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?


10 thoughts on “The Junk in my Trunk

  1. That’s a lot of stuff, but it seems like everything in there serves a purpose!
    I don’t think I’d ever keep that much in my vehicle, but that’s mostly because years ago I had my boss at the time walk out to my car with me at the end of the day and ask me if everything was ok. When I said yes, he kept pressing for more details. When we got to my car (a hatchback), he pointed to all the stuff I had in the back. He said he thought that something must have happened, and that’s why I was living out of my car (which I was not!) So, now I’m a little self-conscious about how full I keep my car!

    • Did you use that as an opportunity to ask for a raise? 🙂

      That shelf I have keeps all my crap out of view from the outside. Otherwise, I don’t think I would leave everything in there because car break-ins are pretty common around here.

  2. This is awesome- thanks so much for sharing!
    You know what- I don’t carry anything in my vehicle, and now I think I might start. I love the organization of all your gear. However, I think I need to get one of those fancy shelves to keep it hidden.

    • If I had a private garage, I would probably store most of my gear in there. Since I don’t, I would have to carry a lot of stuff up and down the stairs to my apartment and I’m just too lazy for that 🙂

      I really like the shelf. It keeps my stuff hidden and it’s a nice way to separate my bike from the other stuff.

  3. I have a quarter of a spare bedroom for my gear, about a quarter of what you’ve got there… Holy smokes! The folks at the bike shop must roll out the red carpet when you turn the corner!

  4. That’s a great post, I once read a blog where a cyclist said that they might give it up but they’ve got too much stuff they would have to get rid of! I like the freedom of just going out the front door with everything in my back pocket (obviously just for a morning training ride and not some big triathlon of course).

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