is largely on bike paths. In the winter watch for ice under the bridges. Watch for ice and frost on the many diversion channel planked pedestrian bridges. Mountain is a residential road with 2-laned with speed humps. The bikepaths cross streets at some points especially the North Diversion Channel Bikepath. There can be heavy cross traffic on some of the streets such as Menaul.
Options: There is a shortcut below from "Rolling in Dough" back to the UNM Observatory.
Notes: Watch for "goatheads" or "puncture vines" on the bikepath. Be prepared for flats. Yield to pedestrians and horses on the bikepaths. "Rolling in Dough" is a popular deli in Old Town for a mid-ride snack. There is also a McDonalds that you can see just off the Bosque Bikepath on Bridge.
See the Bosque / Riverside Bikepath for more information about this popular bikepath.
Fast Fifty // 52 miles.
UNM Observatory. Ride west on Tucker (north of the parking lot) down the hill, turn right (north) on the bike path.
Cross Indian School. On the North Diversion Channel Bikepath cross Menaul, Candelaria, Comanche, Montgomery, and Osuna. Watch traffic when crossing these streets.
Cross railroad tracks. Turn left (west) onto the Paseo del Norte Bikepath.
Turn left (south) on the Bosque Bikepath after the horse corrals. Do not cross the river!
Continue south under Montaño. Limited visibility - watch for pedestrians. Watch for ice in the winter.
Continue south under I-40. Watch for ice and pedestrians. Sharp turns on the south side. Continue south at the turn to Mountain.
Continuing south, . The bikepath ride along the west side of the BioPark climbs to the entrance to a parking area before descending under Central Avenue. This is often a good place to take a break and regroup. Continue south under Central.
Continue south under Bridge Blvd.
Continue south under Rio Bravo Blvd.
The bikepath continues south, crosses another bridge over a channel, climbs on top a levee then curves left (east) along a diversion channel. Continue east along the bikepath as it crosses under 2nd St. (watch for gravel from the above railroad tracks). This is now the Chris Chavez Loop. Cross another bridge over the channel (watch the sharp turns) then curve left (north) still along the diversion channel. (Tour de Junkyard). Ride north along the bikepath crossing several streets - watch for cars to Rio Bravo.
Turn left (west) on the bikepath on the south side of Rio Bravo - watch for cars at the driveways. Jog left at the bridge over the Rio Grande and rejoin the Bosque Bikepath.Rio Bravo climbs over the Rio
Turn right (north) onto the Bosque Bikepath.
Continue north under Central Avenue.
Turn right (east) on Mountain (lettering on the pavement) to Rio Grande Blvd
Continue east on Mountain, cross Rio Grande Blvd, on the far side bear right (south) on Romero about .15 miles. Look for the "Visitor Information" sign on the right near the pedestrian crossing. Dismount and walk your bike a short way to the right (west) to the back of the shopping plaza, pass the Public Restrooms to "Rolling in Dough" deli to the right. Snack opportunity. (See the shortcut below back to UNM).
Leaving Rolling in Dough, turn right on the plaza, ride a small loop counter-clockwise around the Old Town Plaza heading north on San Felipe to Mountain at the traffic light. Turn left (west) on Mountain back to the Bosque Bikepath.
Turn right (north) on the Bosque Bikepath and retrace your route on the Paseo del Norte Bikepath and North Diversion Channel Bikepath back to the UNM Observatory.
Shortcut back to UNM:
From "Rolling in Dough," take Mountain right (east) to Edith, left (north) on Edith to Odelia/Indian School, right (east) on Indian School to the North Diversion Channel bike path. Right (south) on the North Diversion Channel Bikepath to Tucker, left (east) on Tucker to the parking lot. Approximately 3.5 miles back to the observatory.