Print Posted on 08/18/2017 in Road Tales

Madrid New Mexico - Wild Hogs made this a biker destination

Madrid New Mexico - Wild Hogs made this a biker destination

Thanks to the cult-like popularity of Disney's Wild Hogs, Madrid, New Mexico is a non-negotiable stop on every self-respecting biker's bucket list. While you're unlikely to be bumping elbows with Tim Allen or having a standoff with the Del Fuegos, you will encounter lots of folks who live life on the fringe and love it. Yup, you'll fit right in.

Here's four of the countless reasons why you need to saddle up and get your ass down to Madrid, N.M.:

1. The Turquoise Trail

All great biker destinations have one thing in common - you need to ride a mind-blowing, awe-inspiring road to arrive, and this place is no exception. Madrid is located smack dab in the middle of New Mexico 14, better known as Turquoise Trail, a rolling National Scenic Byway that's littered with studios, coffeehouses and bars. Whether you're heading northbound from Albuquerque or coming south from Santa Fe, don't be fooled into thinking this is going to be a quick little 50-odd mile run - it's an all-day, stop at every little joint affair.

2. Maggie's Diner

Created by Disney Imagineers, Maggie's Diner is the last remaining Main Street set from Wild Hogs, making it a must-see for riders. This place is packed with motorcycle swag, including tons of movie memorabilia. Just don't think you'll be actually dining here - apparently the Disney folks neglected to build a kitchen in their make-believe restaurant.

3. The Mine Shaft Tavern

Unlike the smoke and mirrors at Maggie's, the Mine Shaft Tavern is a real roadhouse, complete with a working kitchen that serves up a scratch-made menu of Tex-Mex staples. Here you can cool down with a pint of Desert Dawg Pilsner or a Horny Cadillac margarita, and on Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy live bluegrass, blues and soul music on the deck. Judging by the rows of chrome in the lot, this place is popular with our favorite kind of folks.

4. The Sandia Crest Byway

No ride to Madrid is complete without a detour up Route 536/Sandia Crest Highway. This 14 mile byway traverses west from Route 14 through Cibola National Forest, dead-ending at the crest of Sandia Mountain, elevation 10,678'. While the views during the ride up are mostly obstructed with trees, you'll be too busy navigating the endless hairpin turns and 3,828' climb to be gawking around. Once at the top, the views are mind-blowing, but be warned - even in the summer things can be damn chilly up there. On the trip down, check out the Tinkertown Museum; once you have, you'll never be able to look at an empty bottle without cracking a shit-eating grin.

Disney's location scouts got it right - this place truly is a biker's paradise; the perfect combination of quirky watering holes, funky independent shops and locals who have a healthy respect for loud pipes.

And just like in the movie, it's still a bad place to run out of gas - the nearest station is about 40 miles away.

Written By Drew Davis

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