Absolute Beginners: Camaraderie

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When you get up at 4:00 a.m. on Day 3 and its dark and you’re sore, you may wonder why the hell you decided to do this. You can hear people snoring all IMG_5997around you. Even though you couldn’t sleep all night on the hard ground, you fight the urge to lie back into your now-inviting camp pad. Instead, you climb out of your tent, pull the sopping wet garbage bag off your luggage and pull on the zipper. It won’t budge. you pull and pull but its stuck.

After a few minutes of struggle, you start to worry you can’t get your gear. People are stirring all around as they slowly groan their ways out of their own tents. You try the other zipper, and it seems stuck too. Thoughts of coffee and breakfast all adding to your growing dismay. As you sit back trying to look at the problem from a different angle, you reflect a bit on the prior two days. 88 and 109 miles respectively. That’s an accomplishment. Not to mention all the smoking hot guys in spandex who greeted you like old friends.

Now you really want to get into your bag so you can be the first person out at the 6:30 a.m. ride out. Maybe there’s another way into this bag, you think, considering knives. Yeah, you bought this bag new for your first AIDS/LifeCycle, but its only a bag! How complicated can it be? There are flaps and straps, but none of them allow you to get into it.

Your tent mate mumbles “good morning” in your general direction as she flops headfirst onto the wet grass in front of the tent, nearly barreling into the giant neighbor demurely pulling an incongruous pink bathrobe around him. She curses, but smiles at him. Then she starts to open her own gear bag. “Lets get cleaned up so we can eat. I’m starving.” She scratches her belly and stands next to you yawning.

“I can’t get this open,” you say, frustrated. She bends down and unbuttons the clasp holding the zippers in place and tugs on one effortlessly, opening the bag. Your cosmetics tumble out onto the ground all around you.

“C’mon, I’m hungry! Grrrr.”

Never occurred to you that your gear was such an important part of the ride. (Don’t forget to review my packing guides, and the definitive guide on packing.)

Only two more weeks!

Your Bear


One thought on “Absolute Beginners: Camaraderie

    Catching up on Training « Bear's ALC Page said:
    October 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    […] make sure you have a group of friends to support, encourage, and cajole you into cycling. If you don’t have a cycling partner — or even if you do — make a personal […]

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