The French call the little leather trays (top left) vide-poche, which translates into “empty pocket.” These are handy for depositing spare change, keys, receipts and other items when you walk through the front door. (They’re also brilliant for travel because they flatten for packing and then snap back together to corral small items in a hotel room.)
To organize cycling gear, my version of a vide-poche is more prosaic, but equally practical. After years of shedding bits of gear on the post-ride dash to the kitchen (must…get…to…refrigerator) and its aftermath, I started taking a minute at the door to toss the essentials that I wear or carry in my jersey pockets into my upturned bicycle helmet. Lip balm, Road ID, cycling gloves, wallet, left-over pocket food, spent wrappers, sunglasses, heart rate monitor and cycling computer are piled into the shell (top right).
Later, after I’ve had a chance to wind down with a snack, water and a shower, the “bucket” helps me ferry items to their rightful destinations: cycling computer to charger, gloves to laundry, pocket food to pantry. Same deal when I ride my urban bike: detachable lights, bike lock key, sunglasses, all go into my helmet.
During cold-weather months, when the gear load intensifies, I park an old picnic basket (above) next to the door to collect not only the sundries already mentioned, but also clothing layers like cap, mitts, shoe covers, vest and arm warmers.
Nobody likes to scramble for essentials on the way out the door, whether for a work-out or to get to work. With this easy approach to organizing, whatever is needed for the next ride can be quickly and easily located and assembled for a care-free start.
Photos: Top left: Hunt Leather; top right, bottom: velojoy