Jefe Branham lives, works and plays in Gunnison, Colorado. A lover of adventure, dogs and just plain being outside breathing in the air and taking it all in. Jefe is a humble guy that has a strong endurance racing background. He has a number of 24 races under his belt, as well as holding the current Colorado Trail Race (CTR) record and winning the Tour Divide in 2014. Jefe is currently on route for his 7th run on the CTR. Advice on what to carry? What a difficult question to try and answer. It really depends on your comfort level with being exposed to the elements. For summer time races I go ultralight, as I can suffer through being a little cold and not sleeping much. For winter events I bring more stuff as a mistake in cold could leave you in serious trouble and going light is not worth it. It really does come down to what are you willing to sacrifice and suffer through and what is your skill set – the better your skill set, the less gear you need. Advice on what to eat? Food is good. In my opinion the longer the event the more “real” food one needs to eat and the less one can depend on power food and/or candy. What works for folks varies greatly and the only way to know what works for you is to try different foods at different times and see what makes you feel good and what might cause some issues. I always try to carry more food than I think I need because food can make your day, especially if everything else goes to shit. That being said my 4 basic food groups for the Tour Divide are gummy worms, Fritos, salami and ice cream. Oh yeah, living large! Size, specs and species of your ride? My Ibis Tranny has become my favorite whip. I just love this bike. If I do the CTR, the AZT, or any other rougher singletrack races again I would most likely go with my Ripley to take it easier on the body. The set up for these bikes varies somewhat depending on the race and what components I have around, but I love Sram XX1, Guide Brakes and my Ibis 928 rims. Thought on essential bike equipment? There is so much great gear out there these days. It really comes down to what works for you. Test, test and test some more. Learn how to fix your bike so well that you can do it in the dark rain with cold frozen fingers. I tend to have a heavier bike than most as I do not like to work on my bike while out riding. It is fine to obsess over the weight of each thing, but the lightest bike rarely wins the race! Water purification method? Tablets, can’t remember the brand. Stove/fuel strategy? No stove for racing, homemade alcohol pop can stove for touring. Thoughts on essential gear for staying alive? Depends on the race/season and what you can handle without cracking apart and wanting to go home. For summer races a good rain shell, some wool knickers and a buff will keep you alive. Winter races get a lot more complicated and serious, but a good puffy coat, good footwear, pogies and lots of wool is a great start. Favorite trail/bikepacking recommendations? I love whatever trail it is I’m riding, I love new places and returning to old familiar ones. That being said the CT has a very special place in my heart.