Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jerry Merkey's Ride Report: NM-4 Road Conditions (i.e., Chipseal Sucks)

Thanks and a tip of the brain bucket to Jerry Merkey for reporting back today.

I rode NM4 from the Back Gate to White Rock today (Sunday). I rode my fairly soft riding steel frame with 25mm Ultra Gatorskins at 95 psi rear 80 psi front. It was bearable, but it is still pretty rough. The stones give it a pretty buzzy ride and the actual road surface is bumpy and I think actually worse (flatness) than before the tar & stone job. The cracks running across the road near TA-49 are still there, but harder to see. On most of the route, there are still loose stones on a 12 to 24 inch width along the edge of the road. In some areas you can’t tell where the edge actually is due to the amount of stones out onto the dirt shoulder. If you ride it, be sure not to try riding right along the edge to let cars pass.
Ancho Canyon seems to be the worst area with more loose stones and rough surfaces. The ride down the south side was quite rough and definitely worse than before the tar & stones. If you hold the record (or have a personal best time) for the White Rock time trial course, it will stand for a long time to come! The road is ultra-slow.
Hitting the smooth, new asphalt at White Rock and coming up Pajarito was a huge relief! The best rating I can give the NM4 road surface is … ANNOYING.
If you like running 120 psi in your tires… stay away J
Ride on!

1 comment:

Jon said...

Here's the route we've been using as a Bandy-alternative, starting from say Canyon and Diamond (although if you live in town, chances are you can start almost from your front door.) The cue sheet makes it look more complicated than it is.

N on Diamond
L on Sycamore
R on North
Continue on Arkansas, 38th.
L on Villa
L on 35th
R on Diamond
Bear R at roundabout to S. San I.
End of San I, turn around
R on N Mesa Rd., past the Posse Lodge
Bear R at roundabout to N. San I.
Bear R on Barranca
Bear R on Los Pueblos, turn around at the end
R on Navajo
L on Barranca, L on N. San I.
Bear R at the roundabout onto Diamond
R on Club
L on Arizona
R on Yucca/45th
R on 48th, continue on Urban
R on North (look out for traffic on North that doesn't understand right-of-way)
Through the canyon (look out for Quemazon traffic)
R on Diamond
R on Sandia
Continue around the loop to Trinity
R on 43rd
L on Fairway
L on West
R across the bridge
To the back gate and back

Total around 28 miles and about 2500' of climb. It's not as pretty as going around the loop, but there are some nice views and it's pretty pleasant early on a Sunday morning. I do suggest being on the way to the back gate by 8:30, 9 at the latest; that's when church traffic starts to pick up.