Sunday, June 10, 2007

Don't pack like a girl

Two things I always do before a bike trip: check the weather and figure out how to pack only essentials in the smallest amount of space — one duffel. That’s right, only one duffel (Keri’s advice: don’t pack like a girl. Excuse me, I think you mean Princess).

Armed with ziplock bags and a minimal amount of clothing, I met the challenge. I managed to pack for a 10-day trip — 7 on the bike — including warm- and cold weather bike clothes, two pairs of shoes, helmet, nutrition, books, laptop (for our daily blog), pillow, water bottles, street clothes and toiletries. Each day’s outfit is packed into a ziplock bag — jersey, sports bra, bike shorts and socks. Tights, capris and leg warmers are snug in another ziplock, as are gloves (two pair of full finger gloves and five pair of regular gloves), rain gear, two sets of arm warmers and bandanas.

If it seems like I’m packing for snow, you’re right. Last week, the forecast for Frisco, Colorado – the ride start – was 31 degrees and snow showers.

Oops, I almost forgot. I need to get some snow tires at Orange Cycle tomorrow.

* * *

Did I mention we’re camping during Ride The Rockies, except for a mid-week break at the Hotel Colorado where I booked a Jacuzzi suite?

I don’t camp. I was 11 years old the last time I camped. It was with my Girl Scout troop. We went on a weekend trip to the Pennsylvania Mountains. It rained. We made chicken on the grill (it has the texture of rubber) and attempted to bake a cake in a foil-lined box over coals. It didn’t work. I remember being wet. And cold. And wishing my tent had wall-to-wall carpeting, coordinated bed coverings, electricity…

To be honest, my idea of roughing it is slow room service at the Ritz. But I can be adventurous. I’ll try anything once (hey wait, I did that when I was 11!).

When I first told my Muddy Buddy, Pee, about the Ride the Rockies trip, she mused, “Princess, I think you’re adequately trained for the bike portion. But you might want to sleep in the backyard for a month or so to get used to the camping part.” Of course, I didn’t. There are bugs in the backyard.

Still, I’m keeping a positive attitude about this camping thing. I have my color-coordinated hoodie/sweat pants/long sleeve tank for sleeping in 31 degree weather and trekking to the Port-O-John in the dark; a light that straps onto my head to illuminate my trip to the Port-O-John (that will be attractive); bug repellent; warm socks; and a tent light that I bought today at Sports Authority, in case I want to read after the sun goes down.

Oh, I also packed a brochure for the Hotel Colorado and the Jacuzzi Suite, where there will be wall-to-wall carpeting, coordinating bed coverings, electricity….