After your swim, you’ll run into transition (T1) and you will frantically search for your bike. OK, that’s how I do it, and you may be a bit calmer, but I’m always in a crazy frenzy.
If you have marked your spot in transition (tip #1) this may be easier, but when you find your spot you’ll still have to figure out what to do.
I typically recite the tasks I need to complete in my head in advance. For example, even before getting out of the swim, I’ll start repeating something like, “Socks, shoes, belt, helmet, glasses, sunscreen” again and again.
So then when I arrive at my bike, I hope I can easily find those items. I usually lay them out in order, or as logically sequenced as possible.
I put one sock in each shoe (you may not wear socks; that’s another topic, but I like to wear them), the race belt with the bib on it on top of the shoes and socks, my helmet draped over my aero bars, glasses inside it, and the sunscreen behind the shoes.
And you’ll find your own way to do all of that.
But what I don’t do, is I don’t dump all my stuff in a mess into the bin. I don’t leave it all packed in my bag. I don’t place anything in any position that will get touched by anybody else or messed up.
When you hit T2 you should have the same setup for your run.
While this may seem a bit extreme, it makes sense and will likely save you a minute or two. Of course, the shorter the race, the more critical this becomes.