New Mexico: Rubber Chicken Ride, and Carrizozo

In addition to enjoying the travel and sun, we also have been riding our motorbikes, so this post is dedicated to that. We have trailered our small 250’s from home, so far we’ve travelled approximately 7,000 kms with our truck.

This will be out of chronological order, I thought I would start us off with the Rubber Chicken Ride, which was over the October 26-28 2019 weekend.

The ride is in support of the New Mexico Off-road Highway alliance, which works to keep open the dirt roads in and around Truth or Consequences, and to also work to open up more roads in that region.

In New Mexico, the municipality controls the local roads, and this organization has been working with the community and politicians, in an attempt to minimize the friction between the different stakeholders – landowners, ATV, motorcycle, and other offroad users.

We rode on the Friday and Saturday, the organizers had 20 tracks to choose from, and they designated from Easier to Moderate to Difficult to Most Difficult. Some routes are big bike friendly, with more pavement than offroad. The two rides we did were Easier, and Easier-moderate. To put a bit of context around this, we ride 250 dual sport bikes, KLX and XT. In the group of 100 riders, I think it’s safe to say, the majority of the bikes were proper dirt bikes; only a few big bikes like Africa Twin or GS 1200s.

The second ride we did was to Winston and Chloride Canyon, about 100 miles; a fair chunk on pavement until Chloride, then a whole lotta rocks for quite a while, until the route linked back up to the secondary highway returning to Winston. The moderate part began on the Chloride Creek Road, and it was both, a rocky creek bed disguised as a road! I was working hard, picking through the terrain. There were some steep and rocky/rutted sections coming out of the canyon, I road trials style and was quite proud of myself, as no drops occurred, tho it came close a couple of times.

I should include, that the highway sections included some almost mind-numbing straightaways, but then some unbelievable twisty bends, and vistas. It was awesome.

The previous day’s ride was the Springtime Campground loop. That, was less technical, but good prep for the next day. The views were unbelievably, so much open space, beautiful dirt roads and areas to explore.

Both were pretty much all day outings, the weather was a bit unseasonably cold.

There was a Saturday night event, catered dinner at the outdoor courtyard at the Red Pelican Spa Hotel. It was and a chance to chat with other riders. Also, to note, there were only two women riders. Myself, and Joanne. She is part of the group that organized the ride. Everyone seemed very friendly and welcoming. There were quite a few door prizes (we came away empty handed), and it was great to see the riding community supported by local businesses.

Links to the routes are here.

In reverse chronological order, before Truth or Consequences, we were in Carrizozo, camping at Valley of Fires National Campground. From there, we did some riding in the area.

Carrizozo is at the intersection of two fast highways and we wanted to minimize our riding on the fast roads. We went to White Oak, which is almost a ghost town; it has a bar, “No Scum Allowed”… from White Oak, the dirt roads pass into and out of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas. We tried to get to specific places on dirt roads, but it was all a bit confusing. From what I understand, the cattle ranchers have an agreement, that they allow traffic through their properties, while the government provides the roads and maintenance, and land for their cattle to graze on. The ranchers have a habit of closing the roads off, putting up No Trespassing signs, and locking the gates. We came across this more than once – and the people we talked to just shrugged their shoulders, and it’s your own choice, if you can access and go through, or to turn around and find another option. We also found confusing, on the recreation maps, the roads are numbered, the actual signs have names… So, that’s a bit tricky too.

Still, we really enjoyed our time in this state. Where we live on Vancouver Island, the logging companies have our wilderness roads behind locked gates. When they are open, it’s a challenge as the chances of encountering logging trucks are high. Otherwise they could be closed, and you won’t know until you travel up there. New Mexico is beautiful, open, rough, wild, and so many lovely roads to explore.

New Mexico is beautiful, open, rough, wild, with so many amazing roads to explore. This is definitely a place which we’ll return to.

Rubber Chicken Riders at Winston New Mexico.
Our rig at the campsite near Carrazozo; amazing views, and a whole lot of exposure to the elements.
Rubber Chicken Ride #16, Springtime Campground loop, beautiful scenery, endless empty dirt roads.

As always, Lars’ photos are here.

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