Race Day Checklist for Mountain Biking

I used to get stressed out before races or big mountain bike trips because I was worried that I was going to forget something. How horrible would it be to drive two hours to ride and realize that you forgot your shoes or helmet (trust me – I need a helmet and you do too)? One time I drove 30 minutes before I realized that I had everything in my car except my bike. UGGHHH!!! What a waste of time!

race day checklist for mountain biking

I would end up going through my mind over and over and over again – Did I remember my GPS?  Did I remember my heart rate monitor?  Do I have my race number?  Do I have stuff to eat?  …over and over and over again.

Then one day I did a miraculous thing.  I made a checklist with all the things that I am prone to forget on race day or for a big trip.  It is posted on the inside of my kitchen cabinet doors near my cycling bottles and nutrition.

IMG_1171The checklist made me so much more relaxed and efficient.  I was getting ready in half the time and was able to spend the remainder working on something more important – like figuring how far ahead my nemesis was in the standings.

I thought I would share my checklist with you.  I don’t take everything on the list to every event but it gives me the opportunity to at least pause and consider each option.  How does my list compare to yours?  Do you have a check list for your big mountain biking adventures or is this a little too OCD for you?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.  Would you like me to post a PDF version of mine for you to print out or is sufficient to just print out this page?  Don’t forget to subscribe to Quickdirt.com for more great articles on mountain biking!

Mountain Bike Race Checklist

Where appropriate, I’ve included links to some of the actual gear that I use.

Tools and Maintenance


James Knott's Cycling Nutrition Cabinet

Food & Drink


  • bike computer – Garmin Edge 800 GPS
  • heart rate monitor – Garmin Premium with Soft Strap
  • earphones – I don’t usually wear earphones so I can hear other cyclists and hikers on the trail and cars on the road.
  • light & batteries – Light & Motion

To and From

  • phone – iPhone 5c green
  • wallet
  • keys
  • change of clothes (usually I wear my street clothes to the race and  put them back on afterwards)
  • towel (to cover up when changing and to protect seat if I get muddy)

For Races

  • race number
  • registration or packet

Hanging Out

  • chair
  • sunscreen
  • cups (to drink beer out of after race)
  • drinks and snacks
  • cooler – Coleman

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2 thoughts on “Race Day Checklist for Mountain Biking

  1. Pingback: Should I Enter My First Mountain Bike Race? – Reader Questions | Quickdirt

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