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 Post subject: A-Bombing Alamogordo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:16 am 
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1st in 6 part series of MTB rides in New Mexico. With neighboring states of Arizona and Colorado, New Mexico doesn’t get top billing when it comes to destination MTB rides. So when a work/vacation opportunity presented itself, it was time to rediscover a state I moved from seven years ago. But if you’re just coming to mountain bike, you’re truly missing what make’s New Mexico enchanted - culture, food, art, historical sites, and natural landmarks. Taking a different approach, I paired up each ride with something unique to the local area for my fellow rider from California and managed to see some new places myself.


A-Bombing Alamogordo

While Alamogordo isn’t a booming town except for the sonic ones from the military base’s F-22s, F-16s, T-38s, F-4s, and German Tornados, it does have one trail that give you an adrenaline rush short of getting a back seat ride with afterburners. Starting high in the Sacramento Mountains just 6 miles east, Alamo Peak rises to 9,286’.

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Our adventure flight began with a series of fast switched-backs down Alamo #109.

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A number of bermed turns only encourages you to pin it as you carve through the forest.

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Then the trail straightens and begs you to open up the afterburners simply by letting off the brakes. Low level flying is an addicting rush.

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Covering 1,895’ in just 3.1 miles leaves you wishing for more as you exit on to West Side fire road. But now it’s time to set the cruise mode while on to your next target, conserving fuel as you crank out a fairly flat 3.4 mi road climb. At Dry Canyon trailhead, it’s time to set your target on “A” trail #119.

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Aptly named for the letter A on Alamogordo’s east foothills, it’s time to lock & load once it starts going down since you’ll be encountering a lot of flack on your final bombing run. A prior navigation error had us dropping after sunset, otherwise I would not suggest navigating this terrain after dark.

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Blue fades to black black then to double black towards the bottom. Dropping some 2,730’ over 5.2 miles, you’d best have a good appetite for destruction.

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Yet our covert night operation managed to throw Border Patrol into panic mode as they frantically began lasing us with their mobile green laser on our final descent. Apparently not accustom to mountain biker night ops, they backed down after finding and talking to our shuttle driver.


Off the bike, Alamogordo has played host to a number of significant military and space achievements since the 1940s with the adjacent White Sands Missile Range that measures 60 miles wide by 150 miles in length. Some 90 miles at the far north end is Trinity Site. The atomic age started here on July 16, 1945 with the world’s first atomic detonation device.

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Open only on the first Saturdays in April and October, visitors can walk ground zero, the see the original McDonald ranch house where it was assembled just 2 miles away, and view one of the old instrumentation bunkers.

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Many of the space achievements are documented in the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

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But it’s most notable landmark is White Sands National Monument.

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Interestingly it’s not even sand, but white gypsum which has decomposed into sand like crystals.

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Sunset at White Sands is a magical time.

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Alamo Peak to Alamogordo
Type: Point-to-point DH shuttle
Mileage: 11.7 mi
Ascent: 520’
Descent: 5,009’
Starting elevation: 9,191’
Ending elevation: 4,685’

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The following 19 users would like to thank GP_pilot for his or her post:
amor587, avidtest, Chadster, Christ D., Dirtrider, endo, Kimba, Los, Mudd, OldDogDan, random walk, Red Hot Sloth, ride00, rob240z, singletrackmitch, Slowgrind, tfitz, thrillride, TrailBurner
 Post subject: Re: A-Bombing Alamogordo
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:19 am 
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Great report! :thumbsup:
I spent a lot of time there myself.
Been to Trinity Site, (and other areas) as well.

Have you eaten at the Star Wars Deli?

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"My favorite part of riding a bike is when I get off the bike." - Jim Gaffigan


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 Post subject: Re: A-Bombing Alamogordo
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Paging GP_pilot...Sean where are you?...I'm pleading for the next installment. I'm on the DL this weekend and crave some more of your inspiration.


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 Post subject: Re: A-Bombing Alamogordo
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:46 pm 
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OldDogDan wrote:
Paging GP_pilot...Sean where are you?...I'm pleading for the next installment. I'm on the DL this weekend and crave some more of your inspiration.



Sean is out of town for a week on business.


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OldDogDan
 Post subject: Re: A-Bombing Alamogordo
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Damnit, I wish I read this last weekend. I was just there in Alamogordo for Turkey Day! Looks fun! Next time!


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 Post subject: Re: A-Bombing Alamogordo
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Saved this for my bucket list enroute to my state of Colorado.

MtbBill aint got nothing on your report. Your spot on good job!


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