Personal setups » GDR gear list


This pic (below) was taken the day before I left for the start. A few things changed that night before leaving, but they were pretty minor.

And I know it’s hard to believe, but on the bike or in the pack in that photo are:
gore rain jacket and pants
arm and knee warmers
warm gloves and rain gloves
extra shorts and shirt
2 days worth of food
water filter
ability to carry ~320oz of water easily and comfortably
3 lights (2 bar, 1 head) and at least 2 nights worth of batts
digi camera, 2 days worth of batts, and a spare memory card
cash money, credit card, calling card, ID
drugs (pain reliever, anti-inflam, antibiotic), basic first aid kit, chamois creme
multi tool, leatherman, tire lever, 2 tubes, full size pump, couple feet of duct tape, real patch kit, spare bolt kit, spare links of chain, spare brake pads, spare shift cables, spare cleats and bolts, chain lube and rag, sewing kit, spare spokes and nips
clear lens for night riding, orange lens for contrast
sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and bivy sack
cyclometer and all ACA maps and cue sheets
and a few critical things that I’m intentionally leaving out…

How to get it so compact and light? The devil is in the details.

Happy planning.


Comments (14)

ShaunOctober 15th, 2008 at 5:33 am

Hi Mike,

What would you do differantly if you did it again?

MikeCOctober 15th, 2008 at 8:51 am


I’d wear wool instead of plastic, I’d take along a fishing pole and a few likeminded friends, and I’d spend ~3 months on the route instead of 16 days.

But really, I just wouldn’t do it again. Many hundreds of thousands of miles of singletrack out there to be explored–no sense in squandering precious days of this lifetime riding dirt roads.



FastskiguyNovember 7th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Dude, you always do this!

“and a few critical things that I’m intentionally leaving out…

How to get it so compact and light? The devil is in the details.”

Hell, that’s the shit we want to know! I say…either share or don’t share. Please no more of this “look at my super trick setup” and then not explain the “details”. You’ve always got the fine setup, no doubt, but what is up with the “not tellin’ how” or “you’ve got to figure it out” stuff? I mean, seriously, we’re not racing here 🙂 at least *some* of us would really like to know…..320 oz?? where???

mijome07February 19th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

What kind of frame bag is that?

DmolloyMay 9th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Yep, I did the GDMBR last summer/fall, and took 3 months, brought a fishing pole, etc. What a great adventure! My bike wasn’t as flash as yours is (Rivendell Bombadil), but it made the whole trek and with platform pedals.

ChrisKingNovember 18th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Really? I would like to see that set up on day 4. I agree, why waste electrons by being smarmy? Help those out along the trail. Enough of the mystic garbarge.

MikeCNovember 18th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

The pic, the ride, and the gear happened *over 5 years ago*. What I used then is probably not even made any longer, and has been improved upon by orders of magnitude in the interim.

Smarmy? Methinks demanding volunteered info is just that.


kurtNovember 19th, 2009 at 10:48 am

Ha, smarmy. Gear choice can be a race-winning decision. Sure, miles in the legs and the right mindset are required to get you through the Divide, but gear details are often kept close to one’s chest. Go figure out what works well for you…you’ll learn more that way and might even have some fun doing it (unless you plan poorly).


ChrisNovember 19th, 2009 at 11:01 am

If anyone has ultralight gear questions, just post on the forums. I haven’t posted my complete setup like MC has here but nothing in mine is secret. Ask anything you want about it. You have to be ruthless and tough to get a setup this light/small. The real secret is figure out what the minimum you need is because my kit is in no way going to work for everyone. I started the GDMBR wearing no pack and no handlebar bag, 1 water bottle and no racks. I can get my setup even smaller but I’m not sure it’s faster for me or I’m even tough enough to handle the changes.

warofattritionJanuary 11th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

You can’t be real as the others have noted…all that gear, 2 days worth of tic tacs, AND the ability to carry almost 3 gallons of water is not possible (your pack is a 70 ouncer it looks like)…even your jersey is empty…but you do kill the distance.

PatagrandeJanuary 22nd, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I think the gear list is 100% credible, MC just forgot to mention it is for his pet hammster.
You need someone to talk to on these epic trips.

RidingwithdogJanuary 23rd, 2012 at 12:02 am

I secretly tailed MC on that ride and documented his technique.
MC’s air pump functions also as a vacuum pump which he uses to compress his soft gear into vacuum bags, which fit inside all the front triangle tubes which have secret ports hidden behind the brand badge and fake tail light.
This in addition to the space within the large rack tubes.
This guy is incedibly clever, take for example his sippered tires which he fills with fresh organic milk every morning so he can have fresh cheese comes dinner time.
Another incredibly clever space utisation comes from his use of body cavities to store hard gear such as tire irons within old aluminum cigar tubes offering not only efficiency but also entretainment.

Javier QuirogaFebruary 9th, 2012 at 9:41 am

Congrats for the info how well organized you are.
Have you ever done any longer trips than two days? If, so what are the items you can carry?
What is the best Bivy Sack you ver bought for your trip? Well not only the best but the lightest and mor durable?

JamesAugust 7th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

And a spare tire to boot!

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