To paraphrase the great, late John Denver:
“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go, I’m standing here outside your door, I hate to wake you up…but COME ON ALREADY, LET’S GO! I WANT TO RIDE!”
I started packing last weekend, a full week out from the start of Ride the Rockies. If you include my packing/purchasing list, I started in March. My son and I tested the tent and camping gear a few weeks back, you know, just to make sure that everything that was supposed to be there was there (and anything that wasn’t supposed to be there – rips, leaks, spiders, etc. – wasn’t). My 85-litre Osprey backpack is laid out in the master bedroom, along with nearly every piece of cycling gear I own. I am fairly certain I will pack – and unpack – a few more times before we leave for Telluride on Friday.
Having never ridden a multi-day ride like this, I really have no idea what to expect. Well, I have some idea (sore legs, sorer cheek muscles from constant smiling/grimacing, cool nights of solid sleep, etc.), but I have no idea what else to expect in between the riding and the sleeping. Based on my recent training regimen of a couple of 350+ mile weeks (some of those miles while hauling the 100 lbs. of kids) and caloric intake, I know what a vast sum of my free time will consist of…eating.
I continue altering and updating my packing list, making sure my saddle bag has enough compressed air cartridges and chain lube, making sure I have enough variety in the weather-appropriate clothing for both on and off the bikes and most importantly, a good book or two.
I’ve spent my spare time of the last few days catching up on the posts of the veteran blogger riders of RTR. I wasn’t sure what to pack, so I started putting out calls for military style duffel bags (“What, you got a dead body to move?” I was asked more than once). Then I read the Prodigal Blogger’s “Insider’s Tips to Camping Comfortably“. At least a third of my gear/clothes went back into the closet.
The Pedal Winch’s “Packing Tips” helped with the finer details of what I shouldn’t forget (Chamois cream? Check! Sports bra? Uh…nope.)
The Advocate’s “Remember to Pack My Brain” hit home and made me realize everyone drops the ball sometimes. It’s nice to know I am not the only one. More importantly, it reminded me to pack my own brain on a recent ride which saved a call for the SAG wagon*.
The final hours before we depart for Telluride a few days early for some exploring on our way and I have finally managed to get everything into one backpack. By bike is freshly tuned (thanks to Full Cycle) minus the bottle cage I snapped while racing my son around the cul de sac while he was testing his new (birthday gift Specialized Hot Rocks). My legs are rested. My mind is calm. I’m ready.
*By SAG wagon, I mean my wife.