El Huevito’s night out in New Mexico.

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I admit to a near perpetual yearning for the next big trip; travel hopes and aspirations are forever poking and prodding into the more foreign nooks and crannies of my mind. But if truth be told, I’m often more than happy subsisting on shot-in-the-arm overnighters, especially if they’re en famille and better still, in New Mexico. A night under stars, or around a campfire with friends, or coddled in sleeping bags beneath tarp, can do true wonders for the soul.

This mid week dirt road excursion – just a stone’s lob from Santa Fe – was shared with Nancy, Sage and fellow bikepackers Tim, Rusty and John. It was short but distinctly sweet, and had me looking forward to more of the same come fall. After all, when far flung places are simply too far away, little beats digging in the dirt of your own backyard.

If you would like to keep up with where I am between tardy blog entries, I keep my While Out Riding Facebook page more regularly updated – along with posting extra photos and gear ponderings. Occasionally, I also post pictures on my Instagram feed. And if you haven’t overdosed by then, I’ve also started a While Out Riding Tumblr edition, focusing on images – many of which don’t make it onto the blog. 

Sage and his Chariot, unofficially modified to offer him a panoramic vista, afforded by a standing position when we’re cycling along traffic-free roads.

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Nancy and her Troll. After the hodgepodge weather conditions of Ecuador’s rainy season, it’s good to feel the New Mexican sun on our backs again.

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Rusty and his Salsa Fargo. Its bright yellow finish secured it the accolade of being Sage’s favourite bike of the troupe.

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John prepares the evening’s fire, with a bundle of wood he’s hauled out in his BOB trailer.

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Santa Fe longterm resident and Tarot card reader extraordinaire, Minimalist Master Tim. Seen here sporting a look that only he could pull of: a ninja balaclava matched with his Jacks ‘R Better down poncho quilt.

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A most suitable home for the night.

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Rusty’s campfire tipple.

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And said campfire.

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Our Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3, pitched amongst the sagebrush, juniper, piñon and cowpats.

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At the ripe old age of 2.5, Sage is a dab hand at campcraft.

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An early morning start ensures John and his Surly LHT are back to town in time for work…

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… while Sage hones his climbing skills.

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Come dusk…

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… or dawn, I can never get enough of New Mexico’s dirt roads.

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Baked dry, they provide the perfect backdrop for Nancy to pop a few early morning yoga moves.

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Trikonasana.

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Spring is here, and with it comes open shirt riding weather.

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Then, it’s time to turn back for the 15 mile ride home. Distances are more limited with family rides, but no less satisfying.

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Quick break for a stretch and a scratch in the earth for stink bugs.

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My Surly ECR, complete with a combination of Porcelain Rocket, Revelate and Carradice bike bags, teamed with a Velo Orange Porteur rack and Salsa Anything Cage HDs.

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