The Trial Ride Before The Cycle Tour

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The first photo of our fully loaded bicycles.

Today is supposed to be our first ride with our bikes fully loaded, new panniers clipped on, handle bar bags attached, rear view mirrors adjusted, route with hills (if you can call a large bridge over a river a “hill”) planned.

To ready ourselves for this first ride,  we spent most of yesterday afternoon emptying the few remaining clothes from our closets, piling supplies in front of each pannier, and discussing the merits of items that may or may not be useful…we just don’t know. Here’s a typical conversation:

Eric: (excited and genuinely wanting my opinion) How many wash cloths should I pack? I’m thinking of two. What do you think?

Me: (a little snippy, hastily replied) I don’t know how many wash clothes YOU need. I’m not taking any. You’ve got to decide that for yourself.

 I know why Eric is asking this question. Washcloths, or lack thereof, has been one of those things small cultural annoyances that has bothered Eric since we got to Malaysia. Many hotels (actually MOST unless they are a Marriott ) don’t have wash clothes. I, on the other hand, can make do with a corner of a towel or my hands or an old t-shirt. In fact, I  feel that I am much more concerned about more important things like: Western or squatty potty, toilet paper or hose, can we survive retirement, sunshine or rain…

Which brings me to my next dilemma. Rain. Lots of it. This morning I was awakened to the sound of large, heavy thick rain drops pounding on the roof, pouring down the rain gutters, and pooling into large lakes on the pavement. A quick glance at my phone’s weather report indicates rain for the next 5 days. What will we do? Where will we stay? Will our trial ride be our actual first ride? Is this journey of a lifetime going to work?

N.B. The sun came out. We rode for 50 km. We had a great time. So far so good.