The Show & Tell circus high-tailed it out of the Pacific Northwest for the Southwest desert for its second edition. We traded sea level for mile-high, and avocado toast for Christmas chile – on almost everything. And we swapped our off-road knobs for file treads as we cruised down Route 66, along the Rio Grande and its Bosque trails and spider web acequias, and eventually went Around the Mountain for our “Queen Stage.”
Truth be told, the loop around Sandia mountain is more road ride than mixed-terrain adventure. Back in the day, this was a 23mm rim brake affair, after all. But the sandy courses, flooding rivers, and back roads explorations of the other two days’ rides required some bigger rubber. Out of towners not wanting to deal with tire swaps and sealant spews rolled 40s everywhere, while the locals sported fresh slicks and altitude-acclimated lungs, as they dropped us on the long paved, and then long unpaved, climb, nose breathing. The whole shindig culminated in a grassroots bike show, hosted by the must-visit Marble Brewery in downtown Albuquerque. We lifted our freshly-dusted rigs onto display stands and hand wrote bike descriptions, then reinvigorated ourselves with fresh brews – Albuquerque is starting to give Portland’s “Beervana” a run for its money – and a mix of new stories and cycling lore as we settled in for a special, community-fostering evening.
To all of those who came out for one or a few of our Show & Tell rides, and to those who participated in the “show” itself, we can’t thank you enough. It’s our distinct privilege to be a part of this community, and to get to know all of you. Extra special cycling cap doffs to event leader Rob Douangpanya, and sponsors and hosts Marble Brewery, Michael Thomas Coffee, PopFizz Paletas, Zendo Coffee, and Prismatic Coffee. ABQ, you got it going on! And BIG UPS to photographers Drew Coleman (of State of Cyclocross Fame) and Galen Stilgebauer for making the treks from Portland and Denver, respectively. BikeABQ: thanks so much for your help putting this together, and for running the Bike Valet.