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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310

    NM - South Boundary Trail

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    Anyone done the South Boundary Trail from Angel Fire to Taos? What should I know? We are thinking about adding it to our vacation plans next month.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I am shocked no one has done this. One review said it was NM answer to Fruita. I am very nervous but excited. DH wants to pack a weapon for mountain lions!
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310

    Epic fail

    I am so disheartened by our attempted try at the SBT I almost don't want to report. We got up early and spend a pretty high amount ($100 + $6 for maps) to get up to the trail. The bike shop swore the whole trail was intuitive and we would see signs. I was also equipped with someone who had great success last month's GPX tracks so I figured a great ride awaits.

    From the get go we realize we were mislead. First of all the "great map" has a narrative on the back that takes a whole legal sheet of paper for the first half of the trail, has vulgar language and doesn't seem to be in chronological order. We will discover later it only has the roads you may cross so when the trail dumps you on a road and it isn't labeled anywhere on the map you are out of luck. Plus call me spoiled but short succinct directions are way more effective when you have to stop on a ride to review them. If we hadn't paid for their service wouldn't have expected appropriate verbal directions but since you spent the hour car ride giving them we listened.

    No worries, he told us it was mostly right turns to stay on single track except the first part is mostly the OTHER RIGHT (left turn). He said there are signs, funny in the first part of the trail there are only a few signs that show who can use the trail. Either there were never numbers or people peeled them off. We saw some signs, going the other way, that were faded to nearly non-readable.

    So by the time we are looking aimlessly for the park that is supposed to take us to the best part of the trail we have already gone six extra miles and are about to be stuck in a thunderstorm. We are also about 1 liter from being out of water in our 3 liter packs because the park is where to get more water. DH is about to cry he is so angry and frustrated. We finally pack it in and take the road back to the shop.

    To throw salt in the wound the people at the shop think they would be best to make us feel stupider. "Well he has a great narrative and map, you got lost?" Then "We have people do this all the time they say the map and signs are great." And just in case I didn't get the hint that I am stupid "It is so odd you had problems no one ever says they do." Guess she needed to defend the shop she owns and the husband who wrote the map. I admit I got lost, I know people who didn't.

    Don't ask how it went if you don't want to know. We didn't whine (I know I am now) my husband just said "Not so great, we got lost. Had some trouble with the map and didn't know where we got off course." Then I added "Since we didn't know how far off we were and the storm was coming we took the road back to be safe."

    She kept prying about how we got lost, we didn't want to talk about it further just change out of our bike clothes and leave. We spent a lot of money, this was the big part of our trip we planned around and were disappointed we got lost which we blamed on ourselves for not being able to understand the map. Also the Garmin 500 will tell you if you get off course but get too far off and you are on your own.

    Needless to say I am so unhappy with the after treatment when we were obviously tired and upset that I plan to donate my t-shirt from this shop I bought last trip up here to Goodwill. No way will I be advertising their shop anymore. I haven't written off this trail as one to do but I will get better maps and a different shuttle before I try on a future visit.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    The Mountains
    Posts
    92
    That sucks. What a disappointment, trail wise, shop wise, everything. How was the rest of the vacation? Better I hope!
    BTW: We went and did Rainbow Rim on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, totally beautiful and impossible to get lost on, very much worth the trip. We also travel to Tucson and Sedona with some regularity, Sedona is amazing, but also hard to navigate, though the shops are much better than the one you describe. Next up we're headed east to the Kingdom Trails.
    "I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood." Susan B Anthony

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    The rest of the vacation was very good. I am still terribly disappointed in the treatment from the shop and the amount we spent to be treated like idiots. I feel so lucky we have great shops and people making user friendly maps for our spiderweb trails. The biggest problem with the SBT map is there were multiple fire roads, forest trails and forest roads that crossed the trail but only the single track was detailed except for a few forest roads but you crossed more than were on the map and got dumped into multiple meadows were the trail seemingly disappeared. So when we got off the trail we were on a forest road but had no clue how close or far we were off course. We should have gotten a trail map/guide of the forest, not just this particular trail. We still take complete blame for being lost but not for the unwelcome treatment from the shop.
    Last edited by Aggie_Ama; 07-25-2010 at 06:31 PM.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Abq, NM
    Posts
    309
    Hey, Amanda, being from the Land of Enchantment, could you name names? You were mistreated, and because I'm a local, I would like to stay away from this shop. It was a Taos shop, correct? I feel bad on behalf of my state. It is so beautiful here.
    Lookit, grasshopper....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    I am just wondering. I hear that you own that you got lost and could have been better prepared with additional other maps etc. . What COULD the shop people have said that you wouldn't have been so offended by?
    "yes that happens sometimes, sorry about that, the next edition of the map will be better?"

    I'm not getting what is so offensive. Maybe most people DON'T get lost up there and you guys were the exception. It's nothing to be embarrassed about, people make mistakes sometimes. Shoot, I made a wrong turn on the Mackenzie River trail, one of the most well known/used trails on the west coast.


    I've made maps. It's hard to know how people that aren't familiar with the territory are going to use them. We have a map right now that's really cool except the area isn't signed yet. People get lost a lot. I am sorry about that, but if they can help us raise money then maybe we'll get some signs.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Irulan - The shop did nothing wrong until we returned. The owner told us no less than 10 times we were the only ones who have ever gotten lost. We felt like she wanted us to feel stupid since she just wouldn't drop it. It is possible they didn't offer the map that other places had which documented the forest roads, I should have asked but we didn't anticipate the trail being as difficult to follow.

    The only problem I had with the map was the roads you would easily end up on were omitted from the map. There was very few points of reference which made it hard to get back on track. But I also know a lot of people who have made maps of trails and how big of a pain it was. And again it was our personal problem until she told us "everyone thinks the map is great". Which it may be, we didn't trash it to her, just said we had trouble following it. I wasn't a fan of the format and vulgar language put on the map, that is my problem and I know that.

    I don't fault them for no signs our bike shops in Austin don't even put signs up, but she made sure to tell us "There are a lot of signs, you didn't see them?" No, there were not. Then her own mechanic admitted people vandalize and take down the signs regularly, so maybe we weren't crazy the signs might have been gone from the section we did. That is not the shops fault by any means but treating us like we were the only idiots who get lost (majority of riders are from out of town) was the part that made this the worst experience with a bike shop ever. Maybe Texans really are a friendlier culture, I don't know.

    My husband is very hard to offend and incredibly patient so if she managed to make him feel bad she really worked hard at it. Again they did nothing wrong UNTIL we came back and she wouldn't stop reminding us we were the only people who get lost. My opinion is most people prepay the shuttle (the guy running it didn't want to power up the register so we could not) and if they don't have to come in, they probably don't come in to admit being lost. Or maybe they don't have a huge thunderstorm rolling in where they are not able to keep wandering in the forest until they get back on track. Again they did not make us get lost, she just made us feel awful for saying we got lost. Worst cycling experience I have ever had out of town and we travel for cycling a lot. So it is just a bummer that we built our trip around it and had the shop experience. I had already come to accept cutting the ride short and was not feeling awful about it until we went into the shop.
    Last edited by Aggie_Ama; 07-28-2010 at 11:03 AM.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

 

 

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