Trail-a-Week: Bear Canyon Arroyo
"May 7, 1990. Dear diary, today we (me Dad Li'l Bro) went on a huge huge bike ride 14 miles it was so so fun. We went on one of those bridges across the highway. When we were done we went to this place called ‘20 Carrots’ and got a milkshake! PS All the waitresses wear earrings in their nose. Hoop and diamond."
It's a little light on the punctuation, but allow me to point out that my spelling at the age of 8 was immaculate. You get a gold star, li'l Betty. How unfortunate that you're going to grow up into an insufferable spelling braggart.
Sprocket family bike odysseys were a major feature of my larval phase. Dad, Li'l Bro and I would roll out of our home in the Northeast Heights, hit the Bear Canyon Arroyo trail and spend the next several hours pedaling down to the UNM area, where we'd have lunch and be scandalized by all the pierced-nose freakazoids. Saggio's was called Nunzio's back then. I'm old-school, y'all. We'd summon Ma from a pay phone (pay phones!), and she'd come to haul us back up the hill in a truck.
If you want to re-enact Betty's youthful idyll, pick up the trail at Juan Tabo right in front of that weird flood-control megalith that looks like a graveyard. (Here's a map. Bear Canyon Arroyo trail's the green one in the middle.) Head down past the delightfully cool and green El Oso Grande park and don't even worry about pedaling as you coast between a chamisa'd-out arroyo and a bunch of backyards. The trail allegedly dead-ends into the Arroyo del Oso Golf Course, but I'd counsel you to hang a left on Wyoming's "bike trail" (i.e., a bunch of diamonds painted in the gutter). Head down Osuna to points beyond.
Betty Sprocket, professor emeritus of the Skinny Tires Department of the University of New Bikexico, is here to lecture you about Albuquerque's many magnificent bike trails. You'll learn about a new one each week, so please take notes and do remember to do your homework: Get out there and ride.