Compiled by James Startt; Images by James Startt & Danie Oss
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What is the one essential item that pro cyclists can’t do without on their constant travels around the world? To find out we asked three current riders what they must take with them on every trip.
“I have really gotten into using essential oils and always carry them with me on the road. For me, being an athlete is just a big experiment, an experience in applied science, and I am becoming more and more interested in the concept of plant-based medicine and moving away from traditional pharmaceuticals. We travel so much in these metal tubes full of germs, viruses and bacteria, and there is an increasing amount of science that shows that a lot of plants, when they are down to their pure quality, essential oil, they possess real anti-bacterial, anti-viral qualities. And for me, using these immunological aides when traveling is really helping. I can see, not just through study but also through experience, that my immune system is stronger. I can re-focus myself before a race, or calm myself down before a flight by using the right oil at the right time. They also help me calm down after a race and return to center.”
“Well, I really like different kinds of photography. I love the Go-Pro cameras but also Polaroids. The Polaroid is really fun. I like the vintage vibe and I like taking pictures of my teammates and life on the road. The format is so fun! First there is the whole process of waiting to see what the image actually looks like when it comes up, and then I just like the fact that you actually have something in your hand afterwards. It’s not like taking a picture with your phone.”
They have become a huge part of my arsenal for life and sport. But really sport is just a small part of life. You’ve got to spend real money on this stuff. I don’t buy the synthetic stuff. The brand that I use is Essential Oil Wizardry. They are based in the States, and from my research, they are producing the highest quality oils in the world with ultrasonic extractions from plants with no pesticides. That is the best way to get the highest-grade extractions out of the plant. Obviously they smell good and all, but most importantly they have a real effect on the immune system. The one I always use when traveling is called Immune Prohab, which helps keep your immune system up while traveling. It has essential oils of clove, eucalyptus, oregano, peppermint and a few others. And there are others. The more you play with it, the more profound it becomes.
“I never leave home without my YETI thermal tea mug. First off, it seems like so many hotels, especially in Europe, have these little teacups. They are almost miniature. I would have to drink at least three to get my dosage of tea. So I just bring my own mug. And it comes in handy in airports too! There are often water fountains if I am just looking for water, but sometimes also for tea. You know, in an airport, if you ask for hot water they will give it to you for free. And if you have your own tea bags, well you have tea! My mug is from one of my sponsors, Normatec, who sent me this one as a gift and it’s great! I never leave home without it!”