It seems so simple. Chapstick.
But it is a lifesaver at about mile 60-75, when your chamois cream has worn away and you discover new seams in your riding shorts or cycling shoes that never before wreaked havoc with your skin.
I have my favorite chamois cream- I make my own, actually. There are also several reasonable one’s on the market. But I’m not carrying a tub of that around with me on a 100 miler! (After all, I need room for all the Girl Scout Peanut Butter cookies in my jersey pocket).
And it really isn’t until you get into those higher mileage rides that new places suddenly become the focus of pain for every single pedal stroke, leaving you squirming in the saddle. Your plans to hit that 100-mile mark fade fast.
My little bento bag only holds a couple of items. There’s not much room, so everything in there has to be super important. I won’t leave home without at least 1 Chapstick in there. The small tube is ideal to roll up, swipe some off, and never worry about contaminating the rest of the product. I also now carry Chapstick in my running singlet pocket. I was glad during Ironman Arizona on the run, when my favorite sneakers decided to suddenly rub my insole raw at about mile 1 of the run.
My tip? Stock up on the original Chapstick (the one in the plain black label). It has a firmer consistency than the scented variety, with no stingy additives for raw tissue. Also- on my 105-degree Arizona rides, it’s soft but not a puddle of molten goo!