Monday, July 22, 2013

Packing and posting makes it feel real

The fact that I'm actually doing RAGBRAI started to sink in as my weeklong-rider friends left Des Moines on Saturday and promptly began tweeting/Facebooking from Council Bluffs.

It became even more real while I packed today. I'm really going to spend four days in a row with no transportation other than my bike and no clothing items that don't wick sweat away?

The tricked-out bike sitting in my living room — thanks to some trusting and generous friends, it has doubled its sunscreen/water-carrying capacity — and the single backpack for four full days away says yes, yes I am.
See that little blue band? That means I'm RAGBRAI-approved. 
I'd of course been thinking of my packing list on and off for the prior week, and the realization that I wouldn't need pants that clasp for this entire trip had me delighted (almost as happy as I was when it dawned on me that I had a free pass to be sweaty and sunscreen-slick, without judgment, for four full days).

The perk of this became even more apparent as I packed nearly 48 hours before my departure: Every other vacation I've taken in recent memory has required clothing that I might wear before leaving.

For example, when I pack a few days for a wedding, if I put a certain pair of shoes in early, I have to make sure I won't need those for work. Or, though I've doubled up on many toiletries like hair product and face powder, there are still a few things that I have to leave myself notes about.

But not for RAGBRAI. Bike-and-beer gear has no place in the office. Stylish, delicate clothes and scented body products aren't necessary while riding across Iowa.

In the meantime, to make the event seem even more official, I've got five people to get to Perry over two trips. If that doesn't drive it home, I don't know what will.

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