Packing for my first cross race was a disaster. "What do I bring?" "I probably just need my skinsuit, heart rate monitor, chamois cream, sunglasses, gloves, helmet, computer, water bottle, and shoes." WRONG, while I never like to travel with much, I quickly figured out that it never hurts to bring more than you think you'll need. Here's a look into what I now bring with me to every race.
Everyone has their own packing list/order, but here's mine. These aren't in order of importance.
Lycra Castelli 3/4 CX Skinsuit - You never know if it's going to be hot or cold.
Thermal Castelli Long Sleeve Skinsuit - Sometimes early morning races are below 40°F.
Wahoo Heart Rate Monitor - For post race effort analysis.
Base Layer - Sometimes you need an extra layer to keep you cool or warm.
Arm Warmers - It's important to stay warm before your race.
Leg Warmers - I wear these for pre-ride / warm ups when it's too cold for bare legs.
Regular Socks +1 Extra Pair
Bibs - For pre-riding wet conditions so my skinsuit is soaked before I race.
Jersey - See above.
Clipless MTB Shoes
Bag for Shoes - This helps keep prevent the rest of my stuff from getting dirty post race.
Mad Alchemy Medium Embrocation - For those cold races. I love embro, I use it for my aching joints.
Nitrile Gloves for Embro Application - Don't apply embro with your barehands! It'll burn and you could get it in your eyes!
Dry Bag - for dirty kit.
Towel - for changing.
Full Finger Gloves
Toe Spikes - You never know if the run up is going to be wet and slippery.
Spare Derailleur Hanger - One of the most common mechanicals of cross, having a spare is always a good idea.
Wahoo Element - No one ever said you had to have a cycling computer for cross, especially if you're just trying it out. I personally like to track my data to see how I'm doing.
Mad Alchemy Start Stick - This is great when you feel congested, it helps open your nasal passages.
After Bite - for Mosquito bites.
Nuun - Stay hydrated!
(2) Water Bottles - See above!
Mad Alchemy Lip Balm
Baby Wipes - I feel like 90% of the races don't have showers, so be prepared to wipe yourself down after the race, especially if it's a muddy one.
Glasses - 4 different lenses for different weather conditions.
Tic-Tacs - I use Tic-Tacs in my start line ritual. It distracts me from being nervous and sometimes physically ill.
Castelli Gear Duffel Bag - I keep all of the above in my duffel bag, it has tons of compartments!
That's about everything I bring, outside of bringing my bike. While it certainly sounds like a lot of stuff to carry around, I've definitely found that I always needed something that I brought and hadn't anticipated needing. Do you have special things you bring to races that you just can't live without? Tell us all about it! Tag us in a photo of your race bag on Instagram for a chance to win a pair of Castelli CX 6.0 Cross Gloves, a box of ThisBar snacks and a bag of This Team edition Grimpuer Bros. coffee! Winner to be decided on December 4th!