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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Pedal Your Way Through Albuquerque

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3. What to Do

Thanks to the city's 16-mile long Bosque Bike Trail, a new brewery district, and two-wheeled eating tours, a bike is the best way to see Albuquerque today.  

Get out of the city on the beautiful Bosque Bike Trail, a 16-mile-long paved path blissfully uninterrupted by car traffic. If you haven’t opted to BYOB (that’s bring your own bike), rent some wheels at Bike Smith ($35–$50 per day), located near the entrance. (Choose from a road bike, hybrid, mountain bike, or junior models by cycling-nerd favorite Fuji.) Several city attractions are accessible via the trail: A few miles in, brake for the Rio Grande Nature Center, which is free for cycle-in visitors and offers an up-close look at a three-acre pond (via glass walls that look underwater) with its resident ducks, turtles, and other critters. A little farther down the trail you’ll find the National Hispanic Cultural Center (free on Sundays; $2-$3 otherwise), which offers rotating visual arts exhibits (currently, one of Oaxacan block prints). Just beyond that, cycle through the Albuquerque Biological Park (admission $4–$20), which encompasses one and a half miles of paths through a botanical garden, plus a zoo and an aquarium.

Combine suds and cycling by peddling over to Albuquerque’s new Brewery District, a formerly industrial stretch that the city officially designated a booze hub this year (with street signs and a map likely in the near future). Start out at Nexus Brewery with a refreshing white ale ($2.5–$5.50), spiced with orange peel and coriander, and some carbo-loading for the rest of your ride—there's a full food menu of Cajun and New-Mex grub, like red or green chile nachos ($11) and gumbo ($9.50). Ride over to Il Vicino Brewery Canteen for a pint of the hearty Dark & Lusty Stout ($4.50) accompanied by the aptly named “beer sponge” megapretzel ($2.95). If you still have energy and thirst left, the city’s first craft distillery, Left Turn Distilling, is just down the street; have a taste of its vodka or gin (rum and blue corn whiskey will emerge from the stills later this summer) before walking back to your bike.

Burn (and then replenish) calories on a two-wheeled eating excursion. Routes Rentals & Tours added the New Mexico Chile Bike Tour ($50 with bike rental; $45 if you bring your own) this year, which takes participants to see how the state's red and green chilies are eaten. Tours make four or five pit stops which change regularly, but might include Golden Crown Panaderia for its famous green chile cheese bread or Xocolatl Chocolate Cartel for green chile chocolate. Or take a solo spin down to Bike-In Coffee, held weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Old Town Farm, a 12-acre spread within the city limits. Purchase cold brew Kona coffee ($3), silver-dollar-size red-pepper and goat cheese “quiche babies” ($3), or “Skookies” (a cross between a scone and cookie made with fruit grown in the garden and orchard; $3) in a parked 1973 Winnebago (which might bring to mind the ABQ-filmed Breaking Bad). Enjoy your bites at a table or wooden bench, and hit up Old Town Farm’s recently added bike repair station if your ride is in need of a tune-up.

Published on Jul 17, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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