The Things They Carry – July/Aug 17

Amanda Pottorff

Eight consecutive RAGBRAIs aren’t much of a challenge for someone who also competes in Ironman events—swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles, then running another 26 miles. RAGBRAI is way more fun, says the athletic Amanda Pottorff. Looking forward to her eighth ride across Iowa this summer, she shared with us some of the vital stuff she carries in her bike bags.

Capping it off: My hair is usually braided when I ride, but a cap keeps it under control and shades my eyes. I feel good about this one, from a RAGBRAI team selling them to raise money for a children’s cancer fund.

Evidence: With my phone and a selfie stick, I can record fun times with friends.

Skin in the game: I got more than enough sunburn when I was younger. SPF 50 is now my friend.

Chain gang: My RAGBRAI team’s name is Wasted Motion, but we get called “the chain gang” because we wear these heavy-looking chains—plastic props that make it easy for us to spot one another.

Magic beans: They make “quick energy” claims, and they’re called Extreme Sport Beans—but they’re from Jelly Belly and taste like jellybeans. This pack is watermelon flavor.

Chipping away: I get “hangry” if I don’t get something to eat when I need it, and I’m a salt person. Chips get me down the road.

Locked in: Most bikes stay unlocked on RAGBRAI. It’s a community. But I always carry one.

Tireless: Flat tires are rare, but I’m prepared. That’s an inner tube rolled up. The canisters hold compressed air and refill a tire with the little red connector. The Allen wrenches adjust seats and handlebars.

Liquid therapy: Of course Gatorade has the electrolytes and carbohydrates I need, but it’s also a great mixer with vodka. The other beverages? Well, I did mention my team is called Wasted Motion.

Relief: Sore muscles and headaches are pretty common on RAGBRAI. This is a small Advil bottle, but there are plenty of drugstores on the route.

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