Colavita Packing Tips
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Living a good chunk of the season on the road with lots of in between flights and van trips means that you need to pack for both efficiency and comfort without bringing too much stuff. Every rider has their preferred “extras” and today I’ll share with you some of mine along with organization tactics.
We are fortunate to have Osprey luggage- a backpack and a Shuttle wheeled luggage bag. Osprey has tons of thoughtful pockets and features that make staying organized on the road so much easier. Nothing is worse than needing to find a matching glove and having to dig through everything to find the dang thing.
Clothes and Cycling Bits:
For cycling clothes, I bring everything...thermals, long fingers gloves, 5-6 sports bras, base layers, warm headband, rain jacket, a lone pair of wool socks just in case...with racing all over the U.S. you just never know what weather you might encounter. Last year at Tour of California it snowed the day before our race and we finished the same trip well into the 90s and super humid. Always pack for a variety of weather on a long trip! You’re future self will thank you. Most of my cycling stuff just gets to float around my bag, but all the little bits like socks, warmers, base layers, gloves, booties, sports bras, and sunglasses all go in either a travel bag or a side pocket in my luggage bag. I generally pull out my casual clothes when I first get to a place so my bag is just left as a big bucket of cycling apparel.
My other side pocket in my big bag is full of useful odds and ends like a bag of quarters for laundry, a few laundry pods, Chamois Butt’r kit wash, Chamois Butt’r Her singles, a sponge and dish soap (for hotel life), a multi-tool and flat kit, the odd plastic bag or drawstring bag you acquire on the road, and baby wipes.
For casual clothes, I bring a variety of bottoms- shorts, yoga pants, jeans and one “cute” outfit in case we end up with an opportunity to look “normal.” On our last trip, I had an opportunity to spend a couple days with my husband (who is also a professional cyclist) on the road, so I brought a casual dress for a date! Team shirts along with a variety of layered tops allows for that mix of weather or cold restaurants and a rain jacket, just in case! On our team, everyone seems to have a big black puffy vest too. I have a separate small bag for odds and ends here...my dinosaur printed socks, compression socks, bras and underwear. I also have a small travel-sized foam roller.
We’re lucky to have team podium shoes this year so between that and some flip flops, I’m set for life shoes. I also prefer to travel with two sets of cycling shoes in case if one were to break.
Snacks and Things
Coffee is essential and as a part-owner of a coffee roastery in Fort Collins, Peritus Coffee Roasters, I am picky! I travel with a travel-sized Bonavita electric water kettle, often a hand-grinder, an aeropress, a travel mug, and our coffee. Whenever my coffee runs out, I love seeking out the local best. The water kettle also works great for Sleepytime tea or instant oatmeal if needed.
Food-wise I leave home with some sort of supply of snacks, Sleepytime tea from Celestial seasonings, dried fruit, nuts, jerky, maybe an apple or two, and granola if I have time. Luckily with a Clif Bar sponsorship we have access to some good bars like Kit’s Organic Fruit and Nut Bars, Trail Mix Bars, and Builder’s Bars. I always travel with my titanium spork and a small tupperware (or food trough)
Beyond the usual toiletries and shower supplies, ample sunscreen, toothpaste, benadryl in case of allergic reaction, tums, ibuprofen, melatonin, minimal makeup, small neosporin, silicone wedding band, probiotics, and vitamins. Also some Emergen-C, and a tiny mini straightener for my bangs.
My backpack has the rest. My little electronic bag is where I keep my garmin and cord, extended phone battery and charger, headphones, phone charger and any other electronics. A couple books, but try to have one as one to share or leave somewhere….most recently, Jurassic Park. My odds and ends bag has a small reusable bag that folds into itself, deodorant, kleenex, a tiny flashlight, an emergency snack, Dr. Bronner’s hand sanitizer, pens, multiple chapstick, bobby pins, extra hair ties, and safety pins. And of course also my laptop!
While everyone is really personal on what they bring, I’ve found this is all I need to live comfortably on the road whether for 1 week or 5 weeks without really wanting anything!
By Whitney Allison