RIDE THE CIRCLE
AUGUST 28, 2021
RED RIVER, NM
HISTORY OF THE RIDE
Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour (formerly Enchanted Circle Century) began in 1978 thanks to Red River Mayor, John Miller, who loved riding bicycles, one hundred miles at a time. After participating in century tours in Albuquerque and Colorado, John decided the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway would be a perfect place for such a ride. He pitched the idea to the Chamber of Commerce and now John Miller is the honored founder of one of the town’s most popular and enduring special events.
The Enchanted Circle Century Tour – “It’s a tour, not a race.” – was conducted for years by the Red River Chamber of Commerce and the Red River Bicycle Club. In its inaugural year the Enchanted Circle Century saw seventy-five entries. Rest stops along the route were staffed by local volunteers. The course ran clockwise, with the riders attacking Bobcat Pass shortly after the start. Since the Enchanted Circle loop is roughly eighty-five miles, the extra mileage for the century was gained by taking a brief trip to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. This particular trek is no longer a part of the tour as that stretch of road to the Gorge provided some harrowing moments. “One year,” John remembers, “a wood gatherer was using the curve of his bumper, going along, flicking bikes off the road. But he was so intent on flicking that he didn’t see a policeman.”
In 2002, six-hundred cyclists participated in the event and it would eventually cater to as many as one-thousand participants. Over the years a Top of the World Mountain Bike Race, held at the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, and a Hillclimb were added to the event held the second weekend in September. The hillclimb was conducted on State Highway 38 from town limits to the top of Bobcat Pass.
This past spring, Roll Massif (of Outside) acquired the event and renamed the ride as the Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour. The tour will not take place the last Saturday of August and is staged to run clockwise along the scenic byway. In partnership with the Town of Red River, Roll Massif is committed to bringing the event back to its heyday, showcasing Northern New Mexico and stimulating its local host communities.