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Summit to promote NM as bike-packing spot


The first-ever New Mexico Bike Packing Summit will be in Las Cruces Friday, Oct. 22.

Titled “Origins and Connections,” the summit hopes to bring together local, statewide and out-of-state outdoor enthusiasts to discuss connecting the state’s four major bike-packing routes and how to promote these routes in a way that supports inclusivity and equity, the City of Las Cruces said in a news release.

The summit will begin with a meet and greet from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Outdoor Adventures, 1424 Missouri Ave. The session will feature New Mexico-based manufacturers and retailers that focus on bicycle or outdoor recreation gear.

After a lunch break, the Summit will continue 2 to 5 p.m.  at Klein Park, 155 N Mesquite St., with three speaker panels. State Rep. Angelica Rubio, D-Doña Ana, who has biked from Las Cruces to attend sessions of the New Mexico Legislature in Santa Fe, will moderate a discussion featuring recipients of New Mexico’s Outdoor Equity Fund, the first of its kind in the United States. Axie Navas, director of the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division of the state Economic Development Department, will discuss the last two years since the division was created and the next steps for New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy. Bailey Newberry, owner of Sincere Bicycles in Santa Fe and a New Mexico bike-packing network expert, will discuss his recent trip on the Continental Divide and will share stories about the network and its future.

 “The trail network has existed for a very long time, but next month’s bike packing summit makes the work that many of us have been putting in worthwhile,” said Pablo Lopez, co-founder of the Monumental Loop bike trail in the Organ Mountains. “I want folks to come together to celebrate the accomplishments we have made, but also to discuss what the future holds, especially for local access to our outdoors.” Lopez is manager of Outdoor Adventures, one of the summit’s supporters, the news release said.  Visit https://bikepacking.com/routes/monumental-loop/.

“Since our advocacy began several years ago, it’s amazing to see how well the state and local leaders have responded to our vision for the Monumental Loop and the intersectionality of how lives can be transformed just as much as the economy,” said bike-packing trail’s co-founder, Matt Mason. The summit, he said, “is an exciting opportunity to highlight these efforts, as well as solidify what many of us have always known – that access to the outdoors should be for all of us. We just have to make the investments to make it so.”

“Bike packing has grown in popularity and is an adventurous way to explore the lesser traveled portions of the public land that surrounds us,” said Hilary Dutcher, outdoor recreation sales manager for Visit Las Cruces. “Bringing awareness to this trend and the opportunities it presents to Las Cruces is great for visitors and locals.”

For information contact Mason at 575-636-4952 and matterhorn2174@gmail.com.