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Events & Races - Tips & Advice

Packing for
a Bike Race Or Event

Arrive With Confidence That You Will Have All You Will Need For The Big Day

As the outdoor cycling season gets underway, many are starting to go to races, charity or group rides, and other cycling events. Being prepared and having all of your necessary items/gear will help you have a successful and fun day.

Event day or race day often includes extra stress or anxiety for many reasons. You may want to do well or win, have a good ride, finish, keep up with your friends, set a new personal record, etc.

You may also find yourself in a new place, riding a new route, or be faced with inclement weather, etc. Being able to minimize the stress or anxiety on the big day will only help you have a better ride. For people new to events or races it is recommended that you pack early and use a checklist.

Here is a list of what is typically packed along with a general checklist. Use both to create your own checklist for a big ride, event, or race. Arrive with confidence that you have all you need for the big day.

Items In The Kit Bag

1. Cycling Kits - Two kits that have different style/fit options.

2. Base Layers - Variety of base layers, varying density/weight, long/short/no sleeves.

3. Outerwear - Bring more than you think you will need. No matter what the forecast says, you should have a rain jacket, lightweight jacket and vest, long sleeve jersey, arm, knee, and leg warmers, and a cycling cap.

4. Gloves - Short and long fingered.

5. Helmet - Appropriate to what you are needing if for (mtb, road, gravel, etc.).

6. Bike Shoes - and a set of spare cleats. Sometimes you may even want to pack a spare set of pedals.

7. Protective Eyewear - Sunglasses with multiple lens options for different weather conditions.

8. Socks - Bring at least two pairs. One to ride in and one for after the event.

9. Hat - Baseball, visor, or winter cap for after the event.

10. Post Event Clothing - Lifestyle clothing such as shorts, warm-up suit, t-shirt, etc.

11. Sandals, flip flops, or sneakers - For before and after the event. Always try to minimize walking in your cycling shoes.

12. Sunscreen and Massage Oil - The sun is especially fierce in Colorado. Massage oil will help soothe muscles after the race/ride.

13. Towel - and extra water, cleanser, and/or rubbing alcohol.

14. Changing Kilt - A loose fitting, the the knees kilt makes everything a whole lot easier...and less of an exhibition.

15. Basic Tools/Parts - Minimally, make sure to have a floor pump, multi-tool with chain tool, spare inner tubes, tire levers, CO2 cartridges, handle bar tape, seat tube clamp, extra handlebar ends, zip ties, electrical tape, valve steam extender, measuring tape, safety pins, and spare derailleur hanger.

16. Food and Drink - For pre, post, and during the event. Bring more than you need and bring only items you have consumed in the past. Never try anything new on event day. Typically, this can be a combination of sports nutrition (like gels, bars, and drinks) and regular food. Always bring extra water.

17. Basic First Aid Kit - Accidents happen, make sure you're prepared.

18. Toilet Paper

19. Money/Checks/ATM or Credit Card

20. Identification - Racing license, driver's license, insurance information, and emergency contact information.

21. Any necessary or Important Paperwork/Forms - Even if you have registered online, always bring a hard copy of any forms/receipts just in case there is a problem at registration or bringing up your info digitally.

22. Map or Directions to the Event - If you can, take a drive to the area ahead of time so you know exactly where to go and how long it will take you to get there. Everyone has GPS these days, but it's still a good idea to bring a copy of printed directions or a map. A lot of bike events are in areas with poor cell phone service.

23. Index Cards Preprinted with Name, Team name, and Contact Info - When racing these will come in handy for your spare wheels or when at events if you need to give any bags or equipment to organizers/workers.

24. Plastic Bags - Grocery store and Ziploc (large and small) bags are great for putting your sweaty, dirty riding clothes/shoes in after the event. Use small Ziplocs or a carryall to carry your money, ID, or map during the event.

25. Water Bottles - 2 for your bike and 2 for before/after the ride.

Race Pack Checklist

Below is a general list of items to pack before each race or event. Customize this list to fit your own needs. It is helpful to start packing up some of these things a day or two ahead of time so that you have plenty of time to double check and make sure you have what you need before the big day.

Cycling Clothing

- Helmet
- Sunglasses
- Base Layer
- Jersey or Skinsuit
- Bib Shorts or Shorts
- Gloves
- Socks
- Bike Shoes
- Sun Sleeves
- Arm Warmers
- Knee/Leg Warmers
- Light-weight Jacket or Wind Vest
- Rain Jacket

Casual Clothing

- T-shirt
- Casual Shorts or Warm-Up Suit
- Pullover or Hoodie
- Comfortable Shoes
- Sandals/flip-flops
- Hat


- Towel
- Water Bottles
- Energy Bars or Gels
- Regular Food (bagel, PB&J, Fruit, etc.)
- Racing License
- Identification
- Entry Fee
- Contact Information
- Bike Tools
- Spare Wheels
- Stationary Trainer

If you are new to races, events, or large group rides, you may want to check out these 7 Tips for Riding in a Pack.

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