Thursday, 4 May 2017

Art Of Packing Your Jersey Pockets

At a time of year when the weather can be at its most unpredictable, the roads at their dirtiest, cyclists at their hungriest, and therefore pockets at their most bulging, the need for an organised system becomes apparent. Simplicity and symmetry, it seems, are key to good pocket maintenance. Yanto Barker, pro rider for One Pro Cycling and owner of Le Col cycle clothing, feels strongly on the issue: ‘If you don’t pack the pockets equally, or symmetrically, apart from the personal irritation of the jersey potentially twisting, I just think it’s plain wrong.’ If you ride behind a pro you’ll notice their immaculatly packed rear pockets. There’s no such thing as “stuffing stuff in”. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Start from the middle pocket and work outwards, not the other way around. Keep away from stuffing the side pockets with jackets, waterbottles and other protruding items.

2. Keep items that you’ll always need attached to the bike. Keep the pump on the frame, saddlebag under the seat. However, take special care to not overdo it. 

3. Pockets on outermost garment are to be filled first. Only put small unessential items in inner garment pockets.

4. Phone, ziplock bag and other small items go in side pockets. (if you scare thief is easy to steal your phone, use a running belt like in this picture below. One more thing, its better always put your electronics, ID, Debet/Credit Card inside your ziplock bag)

Running belt

5. Jacket or vest always goes in the middle pocket. Same with any other clothing larger than gloves. 

Asymmetry is perhaps the most discussed facet of jersey etiquette. ‘Balance whatever you bring evenly between your side pockets,’ Frank Strack, protector of The Rules, and Cyclist’s own arbiter of cycling etiquette says. It’s not just a vague guide – it needs to be followed meticulously: ‘If the ride is a few hours, put a bar in each pocket, plus assorted gels, but keep it even. If you have a pair of discarded gloves or arm warmers, keep one of each in each side pocket.’ Tubes, tyre levers and multi-tools must all be similarly symmetrical. It’s worth keeping food supplies to a minimum to keep things neat.

Strack and Barker both argue that true cyclists shouldn’t need food on rides under four hours. When food is packed, though, there is etiquette to be observed. ‘If I have food, I put one bar in my left pocket and one bar in my right pocket, to spread the weight equally,’ says Barker. ‘I take them from left and right pockets alternately and I put the wrappers in the middle pocket. The last thing you want is to put them back in your side pockets with the other gels. You risk sticky fingers or pulling out empty gels.’ 


Ride On!

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