Here is a quick update on the pre-adventures preparations (which prevent piss-poor performance).
India: I am not packed for India, not by a long shot, but my friend ‘the other Melissa P with a black Toyota Tacoma’ solved my luggage dilemma. Take the backpack, she said. No discussion. Sometimes, it makes like easier to just let your friends boss you around. It frees up space in one’s cranium to ponder some of life’s idiosyncrasies. For example: Uncut hair is one of the Sikhs’ religious obligations. To manage long manes, Sikhs, but also Indian Muslims and Hindus, wrap them in turbans. Helmets are mandatory in India, but a turban will just not fit in a helmet. To solve this quandary, the helmet law was amended to allow turban wearers to ride without helmets as long as the unwrapped turban measures more than 5 meters (16 feet) in length. Somehow, it was determined that a turban less than 5 meters would not adequately protect the motorist’s head in case of an impact. Okay. So, I must ask. Did the Indian authorities have a set a crash dummies with different turban lengths to determine this? Did they take different turban fabric and hair length and thickness into account? Wouldn’t 16 feet of material wrapped on one’s head feel very hot and heavy the rest of the day? I mean, that would be like wearing your helmet around all day. Do they have little turbans inside big turbans for the purpose of riding? So many questions … The article I read also discussed the use of a tea cozy to protect one’s turban and of a dust cover to protect a long beard while riding. I hope to be able to document this in person.
PCT: Speaking of idiosyncrasies, I know an idiot … After months working on my backpack for the PCT, I am down to just the belt – a different belt, I didn’t like the original one I built. In order to sew the new belt in the right place, I filled the pack with all the gear that will be going, using my brand new *inflatable* pad on the inside as a frame to hold the pack in place … and then I pinned the new belt on. Yeah. What you think happened happened. I already found 6 of the holes. I’m pretty sure there are more. I don’t know if I’ll be able to save it. Is this a sign from the universe? “Hey, how about you don’t take an inflatable pad with you through the cactused desert!?” or is it just what it is, holes in a brand new mat. Bloody hell! On a more positive note, I found the pants. They appeared on the legs of the beautiful Deborah last night. I knew I had to have them. REI carried them and they are now mine, same size, same cut as Deborah’s, except I had to take the bottom hem about an inch, because I am, as she so like to remind me, much shorter than her. These will do both India and the PCT. If I were a pair of pants, these are the pants I’d want to be. Oh the places they’ll go …
Home: I have recently acquired a fantastic yet ultimately worthless skill: I can recite by heart and with style the entirety of “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss. It takes 7 minutes to say the whole thing, which is why it is a worthless skill: nobody wants to sit and listen to me recite anything that long (well, except for Roseanna Mike and Melissa who were too polite to refuse). I need to find more polite people. It’d be a shame to let this skill go to waste. If you are reading this and would like to hear it, give me a call. I’m leaving in a week and I won’t have a phone past the 8th. Now is your chance. Also, the experience is best in person, so best would be you invite me out for dinner in exchange for the ultimate Dr. Seuss experience. Limited time only. Act now!!
XOX – RBC.