So I got a wild hair earlier today and went for a ride out of town. I saddled up the V, filled the tank, and headed for the East Mountains. Went to Cedar Crest, then up NM-536 (better known as the way to Sandia crest) to where NM-165 breaks off and heads towards Placitas.
NM-536 is paved 2-lane mountainous twisties. NM-165 barely deserves the name "state highway" between the crest road and the outskirts of Placitas. It's all gravel, with some deep ruts and sharp stones the size of my fist.
That's the view from the highest point of the road, looking... North? I think? Santa Fe is off to the left of frame.
My trusty red V, not with all the touring gear I have, but hey, this was an afternoon.
Me being skeptical about my ability to make it through the rest of this road. I suck at selfies.
I felt like I could have gone faster if I'd had properly off-road tires, but the Storm 2's I have aren't really good at anything that isn't pavement. Speed was limited (by rider skill) to about 15-25mph, though I hit 30 in some of the straighter parts. I'm not very skilled off-road, but I kinda go by "you will get there eventually" and do okay. My streak of not dropping my V has certainly come to a middle.
That's the route I took to Placitas.
I got caught in a hail storm between Bernalillo and Albuquerque and my jeans got soaked (shoulda put on the raingear when I had the chance, but it wasn't that bad).
Took me from about 2:45 to about 5:45, all told, including 2 15 minute stops to stretch and one to put on my rainsuit bottom to help keep the wind off my soaked jeans. My friend's Harley would have had trouble going as quickly as I did, and my roommate would *not* have been able to keep up on her Shadow.
If you're ever in the Albuquerque area, this is a really pretty afternoon trip, with some mountain twisties, some scenic highway, and some dirt/gravel twisties, not to mention a cave (which I should have stopped and explored, but meh) and of course Tinkertown Museum.
Also, I'm not good at taking lots of pictures.
Sorry. I need a GoPro or something.