We got nervous on Monday night, thinking of everything that was left to be done in these last three weeks. So, we decided that what would make us feel better was a trial run at packing. We’ve been wanting to see just how much we had, whether it would truly fit in our panniers and pack, and if it fit within the weight limit for our bike. These are all things that would drastically change what we were thinking of taking if the answer was no.
So, we stuffed, organized and reorganized until everything we were hoping to have with us was in one bag or another. And, to our amazement it all fit on the first try!! Here’s what it looks like all packed up:
(minus my boots, which I was wearing when I took the photo)
After the packing was complete, we got out the scales. That was the real moment of truth. We weighed each bag, our gear (which was about 15 pounds/person!) and ourselves for a combined total of 470 pounds. Whew. Sounds like alot, but when you think that is all we’ll have with us for the next 5 months, it’s pretty compact. The bike weighs 400+ pounds, and the maximum weight is 1000. So, we are squeaking in just under the limit. According to Bob, that’s pretty good for where we’re at, as most people start out over the limit and have to ditch items along the way. Here’s us with all 470 glorious pounds of our personal belongings!
I’ve now been unemployed for two full weeks. And, I have to say that it feels pretty strange. There are so many small things to take care of before we leave that I haven’t really done too much relaxing. But, the preparations continue and I am feeling productive. So, now I am trying to focus on enjoying what little time is left in Louisville and with our friends and family here.
One major task that will probably not be finalized until the day we climb on the bike to leave, is the question of what exactly to bring. This is not an easy task for someone who has always enjoyed variety in clothing options (especially shoes). So, I’ve been working on my trip wardrobe. And here is what I’ve got it down to:
4 pairs of socks
7 pairs of underwear
2 pairs of summer pants
1 pair of winter pants
2 scarves (these are especially handy for hair that has been in a sweaty helmet all day)
2 sports bras
1 pair of shorts
4 pairs of shoes (riding/hiking boots, nice sandals, slip on flats, chacos)
1 pair of yoga pants
1 light, breathable jacket
1 fleece jacket
1 pair of capilene pants
and, of course, my riding gear (pants and jacket)
And this is what all of that looks like when rolled and squished into the mesh travel bags a friend of mine bought for me:
Here is how it fits into my personal pannier. So, there will be room for a few more odds and ends on top:
I’m sure there will be some editing/adding to the list above before we leave. But, I’m pretty happy with the choices I have so far. Ask me again three months from now when everything is smelly and a little too worn in, and I might have a different opinion. But, that’s when it’ll be time to add to the wardrobe with fun items from the countries we are passing through. The other item on my to-do list this week was to personalize my pannier a little more. We definitely want to keep up with folks who we meet along the way, so I thought I might as well advertise how they can find us…
I am still in disbelief, but 2012 has finally arrived! I am currently jobless (which I’ve never been able to say in my entire adult life). And, I’ve got a pretty busy schedule for the next four weeks. We are packing and purging the last few things we held onto for our final few months in louisville, and we’ve gotten serious about our planning checklist. There are only a few big items left, like selling some furniture and cramming all the spanish vocabulary into our brains that we can retain. Otherwise, we are starting to feel as prepared as we are going to be and we’re getting antsy about finally being on the road. Below is our staging area in the apartment. We’ve got our major checklists from past planning meetings (with Matt, Bob’s brother who is also going on the trip) up as a constant reminder of what is left to be done. And we’re starting to lay out everything we’ll be taking so that we can begin the grueling process of weighing our gear and figuring out what is going to get left behind. For more on the packing process, stay tuned. My next post will reveal exactly how little clothing I’m attempting to take on a five month journey… not an easy decision.
Still planning and preparing, so the real adventure hasn’t started yet. We leave Louisville the last weekend in January 2012. Check back then and you’ll start to see regular updates and pictures as we head south… very very far south!