Eat Dirt.

Another overnighter with Sage… (this is what we carried, and here’s a post about our very first outing).

As ever, new lessons were learnt, the main one being: Don’t let Sage eat dirt. How so? Tuns out a few handfuls of mother’s earth are a recipe for a bad stomach and he’ll bawl his eyes out, poor litte guy. Still, I suspect it won’t be the last time he dines off the land.

Now he’s semi-mobile, we definitely need to keep a bit more of an eye on him. Although Sage has yet to master the art of crawling, blink and he’s somehow wiggled/rolled/squirmed his way across the room – chewing on anything (tyres/tablelegs/shoes) en route, like a puppy.

What else? With temperatures hovering around the 90-100ºf (32-38ºc) mark in Santa Fe, the Chariot CX’s removable plastic windows have proved a real boon. It’s a shame you need to jump up a model to get this feature – I’d love to see these airy mesh side panels on the more modestly priced Cougar. This quibble aside, the trailer has impressed me no end, not least with the way it handles rough terrain. And, now that Sage is out of the infant sling and strapped in using the standard harness, his lower centre of gravity definitely helps with stability. The Chariot’s adjustable wishbone suspension seems to be doing a fine job – I figure it must be a plush ride, or Sage wouldn’t be singing his little heart out as we bounce along.

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Sage the Dirt Muncher. The Megamid condo. Truckin’ along. And papa shows bebé some river stones. (photos Nancy Crowell)

Yet again, the Black Diamond Megalite has proved itself ideal for ‘lightweight’ family touring. So spacious. Only the fear of bugs infiltrating the mesh skirt (sewn in by Bear Paw Wilderness Designs) would lead me to invest in a fully enclosed tent.

Our route: Very short, but scenic. We parked up at the entrance to FR 437 (just out of Taos Ranchos), riding alongside the Rio Chiquito up to the gate (at which point the doubletrack whittles down to trail). There, we turned round and found ourselves a riverside campspot. Incidentally, things look particularly interesting beyond the gate. A bit too narrow and rocky for the Chariot, maybe, but worth further exploration. The likes of Tout Terrain’s Singletrailer would no doubt have been better suited to this kind of terrain.

Thanks to the folks at Taos Cyclery for suggesting the area. It’s a nice shop just off the plaza, with a massive wall map marking all the local trails, and paper maps/ride guides for sale on 5 bucks a piece.

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A jump up from the Chariot Cougar to the CX gets you easily removed side panels, with an airy mesh layer for ventilation.

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Sage, down to a sleeveless onesie for these hot, pre-monsoon months.

On this last outing, the Chariot was hauled by the Krampus/Rohloff – an extremely surefooted combination. A Rohloff is such a treat to use when pulling a heavy trailer, not least because it allows for gear changes at a standstill. There’s just enough clearance between the trailer arm and the Krampus’ 29+ tyre.

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Knard/Chariot clearance.

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Turns out I’ve been running the tyres at around 10psi front and rear. Feels great off road, but 15psi feels less sloppy on pavement.

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Lastly, I tacked on the Mondragan and Devisadero Peak loops with Jeremy – seen here aboard his Neckromancer – while I was up in Taos.

The week before, we rode the IMBA epic South Boundary Trail.

The week before, we rode the South Boundary Trail, which has long been on my hitlist.

From 10,000 ft alpine meadows to scrub, rocks and juniper.

From 10,000 ft alpine meadows to scrub, rocks and juniper.

Come September, these aspen groves are ablaze with colour. There’s so much potential in the high country – can’t wait to get back.

9 thoughts on “Eat Dirt.

  1. david

    i have two daughters, now 3 and (almost) 2. it amazed me when, at an earlier time, they would shun some grilled chicken or kiwi, but would go for a second mouthful of play sand. great blog, keep ’em comin. Just ordered an Ogre frame and can’t wait to get it built as a bikepacking possibility in my future. Your blog is a huge inspiration

    Reply
  2. Susie Moberly

    Such joy to see your photos as well as his nibs… Sage… he must be teething if he’s chewing everything in sight. Beter get hin a teething ring which you can clean duribg your stop overs. Actually I don’t think a little bit of dirt will do him much harm… hug you ALL X

    Reply
  3. Ely

    Great entry! We were really scared to go camping with our little one, when we did, it was awesome. Now we go back every year in May, the two camp hosts who drive up from New Mexico for a month have seen Finley grow up, moving from a trailer to a touring tandem over the years. They’re always excited to see our bikes and bags and gear. We catch up on things, our lives, eat cookies, and have a good time.
    Congrats on your addition to your family, you’re doing it right, creating a solid lifestyle for your family and prioritizing the good things that matter.
    -Ely

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Thanks Ely. At the tender age of 7 months, Sage has yet to know the delights that are cookies – he’s got touring treats a ‘plenty in store (-: I’m a cinnamon roll man myself. I’m looking forward to sharing those with him.

      Reply
  4. Trekker Trail

    I am totally inlove with your site! I hope I can do what you are doing right now. I am not into biking yet but I am fun with hiking and enjoying what the nature can offer.

    Great site Cass!

    Reply

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