Led by Chris Sheehan, Santa Fe's hardest climb and most techy descent is on tap for advanced riders. We'll do 2.5 miles to get to the trail head on Upper Canyon Road (7250') and the fun begins. 1900' of climbing in 4.5 miles through pinon forest and 800' of climbing in the last mile to Atalaya Peak (9121') means 30 minutes of hike-a-bike if you aren't acclimated and at least 5 minutes for the super fit and skilled. We'll session climbing challenges on the way up; this isn't a race after all, but expect a pretty decent pace. We'll earn our turns and the the fun begins after taking in the fabulous views among ponderosa pine at the summit.
The return ride starts off DH steep (most riders would like a 6" bike and dropper post about now) and then goes through a cliffy exposure, one real steep and loose section and then chunky, tight and fast trails. We'll detour to the top of Picacho Peak and session the steep and techy line as seen in the video below. Then we'll move onto tight and steppy rock strewn switchbacks and session those until we are ready to move on. No shame in walking through some features if you aren't feeling up to it. We'll finally hit smooth and steep loam, as opposed to the decomposed granite above, and enjoy a fun-filled final descent back to the road.
Again, full suspension and knee pads (at least) highly recommended. The ride CAN be done in 90 minutes, but expect about 3 hours. See this link for more details: http://www.strava.com/segments/6771416