Mountain biking a great way to enjoy Taos Valley, get fit

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The Taos Valley has a plethora of trails suitable for mountain bikes. The trails available to mountain bikers run through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, across sagebrush flats and into the steep, rocky Río Grande Gorge.

Shari Heier, who works with Gearing Up Bicycle Shop in Taos, launched a free family-friendly mountain bike ride Sunday (July 16) on Bureau of Land Management trails near the gorge. Only one person showed up for the bike adventure, but there will be more opportunity to join her on a ride in the weeks ahead.

Mountain biking is a sport that naturally lends itself to some quality family time. There are mountain bikes for all ages and families can take the pace of the slowest member of the group so no one feels left out. Trails are usually listed by level of difficulty for riders. (See an interactive mountain bike map at taosnews.com.)

Singletrack, an online mountain bike site, rates South Boundary Trail (No. 164) - near Taos and Angel Fire Resort - as one of the best fat-tire trails around.

For competitive mountain bikers, New Mexico offers a whole collection of races under the auspices of the New Mexico Off Road Series. The series usually runs from March through October, with honors for the bikers earning the most points. The spring series ends July 30.

The fall series begins Aug. 20 with the High Altitude Classic near Cloudcroft, followed Sept. 3 with the Signal Peak race in Silver City. For more information on the series, visit nmors.org.

Grab your mountain bike, helmet, sunscreen and plenty of food and snacks for a stellar trail ride around Northern New Mexico.

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