One week to go until lift off and we wing our way to Croatia to begin the next adventure. With that time frame in mind, a week until we leave with busy days between now and then, we thought perhaps we should do something that remotely resembled preparation. So…time to think about what to pack and recommence the Maths calculations on weighing everything to the last gram.
I pulled out everything I thought I’d need to wear for a six month pedalfest, most of which I took with me last time (booo to fast fashion, buy things to last folks!) and began laying out tops, bottoms, jackets and layers to see what I might need for every weather eventuality in more countries than we ventured into last time.
This is what I’ll have with me…
which packed up into our little neat pouches…
that fitted into my rack pack…
and weighed…wait for it…wait for it…7.01 kg. Stoked! That’s the limit for carry on luggage. So, including the weight of the bag I managed to get everything I’ll need to wear for 6 months down to carry-on size and weight. Winner! At least that won’t factor into our excess baggage bill.
Steve meanwhile started doing some tinkering with his bike. Last week he bought a new tyre, so it was time to fit that to the steed. On the last trip Steve had a total of six punctures, most of which seemed to happen on days when it was either a) cold, b) windy, c) raining, d) all of the above. The vivid memories of shivering on the side of the road, with an upside down bike, holding an inner tube as Steve prised yet another flat tyre off the rim, are still just that, vivid memories indeed. But then, so many days were cold, wet and windy, that it was really just another day at the office with a puncture thrown in. So…a new tyre was to be fitted, which Steve had declared a top-notch brand and make, so we are hoping for a reduction in the puncture stats this time around. Thankfully I went puncture-free last time so here’s hoping that little silver lining keeps on shining second time around.
The weather today in our little part of the world has been a little grey, a little windy and a little drizzly. So…what better weather to head out for a bike ride to acclimatise myself to the weather we will no doubt face on a near-daily basis on our cycling adventure. As we have experienced woeful weather on such numerous occasions, and with predictable regularity, while cycle touring, we feel we can now safely label as incontrovertible fact that we attract the weather demons. No, no, don’t cry fake news to me, this one is truth, fact, totally free from fibs and made up twaddle, this is indeed evidenced-based fact. We will have lousy weather, because we are bringers of said lousy weather. Sorry in advance to all locals of the towns we will be passing through, if you had delightful sunshine yesterday, you will have rain, wind and possibly hail as we pass through, to be followed swiftly by a resumption of your regular sunshine and warmth. So, knowing these facts, I thought I might as well get in some wet pedalling in advance. Steve decided not to ride, but to stay and continue his bike maintenance.
I tootled over to the village and yes, it rained and yes, I got wet and yes, it was windy and yes, the wind was of the headwind variety.
Aah, so familiar.
When I returned, I was greeted with Steve’s exasperated words, “I got a puncture putting the new tyre on!”
“A puncture?” I replied quizzically, seeking clarification, as the words “new tyre” and “puncture” seemed somewhat incongruous.
“I must have pinched it or something when I put it on and I had to patch it because I didn’t have a spare tube.” A plan that didn’t go to plan… and a puncture.
Aah, so familiar.
So there we are, getting ourselves organised and still finding that we blunder along. Ain’t that just the fun of adventure!
Stay tuned folks, we’re nearly on our way and who knows what will happen as we arrive once more on foreign shores and pedal off towards the horizon (which of course will not be flat but will merely be an optical illusion hiding those dastardly hills)!