Getting Ready

Rolling out regularly on an early morning commute requires preparation, at least for me. I pack my panniers the night before at least mostly. Both panniers are waterproof and that allows me a lot of flexibility. The panniers are Novara brand from REI that I picked up a while back on closeout. They no longer offer them. They are similar to these Ortlieb panniers.

One pannier has the things I need in the gym to shower and change and the other requires the things I need in the office. I have the luxury of leaving the pannier I don’t need on the bike. Security has not been an issue at work. I don’t lock my bike while I am in the gym and I even leave a bag with a laptop and iPad on the bike while I shower.

The night before I fold my pants in half, fold a shirt so it is the width of the pants and roll them up with the shirt in the middle. I place that in a camping stuff sack that has my security badge and two leg bands in the bottom. Then I add socks and underwear to the top and cinch it closed. It goes in the gym pannier on top of two spare tubes and a repair bag. Most days I place some shoes to wear during the day on top of that. While this does allow me to wear fairly nice clothes if I want, I actually wear jeans, a casual shirt/sweater and sneakers most days. This bag can be completely packed at night although I usually wait to zip it closed until morning.

The office bag is only partially packed at night. Usually I am either charging the iPad or using it to read a book at bed time. So it is added to the pannier in the morning. But the laptop is shutdown, in a sleeve and in the pannier when I go to bed. I use a small zippered bag that came with a laptop backpack to hold pill bottles, glasses case, wallet, nail clippers, USB drives, etc. That is mostly packed but I often add my glasses in the morning, zip it close and drop it in the office pannier.

My cycling clothes are also laid out at night. What I wear depends on the weather of course. This morning was 41 degrees and drizzly. I wore:

  • bike underwear, 
  • Novara Headwind pants (currently I can only find the women’s model), 
  • a Layers brand (they may not exist anymore) long sleeve base layer shirt, 
  • my Pearl Izumi Slice rain jacket (similar to the current Quest Barrier), 
  • Sock Guy 2 Mile Challenge crew socks,  
  • SmartWool hiking socks
  • GoreTex hiking boots
  • long finger cycling gloves 
  • a close fitting fleece cap. 

Occasionally I bring a short sleeve shirt to wear riding home or an extra top layer for the morning.

Getting all ready at night helps me ride in the morning and cuts down on how long it takes. What kind of routine do other people have?