So here's my 60-mile west side hill climb ride. Starting at my house (the green circle), I went to the Bosque Trail at Central. Headed south along the trail to Rio Bravo. West to Paseo del Vulcan. North to Route 66. West along Route 66 until I hit 30 miles, and then do it all in reverse. This got me 60 miles and 2000 feet of climbing, on a 75-degree sunny day with just enough breeze to keep things interesting.
Apparently, the West Mesa is indeed a mesa... riding west out of Albuquerque, you will first ascend the mesa by climbing the infamous 9-mile hill. I did this on Rio Bravo/Dennis Chavez. Now if you keep riding west (as I did along Rt 66, aka I-40 frontage road), you will eventually drop off the west end of the West Mesa into the Rio Puerco drainage, home of the Laguna and Acoma Pueblos. The Laguna Peublo has built the Route 66 Casino there (marked by a coffee mug on the map), and a gas station where I was able to re-fuel with Gatorade and peanut-butter cookies. Rt 66 dead-ends a few miles past the casino, so you can't go further west without getting on the interstate or taking dirt tribal roads. At this point, I turned around and went back the way I came.
From Paseo del Vulcan (on top of the West Mesa) south of I-40, looking east. I could see downtown Albuquerque (the camera phone does not capture landscapes very well).
Looking east near my turn-around point, 30 miles from where I started. The massive white building on the right side of the road is the Route 66 Casino. Sandia Mountain is still visible on the horizon, but downtown Albuquerque is hidden by the West Mesa.