Packing for a Race

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.

  • Chamois Cream

  • 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.

  • Sports Bra

  • 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

  • Merino Socks

  • 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.

  • Thermal Jacket

  • 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

  • Tools

  • 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.

  • Band-Aids

  • Mad Alchemy Start Stick - This is great when you feel congested, it helps open your nasal passages.

  • After Bite - for Mosquito bites.

  • Tylenol

  • Nuun - Stay hydrated!

  • (2) Water Bottles - See above!

  • ThisBar snacks.

  • Mad Alchemy Lip Balm

  • Neck Warmer

  • Warm Hat

  • Helmet

  • 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!