Lael’s Chingaza FKT: Gear List and Ride Map
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We’ve spent a month scouting a new route in Colombia’s Paramos. To cap it off, Lael Wilcox rolled out on a solo mission to set a Fastest Known Time (FKT). Find the route map, her bike build, gear list, and details on her ride…
Photos by Rugile Kaladyte
For the past eight months we’ve been working diligently with Conservation International on an exciting weeklong bikepacking route in Colombia. The loop will leave Bogotá, Colombia, and explore the relationship between the city and its surrounding high-altitude Paramos, a breathtaking, specialized ecosystem that provides 70% of Bogotá’s fresh water. Once finalized and opened to the public, the route will take riders through some of the region’s most impressive sights and landscapes, including Chingaza National Park.
We’ve ridden the route twice in the past five weeks, each time scouting a few different options and connectors, as well as segments recommended by local cyclists Juan Pablo Ortiz and Julian Manrique. Thanks to all those involved, I think we have an incredible route on our hands and are looking forward to unveiling it just before the dry season this fall.
To complete our project on the ground in Colombia, Lael Wilcox volunteered to ride the route solo and unsupported to establish a FKT for others to try and beat—particularly those in Bogotá’s extremely competitive and burgeoning cycling scene. She set a personal goal of 48 hours, which we thought was incredible considering the massive climbs that are the hallmark of this 262-mile (420 km) route.
Lael will be pedaling out early tomorrow morning (1:00 AM EST) from Parque Nacional Enrique Olaya Herrera to start her ride. Follow along on Trackleaders below (thanks Scott Morris!) and Lael set out at 1:10AM on February 19th and finished the Chingaza Loop FKT in 39 hours and 14 minutes (01:15:14) with over 36,000 feet of climbing. “Such beautiful land and so many steep climbs. I really enjoyed it and now I’m really tired. Excited for when the route is published so locals can go beat my time,” Lael added at the finish. find updates below and scroll down to find details on her bike and the gear she brought along for the ride bringing for the ride.
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Finished my Chingaza Loop FKT: thity-nine hours and 14 minutes for 262 miles and 36,000’ of climbing. Such beautiful land and so many steep climbs. I really enjoyed it and now I’m really tired. Excited for when the route is published so locals can go beat my time. Photo by @rugilekaladyte
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Lael left Fomeque after drinking a couple kumis yogurts and lubing her chain. The store owner brought out a chair so Lael didn’t need to sit on the street. It’s 36 miles (58 km) with almost 7,000 feet (2,133 m) of climbing until her finish in Bogota. Photos @rugilekaladyte.
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Lael has just passed San Juanito, mile 168 of 262 for her Chingaza Loop FKT. She started this morning at 1:10 a.m. @julianmanrique and @someonecallednick rode with her out of Bogota — together they saw the moon rise over the Paramos. Early on, Lael dealt with a tire mechanical and put in a plug to seal the gash — she later added more sealant. She’s been smiling the entire time. Photos @rugilekaladyte.
One thing we realized during our scouting missions is that this route is no place for a skinny tire gravel bike. It was immediately obvious that Rue and Lael made the best bike choices in our group by bringing hardtails with forgiving suspension forks and strong hydraulic brakes. For the FKT, Lael will be riding her Specialized Epic Hardtail (with a full rebuild by Madeline Gulley at Specialized Boulder and maintenance by Hubert d’Autremont at Madrean Fabrication). Here’s the complete build kit followed by her gear list.
Bike and Wheels
- Frame: Specialized Epic Hardtail (medium)
- Fork: Rockshox SID Ultimate 100mm
- Front Hub: SON dynamo
- Rear Hub: Hope Pro 4
- Rims: Roval carbon (built by Wheat Ridge Cyclery, thank you!)
- Front Tire: 2.3” Specialized Ground Control
- Rear Tire: 2.3” Specialized Fast Trak
- Handlebar: Hope carbon
- Brakes: Hope Evo X2
- Grips: Ergon GP3 with bar ends
- Saddle: Ergon Women’s SR
- Seatpost: Hope carbon
- Pedals: Shimano SPD
- Shifter: SRAM AXS
- Derailleur: SRAM AXS 12-speed
- Crankset: SRAM carbon cranks w/ 30T chainring
- Cassette: 10-50t Eagle
- Bottom Bracket: Wheels Manufacturing
- Headlight: Sinewave Cycles Beacon with charger
- Mount: K-EDGE Go Pro Mount with Sinewave Cycles Go Pro adapter
- Headlamp: Black Diamond Icon Polar attached to Specialized Prevail helmet
- Taillight: Planet Bike Superflash
Lael’s Chingaza FKT gear list
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM
K-EDGE Wahoo mount
Luggage (Revelate Designs)
Pronghorn front roll system
Mag Tank 2000
2 x Mountain Feedbags
Custom Dyneema frame bag
Prototype waterproof seat pack
Carried in a Topo Designs micro accessory bag:
Wheels Manufacturing spare derailleur hanger
Wheels Manufacturing multitool
C02 inflator and cartridge
Lezyne hand pump
Spare Hope brake pads
Carried in a Topo Designs small accessory bag:
2x 20,000mAh Anker Powerbanks
2x spare SRAM AXS battery
Spare Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM
Micro USB cord
4x AA batteries (for headlamp)
Spare watch battery (for shifter)
Western Mountaineering HotSac VBL (emergency bivvy)
Therm-a-Rest UberLite sleeping pad
Enilightened Equipment 32° Down quilt (borrowed from Logan)
PEARL iZUMi WxB rain pants and jacket, Boulevard Merino ¼ zip shirt, Canyon Top (t-shirt), vest, P.R.O Bibs, 2x wool socks, X-ALP Gravel shoes, Pro Gel FF gloves
Patagonia down jacket
REI heavy gloves
2x Rene Herse Specialized Purist water bottles
Clear safety glasses
Topo Designs wallet with ID, cash and debit card
4x GU Rocktane Drink Mix
7x GU Rocktane gels
Lots of Empanadas!
Good luck out there, Lael! We can’t wait to hear how it goes. Be sure to check back as we’ll update this post with details from the ride…