Lawmaker hopes to make New Mexico a destination for ‘bike packing’
It’s been around for a while and now it’s really taking off. One state lawmaker made it her mission this session to make sure New Mexico is the most popular place in the country for “bike packing.”
Whatever you can fit on your bike is all you’ve got for a remote ride through the New Mexico wilderness.
“My sleeping bag on the handlebars and then my tent on the back,” Rep. Angelica Rubio, D-Las Cruces, said.
Rep. Angelica Rubio’s ride to the Roundhouse every day is nothing compared to the trip she took at the start of the session.
“I just told him like, what if I ride my bike to Santa Fe?” Rep. Angelica Rubio, D-Las Cruces, said.
Rubio biked the 285 miles from her district in Las Cruces all the way to the capitol.
“It was incredible. It’s certainly an experience I will never forget,” Rep. Rubio said.
It’s an experience Rubio wants more people to have in New Mexico.
“Essentially connect trails that already exist,” she said.
The governor has signed off on Rubio’s idea to create the “bike packing trail network.”
“It’s a way of accessing public lands you couldn’t otherwise,” Rep. Rubio explained.
It would create an additional 1,400 miles of trails to connect routes like the Chama Charmer, New Mexico Off-Road Runner, and Continental Divide Trail.
Stephen Newhall, the general manager of Rob and Charlie’s, rode with Rubio during the last leg of her ride to Santa Fe and is thrilled about the new network. Rep. Rubio believes the network will boost the state’s outdoor economy.
According to Rep. Rubio, “We have the potential to actually be number one in outdoor recreation,” and make New Mexico the most popular place to go for long beautiful bike rides.
“My intention is to ride the whole state within the next couple of years,” she said.
The bike packing network will likely be created by the Outdoor Recreation Division. The bill that would launch the division is currently sitting on the governor’s desk. She is expected to sign it.