Life after work and the trips of a lifetime

"We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start." - Anonymous

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo hoo! What a ride!..attributed in this form to either Maxine Cartoon or anon

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Decisions, decisions,decisions

This weekend I was planning on two solid days of riding, but party food on Friday =less than healthy stomach on Saturday=no ride and now today the weather is feral all wet and windy  so unless I time it perfectly indoor riding it will be.

So yesterday, while trying feel better and go out for a ride, I spent time tarting up this blog with countdown and currency converter widgets and  sorting out what gear I needed for 28 days of riding in a variety of weathers.  I was also mindful of the fact that although I was going long haul on Singapore airlines and felt I might manage to squeeze in at 23kg with no penalty instead of the stated 20kg..that might not be the same  when I changed planes at Rome onto Alitalia and the short hop to Palermo.

A while ago, thinking it might be nice to travel looking vaguely cool and collected rather than my usual harried, sweaty, grunge look, I bought my self a nice wheeled case of a "carry on" size to use instead of a back pack.  Epic fail since with a carry on allowance of 7 kg , this weighed in a 3.5kg.  Bugger!

We have been told there's no room for permanent bike boxes to be stored for the duration of the trip, so I've got a Qantas bike box.  This is bigger than my usual bike bag so after a bit of trialling, I will leave the back wheel on, removing the front wheel and turning and rotating the bars down.  Since the bike  then sits at a bit of an angle the saddle is above the height of the box and so will have to be dropped down..something I don't usually have to do.

Popping the front wheel in a padded bag and stuffing bubble wrap, sleeping bag, towels and some of my anticipated clothes list  around the bike to keep it solid I weighed it...21kg.  Oh shit...and the box isn't even full and needs more bubble wrap on top of the bike (memo to self must talk to the guys in supply at work).  Epic fail again and epic re-think.

Here's the numbers....
  • bike box=3.63kg empty,   
  • bike  8.04kg with pedals (say 7.8kg without pedals 'cos they'll go in my carry on luggage)..
  • Base weight therefore = ~11.4kg, leaving me with only 9kg to play with  in that pack.

Then there's the carry on part of the weight equation which I will clearly have to exploit to the max...the options are:
  • the  carry on wheeled bag=3.5kg 
  • the old and scruffy looking backpack at 750gms.  
No contest. And it might be even lighter when I get it washed!!!

Basic maths is within my capabilities so adding up I have 9kg in the bike box and 6.25kg in the carry on for all my clothes, gear and packing around the bike ie a shade over 15kg.  Epic rethink of packing list and into micro managing/weight weenie mode and the first task is ditch the padded wheel bag - use bubble wrap instead and save 300gm. 

Luckily the Aussie dollar is riding high, so anything I have to buy over there will be less painful than in other years (I was OS when Paul Keating told us we were a banana republic.  Gee Paul! mega thanks way I was going to  vote for you to do anything after that ).

Pippi, with her  best friend Ernie, having fun in her new cubby!

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