Life Sportive

 

everywhere

This is a page for all of my favorite things that I’ve tested and use regularly. As someone that spends most of the time on the road for racing and writing about racing, my stuff needs to work. There’s not a lot of room in our van, or in bags when we’re flying, and everything here represents the staples that I love bringing with me because they are functional, and (mostly) stylish. It’s not all about expensive, fancy products (though I won’t lie, there are a bunch of really cool ones in here too). There are also a lot of cheap goodies and “hacks” that I’ve found for the traveling athlete.

And click here for my best tips and tricks for living out of a suitcase and life on the road.

RIDE

Velocio L/S Jersey: This graphite-colored jersey is the perfect in-between weight and I love it. So comfy, and the neutral color matches everything but is still something a little bit different. Pair with their houndstooth vest and it’s amazing.

Performance Bike Women’s Ultra S/S Jersey: For new riders or riders on a budget, I can’t recommend this ($60) jersey enough. It’s comfortable, breathes really well, and I sincerely love the sporty but tasteful design. Black and white matches everything I own, and that’s the best.

Velocio Signature Fly Bib Short: Game. Changer. These bib shorts have been my #1 go-to (the joke there will be obvious in a sec) since I tried them on. They’re ultra comfy, but above that, they have a zipper in the back so you can actually pull them down and pee without taking your jersey off. Total ride lifesaver.

Giro Chrono Expert Jersey: As I said, I dig on neutrals. This jersey nails it while fitting well and it’s become one of my ride staples for when I want to look put together and feel like a serious cyclist without needing tons of bright colors. (Have you realized I really, really prefer black, gray and white for clothing in general?)

SheBeest Ride Halter Bib: Another amazing and ultra-comfy bib short for cyclists, this one is halter-style so it’s still easy to pee in, and the mesh makes it look pretty cool when riding with your jersey unzipped (we’ve all been there). The shorts are a little short, which I actually prefer, and the prints range from muted to insanely loud, so no matter what style you dig, there’s a short for that.

Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Baselayer: This is the only baselayer that I’ve ever owned that I sometimes avoid warming up for a race in because I want it to not be sweaty so I can wear it post-race with jeans! From a fashion standpoint, it is super flattering and comfortable. From a technical standpoint, the windproof material on the front and the front of your arms is incredible, and unlike most baselayers, this won’t ride up over the course of your ride. It’s not a light baselayer: this is for cold weather only. But for coziness, you can’t beat it on a blustery winter ride. Honestly, this with a long sleeve jersey is equivalent to wearing a really solid jacket. Unbeatable.

Rapha Women’s Gilet: Windproof lightweight and packable are the terms Rapha uses to describe their women’s wind vest, and they were right. It’s also wicked stylish, and super practical. I’ve been pretty much living in it as the weather has been turning, and it’s been perfect on rides. Unlike a lot of wind vests, it has two pockets so you can fit normal stuff in them, and don’t always need a jersey underneath—I’ll wear a baselayer with it and call it a day. It’s not cheap but for something that will last a long time and look much more refined than most cycling gear, it’s well worth it.

Fuel Your Ride: OK, this is a shameless plug. But if you’ve been wondering how to eat to properly care for yourself as a cyclist, both on and off the bike, you should check out my latest book. It has tips and tricks from expert nutritionists plus pro racers, so you know you’re getting a ton of great info from the right sources.

Saddle, Sore: A Women-Only Guide to You and Your Bike: This was my second book, and if you’re a woman with woman-specific questions (like pad versus tampon, how to deal with cramps on the bike, how to get blood out of a chamois, and WTF is a saddle sore and how do I fix one?), then you should check out a copy of this book.

WD40 Bike Products: their chain lube is the best I’ve ever used, but what I really love is the Frame Protectant that they have. My bikes are so shiny, they always look new! Peter and I both love this stuff, and it travels really well: they actually scent their products so it doesn’t make the car smell like a garage.

Her’ Chamois Butt’r: Chamois cream specifically designed for women that actually lasts! I survived a four hour ride on a saddle that I (to be totally honest) hate. And the next day? Things are still feeling great! (It contains aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, tea tree oil, shea butter & lavender oil for their “naturally occurring beneficial properties.”) If you don’t know how to use it right, check out my book, “Saddle, Sore.”

Pedro’s Tire Levers: Totally minor thing, and at $5, not much of an investment, but bear with me. These are the first levers I’ve found that I don’t have trouble with and will never, ever break on you when you’re dealing with a really tight tire. Plus since they’re a bit bigger and brightly colored, they’re harder to lose and harder to have someone “accidentally” walk away with them!

Cat’s Tongue Towels (individually wrapped): These always go in my saddlebag and my race bag before rides and trips. They’re designed to get grease off, whether it’s off of your hands when you have to stop to change a flat (anyone else end up with grease smeared on their face after a ride?) or off your bike where the chain left a mark, the towels work really well. And I’m not just saying that because I got to play the ingenue in Jeremy Powers’ commercial for them last year, though you should watch it now, because it is hilarious.

RUN

Lululemon Run Speed Short: When people come up to you on the road and tell you how flattering your running shorts are, yet you’re still comfortable and crushing the run, then you know that you’re wearing the right shorts. That was the case with these, and bonus, they have a waterproof zip pocket in the back for cash, keys, whatever.

VivoBarefoot Motus Sneakers: These black (with a hint of gold) minimal running shoes are so baller. I pretty much live in them, to be honest. They don’t scream ‘look at me, I’m living a minimal lifestyle,’ but they are super minimal, and they’re wicked comfy. I can easily put in 25 mile runs in them on trails despite the fact that they have thin soles.

Lululemon Wunder Under Pants: They might be pricey, but man, they make your butt look good, they’re comfortable, and they last forever. Since I don’t want to pack 4 pairs of leggings that will get stretched out and need to be washed after one wear, I am OK with the $98 pricetag. I’ve had these a year and they still look new! (Bonus: they’re great for doing a quick practice lap on a ’cross course.)

A Cheap Armband: I don’t have a specific recommendation here because I honestly don’t believe this is one of the things that you should drop a bunch of money on. But I have found that running with my iPhone snuggly attached to my arm and not in my hand has really improved my running stride, which I now realize was slightly unbalanced because I always ran holding my phone. If you tend to do that, I recommend trying it out (you can find a ton for under $10 on Amazon, I just got this one and love it!).

SWAG

As you might notice, I’m starting to learn that active fashion rarely comes from the bargain racks… But if you’re spending a ton of time on the road, you have to invest in pieces that are easy to clean, can hold their stretch and shape when air dried, and don’t get disgusting when sweaty. Oh, and that look great!

A cool cycling cap: I’m not listing any brand because I admit, I have quite a few awesome ones that I rotate between. I feel like, more than a baseball cap, a cycling cap is a great post-run or post-ride fashion statement.

Lululemon Align Pant II: Another favorite in the Lulu line is the Align II Pant—they’re actually even comfier than the Wunder-Under! And again, since I don’t want to pack 4 pairs of leggings that will get stretched out and need to be washed after one wear, I am OK with the $98 pricetag—seriously, I wore them three days in a row and never stretched. (PS I’ve started adding Lululemon’s Namaste Put Thong II to my underwear collection as old pair wear out and they are amazing.)

Chrome Pasha Hoodie: If I ever find this again, I’m buying 10. The best, comfiest, easiest for style-while-wearing-a-hoodie you can get. Similar here.

Rapha Merino Baselayer: This is the only baselayer that I’ve ever owned that I sometimes avoid warming up for a race in because I want it to not be sweaty so I can wear it post-race with jeans! From a fashion standpoint, it is super flattering and comfortable. From a technical standpoint, it doesn’t get gross after a long run. Note: I wear the men’s version in extra-small, I find it’s a bit more comfortable than the women’s in the long-sleeve iteration. For sleeveless, the women’s is fantastic.

REPORT

Sony A6000 Camera: I had bigger cameras, I had tiny cameras. This mirrorless digital camera is the best one that I’ve found for being reasonable to carry with me everywhere (even in the back pocket of my jersey). It works great for shooting races, and the only problem is that it doesn’t take ultra-high detail closeups, but I can get another lens to swap out eventually. For now, it’s just right. (The camera strap it came with actually beat up my neck pretty bad but I bought a new cheap one and it’s great!)

LIVE

Vivo Barefoot Gobi Boots: I love minimal shoes, and these are some of my favorites. They’re minimal but look really stylish, they pack down into almost nothing, and they’re so comfortable, I can walk all day in them and not be tired. Simple black lace-ups, but the nicest I’ve ever had. Think slightly grown up and a bit less edgy version of Doc Martens. (Their galoshes are also amazing. And they pack down to next to nothing!)

Showers Pass Women’s Elite Jacket: I get caught in the rain, a lot. Goes with the territory of working with a cyclocross racer. And this season, I was kitted out in Showers Pass gear. And it was amazing. All of their stuff is just so well-made that once you get it, you won’t need to buy a new raincoat for years, and you’ll never have to worry about getting soaked because a seam on your jacket rips. This stuff is bombproof. (Their rain pants are also fantastic, and roll up really small, so they’re simple to toss in your backpack if you’re nervous about rain.)

ADVENTURE

La Sportiva Nago Rock Shoes: Admittedly, I don’t climb a lot but I really love it when I find time. When I started, I knew I needed to buy shoes right away because rentals with bare feet are gross. So I did some research, talked to some friends, and everyone recommended the La Sportiva Nago shoes. They run around $99, making them a mid-range price for rock shoes. Since I planned to climb frequently but wasn’t ready for real high end, they were a good choice. They feel tight at first but they stretch after a couple wears, so consider sizing down so they’re really tight when you buy them. When I’m on the road, I try to find a rock gym at least once every week or two, and these make life a lot more awesome.

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