Teacher Scot is about to metamorphose into Summer, Human Scot, after a last week of school that is sure to be everything from traumatic to exhilarating.
And that means we’re only days away from Bike Tour 2009: Eastern Germany. Well, by “we’re” I mean me.
After hours and hours and hours and hours and days and weeks of teeth-gnashed filled planning, I’ve just about finalized the details. Here’s the packing list. Perhaps you will notice there is no bike on the list. 98% of the teeth-gnashed planning has been on whether to bring my own or pick one up in Berlin. Final decision: bring my own seat and pedals and pick one up there. While I realize this decision doesn’t compare with the great, difficult choices in history (the Berlin Airlift comes to mind), I cannot possibly stress strongly enough how monumentally over-thought this has been.
And that, I’ve discovered, is a big part of the fun. Planning bike tours is perfect mental roughage for those who are suckers for angst-filled, existential minutiae. One wonders if perhaps the planning angst isn’t the real reason for the trip, and the actual bicycling merely an anti-climatic by-product of the actual point of all this.
Or maybe I’m thinking about John Lahr’s review of “Waiting for Godot” too much this morning.
Anyway, another great teeth-gnash resource is reading the many, many bike tour journals at Crazy Guy on a Bike. For point of reference I have decided my own touring will be something between dumpster-diving, camping long-beard hippie and good-writing girlfriend go from Tucson to Gainsville, Florida and plush touring guy goes down the Danube hotel to hotel. Probably much closer to plush guy than dumpster-diving couple.
Yesterday I crossed the 1,000 mile mark of 2009 bike riding. I think I’m fairly well prepared in terms of physical health, and nowhere near ready in terms of day-to-day bike riding mental preparation. But again, that ill-preparedness and transition to a bike tour mentality seems like one of the biggest allures of the whole exercise.
I’m sure at some point I will question this, however. A point along some desolate stretch of Oder-Neisse river route when I have a flat tire, it’s raining and cold. And I’m on the Polish-German border and know zero Polish or German.
And the crazy thing is I’m looking forward to that cold, rainy uber-questioning point of existence. A lot.
P.S.: I’m not taking the laptop, but I’ve pretty much decided that Burque Babble readers need to be bored to tears by frequent bike tour updates. I shouldn’t be the only one experiencing the ultimate in existential ennui/terror. Ok, maybe I should…but consider this an open invitation to be unbelievably bored from May 25th or so to June 24th or so.
P.P.S.: In order to make this tour official, I’ve decided to keep a journal (no, it’s not another blog, it’s a journal) of the trip. You can vicariously live with and/or laugh at me here.