Useful Lady Rider Items!
Aside from the obvious of well-fitting gear, bike height and handlebar adjustments and the like, most bike accessories and important must-pack items are gender neutral. However, there are a few unique female-specific gems out there that are most certainly worth adding to your current riding staples. Most are my own personal recommendations, but after pitching the question to other lady riders in groups I am a member of, I received some great responses on useful lady rider items, which I have included.
1: The Shewee/GoGirl/Female Urinal
This device is one that many lady riders have struggled with the concept of (and the use of!), but honestly, this device is so handy once you get the hang of it. Being small and made from flexible medical grade silicone means it is so easy and lightweight to pack that it really make sense to take one, even if as an emergency lady rider back up. (I wrote about this device a few years back, including a rather silly video of the dilemma of when you don’t have one! Link HERE)
The urinal becomes even more important for those of us who are riding in areas where there are some pretty nasty bugs and beasties around (scorpions, spiders, snakes, etc). Being able to stand up just feels a whole lot less concerning. Additionally there are some pretty grotty looking public conveniences around, some of which are far more bacteria-ridden than the good old outdoors.
I’ve even used it on roadsides on a few occasions after tucking/hiding my hair well into my jacket (helmet left on). People then just assume its a man, so don’t give a second glance!
How to use…
This is the part that most women struggle with. You REALLY (and I can’t emphasise this enough) REALLY need to practice in the shower first. In fact, you need to practice SEVERAL times in the shower first. Initially practice without clothes (for obvious reasons), then practice with clothes, then once you feel you’ve got the hang of it, practice with your bike gear. *Tip* You need to try change your mindset and how you normally go (sorry to be a bit TMI here). Basically try to be more forceful. Make sure you have the device placed snug tight. It helps to imagine or fixate on a target haha. (Heck, men have been doing the target fixation thing since they were kids. It works for them!) Then aim and shoot! 😂 😂Most often the issue for women is more of a mental block, because it is such an unnatural way for us to do things.
Whilst on the road a simple quick rinse with water then placing inside a plastic zip-lock bag suffices (some brands supply cases for them). At your final destination give both device and bag a proper clean and dry (air dry is best). Usually I carry a spray bottle of alcohol to spray for added cleanness. Intermittently I use sterilizing tablets to give a deep clean, but that’s possibly overkill. I just tend to be a bit clean obsessed. Alternatively you can actually boil to get it really germ-free.
The mooncup /menstrual cup is just brilliant and a perfect lady rider choice. I honestly wish I had known about this years ago. It makes so much sense. Not only does it make life easier (in that it can be left in for up to 12 hours), but it is cheaper and cleaner than any other method. Made with medical grade silicone, the mooncup is very hygienic. (Additionally: some women team the cup with menstrual pants, for added reassurance.)
How to use…
It is tricky to get the hang of initially, but you have to fold the wide part of the cup and then insert. If you can feel it, then it is inserted incorrectly, so pull it out and re-insert. To remove it you reverse the process, just be careful about possible mess. Best to look up some of the great YouTube videos out there for how to use them correctly, as there are many around, with better and more detailed instructions than I can provide.
For cleaning, just use the same method as the Shewee/GoGirl instructions above. Make sure to wash your hands well of course (and personally I will spray a little alcohol as well).
The times that I have been most grateful for the mooncup has been on mixed group rides. I can keep riding without worry and I don’t need to make any embarrassing excuses or explanations just because I am a lady rider.
Most lady riders discover pretty fast that a decent fitting bra/support top is essential. Personally I have found that some swimwear tops with built in support works pretty well too. The added benefit of swimwear tops is that they are great for hot weather riding because you can just jump into rivers or wet yourself down etc. These tops dry out super fast and can be washed and dried easily when on tour. Much of this depends on how much support you need, but supportive swimwear is a good one to consider, particularly if touring or in hotter climates.
Wait what..? Hah, I just recently found out about this, but seems the smart folks over at Klim have created a lady rider jacket which has underboob vents! Way to go Klim! This jacket (Klim Artemis) has quite a few lady riders excited (I have no affiliation with Klim or the jacket btw, this info was from a Women ADV Ride group I am part of). What a fantastic idea. Best bit about this though, is that it is so nice to see designers finally turning their attention to lady riders needs. The only downside is the price, but well, quality normally doesn’t come cheap.
4: Fem wipes / wet wipes & pant liners
Yeh, sorry, it’s another hygiene one..but well, truth is we lady riders tend to want to be as clean and fresh as possible. I’ve always stated that I want to be a rider, just not smell like one! I add these items to the list hesitantly, only because these really aren’t good for the environment. However, you can limit use of them, cut them up, and even get biodegradable versions to make it less of a waste. The liners don’t always need to be used either of course, but if on really long rides or very hot days, these can help keep you feeling fresh. (*Note* I should mention that I live in a tropical climate, so my personal experience/struggle is how to keep fresh when riding long hours in very hot temperatures. So those who ride in cooler climates may find it all a bit overly focused in this area!)
5: Miscellaneous Items That Made the Cut
• Hair ties
Don’t be fooled by the humble hair tie, it has multiple emergency uses, and most lady riders will have these with them automatically. If you find yourself without any cable ties or electrical tape, etc, then a simple hair tie can help with many fixes! Have a read of a couple of the comments from different lady rider groups about hair ties! 😂
• Sun Cream / Zinc
Pretty obvious why these are a good idea. Despite being covered up, our faces are still exposed, even when under a helmet. Most visors, even when tinted, don’t have a high UV protection rating.
• Coconut Oil
For me, coconut oil is a staple. It can be used for so many things, even for emergency lubrication on the bike. I always carry a small bottle. I can use it on hair and skin and even my gear. I’ve even used it to stop creaky door hinges in hotels/accommodation. Some even use it for Oil Pulling. It can also be used for cooking. Just a fantastic oil to have around (and it smells nice 😉 )
Simple, but ever so useful. A sarong can also be used for so many things, even to make a small changing room etc (or for hiding behind when nature calls whilst out riding, if you don’t like using the Shewee). It can even be used as a substitute tow-rope!
• Crystal Deodorant.
Actually, in truth I am not a huge fan of crystal deodorant, but it does work for many, so I am adding to the list. It is compact, only needs to be applied once, and lasts for around a year. I may even consider giving it another go.
• Carmex / Lip Balm
A quality lip balm with SPF keeps lips from chapping. The tube versions are generally better as they do not melt out of the container.
• Peppermint oil & fabric softener
Sounds like a strange combination, but these are my secret essential items. I always have a small bottle of peppermint oil and a small spray bottle which I put fabric softener in. The peppermint oil is great for clearing the head. A few drops in my helmet or on my neck scarf makes a great pick-me-up. As for the fabric softener, well, that has got me out of some possibly smelly situations when riding in high heat for long hours. A quick spray of the fabric softener over my gear, means I can enter coffee shops/hotel lobbies etc, with some dignity. I don’t want to smell of regular perfume scents as that seems so weird and artificial, but fabric softener just smells clean. (*Note* I realise that fabric softener is a controversial choice for some, but this is my emergency back up product, mainly because a small spray of it produces an instant clean scent. You can of course choose to use essential oils or an alternative instead).
• Small bags of washing powder
Great for giving your gear items a quick wash when at your destination. I’ve even used my topbox as a makeshift wash bucket.
Lastly, the higher end additions…
If you really want to push the boat out on making life easier, then laser hair removal, tattoo make-up and (if you have bad eyesight) laser eye surgery can help, but certainly not budget friendly!
Well, was this list a 👍 or 👎
I hope this lady rider list was useful. What are your staples?
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