I was always a bit of a girl scout; always prepared (to fend for myself). So of course like any good cyclist worth her salt I always carry a descent bike repair kit, consisting of:
- 2 tubes
- Air pump or CO2 canisters
- tire levers
- a good multi-tool
- a 15mm wrench, if I’m riding with bolts, instead of quick-release skewers
- ID + money
- water bottle (with either water or supplement drink in it.)
- cell phone
But practically speaking, this is not quite enough to get me through a ride over 2 hours. After that, I need food, I need more sunscreen, and I probably need to find a restroom. So for most of my rides, I carry my “consumables case”. This is essential for me to stay on the bike and ready for action. I highly recommend this for any girl on a bike, but particularly for those gals who put in the long hours, you’ll probably need this, or something like it:
1. Action Wipes – I used to hate carrying around baby wipes because of the smell, but when I need to re-apply sunscreen or chamois butter, I need to clean my skin with something; it is absolutely essential in order to prevent saddle sores, pimples, and general skins problems due to bacteria. Enter Action Wipes. Action Wipes allow you to clean up and reapply, but smell and feel much nicer than baby wipes. In addition, they can be washed (I put them in a lingerie bag, hang dry), and reused a few times; just a couple a spritzes of the AW Sports Spray on a clean wipe, and you’re ready to go again. I’m very pleased to say that Martha of Action Wipes is Sponsoring Team Osprey for the RAAM. Right now, Action Wipes is having a contest, in which you can win a ONE YEAR Supply of Action Wipes: details here!
2. Sunscreen – Time to re-apply. I found out the hard way that applying sunscreen every two hours is absolutely essential in Southern California. All it takes is one time without it, to damage skin and risk skin cancer. My latest sunscreen is a Los Angeles based company which uses all organic ingredients: Coola (SPF 45) . The other sunscreen I like is a dusting powder called ColoreScience (SPF 30) which works nicely when I just can’t deal with any more goopy stuff on my skin.
3. Chamois Cream– I like Assos, but I’m searching for something without parabens. My guess is that the next Chamois cream I will try will be Beljium Budder, IF I can find it. I carry it in a small cream pot.
4. P-Mate – Why? Because I like to wear bibs. Because I don’t like port-a-potties, but I have to use them. Because I like getting rest stops done fast. P-mates have changed my life in this way. ’nuff said.
5. Energy drink powder – If you’re on the road it’s easy to find water, so why carry extra weight? I carry extra powder, and mix it as I need it. As I’ve said, Endurox seems to work well for me.
6. Food- Sure, I could probably find food along the way, but while riding I prefer to eat things I’ve tested and know will not upset my stomach: most energy bars do. But one Luna Bar in Lemon Zest, works for me, so I always have one around for “emergency rations”.
These are my consumable essentials; I can’t imagine going out for a 3-6 hours ride without all of the above.