Hannah Shell, USA Road Cycling
We’ve all had that oh shit moment pulling up to a race realizing we forgot our shoes our bibs, our race number or some other essential race item.
My (sort of) solution to this forgetting problem is to have a race ready bag where I keep all my stuff. Our team is super fortunate to be sponsored by Adidas for luggage and apparel. The Adidas backpack is perfect because it has the best combination of big pockets and small pockets so that every item has a home. Here’s what I keep in my bag:
1. Shoes. I keep my road shoes in my race bag at all times. I take them out to ride and when I’m done they go right back in. I have nightmares about showing up to a race and forgetting shoes. It has yet to happen and I think because I’m pretty regimented about keeping them in my bag at all times. The Vittoria shoes I ride come with a nice vented carrying bag, so I’m not worried about them getting other things dirty. I’ve been riding the Vittoria IKON road shoe since October and they’ve quickly become my favorite.
Super lightweight and microfiber on the top make them easy to clean after training and they’re stiff enough for racing. I also really like the dual boa system. Double plus, they’re relatively affordable, especially compared to S-works, and I think they look pretty sick. (Note: I’m not sponsored by them, I just like these shoes).
2. Heart rate monitor. Same exact theory here, I take my heart rate monitor out to train and put it right back in when I’m done. My HRM lives in the top inside pocket of my bag. This pocket is vented similar to the shoe bag so it isn’t suffocating after a sweaty workout.
3. Replacement parts. If you don’t travel with a spare derailleur hanger, 2032 batteries, extra cleats and pedals, you should start. These “you don’t need them until you do” items can make a big difference if you crash in a race series and need to replace parts for a quick turnaround the next day, or if you’re training in a remote area where bike shops aren’t going to carry your specific parts. Your team mech or nuetral support will thank you for being prepared. I keep my spare derailleur hangars in an old sunglasses case in the top outside pocket of my bag.
4. Safety pins. If y’all read my last post you know me and safety pins have a history. I collect those jerks and keep them contained in the same top outside pocket of my bag for future use. I’m not letting them get me down this year.
5. Chamois butter. I don’t need to explain this one, I hope.
6. Spare glasses. Jesse is going to roll his eyes at this one because during my move I took my back up glasses out of my race bag for a ride, and they didn’t make it back in for at least a week. I was pretty pissed to have to time trial in casual glasses. Fortunately, the Adidas lenses are really nice and even if I wasn’t aero, I could still see.
7. Snacks. I’ve always got an emergency gel or two and a cliff bar in the front pocket of my bag. I run hot and when I start to get hungry, I go into full shut down mode. I don’t like myself when I’m hungry (not anymore at least, haha too soon?).
8. Charging cables + USB plug in. I’m so bad at remembering to charge my computers. Spare cables in my bag mean I can post up at the coffee shop and recharge both myself and my computer, at least enough to get through the race.
9. Gloves. I don’t like to race without gloves, the only part of my body I really need for my day job is my hands. Seems reasonable enough to make the extra effort to protect them.