I took a ride on New Year's eve day to the Manzano Mts in Central New Mexico. Its one I do often because it is only 20+ miles from home and almost all on back (primitive roads ) with no traffic and lots of open space. It was in the low 50's so light gloves and a jacket were enough protection.
Just 2 miles from home I hit this clay and or sand road that looks better than it is - a few sand traps (dry periods) and mud holes (if it has rained).
A bit further on the substrate become hard pack gravel.
After 15 miles I'm in the foothills (having climbed from 5000 to 6000 ft where the junipers start in the arroyos.
Its Pinyon and Ponderosa further up, but down in the junipers and oaks you have to worry about yucca and Opuntia spines.
There are a myriad of small canyons to explore, but you have to walk in the steepest part because its wilderness.
There are literally hundreds of miles of roads graded in the 1950s that have received no attention and little traffic in the last 50 years. There are enough washouts, rocky arroyos, and large stones to keep you awake.
Its cleansing to be in so much open space looking over the Rio Grande Valley with
so few people, houses, or marks of civilization.
Here is the view looking west over the Rio Grande Valley. My home is 10 miles from the triangular mountain in the distance and about 25 from here. Its downhill most of the way home.
I apologize for the disorganized presentation. I was fighting with IE and Mozilla
and working out the bugs of posting photos.