It was a perfect summer day for a nice long bike ride. I rode. 1 1/2 miles. What a stud.
I am leaving next Saturday for my bike tour of Michigan and Wisconsin. I need to get on the road around 6 am so there will be no time for dithering about the house looking for this doodad and that gizmo. All the things have to be in the car and ready to go.
So I made a list and spent the morning (while waiting for a visit from the air conditioner man) pulling my stuff together. Sure enough there were things missing. I made a list of them too. I packed everything into my panniers and did a test ride around the neighborhood on The Mule.
When you ride a touring bike unloaded, the bike feels awkward and clumsy. Put a full load, properly distributed, on it and it rides like it’s on rails. Weight distribution is key. The small panniers in front carry all the heavy, dense stuff like maps, books, tools, personal hygiene stuff, lights, and chargers. The rear panniers carry clothing, and my sleeping gear. My saddle bag is removed so that I can mount my tent on it. Rolling along feels great. Stopping might be another story.
Grinding through the list took forever. First was the hair cut. (Short hair simplifies bathing and I hate bathing in campgrounds.) Then I went shopping. I bought:
- a back up battery fror my phones and camera
- a big bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for bathing and in-sink laundry
- two small plastic bottles (to transfer some of the castile soap into. The rest stays at home.)
- tire levers
- a patch kit
- a master link (for easy chain repair)
- some Assos chamois cream because my cheeks deserve the very best
- 3 Powerbars (I hate them but sometimes food is not conveniently located)
- Some motion sickness medicine for the ferry ride across the lake
- Some motion sickness wrist bands for powerful placebo action
- Batteries for my bike computer
Good thing I mowed the lawn last night because all the shopping and such took all day.
So now I am as ready as I will ever be. All that’s left is to work a week, attend a Nats game (if you have a free ticket handy, I’m your man), and drive 12 hours. And avoid my bike touring jinx. (I was planning tours when my father died, when my mother died,and when my wife got hit by SUV. Let’s just say you don’t want to schedule a sky dive when I am going on a tour.)
I got all the tedious touring prep done. Now I am watching the Nats game on TV, cold beer in hand. We’ll call it pre-tour hydration. It’s proper preparation!
After all, it’s a perfect summer day.