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Los Ranchos bike ride route reflects an appreciation of farming and the outdoors

Lavender in the field near Los Poblanos Organic Farm. The farm will be featured in the Tour de Farms. (Courtesy of Sergio Salvador)

A local grass-roots organization wants to share a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for local agriculture from the seat of a bicycle when Slow Roll 505, the Village of Los Ranchos and Roadrunner Law Firm present the 3rd Annual Tour de Farms on Sept. 29.

The event will include a 5-mile bike ride through Los Ranchos, with various farms stops along the way. Cyclists are invited to visit the farms, take informal tours and talk with people who work the land at Los Poblanos Organic Farm, Wagner Farm, Loose Leaf Farm and Red Hat Hops.

The ride will begin and end at Los Ranchos Agri-Nature Center, 920 Rio Grande NW, across from Los Poblanos. Riders are asked to arrive at 8 a.m., and the ride will begin at 9. Registration for the free event may be completed online or on the day of the event. The group’s website is slowroll505.com.

“They won’t just have to look at vegetables,” Fergus Whitney, agricultural program manager for Los Ranchos, said of the farm tours. “Beer is big here, and seeing how the hops is grown brings it full circle.”

Some food and coffee will also be available for purchase, and farms will have food to sample.

The farm tour has been sponsored by Los Ranchos the past two years as a way to introduce Albuquerque residents to the farm community in the valley. Whitney said doing a tour by bicycle makes sense.

“Many people whiz by them in their cars, and this is a great opportunity for people to actually go into the property and see what goes on there,” Whitney said.

Victor Gallardo is one of the organizers for Slow Roll 505, which was founded this year to bring the Albuquerque area together, promote active lifestyles, and connect our communities in a safe and fun environment.

It is modeled after a Detroit group whose hallmark is inviting riders of various skill levels and every type of bike on weekly rides on routes throughout the city.

The route for Tour de Farms will go north on Rio Grande and through the North Valley along Chavez and Guadalupe Trail. Streets will not be closed, but the group pays for Albuquerque police officers to escort the riders.

“We want to make sure that these rides are accessible to riders of all types,” Gallardo said. “So safety is a big part of that.”

Since Memorial Day, the group has hosted rides Downtown, in the Barelas, Wells Park/Sawmill/Old Town neighborhoods, and near the ABQ BioPark Zoo.

Gallardo says the rides have brought together not only different types of bike riders – including lowriders, town bikes and tandems – but skates and skateboards, as well.

The rides generally are 5 to 7 miles and begin/end at the same point. Often, there are food trucks available that people can enjoy.

Gallardo said the first season was very successful, attracting about 100 riders for each of its events, and that organizers are looking for more ways next year not only to share their love of cycling, but also to connect with the city’s other cycling groups.

“We really want to build a community … to allow people to come together and enjoy Albuquerque,” he said.

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