Note that if the weather is really unpleasant we will delay the race a week. See Weather below.
Endless Sky Gravel Race Sunday February 21, 2021
Start at noon all riders mass start, seperated into waves of 5 riders.
A mix of dirt roads, which look lot like the pictures, hard dirt with a few small rocks. Some is smooth packed dirt. There are a few rockier bits. On maybe 5-10% of the course you will probably wish you had a MTB. If you did the Jemez Gravel NMES race in 2019 it is pretty comparable to that mix of terrain. 40-45mm tires are probably about ideal. The area is really pretty and there are very few people out there. It looks kind of like NE Albuquerque in 1955, if you can imagine what that would have been like.
Course will be two large loops, one inside the other. The start of the second loop will pass by the start so you can grab a water bottle if you want. If you do both laps the distance will be about 41mi.
I would suggest that beginner riders on MTBs do just the 2nd loop, and that beginners on gravel/CX bikes do just the first loop. If you are on a gravel/CX bike with narrower tires and would like to avoid the gnarlier bits on the 2nd loop, you could do the first loop twice. I will time you for this option.
The first loop is larger and less technical. It climbs up to the (now decommissioned) John F. Kennedy Campground, all on open gravel roads, then goes left (north) along the USFS boundary on a rolling narrow double track, (there are a few rocky bits, the only ones on the first loop) then back down to Rio Del Oro loop, which is a graded gravel road. Here you will turn right (north) and it will do a few rollers then descend back down. At the bottom you cut back south to the finish area to start the 2nd lap.
The 2nd loop takes you up and down the open ridges SE of the start area. There are thee climbs and two descents. This section has a few rocky sections, where you will be glad of the recommended 40mm or bigger tires. It should be rideable for most riders except for the base of the first climb, where you will have to push 30-40ft. From here it climbs up on an open ridge, then down the next valley, then up the crest of the next ridge. It then descends the next ridge. There are a few rocky bits here. The road then turns left for a giant rollercoaster like valley taking you to the next ridge. The valley is kind of rocky at the bottom, with a steep climb back up on to the next ridge. Once on top there is one more kind of rocky downhill bit as you come close to a fence line. From here you stay beside the fence for another 3 miles of fairly mellow climbing, on a scenic fairly smooth road, through occasional juniper groves. From here you go north on a road paralleling the narrow double track of the first lap (on the other side of the fence) and descend on the same road as the first lap. At Rio del Oro, you go left instead of right for a fast descent, at the bottom you will go left for a little easy climb up to the finish area.
No entry fee as it is an informal non-permitted event, but there will be a suggested donation of: adults $20. U23 $10, Juniors $0, or whatever you can afford.
It is a cool course, but there is no easy way to get out there. Here is a Google Maps Placemark if you want to let your smartphone guide you.
Otherwise, Exit I-25 at the NM 6/Los Lunas Exit. Go east through Los Lunas and across the river. About 1/2 mi past the river is El Cerro Rd, go right. This will curve around to the left to NM 47, go right (south). About 1.5mi after the road narrows down to 2 lanes, there will be a Family Dollar on the right. Take the first paved left after the Family Dollar, this will be Tome Hill Rd. Last time I checked there is no street sign. This will take you to the very base of Tome Hill where the road will bend right and becmoe dirt, then become paved again, keep going straight up the hill. After 2mi you will come to the Manzano Expressway, keep giong straight another 1.3 to a stopsign, then straight another mile to an unnamed dirt road. I will put up a yellow arrow. Go right another mile to the end and then right. There will be another arrow. This will be Rio del Oro Loop South. From here go 4.5 mi straight towards the mountains to the start. It will be just before the gravel pit.
We will use Google Forms for registration. It does not cost anythihng to preregister. There will be a 15 rider minimum for this event. I have a card reader on my phone so you can make a donation with a card at the race, or you can do cash, but please use the online system if possible as there is less contact. Deadline to reach the minimum is midnight on 2/19/21. I will announce if we have enough riders to be on by 10:30AM on Sat 2/20/21.
Online Registration via Google Forms
List of Registered Riders
Hawke Morgan at 505.259.6885 call or text. Email: email@example.com
Spring weather in NM is extremely variable. If the weather looks like it is going to be miserable, I will reschedule the race. I do not have a USAC permit that it is going to cost me $250 to change, and I am not going to conflict with someone else's reace if I delay our event a week. We might as well ride when it is fairly nice, because it usually is in NM. If the high for the day is forecast to be less than 40F or if it looks like it will be really wet or windy, check this page or the Hawke Races FB page.
This is the tentative COVID specific plan for the time being revised 10/15/20:
1. Do not gather in groups of more than 5 at any point.
2. Start in small waves of no more than 5 riders. Waves will be about 75ft apart. In the very unlikely event that riders catching from a later wave catch riders from an earlier wave and the the combined number of these riders coming together makes over five riders, we ask that they keep their groups separate, so that at no time do we have a group of over five riders together.
3. Start wave assignments will be based on series points or past finishing positions. Start wave assignments going to be posted Saturday evening. I will post signs for each wave to line up.
4. All riders must start in masks. I have no way of controling what riders do while they are out alone in the woods. but riders should be advised that the state has mandated that masks be worn at all times outside of the home. If riders remove their masks they are at risk of fines by the state.
5. I will work on should try to designing courses with minimal zigzaging so that riders do not pass by other riders in two-way sections. I will make the zigzags nice and wide where they are used. I will also try to put difficult sections earlier in the course than normal, to break the riders up sooner. This is not normal CX course design.
6. Riders should wear masks when interacting with other riders or the promoters before or after the race.
7. Obviously if you feel sick or have any COVID symptoms, or feel that you may have been exposed to someone sick, stay home for a week or two.
8. No awards ceremony. I will post results to this site hopefully the next day. We might do some small prizes which I will hand out afterwards.
9. Signup online if at all possible. If you have to sign up a the race, wear a mask.