Monumental Loop Trip 2018

It’s back to the land of green chile. The land of Matt Mason and Agatha and the Gravelerxs, sand and rocks. Where last time I was here I looked like this.


Super grumpy and melty in New Mexico.

I knew by the time I was half way through New Mexico that I wanted to do the Tour Divide again, the most logical thing beyond that was to go back to NM first.

So here I go! For the Monumental Loop, constructed by Chad Mason’s brother. I ride with Chad like every other day. So I should probably go investigate what Las Cruces has got going on. I’ll do a presentation at Outdoor Adventures, have a dinner with rad biking ladies, and get a group ride in all before I leave for the route.

HOT DANG. My ride report, just turned into a book report.

Alright. I just took the dog for a walk and went through my mental list for the Monumental Loop, let’s see what I can remember.

I want to bring my extra hoodie, but where would I put it. Maybe my seatbag? With a pillow, sleeping bag, and sleeping bag cover? That seems like a lot for a 8L Viscacha. But either way I’m not taking a sleeping pad. A bag and cover will be enough. Plus a puffy, a nice Ghost Whisper from Mountain Hardware that I used for the whole Tour Divide. I will have a pillow and could use the hoodie for extra warmth, or just security. With the hoodie I have to wear, a bra, nothing fancy, a short sleeve wool Patagonia base, a long sleeve Rab base, Salsa team vest, puffy, and Outdoor Research Helium jacket. I don’t need the hoodie, but I want it.

My legs will HOPEFULLY have Fjlaravven Abisko trekking tights on them, or I might freeze because I forgot one knee warmer from my Brother, because besides the tights that are in the mail, I have Giro shorts and it’s going to be chilly, like 45-20 degrees chilly. I will have knee length wool Icebreaker base shorts, Salsa team socks, and bigger wool socks. Giro Terraduro Mid shoes, and a Bell helmet with a little headlamp. I have batteries for the headlamp and for my Spot Tracker! HECK YEA I HAVE THIS THING ON! FOLLOW ME. I will try my best to follow the line on my Garmin eTrex 30x, it’s powered with batteries also, but AA, not AAA. Click on that link to see how wonky my lines get.

Beyond headlamp I will have Supernova headlight next to a Sinewave USB charger for charging phone and taillight. Speaking of phone I use the Gaia app for more mapping, download some jams on Spotify, and take pictures with this thing. (current music selection looks something like new Pig Destroyer, old Kylesa, old Scissor Sisters). That charging stuff will live in an Outershell handlebar bag and hopefully not squish my headlamp. I will keep multi-tools in the handlebar bag too. I have a Revelate feedbag and new Oveja Negra feedsack. The Revelate bag still has the same kit from the Tour Divide 1L water bottle, and most importantly includes a small Voile strap, I’ll bring 4 of those. The Oveja Negra bag will carry food.  I will carry two more things on my fork. A Velo Orange bottle cage and a Oveja Negra FORK BAG, these will mainly carry water, plus extra clothes….. like the unnecessary hoodie. Frame bag is attached to the Ti Timberjack frame, made by Andy Long in Iowa City, it’s got clouds on it. and laces, just like my shoes, I am going to get so tangled in laces. In the bag is a tube, water filter, extra layers, paper, pen, spokes, zipties, knife, lighter, and extra layers. My seat bag is already mentioned, but it never hurts to remember what’s in there, 15 degree sleeping bag, Montbell UL cover, and a pillow. I am trying out a Camelbak fanny pack from Jesse Ramsey, he sent it to me during the Tour, but it was too much of a change. It has a 1.5L bladder in it, OOHHHHHHBOY. The rest of my flat kit will go under my downtube in a Salsa keg bottle, tire levers, duct tape, chain (cause I want to not normally), Dynaplug, big Lezyne pump, patches for all things fabric, and probably a Wolftooth tool. I think all I have left is my personal kit. Oakely sunglasses, Smartwool World of Bikes hat, Salsa buff, Pogie Lites, Specialized thin gloves, chap stick, Excedrin and RX, bandaids, Neosporin, tooth brush, paste, zit cream, nailclippers, nail file, that’s probably it. Did I forget anything? My bike has lots of stuff on it, but when I get it out of the box I’ll figure it out.

Ride Plan –

3-5 days. Get rowdy, have fun, find Bailey, pedal. pedal. pedal.

It’s time to Pilot the Dune.

If you had specific questions about any of the gear or how I am riding send an email to

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