This is the last night of our cruise, and as soon as I get home it will be time to turn my attention to BRAG, the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. You will also get a break from being reminded every night that I'm on a cruise. And you're not.
As soon as I can locate the text of the article I wrote about my experiences (without retyping it in its entirety, because that's way too much trouble even for someone with my amazing typing skills), I will post it here. Then you can skip it if you want to.
I was packing for BRAG today, because I will only have one day between returning from the cruise and leaving for BRAG. Yes I am aware how retarded that timing is, but it is what it is.
I was thinking as I was packing how different that is from packing for most trips.
Each outfit consists of a pair of cycling shorts (sufficiently padded), a jersey, sports bra (hopefully in a coordinating color, even though no one else is supposed to see it except the EMT's), cycling gloves, and a bandanna.
I assemble each ensemble (I just had to say those words together), and I pack each one in a separate gallon-sized ziplock bag. That is left over from the days when we used the baggage truck, and if it rained your bags got thrown out to get wet. We learned to pack everything in plastic. Now we don't use the baggage truck, but packing each outfit in a ziplock bag makes it easier to keep the outfits together so I don't have to dig around in a duffel bag looking for the coordinating pieces. Katydid and I have to decide each night which outfit we are going to wear the next day. It is a law of tandem riding that the captain and stoker must match. Most tandem couples are married, but that's beside the point. We still follow the Tandem Riders Must Match Rule.
This may sound crazy, but when I go to the shower when we get in from riding, I wear my cycling clothes into the shower. I keep them on while I wash my hair, and then I take them off to bathe. They don't get clean by a long shot, but at least they get rinsed enough that they are no longer considered hazardous materials. If you ever walk around a BRAG camp in the late afternoon, you will see cycling clothes hung from fences, trees, bicycle racks, and porch railings. If they don't have time to dry because of the extreme humidity, they go back into their plastic bags, which is another good use for them.
We also have to pack "regular" clothes for the week of BRAG, since the very first thing we want to do after we shower is head to dinner. We always remark that we would NEVER go out to eat at home looking the way we do on BRAG. We have funky tan lines, our t-shirts and shorts may match (but just as likely don't), we are wearing hospital-type bracelets that make us look like we have escaped en masse from a mental institution, and it's rare that any of the women have on make-up. Some do, and we hate their guts. We pretty much take over a town, and sometimes the restaurants are prepared for us and sometimes they aren't. I've seen BRAG riders start busing tables, and it's not uncommon for riders who don't know each other to sit together in a restaurant, particularly if it will speed up the service.
I have veered away from the packing topic, but it's my blog.
The "regular" clothes don't have the same stipulations that the cycling clothes do, though. They are not our best clothes, and in fact I have known some people to say they pack their rattiest t-shirts and shorts for BRAG, and they throw them away as they go instead of packing them. I don't go to that extreme, but I'm not very picky about what I take for my "regular" clothes. My entire wardrobe for the week usually consists of several t-shirts (most of them from previous BRAG rides) and the same couple pairs of shorts. It's usually around 4:00 or 5:00 before we are showered and dressed to go out to dinner, and we are typically in bed by 8:00, so it's not like we spend a lot of time in non-cycling clothes.
Some items I have to take on BRAG but don't have to worry about on other trips (not including specific cycling items): flashlight, bicycle cover for the tandem, lock, fanny pack, clothespins, a power strip to charge the multitude of electronics we consider essential these days, ear plugs.
And some things we won't have to worry about this year: sleeping bag, pillow, tent fan, eye mask. We are taking the RV, and my dear friend Rozmo is going to drive it to the next town each day (I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope).
I. Can't. Wait.