Monday, July 19, 2010

Preparing for Departure

July has always meant 1 thing, RAGBRAI. With the exception of a couple of years ago when we were considering a move to Vermont, I have made the annual trek to Iowa every year since 1985 for the great bike ride across the state.

After a rough year going with family and a support vehicle, I decided in 1995 to head off on my own self-contained. I purchased a Trek 520, loaded it up with some racks, panniers, and camping supplies and set off after work on an epic ride to Onawa, IA, then across Iowa, hitched a ride to Wisconsin, then rode home. I remember rolling into the driveway with 1,151 miles in 12 days.
Since those early days, I have certainly learned a thing or two. My list of things to bring with has certainly been trimmed down from the early days having learned “need versus want” and what it means to hauling one’s stuff around for hundreds of miles. More importantly, I think I have learned “how” to pack and where to pack it.

I’d like to come back to document some of the memories and experiences over the years. It’s not going to happen now.

On Friday night, I rode with my friend Scott up to visit a friend who lives a little out of North Branch. It was a quick 90 mile sub-24 hour overnight shake down run. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have gone. I flatted twice during the first 10 or so miles; with the valuable reminder that one should always test the integrity of a patched tube before assuming it is a suitable replacement.

I decided against running the tall basket up front. I will see if I can find one that is shallower, or abandon the idea all together. Otherwise, the bicycle performed admirably and is all set for the adventure.

Now faced with the imminent departure on Thursday, I am a mix of emotions. I am excited about some alone time, some quiet county roads, and the adventure. I’m also nervous about how my body is going to feel. I am pretty confident in my legs and I will be well-packed with anti inflammatories for the rest of me.


Ari said...

Good to hear from you. I hope to meet up with you guys again in iowa for the T.I. I would really like to finish that ride. been working a ton at the shop and not riding as much. The fall will come, hours will shorten and I will again trust my generator hub to light the way.
best to both of you on your ride.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back on it, all.

Peace & Strength-

-Scott Cutshall [formerly, LFoaB]

Blog Archive