Enchanted Circle Century Tour celebrates 40th year


The 40th Enchanted Circle Century Tour bicycle event offered participants, volunteers and fans sunny skies, followed by scattered showers Sunday (Sept. 10).

The 100-mile course takes riders around the Enchanted Circle - beginning and ending in Red River. Many of the participants have done this tour again and again. Riders participate in the century tours as opposed to just riding the scenic loops because established tours keep track of time and provide rest stops, spokes and gear vehicles, as well as emergency support if needed, all provided by the Red River Chamber of Commerce with a great deal of volunteer support.

Red River resident John Miller started the first 100-mile tour 40 years ago after riding in an Albuquerque century tour. Miller told this year's riders that the first year, he and about 70 others rode the Enchanted Circle the opposite direction, but the route was switched the following year after riders were harassed by wood gatherers (who ran a few riders off the road), angry drivers (who chucked beer bottles at the bicyclists) and even police (who told riders to get off the road, saying it wasn't safe).

The Black Lake leg (to get the even 100 miles) replaced the bridge leg a few years later.