5 Ways to Organize Your Racing and Training Gear and Spring Clean for Cyclists

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Gear, Racing

Organizing + Optimizing Your Spring Training

“Disorder is our worst enemy.” —Greek poet Hesiod, 700 B.C.

I saw this quote in a course that I’m taking on stress, sleep and resilience and it stuck in my head. Spring is (sort of) here again, and that means spring training and spring cleaning, admittedly two of my favorite things to do and to write about. So, let’s chat spring cleaning for cyclists

Pack away deep winter clothes

Let’s get the big one out of the way: Get those deep winter clothes stored. That means the ski boots, the big heated gloves, the thermal double-layer tights, the super thick jacket… stuff you really only wear in the depths of winter. Before you store them, make sure that everything is clean, smells good, and has the pockets emptied! Also check gear for holes and wear-and-tear. You may realize that you want to donate/toss rather than store.

You may want to hold off storing these off-site for a bit longer if you live in an area like Ontario where winter can make a comeback in April, but generally speaking, now is the time that your deep winter gear can get packed up. (Tip: Leave your shoulder season essentials out year-round, like legwarmers and armwarmers, raincoats, thin gloves, etc. since you never know when a cold front will blow in, a vacation will come up, or fall weather starts turning chilly but you’re not ready to pack in your summer clothing yet.)

This is also a great time to make a list of anything you felt like you were missing, since a lot of winter gear is on blowout sale right now… or can be put in a note for Nov/Dec to keep an eye out for Black Friday deals and/or add to your Christmas list.

Audit your remaining kit

You knew this was coming: As you’re going through your winter stuff and possibly unpacking your summer cycling/running kit (if you put it away at all), it’s time to audit your clothes. Are any of them getting a little bit too worn out? Are there any that you regularly eschew wearing in favor of your three favorite pairs of tights? It’s time to clear out the old gear. (If it’s still in good shape, consider a clothing swap with friends or see if there’s a local kids race team or cycling program you can donate to.)

Wash any smelly/gross gear

Helmet, shoes, cycling kit that has a bit of a funk, water bottles that are getting moldy… You know the drill. Even drawers that store your gels and water bottles could likely use a wipedown with water and vinegar at the bare minimum.

  • Helmet and helmet pads can be washed with warm water + dish soap
  • Wash that heart rate strap in warm water/dish soap
  • Give sunglasses a wash and wipedown
  • Add white vinegar to the washing machine with your smelly lycra. Make sure to double rinse!
  • Water bottles can be washed with hot water and a smidge of bleach to get rid of mold + lingering smell. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after!

Do a bike check + prep a maintenance/repair kit

Give your bike a once-over, clean it, charge everything, and see if there’s anything missing. Need new tires? Order now. New tire plugs? What are you waiting for! CO2s? Get thee to your local bike shop. It’s also a good time to put together your race day maintenance kit. Multitool, pump, spare tubes/tires, and so on all should be put in a place you won’t forget them on race day.

If you’ve been riding indoors, you may need to repack your saddle bag (and find your saddle bag…).

Check your cleats for wear and tear. Ditto your bar tape and tire treads.

Use this time to pull out old gear that needs to be junked or can be sold. Things like tires you haven’t touched in the three years since you bought them, the saddle you tried once and hated and the bike light that you never use can go up on Facebook Marketplace to give you more space (and $$ for new gear!).

Check your expiration dates

Food and sunscreen: Are they still OK? It hurts to chuck old gels but if one has been kicking around since 2016, it’s not going to get used. Cut your losses.

Order race nutrition + any other gear

Even if your race is over a month away, now is the time to put in any speciality orders. This means nutrition, tires, specific bits and bobs for your bike, like that bento box, and any new kit. It’s also time to get your bike into the bike shop if it needs any repairs or a tuneup. We’re through the worst of the bike industry backlog that happened during the pandemic, but you really don’t want to wait until the last minute and end up with the gel flavor you hate on race day.


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