Organizing Your Cyclocross Gear for Less Mess (and Mud)
Can you maybe do something on how to organize your gear for cyclocross? I feel like my vehicle is a disaster and disorganized putting me into a panic before races to find stuff. Small storage bins, bags? Any hacks would be awesome. Thanks!
As everyone who knows me can imagine, this is my favorite kind of question. I am organizer-obsessed, and over the years, I’ve tried SO many different ways of sorting my stuff. I’ve done storage bins and small bags and pretty much every organizer that there is. And while my system is still not perfect (cyclocross requires a lot of stuff!) I do have it pretty dialed at this point.
But let’s dive in, shall we?
Camp shower + Weed sprayer
I won’t belabor these because I talked about them a ton in my cheap CX gear piece here, but these two cleaning solutions make a BIG difference when it comes to keeping your car a bit more organized and less mud-splattered. I also found that with the camp shower (left on your car roof while you race, the black plastic warms the water) actually makes it easier to stay organized because when you can rinse your legs/face/arms with warm water post-race, you’re a little less inclined to totally freak out and start cramming everything into wherever it will fit in your hurry to GTFO so you can get home to warm up.
HAVE YOU READ: 6 Pieces of (Cheap!) Cyclocross Gear You Need This Season
One huge bag
I used to use reusable grocery bags for casual clothes, cycling clothes, shoes/helmet, and accessories, but everything got spilled EVERYWHERE over the course of the weekend. Now, Peter and I both have big hockey bags—just plain canvas—that we each use for our stuff, and within our bags, we break everything up into smaller bags. I prefer this to big containers because it’s super malleable—if you’re tight on space, it jams into wherever it needs to fit. If it’s half full, that’s fine. If it’s stuffed, great. It’s clean-looking so when you show up at a hotel or host housing, you don’t look like a slob with 18 different bags.
Small mesh bags
I’m a huge fan of everything being really uniform, so I love this pack of 10 12×15″ mesh bags. I really separate out my stuff: tops, bottoms, accessories, street clothes, underwear, sports bras and socks, winter gear, rain gear—everything has its own little bag so I can grab what I need easily. And the nice thing here is worst case, you spill your stuff out but it’s all still in your giant canvas bag instead of all over your car!
HAVE YOU READ: Your Cyclocross Capsule Wardrobe: What You Need to Race
Waterproof laundry bag
Last thing for your big canvas bag: a waterproof laundry bag for carrying those wet clothes inside without destroying everything else in your bag. You could just use a garbage bag, but this is the more eco-friendly option that doesn’t need to be replaced constantly, and can go through the wash with your stuff!
Fishing tackle box
For tiny stuff like allen keys, spare HR strap batteries, toe spikes, brake pads, et cetera, this is the most organized way to keep everything in its place! Do a search and find the one that works best for you. I like this one personally because it has plenty of small spots but a larger underbelly for bigger tools and stuff like chain lube.
Best way to keep mud off of your upholstery? A tarp that gets laid out before the weekend even begins, if you have a minivan or SUV or station wagon situation. I love a simple 6’x9′ black tarp because I think it looks a lot nicer than a bright blue tarp, but that’s just because I’m picky. Bonus: The tarp can always get strung up to make a makeshift tent if it’s pouring rain.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Black towels are the best for grease and mud. And if you’re trying to make your car look less messy, black towels are great because they don’t look as grimy as a dirty white towel will, so if you care about your #vanlife photos, this is a good call.
Bucket with cap
Fill this with warm, soapy water before you head to the race. After your race, use it to wash your body/your bike, and when you’re done with that, drop your soaking wet, muddy clothes directly into it to start the soaking/cleaning process! The cap is key to avoid spillage situations. Also a great spot for your muddy shoes to go after the race.
It’s a little picky, sure, but a bottle holder is SO nice for organizing your bottles so they’re not rolling around your car like crazy. It’s one of my major pet peeves when bottles start getting tossed around everywhere (and I’m super guilty of doing that!) so this helps keep me in line.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve come up with any genius organizational hacks!