As many of you know, I participate in a few road bike races throughout the year. One of the main races on my schedule is the LOTOJA race. This race is a double century riding from Logan Utah to Jackson Hole Wyoming. This is a truly grueling race and there is a lot of steep climbing and hard miles. This race has a time limit like most races and cut offs along the route. In 2020 I was riding the race and had many months of training. On the morning of the race I felt sick and just assumed the butterflies in my stomach were simply my nerves. I started out the ride and didn’t feel great. As the miles went on I started feeling worse and worse. I was falling behind and well on my way to getting cut off. I was riding as hard as I could to keep myself in the game.
I was climbing one of the last hills when I spotted a gentleman on the side of the road struggling with his bike. I pulled off because that’s what my dad taught me to do. I asked the guy what his name was and he said it was Ray. Ray told me his bike kept kicking the chain off and nothing he did would fix it. I told him I’d give it a look and upon further inspection I found that one of his chain links was failing. This was causing the side of the link to stick out and kick the chain off the bike. I went back to my bike and opened up my trail bag. I pulled out a master link and my chain tool. I was able to press out the bad link and replace it with my emergency master link. Ray was back on the road and super aprectatice of my help.
We rode together for a few miles then I left him behind. At the next stop I learned that 129 miles into the race I was disqualified and wouldn’t be allowed to go on. This was honestly a relief because my nausea had reached unbearable levels and I wasn’t able to drink or eat anymore. I was sick for the next four days and wasn’t able to do much else, but I was able to tell everyone how I helped Ray and how I had the right tools and parts in my trail bag to save the day.
So what should you carry in your trail bag? Below you will find the top 10 things I carry in my road and mountain bike bags. You won’t catch me on the trail without these because nothing is worse than walking a bike home or having to call in your SAG (Support and Gear) while everyone else gets to ride on.
Small Patch Kit
Chain Masterlink: This repair item has saved me many times and I don’t go out without one. WIth a masterlink you can repair a broken chain with ease!
Rubber Gloves: These are great for dealing with your friend’s greasy chain or keeping that sticky sealant off your hands mid ride.
Emergency Cash: You never know if the 7Eleven at the top of the hill will be accepting credit cards. This cash may be the difference between riding home thirsty or buying that cold mid ride water.
Apple Air Tag