Andrew Strempke Finishes Monumental Loop in 24 Hours!
This weekend, Andrew Strempke set off to see how quickly he could ride the entire Monumental Loop in Southern New Mexico. Turns out he can move pretty swiftly, and he set a new fastest known time on the 245-mile route. We caught up with him a few days later for a short interview and to snap some photos of his bike setup…
A few weeks ago, Andrew Strempke (@strempke) toured the northern half of the Monumental Loop in Southern New Mexico with his wife Katie. And this past weekend, he returned with the goal of riding the entire loop as fast as possible. Considering his accomplishments in the last few years—including a first-place finish at the 2021 Pinyons and Pines, a new record yo-yo of the Colorado Trail a few months later, not to mention completing the first Colorado Trail yo-yo the year before with Katie—it’s not surprising to see him moving swiftly on two wheels… and one gear.
The final result of his Monumental Loop FKT attempt was a time of 24 hours and 18 minutes, a full six hours fasters than the previous record, and right on track with Andrew’s goal to finish in 24 hours. This weekend, fresh off the loop, I met up with Andrew and Katie in Gold Canyon, Arizona, to learn more about his ride and the rig he rode. Find a short interview below, followed by photos and details on his Chumba Sendero.
What prompted you to chase an FKT on the route?
I saw that singlespeed legend Bailey Newbrey set an FKT last fall, so the loop was on my radar. In February, we were headed to Austin to pick up my new Chumba frame and we stopped in Las Cruces on the way to tour the northern loop. After riding the northern loop, I was motivated to see how fast I could complete the route.
What were the conditions like? Any surprises?
Conditions were very good, and rain a few days prior helped firm up some of the sand. In places, there were tire tracks to follow from people who rode the route recently. It did get a little colder than I anticipated overnight, but that was extra motivation to ride hard and get back to Las Cruces.
Tell us about your bike and gear setup.
I rode my new Chumba Sendero Ti with a rigid carbon fork and aero bars. My gearing was 32×17, which I’d run again. My 2.25″ Mezcals were great aside from a handful of sandy spots, but I never had to walk through the sand for long. I carried a vest, arm/knee warmers, buff, mid-weight gloves, and a rain jacket in my hip pack. No sleep kit, just an emergency blanket. Food, water, and repair kit in my frame bag and top tube bag. I had 3L water capacity which was a little slim in the afternoon, but manageable. Garmin Edge 1030+ (I had 6% battery left at the end with turn-by-turn navigation, power and HR sensors connected, and Bluetooth off during the ride, no battery save mode) and two Fenix PD35 lights on my helmet and bars.
Andrew’s Chumba Sendero
- Frame Chumba Sendero Titanium
- Fork Niner Carbon
- Brakes Shimano XT 4 Piston
- Crankset Raceface Turbine
- Chainring Wolftooth CAMO 32T Oval
- Cog Problem Solvers 17T
- Wheels Nox Teocalli
- Hubs DT Swiss 240
- Tires Vittoria Mezcal 2.25″
- Seatpost PNW Loam Dropper
- Saddle WTB Volt
- Stem Enve 35mm
- Handlebars Salsa Salt Flat Carbon
- Grips Wolftooth w/ Cane Creek bar ends
- Pedals Garmin Rally XC
- Aero Bars Profile Design T1
Any last tips for anyone planning to ride (or race) the route?
Definitely grab some food with chiles in Hatch. I bought a green chile breakfast burrito, but should’ve grabbed three!
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.