Person mountain biking

What to Pack for a Mountain Bike Race

At  Adventure Medical Kits, periodically we ask top athletes what essential items they pack before competing in their particular sport or activity.

This week we asked three-time World 24 Hour Mountain Bike Champion Rebecca Rusch, who also happens to be a licensed EMT, what she stows before heading out for a mountain bike race. Here’s her can’t-leave-home-without-it list:

Bike. “Sometimes two bikes so I have a back up.  Which bike I bring depends on the course, but it’s usually the Specialized S-Works Era or the Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon 29er hardtail.”

Bike repair stuff. “Extra tires, tubes, pump, tools, chain, lube, brake pads, etc. I try to be fairly self sufficient and assume that there might not be a bike shop or mechanic available where I am going, so I bring quite a bit of extra repair stuff.  I guess this goes back to my adventure racing days.”

Clothing. “For appropriate conditions and then some:  rain gear, sun gear, cold weather gear, extra socks, gloves, shorts, sunglasses, Buff for my head/neck.”

Shower cap and surgical gloves. “As emergency cold weather items.  These fit right into my saddle bag on my bike and have saved me more than once.”

Pre-race, post race and race nutrition. “I bring all of my own race food because you never know what you will be able to get when traveling and the fuel that you put into your body is a direct link to your output.  Mostly Hammer Nutrition items including vitamins, bars, gels and recovery drink for after the race.  I make myself drink a recovery drink before I can toast a celebratory beer.”

Suunto T6c watch and heart rate monitor. “So I can record the work and re-live the experience after the fact.”

Adventure Medical Kit. “Usually a hybrid, semi-customized kit with chamois cream, sunscreen, anti inflammatory, anti-histamine, wound cleaning/closure items, antiboitic cream and tablets, asthma medications, kinesiology tape and any specific medications for where I’m traveling such as anti malaria pills for certain parts of the world, Diamox for very high altitude trips, etc.”

Ultralight Watertight .3
Rusch favors AMK’s  2.32 oz Ultralight/Watertight .3 kit

Foam roller. “This is key for cheap massage and keeping my muscles loose and supple for racing.”

Red Bull Energy shots. “Little tiny 2 oz shots that travel really well and can fit in with my race gear.  This is my motivation when I have none.”

Cell phone. “Because it’s mandatory to Twitter, Facebook and tell everyone what’s going on and I need it as an alarm clock so I don’t miss the race start.  I’m not a good morning person, so I have to be certain I’ll wake up in time for the race.”

iPod. “For relaxing during travel and in the hotel (especially if I have loud neighbors and really want to get a good night’s sleep before the race).”

Andy. “My small travel gnome who goes along with me for good luck.”