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Aztec Adventures announces 2024 race calendar and three-round gravel series

Race series continues to bring mountain bike and gravel racing to San Juan County, N.M., in its third year
Riders compete in the Holy Grit mountain bike race in Blanco, N.M. (Courtesy of Aztec Adventures)

Aztec Adventures has announced its 2024 off-road cycling event calendar, which brings mountain bike and gravel racing to San Juan County, New Mexico. Reliant on the energy sector for decades, the sandy washes and windy ridges surrounding Aztec and Farmington offer a scenic and challenging cycling arena easily accessible from a large portion of the Four Corners.

The season kicks off on Saturday with the Roost the Ridges enduro mountain bike race supported by the city of Farmington. The family-friendly event begins at Lions Wilderness Park where riders begin an eight-mile-long untimed transfer into the Glade Run Recreation Area.

From there, riders complete three timed downhill segments across flowing ridgeline terrain. The intermediate-level terrain makes Roost the Ridges a great choice for those who are new to enduro racing but also offers a challenging course for experts.

“I am excited to welcome racers back to the trails north of Farmington for the third annual Roost the Ridges enduro and Galactic Grinder this spring,” said Aztec Adventures founder Neil Hannum in a news release. “The leg-burning terrain at both races is quickly solidifying them as traditional spring classics for off-road cycling enthusiasts throughout the Four Corners.”

Switching to gravel bikes, Aztec Adventures’ three-race gravel series begins April 6 with the Galactic Grinder that serves up three hilly gravel Orbits around the Alien Crash Site just outside Aztec.

Starting in Cedar Hill, the 35- and 50-mile routes quickly encounter a sharp climb into the San Juan Alps, close to the New Mexico-Colorado line. After traversing mesas and sandy washes, both routes filter into a four-mile stretch of single-track in the infamous Alien Run trail system before hitting some more punchy hills back to the finish. The nine-mile route offers a fun but challenging introduction to gravel riding and the terrain San Juan County has to offer.

Next on the list is the Gas Field Grinder on June 8 in downtown Aztec. From there, riders will travel through the Aztec Jungle in the sandstone canyons of Kiffen Canyon. Based on the north side of Aztec and located directly across the river from Aztec Ruins National Monument, the whole family will have something to do if they are not out racing on the nine-, 27- or 50-mile distances.

Rounding out the season is Holy Grit based out of Wines of the San Juan in Blanco. Riders will race along parts of the Old Spanish Trail where they can imagine the time when a route linking New Mexico to California, combining information from many explorers, was opened in 1829 when Santa Fe merchant Antonio Armijo led a trade party of 60 men and a caravan of mules to Alta, California.

Aztec Adventures encourages participants of all abilities to partake in its events – which show off its ethos of Go Fast, Go Slow, Just Go.

Hannum has extensive experience exploring the area via bicycle and seeing what’s soon to be known as world-class cycling terrain.

In 2021, according to the release, he joined forces with recent Fort Lewis College graduate William Farmer, his cousin Haden Cox and the rest of Farmer’s extended family along with a small group of volunteers to create what are now mainstay events on the region’s cycling calendar.

Registration for Roost the Ridges and the Galactic Grinder is now open. Riders who register for all three gravel events receive 20% off registration. To learn more about these events, visit: https://aztec-adventures.com.