How to pack your pockets

Before you ride, giving some thought to what you’re most likely to need out on the road will make it easier to find stuff once you’re on the move…

What to pack

How much you need to take in your pockets depends largely on how far you’re going and what you can store elsewhere.  You’ll travel lighter if you can fit your pump to your bike frame and put your spare tubes and multi-tool in a saddle bag, but if you refuse to spoil the lines of your bike then you’ll need to pack wisely.

The stop first pocket

Some things, such as your mobile phone and emergency details, are essential but unlikely to be needed. Store these out of the way in your middle back pocket. This is also a good spot for your pump, tube and tool – if you insist on carrying them on your person – and any jacket you’ll need to stop to put on. 

The not-needed-until-home pocket

You’re likely to have to take your keys out with you so you can get back in after your ride, but you won’t need them again while you’re out so pack them out of the way. The pocket most easily reached by your least dominant arm is a good spot, and this is also ideal for any café-stop money and a paper map if you’re taking one. 

The essentials pocket

The side pocket most easily reached by your dominant arm is the place to stash food and gels. These are the things you will need to access on the go, so it makes sense to have them to hand. Another good tip is to undo the wrapper of your energy bar before a long ride – it’s easier to eat if it’s already open. 

Leave some room

If it’s the sort of day where you set off in arm and leg warmers or a gilet, don’t forget to leave some room in your pockets for them if things heat up later. That pocket containing your keys should have room. 

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