What’s In My Bag: Pannier Edition for RAGBRAI

Just a quick note: all items discussed in this post were bought by and paid for by me. None of the following companies or products mentioned below gave me any perks, and all opinions are my own. Heck, these companies don’t even know who I am!

I shared a quick sneak peak earlier this week of a unique “what’s in my bag.” One of these days I’ll get around to my every day bag, but for now, I want to share what I’ll be carrying on my bike for the week of RAGBRAI.

Before I get into those details, I think it’s important to know that I’m not carrying everything on my bike. We have a team bus, so our tent, sleeping bags and pads, clothes, toiletries, food, etc. will all be stored on the bus during the day. Anything I need from breaking camp in the morning to setting up camp at night will be with me, either directly on my bike, or in here:


This is the Titan pannier from Seattle Sports. I found it on Amazon on sale for $46 from $65 and had an additional $8.50 credit, so it ended up being about $38. I’ve only taken it on a few rides, but it seems pretty solid so far. The main compartment is waterproof (the top rolls down like a sandwich bag) and the front zip pouch will be great for quick grab items. Everything I need during the day will be in here, with the exception of a few items that will either be on my body, or directly attached to my bike.


My Tom Tom MultiSport (the watch in the photo above) won’t be on my wrist, instead it will be on a bike mount on my handlebars. This will be the main way I track my distance, speed, etc. Also above is my Road ID. I haven’t taken it off since I received it last week, and I certainly won’t take it off during RAGBRAI. It may seem a bit morbid or pessimistic, but should the worst happen, I want the medics to be able to contact my family ASAP.

The other item that won’t be in my pannier is my Qalo wedding band. This was a Christmas gift from Brian last year. As much as I love my engagement ring and wedding band, I just don’t trust myself wearing it for a whole week on the bike. I typically switch out for the Qalo (a small silicone band) any time I’m riding, running, or doing anything outdoors.

And now for the main course. Here is the remainder of what I’ll be wearing and what will be in the pannier:


  1. My helmet – this will obviously be on my head. I always ride with a helmet, and during RAGBRAI it isn’t even an option not to.
  2. Bike shoes – I’ll be wearing these all day until I switch into my Chacos in camp at night. These are part of my clipless system.
  3. Seat bag – this contains a spare tube and Co2 cartridge should I get a flat.
  4. Slap on koozie – I’m out to ride, but when I celebrate with a beer, I want it to be cold.
  5. Bike gloves – the days range from 49 to 75 miles and I want to protect my hands as much as possible.
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Front and rear bike lights. I don’t anticipate riding in the dark, but I’d rather be safe than sorry (and crashing).
  8. My Amphipod Xinglet – again, I hope to not be riding at night, but being seen (which often means being reflective) is never a bad thing. This thing has been great – I’ve worn it running, biking, and even to walk to my Caucus location.
  9. Cash (and credit card and ID)
  10. iPhone – I doubt I’ll have cell service in rural Iowa, but it will be great for photos on the go.
  11. Stowable bike jacket – This thing is fantastic. It provides a bit of warmth and relief from the wind, but even better, it collapses down small enough to fit in a pocket.
  12. Nuun Energy – I LOVE this stuff. I may honestly have an addition. I could drink Nuun all day, but it is especially helpful on long rides when your electrolytes are completely depleted. Plus, they dissolve in a water bottle in under two minutes!
  13. Route maps – with thousands of riders I doubt I’ll need these, but since Brian will working the second half of the route (and not riding with me) I’d like to be able to let him know where I’m at. To do so, I need to know where I’m at!
  14. Small toiletry pouch – pain killers, bandages, lady products, nail clippers, hair ties. A catch all for all of the little things I’ll need throughout the day.
  15. Clif shots – There are plenty of spots to stop for lunch, but these are my favorite on-the-go energy source.
  16. Toilet paper – bathroom lines are bound to be incredibly long, and there are corn fields every where. Don’t judge.
  17. Zip top bags – we can’t control the weather so these will be my main source of waterproofing small items. I’ll have a variety of sizes just in case.
  18. Hand sanitizer – see no. 16.
  19. Field Notes Expedition + a Sharpie – it’s no secret that I love Field Notes, and this is an especially special notebook. This notebook is made of Yupo Synthetic Paper, which is waterproof, tear proof and virtually indestructible. Hopefully it will hold up to a week of note-taking and journaling!
  20. SPF 50 sunscreen lip balm – I hate chapped lips. A week of country roads in July does not bode well for my skin, but hopefully this stuff will keep my lips hydrated.
  21. Sunscreen – when you send your husband to the store, you end up with the Captain America version. Regardless, I’m sure we’ll go through a LOT of sunscreen, so we have a back up on the bus. I also have my most favorite after sun lotion (Banana Boat After Sun) in my toiletry bag on the bus so hopefully I don’t end the week as a peeling mess.

I think that should do it! The best part about having the team bus is that I can swap out items as needed. If I don’t think I’ll need the jacket one day, I can leave it on the bus. If I decide I really want my Chacos for longer lunch stops, I can add them to the pannier. We’ll see what happens!

I may get one more post in before we leave, but it will depend on how far we get with the rest of our prep. Otherwise, stay tuned for mobile posts during the week, and make sure to follow me on social media if you want to follow along. I’m thejordanpowers on Instagram, Periscope, Twitter, and SnapChat. Only two days until we load the bus!