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I'm including things, even without links, in the event that you, the reader, just need a packing list to work off of :)
Clothes & Items for the Ride
- This is my helmet! It's Giro Foray MIPS Road Cycling helmet. The recommendation is that you get a new helmet every year if you ride a lot - the excess sweating, accidental drops, and the elapsing time ultimately harden and weaken the styrofoam in the helmet, so I always try to replace my helmet at least once a year.
- Cycling Gloves
- Gloves make a huge difference when it comes to cycling. You want to have gloves that are not too tight and will not make you feel uncomfortable while riding those long hours.
- I swear by these gloves! I have purchased maybe 20 - 30 pairs over the years, and I try to have a fresh pair of gloves each day on the ride.
- Water Bottles
- Arm Sleeves
- Every year, I purchase sleeves for the ride - they are reusable, but I use them in a disposable sense as there are almost enough for all riding days! The sleeves are not the longest, but they cover a lot and help block the sun.
I swear by these bottles. they have worked time and time again for me! I don't use any other bottles when I ride.
- Cycling Shorts:
- The worst part of the ride usually happens two to three days in, when your perineum is inflamed and your skin rubs against itself and starts to get irritated. The best way to curb this is to find the right shorts. If you have a little bit of money laying around, think about getting the DeSoto 400 mile cycling shorts! It was designed by someone who rode 400 miles over 4 days - and did it comfortably! Worth it if it means saving that taint.
For the Ride:
- Medical Insurance Cards
- Credit Cards
- Saddle Bag
- Spare Tubes
- CO2 Cartridges (please note that you can't fly up north with these!)
- Binder Clip or Route Sheet Holder
- This route sheet holder latches onto your handlebar and holds your route sheet for every day on the ride
For your sleeping accommodations:
- Sleeping Bag
- Everyone has their own sleeping preferences, but I try to find a sleeping bag that will work for all seasons so that I'm not just using it for ALC once a year. As such, I have a Marmot Mummy bag because I like knowing that I will stay warm while the weather changes on the ride.
- Sleeping Pad
- For two years prior, I had been sleeping on what I thought was the best mattress pad around. This year, however, I took a risk as I was tired of this mattress pad taking up so much space. I bought an amazing sleeping pad that folded up very nicely and only took up a small amount of space. It worked out perfectly!
- Head Lamp
- Headlamps are great when you want to be hands free - especially in the port-o-potties! I usually hang a really good headlamp (like the one below) in my tent as well, and it doubles up as a tent-light in the evening as well.
- Binder Clips for your laundry
- I won't link anything here, but take a few from work or ask around to see if others can get a few for you to dry your laundry on your tent in the afternoons!
- Baby Wipes
- Those that don't know me don't know that I. HAVE. AN. OBSESSION. WITH. BABY. WIPES. I use them for everything - to wipe my hands off, to clean everything when a bathroom isn't close by, and to wipe my face after a long day on a ride.
- Grocery Bag for Bike
- No one really talks about this, but I didn't realize how smart this was until I tried it on my first ride. I take two of these on the ride - one as my bathroom bag and one as my bike bag. The bike bag means that this holds my helmet, gloves, sunglasses, and sunblock anytime I am off the bike for the day. The bathroom bag holds my towel, shampoo, and fresh clothes when I head to the mobile showers. You can go in on these bags with someone else or keep them all to be environmentally conscious!
- Roller Bag
- The bag that ALC allows you to bring is any size up to 70 pounds... You want one that is over 32 inches and has wheels for the terrain you will be dragging your bag through. I like one that has outside pockets so that my shoes are easily accessible.
- I bring three of these on the ride but truthfully, I think I only need one. You are allowed to bring these onto your carry-on, which is great! I charge both my Garmins and both of my phones for the week on one of these.
- Don't forget your actual charging cords! iPhones, Garmins, bike computers!
- Toiletry Bag
- This bag is the one I keep my tooth brush, floss, and night creams in. It's compact and holds everything! You can use any kind of cosmetic bag for this as long as it holds your toothbrush!
- T Shirts
- Flip Flops
- Find flip flops that are super comfortable that you want to wear all the time while you are in camp. I trust my Adidas Slides and have a few pairs of these at home -
- Quick Dry Towel
- Honestly, the larger the better. I love towels that will dry before the sun sets, and I use these towels for my triathlons in addition to ALC week.
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Because we check in luggage, I buy myself shampoo that I am happy using for the week: shampoo that makes me feel like I'm rewarding myself for a long day! I choose a shampoo and conditioner that I don't normally use, so that it feels like I'm getting pampered during the week, even though I'm not!
- Sunblock is life's antidote. I swear by it! I also swear by good sunblock - for the face and for the body.
- For the face: I use:
- For my body, I use:
- A spray! I keep this in my back pocket as I'm cycling and use it every 2 hours. The sun has no mercy sometimes.
- Odor Spray
- I usually never talk about this part, but there are some DANK smells on this ride sometimes. I bring Odor-X foot spray to spray my shoes after the day is over! If the tent smells musty, Odor-X. If people smell musty, Odor-X. Just kidding about the last part but don't test me...
Neutrogena Sport Face. I use it as chapstick on the hot days that make my lips feel like they are burning as well.
- Face Masks
- Finally, as my last packing item, I want to recommend face masks! Face masks are great to relax with and help with re-moisturizing your face after a long day in the sun.
Any packing suggestions to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!