I love mountain bike stage racing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, it encompasses multi-day races that usually range from 3-7 days. There are some that are longer. Before a looming stage race, my stress level elevates. “What do I bring? Did I pack everything I might need? WHAT AM I FORGETTING?!?” The Breck Epic was my first stage race. It was convenient because I could load my car and drive 2 hours to get there. Nowadays, my stage races require a plane ride. Add in a foreign country and I have to scratch my head a bit harder when packing. My next trip requires a very long plane ride and long plane rides mean I’m going somewhere cool. On Saturday, I’m heading to Mongolia to race the Mongolia Bike Challenge, a 7 day race in Mongolia with 80-100 mile stages.
I decided that while I’m making a pack list for myself, I should share it so if you’re packing for a stage race or a week of riding somewhere, you’ll have the list too. Some of these items can be omitted when not racing in a country that may not have a bike shop!
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to flying somewhere to ride for a week is the weight of your luggage. You can do things like choose a lighter bike travel case (see my Evoc review) or opt for a waterproof/resistant large duffel with backpack straps (I like my Marmot Long Hauler) instead of a roller bag. The weight of the actual suitcase robs you of precious pounds of gear or sports nutrition you might want to bring along. Having a good carry-on bag also helps. I leave a little extra room in my carry-on, or I often bring a cloth grocery bag or small packable tote in my carry-on when checking in at the counter. If my duffel or bike case are overweight, I pull out my grocery bag and add items like shoes or other heavier non liquid items so I don’t get charged for overweight bags. If I don’t need it, I leave the grocery bag in my carry-on. It weights nothing and packs small. It’s also nice to have a little extra flexibility if I buy some souvenirs and need the room when traveling home.
Here’s my checklist. Feel free to print it out or consult when you’re traveling for your next pedal worthy vacation.
(Click on the list and print!)