Today I went for what might well be my last long training ride prior to my departure. The weather forecast is predicting rain tomorrow. I was so cold after yesterday’s ride that this morning I decided to put on my winter jacket; a wise move as it turned out. The sky was blue, the sun was out but it was really, really chilly. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t pass another cyclist during my entire trip.
This afternoon, when it had warmed up a bit, I had my final instructions and practice reassembling and disassembling of the bike. The owner of my LBS is a superb teacher and I’m now confident this will not be a problem although I will have to pop into Mellow Johnny’s to get my wheels inflated, and buy everyone a t-shirt. His assistant helped me secure the case to the car and it’s now resting in the entrance hall ready for my departure on Wednesday morning, bright and early.
I’m slowly ticking everything off on my “To Do List” and have started packing my small case. I am a champion packer. Years of travelling for business and/or pleasure means that I now have this down to a fine art. Everything that I need can be safely packed into a case which is allowed in the cabin. My two sisters, both seasoned travellers, are aghast at how little I take with me without seeming to appear too often in the same outfit.
I’m meeting up with one of my oldest friends in Austin and when I say “oldest” I mean one I have known the longest. She too has packing down to a fine art having worked for many years as a travel guide for an upmarket tour company. I once met up with her mid-tour at a hotel in Nice and laughingly joked at what I thought was one couple’s luggage for a 3-week trip. They had matching red suitcases, the largest I have ever seen: plenty of room for 4 average sized cyclists or my entire wardrobe. Turns out they were both hers!
My secret is to stick to a very limited colour palette and outfits that can be cleverly accessorized. I’m going to be in Austin for effectively just three days. Wednesday and Monday I’ll be travelling and Sunday I’ll be in Lycra. That just leaves Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So that’s one pair of black trousers, 3 t-shirts, 3 scarves/shawls, one pair of shoes, a small hand bag, sample sizes of toiletries, underwear and a nightdress: leaving ample room for my cycling gear, shoes, helmet and pedals.
No, the pedals are not going into the bicycle case. They’re plan B. If the bike goes missing in transit, I can hire a bike and put my pedals on it.