In just over 2 months, on May 31, we will start our trip.
Shit. I’m scared.
Dana is totally excited. He’s like a little kid going camping, or skiing, or whatever, for the first time. He’s spent the last 4 months buying electronics, and then weighing each little gadget. The camera weighs 4 ounces. He’s very happy about that. I really don’t care.
And he has taken his panniers out of the garage.
OK, it’s probably wise to take the panniers out of the garage, because it’s still winter, and every winter various little critters choose to live in various pieces of equipment in our garage. Bike shoes and lawn chairs fill up with sawdust and birdseed. And poop. And sometimes with dead critters. It’s gross.
A few weeks ago I went to the gym, and I brought my hiking boots with me. After my workout, I went into the locker room, and when I tried putting on my left boot, I felt something in the toe. So I turned the boot upside down and out fell some birdseed. Which didn’t really bother me, but I felt a little guilty dumping birdseed all over the nice clean locker room carpet. I was trying to pick it up when a women turned around and glared at me. “What is that?!” she asked, with a bitchy tone.
I allowed myself to sound like the loser dork many people assume I am. “Bird seed” I responded cheerfully. “I think it’s cool that mice live in my garage. Clearly there was a mouse in my boot. Awesome, huh?”
She was not impressed. Which was no surprise, because she never liked me anyway. She and I have kids of similar ages, and when the kids were younger, she decided my kids were inferior, and spent a few years trying to treat me like shit because of it.
But now all of the kids are grown up, and maybe my kids are doing better than hers. Or maybe they aren’t. And I don’t care because MY KIDS ARE GROWN UP.
Well, sort of grown up.
They’re in college, which means they are out of the house most of the time, but are still dependent on us for everything. They would tell you that they are independent adults, which is crap, because they are going to college on our nickel, and living in dorms and crap apartments on our nickel. And driving crap cars that we own, and insure, and repair when needed. But at least they are out of the house, out of Westford, out of our daily lives. And we are out of their daily lives, which I why I don’t care what the bitchy mom in the locker room thinks of me or my kids or my hiking boots or my garage mice.
But I digress.
So anyway, Dana brought his panniers into the house, checked them for critters, and lovingly laid them out in the family room. I asked if he’s planning to pack them, and repack them, and play with them, and then pack them again, for 9 weeks straight. And he replied “Yes, I am.”
In case you don’t speak bicycle, panniers are those bags that hang on the sides of your bicycle wheels. We bought ours over 20 years ago, when we bike toured in England and France. And since we haven’t used them much since we had the kids, I figure they are still good. Dana is muttering about buying new panniers. He says we can get lighter ones, nicer ones, better ones. I say we can use the ones we have, which are in fine shape and practically new, even if they are like 25 years old.
You know you are old when you describe something that’s over 20 years old as “practically new”. You also know you are old when you say “These are really good dish towels, you should try them”. Which has nothing to do with biking or panniers or anything else here, it’s just about being old and dorky.
Speaking of being old, Dana and I are in a milestone year. We are turning 57, and we were born in ’57, which is a symmetry that us dorks appreciate. And in honor of this milestone, we are going to ride our bikes – yes, bikes, not motorcycles – to Florida.
From Westford, Massachusetts. Which is like 2200 miles. 2200 hilly, miserable miles. And we are planning to do it in 57 days. I figure, we’ll either come out the other end happy and thinner, or we’ll get divorced in Connecticut.
So maybe you are reading this thinking that we are too old for this shit. Or maybe you are thinking that we are not old, we are just whiny and young and bragging. Because age is relative. And if you are younger than us, you think we’re old. And if you are older than us, you think we’re young. Whatever. The way I figure it, we are young enough to attempt this ride, and old enough that it’s going to be a challenge. And if we finish it, we will have something to feel good about.
And our 2014 Christmas card pictures are going to kick ass!