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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Biking To Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

The Balloon Fiesta is a must-see event!


   The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2018 is happening very soon! I just can't wait to see all those hot air balloons in the sky. The 47th annual event will feature more than 500 hot air balloons and lots of people. The Balloon Fiesta can have crowds of 80,000 people so that means lots of cars and traffic.  There are ways to avoid the traffic and the long lines to park and I am going to share my favorite way to get to the Balloon Fiesta. My favorite way to get to Balloon Fiesta is by bike and it is a 15-30 minute trip. If you choose to bike you not only get some great exercise but you also save $10 on parking and the stress of waiting forever in the long lines of traffic. There is even free valet parking for your bike which is staffed by local bicycle group volunteers. The free valet parking is available to all people attending the Balloon Fiesta event even if you are not a local. I live in Albuquerque but I have many friends who live in Rio Rancho and they even bike to the event. 


Biking to the Balloon Fiesta is a great way to avoid congested traffic and parking conditions near Balloon Fiesta Park. My son and I biked to the event a couple of years ago and discovered a bike trail that runs along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel and crosses underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda Blvd. This trail continues north where it crosses from the west side to the east side ending just north of the Balloon Museum. There you will find the Bike Valet staffed by local bicycle group volunteers. There are many bike trails in Albuquerque that lead to this bike trail but I found an easier way to get to this trail and it involves way less bicycling time too. You simply put your bike in or on your car and park at the Los Ranchos/Journal Rail Runner station. The bike trail begins at that station. I recommend using this method on the weekends and as it might be hard to find a parking spot during the week with people taking the train to work. 


      I biked this trail last weekend and it only took me 15 minutes to get to the Balloon Fiesta Park. The best part about this trail is you don't even have to ride with traffic as it is bike trails all the way. I am going to share some tips on how to bike safely to the park. Since the balloons go up way early in the morning you will be biking in the dark so other than making sure your tires have air, make sure you have lights on your bike. Please remember when you ride to the morning sessions you will be arriving in the dark and when you leave the evening sessions you will be leaving in the dark. I recommend both a back tail light and front headlight as the trail will be dark. I also recommend a LED Light Reflective Safety Vest for great eye-catching visibility in the dark. I discovered a vest that works great for biking and running. This vest is lightweight and comfortable. I really like the way the LED lights light up my body so I can be seen by other bikers. My younger boys want to borrow my safety vest for their Halloween costume this year. It is adjustable so it will fit them and it will make trick or treating safer too. 



                      Check out these

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Insider Tips



Dress Warm in Layers  
It can be quite chilly in the early morning so make sure you are dressed warm and don't forget the gloves. As Albuquerque warms up once the sun comes out you can then shed some of the layers of clothes for your bike ride back to your car. 

Wear a bike helmet
 Always be safe when bike riding and protect your head with a bike helmet.

Bring Water  
Even though it is cold out you will need water as you are exercising.

Bring a Backpack 
 A backpack is great to carry your water and snacks in. Make sure there is room to put any clothes that you take off like a sweatshirt as it warms up.

Take Along Snacks  
You will need some snacks to give you the energy to bike back to your car, of course, you can always buy some food at the Fiesta.

Money  
You will need money to get into the Fiesta and to buy great food like breakfast burritos and New Mexico Pinon coffee.

Bike Baskets  
These are nice to have but not necessary. I do a lot of bike riding and use my baskets for trips to the grocery store. If you have a basket or pouch, bring it to carry back any souvenirs. The backpack is also good for this.

CellPhone  
I know most people don't leave the house without this. The phone is not only great for calls but also for all the pictures you will be taking. So bring a portable charger too. A camera also works great too. Who remembers the day when the Balloon Fiesta sold disposable cameras and film?


     So if you are local to the area considered biking this year to Balloon Fiesta and avoid all the traffic. You will get some great exercise and save money too. After attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta you might just want to move here as not only do we have hot air balloons year round, we also have great food and pretty good weather most of the time. So if after attending the event you decide that you want to move to New Mexico, check out some homes for sale in Rio Rancho, NM or in Albuquerque, NM. 


Will you be attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta?


Photo from the Balloon Fiesta nighttime glow. 

13 comments:

  1. I lived in Albuquerque for a year and loved going to the Balloon Fiesta such an amazing experience. It was an incredible time.

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  2. I keep missing this fiesta every year. Maybe next year I will catch it!

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  3. The fiesta looks good. I guess I have to visit Albuquerque.

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  4. what an incredible spectacle! this would be a once in a lifetime event for me! I love balloons and this would be epic!

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  5. Lucky you! I wish I could there too, to see these air balloons. This fiesta seems like so much fun. And your travelling essential list to Albuquerque is on the point.

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  6. Wow, so many joyful activities. You must be very happy. Festivals always make us happy.

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  7. What a fantastic festival where can I find the world's most massive hot air ballooning. I don't want to miss it so. that way I might take the best balloons pic ever over there

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  8. I always think balloon fests are so often. WE used to go annually when we lived up north. :)

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  9. The balloon fiesta looks like an incredible and colourful day out! Smart idea avoiding traffic by cycling!

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  10. What a great festival to attend. What's even better is you got to bike there on trails and avoid traffic. Double win, exercise and trails, finished off by awesome balloons.

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  11. This looks like such a fun experience! I would love to visit the balloon fiesta!

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  12. I went a few years ago to take pictures. I would love to jump in one next time to see the earth from a different perspective.

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  13. It looks that you had a great time in Balloon Fiesta and you have shared a nice post on your experience.

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