Friday, August 11, 2006

Camp/Bike Stuff for the 24 Hour Ride

Here is a list, always evolving, of the things to bring to the 24 hour ride. I subscribe to a few basic tenets. First, you're not camping. This is a bike ride so don't waste too much time & effort trying to plan every little item you might need. Secondly, keep it simple. The less you need to worry about, the less you'll worry.

Bike Essentials

If nothing else, you need this to ride. If you show up with this stuff, you'll be able to ride up to the start line, and pedal away. You'll have nothing else besides this. But at least you'll be riding. In other words, pack this stuff first. But put it in the car last.

  • bike
  • shoes
  • helmet
  • gloves
  • all bike clothes you own
  • headband
  • bladder & pack
  • bike pump
  • water bottle cage
  • bike bag

Base Camp Crap

Probably your next most important set of items. Food and sleep are going to play an important role in the race for most people. For those who plan on riding the whole 24, then you'll probably have a support team that needs to sleep. If not, you might crash and need to take a nap anyway. You don't want to burn out at 2:00 am and not have a place to sleep. Also, you'll need to eat. The canteen is probably open 24 hours but they run out of food every year. It's a nice fallback but don't rely on it too much.

  • food (see other link)
  • tent, blankets
  • canopy
  • sleeping bag
  • air mattress
  • pillow
  • bag chair
  • ground cover
  • non biking clothes (plan for colder weather regardless of season)
  • soap, shampoo
  • towels (2 at least)
  • small table
  • toothbrush, toothpaste
  • lantern or camp light


This list could be infinitely long. I am not of the mind that you need a kitchen sink. Just keep to the basics and bring 1 spoon, etc. The nalgene bottle is for mixing sports drinks on the fly, or for sipping if you have some down time. The small towel is for wiping your hands when they invariably get wet for any number of reasons.

  • nalgene bottle
  • garbage bag
  • cooler
  • utensils, bowls
  • small towel
  • big water jug
  • aspirin
  • stove

The Un Category

This is a mix of things you might consider essential (wallet) to completely frivolous (ipod). It's a catch-all which includes the things that you may or may not need. Money is required, because you may want a hot meal or cup of coffee at some point. Or you may run out of tubes. Wallet and car keys are also essential, as you'll see when you try to leave the house without them. A notebook is an excellent idea for any number of reasons.

  • notebook, pens
  • digital camera
  • ipod
  • cell phone
  • wallet
  • car keys
  • money
  • GPS

Bike Nice-to-Haves

None of these things are show stoppers. All nice to have, but you can get away without them. I would pack these last because you'll survive if you forget some of them. Make sure you bring money because most of these can be found if you have some cash. If you forget lights, at least you still have 12+ hours of riding. These become more important if you plan on riding the whole 24 hours. I plan no such thing. Some of this stuff can be left in the car, especially if the car is parked close by.

  • spare tubes
  • spare tires
  • lube
  • bike tools
  • bike stand
  • lights & backup
  • backup bike
  • duct tape
  • bag balm
  • lock
  • standing bike pump
  • shock pump


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