Pro MBX Racer, two time Olympian, Steadyrack Ambassador and all around cool chick, Lauren Reynolds, shares some of her travel routine, tips and secrets.
MARCH 5th 2020
Travel day! Today I am flying from my home in the USA, San Diego, California to Houston, Texas to race in round five of the USA Pro Series.
5.45am – Anticipating my alarm to go off at 6 am, I wake up and start my express morning routine of a travel day.
I ALWAYS drink a glass of water the minute I sit up from bed and it’s always on my bedside table. Then I tell Alexa to turn on the espresso machine as I walk to the bathroom! She always does what I ask 😉
I’m pretty particular with my food and I really dislike spending on overpriced food at the airport, so I always travel with meals – especially breakfast. I hard boiled two eggs and made some oats with berries, tossed it all into my handy little Tupperware and I’m ready for my flight. Of course, Alexa’s still brewing my coffee, while I prep my meal (really wish it was the other way around).
6.30am– Leave the house for the quick, 12 minute drive … well, maybe a bit longer with all the extra morning traffic. Checking my bag (with my bike in it) and getting through security was a breeze, as I’m pretty routined with this by now. 12 years later and I’ve learnt a lot by making travel days as comfortable as possible.
8:00am – Flight was set to take off for Houston, but just as I took my seat we were told over the plane’s PA system that we had to de-board, as a crew member wasn’t able to make the flight, so the flight couldn’t depart at that time … Ugh. It’s not too big of a deal, but my biggest concern is reaching Houston in time for practice at 4:00pm. Fingers crossed.
9.30am – Finally en route to Houston, Texas ( I guess the crew member finally showed up).
3:00pm – Touch down! I hustled to get my rental car and grab my bike from the baggage belt, but it wasn’t looking promising to make practise… eek.
I had to be back at the airport at 5.30pm to pick up my friend Brooke (pictured above), as we were staying together this weekend for the racing. By the time I got the car, dealt with the local Houston peak hour traffic and checked into my hotel, practice was in action and I wasn’t there! The “joys of travel” can certainly be challenging at times … turns out the hotel that I booked, wasn’t all that. Once I finally made it to my room, I immediately had to find another room because, oh my gosh, it WAS NOT OK to sleep in. Yikes!
Seriously, it’s one thing after another today.
Holiday Inn never disappoints, so off we go to the nearest one … and free breakfast too 🙂
6:00pm – My routine when I travel to races, is somewhat relaxed, although VERY routined. I pack and unpack my bike the exact same way, all the time, every time. So, I get to it, front wheel comes out of the bag (back wheel stays on the bike), handle bars, recovery long seat pole, tool bag, rollers and frame. Front wheel goes on, handle bars slide onto the fork, pedals go on and I pack my track bag with my shoes, clothing, protective wear, goggles (with different lenses), rollers and long seat pole. All within five min, which might just be a personal best.
Before dinner, I unpack my bag to a minimum, grabbing my kettle, my oats and my coffee so I’m ready for the morning. Then I ice my knees, stretch my back, stretch my hip flexors and drink as much water as possible. I think one of my favourite things about the USA is that I can get a gallon of water for 90c, which is equivalent to about four litres. If I can drink a gallon a day, I’m fully hydrated. Especially before a race day I load up extra because sometimes its hard to get the full amount in on a racing days.
7:00pm – Brooke and I head out to our favourite Mexican Cantina and ordered fajitas to share. Seriously … you cannot beat chicken, rice, beans and guacamole. I’m a simple girl 🙂
9:00pm – Almost bed time. I’ll write in my diary about any major thoughts from the day, how I’d like my day to go tomorrow and any reminders or cue’s I want to remember. This is something I do on a normal day too, not just for a race day. I log EVERY training session in great detail. Sometimes, it’s kinda fun to go back through training diary’s from two to three years ago and see what young me was up to and thinking haha.
9.30pm – Three sprays of melatonin under my tongue, 20-30 min of Netflix and Ill see you tomorrow.
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS AND THE PACKING PROCESS
Packing and unpacking
My bike goes into an oversized golf bag (who knew?). A little tip from me to you – airlines seem to be ok with golf clubs, but not ok with bikes, even when they’re in the exact same bag lol. So, I put my bike in a golf bag and there are no questions asked!
It takes me about five minutes max, to break down my bike for storage in it’s golf bag.
Firstly, I remove it from it’s storage spot, in one of my amazing Steadyrack bike racks, then remove the pedals, the handlebars and the front wheel.
Next, I wrap my bike into a sleeping bag (more secret tips!) and it goes straight into the golf bag. Lastly, I pack the parts around the frame with my race clothing and other protective wear, the pedals and the tools get tucked into into a pencil case and she is ready to fly!
I always travel with a portable kettle, it’s rubber, folds down and I got it for about $12 on Amazon. With this little beauty, I can make my coffee, boil my eggs, cook my oats and make my night time tea. It’s literally my saver for travelling!
I often buy coffee bags on really short trips or I take my aero press coffee machine with ground coffee beans. I always pack my own oats!
Happy travels ✈️