Last Thursday, SOB Albuquerque riders arriving at the 599 Rail Parking Lot to embark on the annual ride to Albuquerque. We were greeted with cool temperature and WIND; a wind that would be our nemesis the entire ride. We departed at 9 AM heading to Madrid. At Madrid, we regroup at our familiar haunt… Java Junction Coffee Shop!!

Then it was the long climb up Stagecoach to the pass summit before the descent to Golden.

Golden was inhabited by Native Americans and Spaniards long before American settlers came to the area. However, it began to boom when gold was discovered in 1825. Years before the California and Colorado gold rushes, the site of Golden became the first gold rush west of the Mississippi River. Officially formed in 1879, Golden was selected as the center of the new gold-mining district and soon grew to support several saloons, businesses, a school, and even a stock exchange. In 1880, the post office was opened. Mining continued on a small scale until about 1892 and ranching continued to be a mainstay of the economy. In 1918 the Golden General Merchandise Store opened, which is the only business in town that continues to operate today. It is now referred to by the locals as Henderson General Store, giving credit to its owner.

By 1928, the population was so reduced that the post office closed and Golden officially became a ghost town. For years afterwards, its many abandoned buildings remained, tumbling down between its few remaining occupied structures. Golden’s most photographed building is the San Francisco Catholic Church, originally built around 1830, which was restored by historian and author, Fray Angelico Chavez, in 1960. After we left Golden, it was a series of rollers to San Antonito.  The San Antonito Church and Cemetery is a historic church at the junction of NM 14 and NM 536, was built in 1886 and was added to the National Register in 1997.

After a quick regroup at the Brewer’s Shell Station, we battled a strong headwind on the descent to I-40 and west to Tramway. After another quick regroup at Tramway, we were eagerly anticipating an enjoyable tailwind on the long but mild climb up Tramway. Instead… SURPRISE!! A wind shift gave us a continuing headwind all the way to El Pinto Restaurant!!

After an enjoy and relaxing lunch we headed to the rail runner station for a welcomed ride back to Santa Fe! The SOB Quality Assurance Officer (you know who you are) ensured all SOB bike computers were turned off before boarding the train. 🙂

Overall, we enjoyed another awesome SOB ride and adventure!! Up next is the Tour de Taco in Clovis, NM. YAHOO!

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