The most important step to washing your dirty duds is transporting it properly and cleaning it as soon as possible. Johnson suggests using a mesh-style laundry bag (Shift sells one called the Dirt Bag, www.shift.com) to transport your filthy garments from the track to the washing machine. “After you’re done riding, you have a lot of moisture in your gear from sweating,” Johnson said. “You don’t want all that sitting in a sealed gear bag because the moisture can and will create mold, and mold is what will start to eat away the materials in your race wear. Also, dirt is dirt and it’s not clean regardless of where it comes from. The longer that stuff stays on your gear, the more harmful it’s going to be for the materials. If your gear is super-muddy, don’t just throw it in the washing machine. A quick hose-down or a low-pressure power washing will sluice off the big crud and get your gear ready to wash.Start the washing machine and prepare the water like normal. Use a cold-water, regular wash cycle. Add standard laundry detergent and, if your riding gear is overly stained or saturated with dirt, a scoop of an oxygenating cleaner like Oxi-Clean; it will work wonders. Let the washer fill while you move on to the next steps.Next, pretreat the muck-saturated areas of your gear with Spray-n-Wash or a similar product. In order to minimize the mess, Johnson suggests doing this with your gear laying over the opening of the washer as it fills. This way, overspray simply goes into the washer, further strengthening your cleaning solution and keeping the laundry room from becoming a slippery mess. Johnson begins with the pant and concentrates on the light-colored areas, the spandex-type fabrics that absorb fluids easily and anything that is visibly inundated with dirt. Then he treats the jersey, concentrating around the neck and cuffs. Go ahead and treat the gloves as well. Remember to let everything soak for a while on top of the filling washer, not in it, as it’s important to let the pretreatment marinate.Once the pretreatment has worked in (usually by the time the washer is full), go ahead and place your gear in the soapy water. You can wash a couple sets of gear at a time, but no more than that for a standard washing machine. (Some gear manufacturers suggest turning the pant and jersey inside out to protect any iron-ons, such as the rubber details and patches on the pant.) Johnson ensures the hook-and-loop section on the gloves is completely closed before adding them to the mix. “The [hook-and-loop parts] can snag jerseys, pulling off material,” Johnson said. “This will make your jersey look more hammered and wear out faster than it should.” Also, he latches the waist on the pant but keeps the fly open to let the water flow through more easily. Once every piece is in the tub, take out your helmet liner and wipe up any pretreatment overspray that may be on the washing machine and add the liner to the washer.After the wash cycle is complete, immediately remove your gear from the machine and air it out. “I like to give it a good shake to smooth things out,” Johnson advised. “With the pant, I press out the leather knees; this helps them get back to their original shape-just like a pair of jeans.” Johnson highly recommends hanging your gear to dry in the most natural position possible. He uses rust-resistant hangers and a wire-mesh shelf system in his garage. By hanging a pant by the loop in the back and spacing out a jersey he ensures everything will dry quickly and thoroughly in a natural position. In addition, the wire-mesh shelf works great for drying gloves and for storing your helmet. They come in various sizes to fit your available space and are very inexpensive. Just remember to install it in a well-ventilated space like a cool garage or airy room in the house.