This Cabezón Gravel Loop in San Ysidro, is the third route we are bringing to you from Aileen El-Kadi Schuster of New Mexico.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway in NM, we’ve got you set with several recommended rides from an experienced local gravel rider! Click here for the other New Mexico gravel routes.
This is a challenging, rolling, very scenic and isolated ride on 100% gravel.
Seeing the Cabezón Peak is amazing! You will feel you are in the middle of nowhere in contact with the original native land with a very special vibe. It’s by the Acoma Pueblo, so there’s something sacred here.
The road surface is generally pretty smooth with only a few rockier patches.
This route is both long and VERY remote which makes it a quiet ride but you’ll need to be especially prepared! Take adequate water, food and bike maintenance supplies like an extra derailleur and tire repair tools.
Do this ride if you like a challenging route with rolling terrain and you enjoy biking in remote areas that feel removed from a busy city.
San Ysidro is near the Jemez river and it used to be a Spanish settlement during the 1700. Cabezon Peak is one of the best-known and most visible landmarks in northwest New Mexico. This giant volcanic plug is visible for tens of miles in all directions, and you will be riding around it. Cabezón (big head in Spanish) is one of the best-preserved examples of volcanic necks in the world.
There’s nothing around this area, so make sure you have plenty of supplies, especially water if you do this in the summer.
Starting in November, days are quite short and cold in NM, so make sure you start this ride early during Fall-Winter to ensure you have enough daylight.
Cell phone reception is not great throughout the ride, so be prepared and make sure you have preloaded the route on your bike computer!
After your ride, Aileen recommends stopping at Bosque Brewing North for great local beer and food (which is about 20 miles away from the ride start/finish)!
Park at U.S. Highway 550 and NM Highway 4. (The start of this ride is about 45 min drive from Albuquerque, New Mexico.)
Aileen is a runner who fell in love with cycling in 2014. In 2018 she and her husband moved from TX to NM, and discovered gravel riding and CX. After buying a gravel bike, she realized she could go anywhere and be closer to nature, exploring places she could have never been on a road bike. Gravel presented her with friends who share the same respect and love for nature. She participated in many gravel races/events and won the CX NM State championship in 2019. “I love speed, adrenaline and competition, so CX is my favorite cycling discipline. My Racing Apparel/BMC teammates Bryan Reid and Hadji Corona inspire me to keep exploring and racing.”
Aileen and her husband have done gravel rides in Argentina, Spain, England, Ecuador and the Netherlands. “New Mexico is a beautiful state for all seasons riding. Fall is simply amazing here. We would love to help anyone who comes to NM to find the perfect gravel rides, so please feel free to contact me.”