Posted in Uncategorized

Planning and waiting

Planning and waiting Posted on July 16, 2011

“So, how are preparations for your trip going?”

This is all anyone ever says to me these days. I try to answer politely but, in reality, I’m completely fed up of this question, and of thinking about, talking about, and working through my massive to do list. As I found myself pointing out to a friend the other day, planning is the boring bit between dreaming and doing. I can’t wait to be on the road. That’s when the fun starts.

At the moment my life consists of two piles. There’s the pile of stuff I need to get rid of before I go, which consists of pretty much everything I own. This is a daunting task. For example, here are all the borrowed books I need to give back to people before I go.

This in itself is going to take many hours – each book needs to be delivered in person, which necessitates extra weight in my bag all day, and then extra miles to seek out the rightful owner. And often a beer or two as well, although I can’t complain about that!

The second pile is all the stuff I’m acquiring for the trip – my tent, my sleeping bag, my tools, and all the bits and pieces of bike I need. It’s currently stacking up in the corner of the dining room – which is rapidly becoming Emily HQ, much to the consternation of my poor housemates.

I hate shopping, but having all this shiny new stuff is kind of exciting. I feel like a kid with a new pencil case on the first day of school.

But at the same time, I can’t wait to get out there and start using it. There’s a lot of scorn in the cycling world for those people who have ‘all the gear and no idea’ – the ones who have obviously just spent four figures on a carbon-framed bike and full Assos lycra, but have so far only attempted a six-mile ride to work. Cycling-wise, I haven’t qualified as a rookie for quite some time.

But touring is a different matter. I’m almost a complete beginner, and am just relying on my general knowledge of bikes and cycling to ensure that I won’t embarrass myself completely. It’ll be a steep learning curve, and my clean new tent and as-yet-fragrant sleeping bag betray that I’m still right at the bottom of it. There will be a lot of stupid mistakes to get through before I can claim to know what I’m doing.

As I may already have mentioned, I can’t wait to get out there.