Ready, steady.

You know what? I think I have a grip on this.  I hate to say it, in case I remember something huge I’ve forgotten to do, but after a few days of dashing around, I think I’m almost ready – or at least packed, if that’s the same thing. I don’t know if I’ll ever really be ready for Sunday.  I get this huge nervous tummy thing going on every time I think about pushing off on my bike. You’d think that I’d be less nervous, what with having done it before and lived to tell the tale, but the experience almost makes it worse.  I know how hard it’s going to be.  Still, that experience pays off in other ways. This year (even though the forecast doesn’t call for rain) all my clothes are in ziplock bags, and they’re all labelled. If it does rain, this lady will have dry clothes to put on.  (I also will not be finding an earwig in my bathing suit, an experience I have yet to fully recover from.) I have my tent, and a tarp (even though it is not going to rain) and extra batteries for the flashlight, and camping dishes, and a sleeping bag, and biodegradable soap because I’ll be washing in the lake –  I think I’ve got this.

stuff 2015-07-24

Tonight I’ll have a bit of a knit, and then a really good sleep, and then tomorrow, bright and early, it’s “Packing Day”.  On packing day, we take all of our stuff to the staging spot, and make it all fit into two rubbermaid bins that will house all our worldly goods for the six days of the Rally.  They put the bins on the trucks, and there it all sits, until Sunday morning, when we’ll ride 105km to Port Hope, and the trucks will drive ahead with all our stuff. &^%#@#$ – Almost forgot my water shoes. Hold on….

shoes 2015-07-24

There. The shore is rocky at Port Hope – I’ll need those. (See, that’s experience paying off again – also, technically those are my sister’s water shoes, but I stole them years ago and she’s never asked for them back.)  The thing is that everything I put into my bins tomorrow morning, I won’t see again until Sunday night.  Many is the rider who’s put their housekeys in a bin, only to get home with a problem. Many is the rider who’s worn their shoes home, not putting them in a bin, only to have to ride 105km with sandals in their pockets.  It takes a fair bit of thought, and for me – part of the problem is the knitting.  I want to keep knitting what I’m knitting, and I don’t want to put it on the truck tomorrow, but I also don’t want to cycle to Port Hope with my knitting in my jersey pocket. Luckily, I have solved this problem.  Pato’s boyfriend Keanu is on road crew  again this year (another young man with his head on straight) and will be driving the route in a van keeping all of us safe, and I have pretty much decided he’ll be my mule.  I’ll only have to cycle to the departure point with my knitting, and then I can give it to Keanu, and he’ll give it back to me whenever I need it. (This, again, is the voice of experience. In years past I’ve kept my knitting in a little bag mounted to my top bar, but after stabbing myself in the stomach a few times when stopping suddenly, I’ve realized I need another system. The mule it is.)

sockstogo 2015-07-24

Now, I’m at the end of my day, and I’ve got a few things left to do, and I have a choice. I can do Karmic Balancing gifts – which will take a few hours, or I can make dinner, walk it down the street, and snuggle a new baby for a few hours before I go to bed.

I hope you all understand. The choice was a little easy.

51 thoughts on “Ready, steady.

  1. Remind me to tell you the one about the boyfriend’s dad who in Madrid confused muletas and maletas. You’ve cleverly combined them. Hurry hard.

  2. As I was typing this, my little B&W cat came over for a snuggle and I put the iPad down to indulge her…babies, kitties and puppets win every time. Beautiful sock yarn – what is that color?

  3. Snuggling babies wins out every time. An early Bon Voyage for you, The Team, and all the riders who are making this happen. Ride Like The Wind. You Have Got This.

  4. You are covered for emergency coffee-maker failure, right? I’m thinking chocolate-covered espresso beans or (and yes I’ve done this) instant crystals shot-gunned down with cold water. I still shudder about the time you road some bazillion crazy km without any caffeine.

  5. So, OK with PWA if we ping you and Ken and Pato with tiny amounts on the trip to keep your spirits up?
    You and the entire rally will be my main intention at Mass on Sunday. Love at that baby for all of us on the Blog, please.

    • What a lovely idea! So going to ping you during the ride. Enjoy your baby snuggles and consider some last minute arse conditioning by sitting on bricks tomorrow. (Let us know if it works. My hubby does the Ride to Conquer Cancer every year, so he knows a fraction of your experience.) Safe travels to your team!

  6. This ride sounds like labor to me. I got more scared at the end of each pregnancy (there were 3). It seemed that the more that I knew, and remembered, the worse the anticipation. But at least you know that you will survive.
    Enjoy holding the baby.
    (BTW- the Instagram message was VERY effective)

  7. Snuggle! Rest. Snuggle some more. The little guy will have grown by the time you get done with the rally. Godspeed. Ride Safely. See you on the Flip Side.
    I’ll be praying and sending good energy.

  8. Go snuggle that baby, and rest for that ride. Thank you, again, Steph, for being a brave and selfless individual and riding for all of us who can’t balance on a bicycle to save our (or our children’s) lives.

  9. Even though this isn’t technically a race, your nervous tummy is totally normal. When I was in high school track, my teammate’s mom called them “last minute dribbles” because it also tends to make you feel like you have to dash to the restroom, even though you really don’t. It’s a good thing – means you care about the outcome. We all know you’ll do great. Good luck!

  10. Thank goodness for no earwigs in unexpected places! Found one in the straw of my water bottle one time – actually, it was in my mouth – and still shudder every time I remember that nasty thing.

  11. Have a wonderful, cozy rest night! I’ll be riding 65k across Brooklyn and Queens tomorrow — long organized rides were never a thing I’d considered till you started posting about the Bike Rally, but it’s become something I really look forward to. Tomorrow should be a terrific joyride here and I’ll be sending some of my joy your way for your longer haul to come! <3

  12. Baby snuggles are much more important! Karmic balancing counts whenever it is done. You will be strong and steady and will ride like the wind. We will all be behind you, pushing every inch of the way with our might, for we are knitters, too, a force not insignificant.

  13. Wishing you all a safe, dry ride, with more time down hills than up hills, with the wind at your back. Hope this is the best ride ever!

  14. I am just so darn proud to know you, Steph! You make the world better, one sock, blog, book, and especially charity bike ride at a time. You are an inspiration to me when I am feeling whiny and sitting on my butt (without needles in my hands).

    Ride safe, with the wind (no rain) at your back!

  15. LOL, I was reading along thinking “sock knitting would totally fit in a top-bar bag” and then I remembered that you have far more experience than I do with these things and that you’d already experienced that one. Signatures in the gut does not sound like a good idea. Nor would I combine them in the under-seat bag with my spare tubes, and I would be too afraid of stuff falling out to put it in my jersey pocket. (Can’t you just picture a ball of sock yarn trailing behind you . . . shudder) But of course you’ve already got it figured out because you’re smart and experienced. May the wind be at your back, Steph.

  16. Baby snuggles come first – the rest of us with wait! My thoughts and prayers will be with you on your journey. May it be blessed as you are blessing others. Knit when you can, ride when you should, you’ve got a lot of support behind you!

  17. Baby. Every time. No contest whatsoever. Will be thinking of you and the team tomorrow and through the week and sending thoughts for no rain and a comfortable bum.

  18. Have a safe trip to my home town (Toronto being second twice a year all of my life – family). Hope all goes well for your team.

  19. Okay, so the other day, I clicked the link to donate. And Steph, you had over $48K in donations. As of today, you’re at over $55K! If you break $60K, which seems pretty likely, you’ll be earning $100 for every KM that you ride! So, I thought I’d donate to Ken or Pato, who are doing pretty well, but are under $10K each.
    But then I got to wondering, and checked out the other teams and riders. Steph, in US business parlance, you are freakin’ CRUSHING IT!! As of Monday, no other rider had more than about $11K, so you had them beaten by a factor of 4 or 5.
    Then I decided to check out some individual riders. And sure enough, I clicked on a guy who only had 1 $50 donation, or 2% of his $2,500 goal. And on that 600km ride, he wouldn’t even be raising a dime for each km. So I donated my $25 to him. Today he’s still only at 3%, $75. And I don’t even know if he’s still doing the ride, since he hadn’t done any fundraising. But I was sure that you wouldn’t mind my little donation going to him instead, for encouragement.

  20. Safe and sane riding thoughts are coming your way. Two weeks ago I was on a bike careening down a mountain in Alaska (cruise tours can be odd) when I thought of you and the training you had done to be ready to cycle hundreds of miles. My bum was sore from simply braking while zooming down a mountain. I cannot imagine the aches you have endured, and will endure, while making this ride. But I know it is worth it, and you will do your best, and can be very, VERY proud of what you are doing. Ride on, amazing lady. Ride on.

  21. Take notes on anything you forgot and then when you get home continue notes and list everything you packed. If you needed something that was not packed put all the notes together along with what worked good and what you would have done differently and Voila! You never have to really worry again. You have created a lesson learned check list just like Christmas.

    Have fun, the mile will flow easier. Laugh, chat, post when you can. I and probably everyone of us will be with you for the whole ride.

    It is a truly wonderous thing you are doing for people that need help. Peace and Love.

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