Oh Crap.

Looks about right

I’d consider that packed. There is a chance that Airport Security may not agree with me.

Last year, two nights, three days riding spawned a bag weighing just under 10 kilograms. This time around honing, paring back and cramming has an AUW of about the same. And that includes strapping the “action sandals” onto the side. No point owning such outstandingly fashionable footwear* and not proudly displaying it to bemused passers by.

The weight loss wasn’t a credit card punt at unobtainably and/or financially ruiness lightweight gear. No, I just took a litre of water out of the Camelbak bladder and assumed the persona of “Mr. Stinky” for a week. Sure it’s nice to have crisp, fresh shorts, tops and socks every day but it’s pretty bloody nasty carting an entire wardrobe over lumpy geography.

Instead I’ve opted for 100ml of liquid washing powder and less kit. Assuming I don’t just marinate myself in beer and lie out in the sunshine to dry off.

Bike’s in the bag. Looks less like an explosion in a pipe lagging factory that previous years. A high risk strategy that ensures the bag remains luggable, with the possible downside of the contents being reduced to swarf by those nice, careful men who dump your luggage from hold to tarmac.

Forecast is for 28 degrees and sun, sun, sun. Apart from the thunderstorms and lightening. I shall be sticking Si “lightening conductor” James up on a telescopic pole if the weather turns scary. He’s almost a native now so can negotiate with the un-earthed electricity in French. Important to understand the strength and weaknesses of the team and play to them I’ve always thought.

I’ll miss my family terribly as I always do, but – honestly – now I just want to go. Get through the crapolla of UK Airport PLC without getting lost on the way to Bristol, and just survive sticky/sicky charter kids for two hours.

Then go ride for a week in high places. No phones, no watches, no pressure, no email, no decisions other than “what shall we have for lunch?” and “another beer?“**, good friends, big skies and bikes every day. I’m like a kid the night before Christmas.

Except he probably didn’t have to go and mow the lawn before being allowed to leave 😉 Back in a week before the relative luxury of camping with the family. I expect to spend most of that holiday sleeping and boring Carol with tales of daring do. When I get properly back, I’ll share that out with everyone else!

* especially if accessorised with the “long sock”

** A tautologic couplet I’d suggest.

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