We are always talking about what to pack for the trip, and how to pack it. It’s become our default topic of conversation.
The trick to this sort of thing is to pack as little as possible, because whatever you pack has to be carried for 2200 miles. So we are each bringing 3 pairs of bike shorts – one to wear, one that has been washed and is now drying, and a backup pair because bike shorts are totally necessary to avoid serious pain in all the wrong places. We are each bringing 5 or 6 shirts to bike in. I weighed some of my shirts – 4 to a pound! I am very excited.
We are each bringing one pair of non-biking pants, one decent shirt, and one pair of lightweight sneakers, which we will wear whenever we go out while not actually on the bikes. If a restaurant has a dress code, we simply will not eat there. As for the decent shirts, mine will be a dark color, because I will wear it multiple nights in a row, I am a slob when I eat, and when I spill food, it always lands on my boobs.
We are also bringing rain jackets and bathing suits, underwear and socks, and a minimum of toiletries. I never wear makeup and jewelry, and I’m not going to start now.
So that’s basically it. Or at least I thought it was, until Dana starting making suggestions about more stuff we can buy.
First it was waterproof panniers. He read about someone who did a trip like this, and for laundry he just put some soap in a pannier and shook everything up. I said no. For so many reasons I can’t even begin to list them.
But Dana was still at me about the waterproof panniers. He really, REALLY wants to spend money on new panniers. I suggested putting stuff in plastic trash bags. He suggested buying stuff sacks. I suggested Ziploc bags. He’s working on a counter-attack to the Ziplocs, probably one that costs a lot of money.
Then he ordered wireless headsets. They’re these little radios that clip to our bike helmets, which will allow us to talk while safely riding single file. I cannot possibly understand why he bought these, because I’m the one who’s always talking, and he’s always trying to either ignore me or get me to shut up. But he said he loves me and wants to hear me talking on the ride. The latter is total crap, but I think it proves that he loves me.
The night the headsets arrived, Dana dutifully read the instruction manual. He’s really good a reading manuals, which is great, because I get panic attacks whenever I look at them. So after he understood the instructions, he clipped the headsets onto our helmets, and we clipped the helmets onto our heads.
I’ve always thought that bike helmets make people look like mushrooms. Now the headsets look like little mushrooms on top of the mushrooms. It’s really not a good look. Meanwhile, Dana had to figure out how to get the radios to communicate, so I sat down and played Words with Friends while he walked around the house, fiddling with the mushroom, saying “Can you hear me now?” The entire process, involving taking off his helmet, and my helmet, and swearing, and additional manual reading, and button pushing, took about 20 minutes. And now our helmets communicate with each other.
Did I mention that Dana is an electronics genius? If he ever leaves me, he has to promise to remain my tech support guy, showing up every day to make sure that my laptop talks to my cell phone talks to my TiVo talks to my speakers. He will also have to read my manuals.