I’ve checked and double checked my detailed list. My panniers are packed with my cycling clothes and gear. My duffel bag is full of all the things I’ll need on the drive. Food and picnic items are prepared for the journey. Ancillary items are poised to go into the car. Are we ready to go?
Today we start the trip to the beginning of the trip – driving from Duluth out to New Hampshire for our Grand Gaspé Cycling Tour. We have decided to drive north of Lake Superior and continue on through Canada. We’ve never been past Nipigon at the top of the lake, and are looking forward to seeing the more remote Canadian side of Lake Superior. Having allowed extra time, we can linger and explore along the way and maybe even do a bike ride or two.
Logistically, I think we’re ready. We’ve done enough cycling trips to know what we need to bring. We’re physically fit and have plenty of cycling miles behind us. Our bikes have been in for maintenance, and have an assortment of fresh new parts. We’ve increased our stock of spare tires and repair tools. And we have quality gear. Yes, we’re in good shape there.
Mentally, are we ready? This summer has been so busy that we really haven’t had time to focus on the reality of this cycling trip until now. Sure, we planned the route, digested the magnitude of the distance, took a deep breath and enthusiastically exclaimed “Yes, let’s do it!” But I don’t think the reality of spending two months or more on our bicycles has really sunk in. Spending all that time traveling, just the two of us. Pedaling through good weather and bad, uphill and down, with the wind and against it. Deciding day by day where we will go next. How far and where we will stay. For all that time. Two months or more.
The novelty of the plan has carried us this far. It’s been great fun to talk about the trip, visualize ourselves out there on the edge of the continent, and tackling an unfathomable distance on two wheels. Perhaps that’s enough. It’s better to go into it feeling the thrill of the challenge, rather than worrying the details.
We’ll have plenty of time to think about it in the car. But I’d rather concentrate on the sights along the way. After all, it’s a trip in its own right, the prelude to Gaspé. And I’m ready to go!