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Trailside Tips with @Sarah_Sturmy
There are a lot of different ways to travel and there are equally just as many reasons for that travel. Professional gravel and mountain bike racer Sarah Sturm (@sarah_sturmy) happens to travel in a mini school bus all over the country to race her bike. It’s a weird job, and she loves it. As anyone who has gone on a road trip knows, there are a lot of beautiful moments, and there are so many boring, stressful, and un-scenic ones too. For Sarah, travel is part of the job and though it can get pretty rough at times, it’s something she’s come to embrace.
Rather than dealing with the airlines breaking her bikes and losing her luggage, or sleeping in airports and navigating missed connections, Sarah traded in her airline miles for a rusty old school bus and the opportunity to bring the most important things on the road, her friends and family.
Traveling for races typically means spending as little time on the journey as possible, but years ago Sarah realized that she races better when she can simulate the comforts of home and place. For her that means bringing the bus and creating a space where people want to gather.
Even though her main job is to cross a finish line as fast as possible, it's important for Sarah to enjoy the experience and prioritize the people. It can be a hard balance as an athlete, as it’s a pretty self-centered job, but planning is the piece that makes it all possible.
As someone who hates plans, it’s something Sarah has come to embrace. So she shared some tips with Dometic on how to plan an enjoyable trip, when the destination is a job:
Pick Your Route
Route planning can be really fun. Look for ways to get to your destination that incorporate some fun stops. There are plenty of websites or apps like Roadtrippers to help find some cool things to do along your route. Sometimes weird attractions or small towns are great ways to break up the drive and see some things you’d otherwise never see!
Time is Everything
Plan your trip backwards, look at the day you need to be somewhere and add in a few extra days (if you can). Even added hours will make the trip more enjoyable, every extra minute you add is less stress! You don’t want to be worried about making it on time the whole trip. Especially when you’re traveling with others, they probably won't be on the same timeline as you are.
Bring More Than the Essentials
Traveling for work often and living on the road can get taxing. So bringing more than the essentials is the best way to keep the comforts of home with you throughout the miles. Sometimes this means packing some extra cozy sweatshirts or post-ride pants in some Dometic GO storage under the bed or more gear than you expect to need – whether that’s camp kitchen little luxuries, more snacks for friends, extra bike tools, or things that make you-you, like your favorite hat, bracelets or camp shoes!
Pack Fun Food
When you're in the car for hours on end the best distraction or thing to look forward to is food, obviously! With a little bit of planning and the right ways to store food you can eat some really great meals on the road, and we love gathering in-and-out of the bus with good friends wherever the races takes us. When we first built out the bus for our long travels to races, we immediately purchased a Dometic powered cooler. The CFX3 55IM has been a focal point of the bus and has saved so much time and money while we’re on the road, keeping our healthy foods fresh and tasty for a lot longer than an ice chest would. And the new Dometic GO soft storage and insulated insert makes it easy to carry a small amount of delicious food outside the vehicle for a nice picnic pit-stop or your hanging at your destination for the evening.
Embrace the Weird Camp Spots
We’ve all had to “camp” in that spot that you’d never willingly choose. Sometimes it helps to look at it like its own little adventure, barring any true threat to your safety. It’s okay to stay somewhere that isn’t going to be your next IG post, full of beautiful aesthetics and sure to make your friends jealous. Some of the best memories are from the most spontaneous or weirder experiences!