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Two indispensable items

In the giant list of everything that you're supposed to bring with you on your bike while doing the ride, I've got two items that often get overlooked but make the ride much better for me. One of them you probably know about; the other, possibly not.

Lip balm -- preferably with sunscreen -- is extremely important. Even during our last few training rides, the rides are now long enough that you can do serious damage to your lips if you don't protect them from the sun and the wind. As with all such items (including sunscreen), you are expected to bring your own on the ride. Although the medical tent might have some available, it's only for emergency use ... and they often run out or start rationing anyway as the week progresses.

The item you might not have thought about is a tiny water mister. This tiny bottle (see how it's only a little larger than the lip balm) can make you feel immeasurably better on hot days -- and it can make you a lot of instant best friends when you walk around Mission San Miguel with a cool spray of mist in your wake. It really only makes sense when the temperature is above about 85 degrees or so, but we have enough of that on Days 2 and 3 (and, this year, maybe Day 5) that this dollar-store item is a wise investment.

I've certainly gotten the strange looks when I've pulled the mister out of my jersey pocket (or perhaps I just get strange looks anyway), but then folks go "wow."

Just remember: If you mist yourself heavily, your sunscreen might wash off. Remember to reapply it!

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