Hey folks. All good questions! Here are some preliminary answers. More detail to come later.
The ride itinerary / trail conditions will have broad appeal...
Steepness level: Knowing my muni heritage, there will be much more downhill than uphill. However, the ABQ area really doesn't have very steep trails, and so a brake is absolutely not necessary for people with more-or-less healthy knees.
Technicality: Anyone with a little off-road experience should have no problem finding a route on most of the trails. More experienced riders will also get to enjoy some interesting rock formations. Obviously, not everyone will be able to ride every section, but it shouldn't stop a 12 year old relative newbie from attending. The hardest section for newbies will probably be the first mile of Cedro Peak's Power Lines trail (probably Friday), which has a lot of loose "golf balls." There will also be a very short section (1/8 mile?) called Balsam Glade that only a few rock stars will be able to complete, but the rest of us can easily ride around this kind of stuff. Also, the photo I posted may be a bit misleading. All the trails we will ride will actually be legitimate trails. The only possible exception will be during the trails comp. If we end up going with a natural trials comp, we won't be far from that boulder section. However, we are considering a man-made trials comp instead - details later.
Distance: The longest trail is likely to max out at about 12 miles. However, there are lots of early exits throughout that circuit for people who are concerned.
Dangerousness: Unlike porcupine or SB trails, the trails here do not traverse any cliff edges, so there is no risk of cliff side retrievals of uni's or unicyclists. Contrary to expectation, you will also not have to worry much about cactus or poison oak on this itinerary
While I agree with Nurse Ben's enthusiasm, I don't want to dis the mandolin convention. That sounds really darn fun, and I'm sorry it conflicts, Max!
Thanks, Foss, for pointing out about the Balloon Fiesta. Riders will get a kick out of seeing dozens of them filling up the big New Mexico sky. But the Balloon Fiesta is a really popular event, so be sure to book your accommodations soon!