It’s not exactly Albuquerque’s most scenic bike trail, but I’d have to say this is really my favorite.
The paved Paseo del Nordest trail makes for perfect off street urban riding. Following the giant North Diversion Channel, which carries floodwater to the river, it’s a north-south route that runs most of the length of town – perfect off street riding. It has street crossings, but underpasses carry it under the freeways.
You won’t find classic nature on this ride, but if you look down in the diversion channel, you can see the lovely killdeer, which makes its home in the impromptu wetlands that develop at the bottom of the channel. More than once I’ve seen coyotes scurrying across in the early mornings.
This ride is my morning commute on the days I ride my bike to work, and my morning escape the days I just ride. Morning commute time is crazy on the streets, so this is a perfect place to get my morning miles in. I never tire of the view of the Sandias as you come sweeping around above the free interchange. I never tire of the smell of the truck tire place (they start early). And when the wind’s right, there’s the smell of cheerios in the morning.
The 10 miles (16 km) north from UNM to Paseo del Norte and then west gets you out to the Rio Grande, where you can connect with the riverside trail. It is, for all practical purposes, completely flat – less than 150 feet (45 meters) in elevation gain from beginning to end.