This little trail surprised me because it is actually in NM. It is a 9 mile purpose built, multi leveled system. It is built on terrain very similar to the upper reaches of the Rift Valley Trails, except they are a touch steeper. To start the ride, one winds through the sage, towards the ridge, on a very nicely constructed blue/green “return” trail. This part, and most of the trail, rides across smooth dirt. Lightly banked turns make the climb smooth and the descents nice and swoopy. The trail is marked, but at times one wishes there were more markers.
The more challenging part of this trail, which can be completely bypassed, includes a single black alternate descent trail along a rocky volcanic fin. The descent is accented with sensible kickers, platforms and jumps, all made with the available material along side the trail. All the jumps are controllable, roll-able or avoidable. If one goes for bigger air, the kickers and other features turn the single black diamond to a double black. The landing are all clean and obvious. I ended up circling back around to do this section twice.
As i said previously, the Socorro trail might be the only non-park purpose built mountain bike trail in NM. I found that the build of the trail integrated components that we can employ in a very similar type terrain in the Taos area, especially the use of rock fill to make chunky, sharp and edgy volcanic basalt rollable and non-threatening. The sleepy, lightly banked turns could be used at the rift to make the turns more positive and less “falling-away” as they are now.
For the past three years, I have been able to travel across the west with my bike in tow. I have ridden thousands of miles of MTB trails in the western states, including Texas. My preferred riding style includes technical climbs, alternate black/double lines and air on my descents. Often, however, my riding partners are more suited to greens/ blues and entry level single blacks. This means I consider myself an expert evaluator of trails in all terrains, except bike parks. Periodically I will write to describe fun lines on some of the trails I’ve ridden. I will also make notes on the trail building, development and enhancement AND how those techniques might apply to Northern New Mexico trail development. cJ