The Junk in my Trunk

I currently reside in North San Jose, the land of huge “luxury” (ha!) apartment communities, corporate business parks, construction of the future 49ers stadium, and people that don’t know how to drive. As you can imagine, riding from my home sucks and is also really scary (Bike to Work Day reminded me why I don’t commute on my bike every other day of the year).

Ranting aside, I usually drive to my workouts and I use my car as my gear locker. I found a way to organize my Honda CR-V that works really well for me and makes good use of the goodies from past races.

Here’s a high-level look at what I keep in my trunk (I’ll go into detail later).

  • Portable water bowl for the dog
  • Mesh bag with swim gear
  • Shower caddy filled with toiletries for showering at the gym/pool
  • Shopping basket filled with reusable grocery bags
  • A large cheap fleece blanket to lay my bike on (keeps the grease off my seats)
  • Towel to cover my bike when it’s in the car
  • Towel to keep my funk off the driver’s seat post-workout
  • Bike pump
  • Mylar blanket for emergencies (saved from Big Sur Half Marathon 2012)
  • Small knapsack for shoes
  • Duffel bag for cycling gear and other random stuff


I use a knapsack (goody bag from Reservoir Triathlon 2012) to store:

  • A pair of trail running shoes
  • A pair of sandals to wear after a workout or race (or spontaneous trip to the beach)


Now I’ll go through the contents of the duffel bag (goody bag from Napa Valley Marathon 2012). You’re probably going to think I’m OCD after this, but it’s nice to be prepared for (almost) anything.IMG_1812

Clothing Accessories:

  • 3 pairs of full-fingered cycling gloves for varying degrees of cold
  • 3 pairs of fingerless cycling gloves
  • 1 pair of leg warmers
  • 2 skull caps
  • 1 pair of booties
  • 1 pair of toe warmers
  • 2 pairs of sun sleeves
  • 1 light wind jacket, folded in its storage pouch

I keep these items stored in a few plastic bags. Winter gear goes in one bag, spring/fall in another, and summer gear in the other bag. After I use these items and wash them, I return them to the car on my next trip out the door.


Personal Care Items:

  • Chamois cream
  • Sunscreen (face, lip, and body)
  • Spare hair accessories (bobby pins, rubber bands, headbands)
  • Body and face wipes, to freshen up after a workout.


Bike Maintenance/Repair:

  • Lubricant (never leave home without it ;-))
  • Pre-packed flat kit, containing tire patches, 2 tubes, 2 CO2 cartridges, an inflator, tire levers, a multi-tool
  • Spare tubes
  • CO2 cartridges
  • Hand pump



  • Bike helmet
  • Sun visor
  • Sunglasses in case (not shown)


Cycling Footwear:

  • Bike shoes
  • Cleat covers
  • Extra insoles (my shoes came two pairs, one for hot weather, the other for cold)


This is how my trunk usually looks when I don’t have my bike in it. FYI the shelf came standard with my car.IMG_1809

To prepare for a ride:

1. Flatten the back seats, and spread blanketIMG_1810

2. Insert bike (no need to remove the front wheel!)IMG_1819

3. Cover bike with extra blanket and towelIMG_1820

Do you think this is extreme? What junk do you keep in your trunk?


Public Service Announcement: Take Care of Your Skin!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, just a concerned citizen

Ladies and gentlemen of the triathlon community, this is a friendly reminder to take a small break from swimming, biking, and running (and eating, and sleeping) to have your skin checked by a dermatologist every year.  In our training and racing, we accumulate countless ours of sun exposure.  Unlike most other forms of cancer, our active lifestyle actually increases our risk of getting skin cancer.  Ironman World Champion, Leanda Cave, isn’t immune to it and neither are you!

Of course, you already know to reduce your exposure by wearing sun sleeves and sunscreen.  In case you need a reminder, this is what can happen if you forget to apply sunscreen properly.  A year later, I still have a tramp stamp tan…


Despite the horrible quality of this photo, that burn looks nasty!

Smith Optics ODS2-RX Adapter

Unless you’ve been blessed with perfect vision or had LASIK surgery, you probably have to deal with the annoyance of corrective lenses every day.  I usually wear contact lenses when I swim, bike, and run but there are times when my eyes are too dry to even think about putting in contacts.


These specs ain’t made for swimming, biking, or running

Wearing my regular glasses in the pool isn’t very useful and I don’t like swimming blind.  Fortunately, Speedo makes prescription goggles that are a lifesaver for early morning swim workouts (and they’re pretty darn cheap).

Finding a solution for cycling and running sans contacts was a bit more complicated than I expected.  I went to my local Lenscrafters store to check out their selection of prescription sunglasses.  My plan was to pick a style that would stay put during my workouts, but was fashionable enough to wear around town.  I was quickly drawn to the purple Oakley Urgency sunglasses and patiently waited for someone to start processing my order.  About an hour later, an associate was finally measuring my face and entering my information on the computer.  During this process, another associate came by to help and quickly pointed out that those sunglasses couldn’t be made with my prescription.  I left empty-handed and frustrated because I didn’t see any other sunglasses that I liked.

I started looking at various forums on the interwebz to see what styles of prescription Oakleys worked for other people.  I found that many people thought they were a big waste of money, so I decided to expand my search.

I bought a non-prescription pair of of Smith Optics Pivlock V90 Max sunglasses last year and have been very pleased with them so I wondered if I could get a prescription lens for them.  It turns out, they make a clever prescription adapter insert that’s compatible with the sunglasses I already have.  There was surprisingly little consumer feedback online for the adapter, but I decided to give it a shot after finding it available with a good return policy at  I ordered the adapter for $45 with upgraded polycarbonate lenses for $57 (a grand total of $102) and waited for it to arrive.


The Pivlock sunglasses come in a huge case with 3 interchangeable lenses (rose, yellow mirror, and clear)

Nine days later, the RX adapter was delivered.  The kit consists of a special nosepiece and the prescription lens insert.


The RX insert and nosepiece

I tried it on with the clear lenses to illustrate how all the pieces fit together.  Not the hottest look…


Wearing the clear lenses with RX adapter.  It looks like I’m wearing crazy safety glasses.

I usually ride and run with the mirrored lenses.  As you can see in the picture below, the prescription insert isn’t visible to others.


You can’t see the RX insert when I use the mirrored lenses (excuse the embarrassing selfie and view of my bathroom counter)

My eyes usually take a while to adjust to a new pair of glasses, these were no exception.  My vision became clear after an hour of use.  (Note: this is a one-time process, I’m not walking around blind for an hour every time I wear these sunglasses).

This system passed the vision test, but they also need to be comfortable.  The prescription insert adds 10g to the sunglasses, which are 28g.  It’s still very light so the additional weight doesn’t bother me.  I was also pleased to find that the prescription insert wasn’t too close to my face.

I wore the sunglasses with the prescription adapter during a 5 mile run and 65 mile bike  ride to see how they felt in action.  In both cases, the sunglasses were very comfortable and stayed in place.  They slid down my nose a couple times when I hit some big bumps on my bike, but I think that would happen with most pairs of sunglasses.

I highly recommend Smith Pivlock sunglasses and the RX adapter, if you need prescription lenses.  The sunglasses very light, provide great coverage, and come with several interchangeable lenses for varying light conditions.