Ok, so it started out a little chilly…24deg F, but by the time we reached Hatch, NM, 24 miles into the Radium Springs 200k, my fingers had thawed. The 136 mile route is beautiful and at least 90 miles of it has very little traffic. It first travels west and north, with a very gradual climb. After an easy warm-up of about 50 miles, we headed into some hills; steep-ish, short-to-medium climbs….nothing too extreme. After Nutt was a fast 20 miles, east, back into Hatch. The last 20 miles, riding south into the wind were a bit of a grind, but more mentally, than physically difficult.
The New Mexico Brevet Series organizers and volunteers are awesome! The level of support was as good or better than any organized century I’ve ridden. At $25 per rider entry fee, I don’t see how they even cover their costs. Not only was there drop bag and sag wagon support, they provided sandwiches, fruit, brownies and soft drinks and home-cooked dinner afterwards.
Even though I’d ridden Tejas 500 eight weeks ago, I felt only minimally prepared for this ride. Seeing Radium Springs on my calendar three weeks out, I’d added a weekly long ride on the rollers of 3, 4 and finally 6 hours to get ready.
If you ride Radium Springs it’s probably a good idea to have a light that’s bright enough to comfortably ride with and a bright taillight, and a good amount of reflective material on your bike and clothing. Daylight is pretty short on December 6th, and the traffic between Hatch and Radium Springs really picked up late afternoon and evening. All the drivers gave me lots of room, but I’m sure they aren’t used to watching for cyclists that time of day/year.
Coming from the north, we stayed at Truth or Consequences, about an hour from the start rather than driving farther south to Las Cruces. That saved a little driving on Friday and Sunday. I hope to do more NM Brevets in the coming year!