Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting Ready for GITAP

It's Friday and I leave tomorrow for the first weeklong bike ride I have ever done. I am now in a mild state of panic. First, the words "weeklong bike ride" are panic-inducing enough. Add that I am almost 58 years old, started riding seriously at the age of 54, will be camping when I don't know that I will like camping any more than I did when I was a kid (I hated it then), and I am a wimp when it comes to riding in bad weather, and you can see why I might feel slightly panicky.

So am I frantically getting ready for this trip? Am I packed and ready to go? No, I am sitting at my computer writing this blog. Thinking about blogging my trip. Trying really hard not to feel completely sick to my stomach. Knowing that it is too late to call and cancel, giving my place to someone else. Wondering if I can ride 40-70 miles every day for days and not completely fall apart. Waiting for my cycling clothes to finish drying. Trying not to cry. And excited at the same time because even though I still have never found a bike seat that doesn't hurt after 10 miles or so, I love to ride. And I have a great bike. And I am going with friends who will be nice to me and will encourage me when I feel like I can't go another mile, especially uphill (and yes, there will be hills, even in flat Illinois).

Gattamelata, my bike

We are relying on Sue to keep it from raining but she can't work miracles and this has not been a great spring in Illinois. We have had much too much rain and many cold days. Not that we want a lot of heat either. The wind may not always favor us. I hate bugs. I am now allergic to the cyclist's favorite energy food, chocolate, and second favorite energy food, bananas, and the stuff in everything, wheat. So that's a challenge. So is bringing a CPAP machine when you are going to be living in a tent. I ask you, what 57-year-old woman who likes a modicum of comfort, wants to live in a tent for a week? So I try to look on the bright side. I have always wanted to see Starved Rock State Park and I get to do that. I can hope for great pictures, great stories, and great rides. I will try, against my usual pessimistic nature, to be an optimist. I need to start packing. I need to stop panicking. I need to get ready!

Oh, and my session for the Renaissance Society of America meeting in Venice in April 2010 was accepted, so I also need to start thinking about writing that paper. But I will put that piece of panic off until I get through this little adventure.

Riding with friends this spring

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