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New gravel grinder coming to area

Holy Grit to take place Sept. 17 on Old Spanish Trail
A biker climbs out of a canyon in New Mexico last year at an event put on by Aztec Adventures. Aztec Adventures will hold a new race in the area, the Holy Grit, in Sept. 17. (Courtesy)

Aztec Adventures is looking to hold more bike tours and races to fill cracks in the calendar, and its newest idea will be held on Sept. 17 on parts of the Old Spanish Trail.

The Holy Grit gravel grinder will debut with both a 15-mile and a 40-mile option for bikers, starting and ending at the Wines of San Juan in Turley, New Mexico, just south of Bloomfield.

“We’re just trying to put out a few different events to see what gains traction,” said Neal Hannum of Aztec Adventures.

Traction, however, might be tough to find on the Holy Grit if people use too skinny of a tire; parts of the ride will be fairly sandy. “Bring a fatter-width tire,” Hannum said. “Fat bikes will work just fine.”

Both rides will use parts of the Old Spanish Trail, near Largo Wash. the 40-mile ride just goes farther up and Hannum said it reaches some nice views and gets vast.

He said there a lot of petroglyphs on the walls along the ride. Since it is out in the open, however, riders will need to bring their navigation device.

There will also be a pair of aid stations and two sweep vehicles to help keep people safe.

Aztec Adventures commissioned an artist that is making masks out of recycled bike chains for the winners.

Camping is also available Friday and Saturday night at Wines of the San Juan. People can contact the winery at 505-80-1-7319 if they’re interested in camping.

Aztec Adventures is also bringing back the Durango to Farmington Bicycle Tour on Oct. 22, but with a new route for the second edition as an official event. Bikers will now head past Lake Nighthorse and up Wildcat Canyon and then turn south on County Road 136 and then access County Road 138 and go through Southern Ute tribal land.

“It’s a new route, and we’re having fun putting it together,” Hannum said.

The ride will begin at Fort Lewis College and end at Lions Wilderness Park in Farmington.

More information at https://aztec-adventures.com.