A lot of things have gotten in the way of this trip. I had a root canal last week, and have another one scheduled for the morning. I’ve had a kidney stone since the beginning of April. Despite 40 rides on a roller coaster it’s still there; I have another CT scan scheduled for Wednesday where the prognosis will hopefully continue to be “wait and see” (although “looks like it’s gone as of yesterday) would be even better). Tanner managed to eat enough plastic, grass, sticks, and even gravel to end up with an intestinal blockage requiring surgery, from which he’s still recovering. Even wearing the Cone of Shame, Tanner can still scratch. The day before the bandage was removed he managed to rip the bandage half way off, so he’s remained under constant supervision since then. The staples come out on Wednesday, only a week before my departure date.
All of that has led to a lot of uncertainly about my trip, and a distinct lack of cycling in recent weeks. Nonetheless, I spent yesterday tuning my bicycle and today gathering everything together. Life events are currently (even if marginally) under control, and there’s not much left to go wrong, right? Unsurprisingly, my packing looks effectively identical to the last few times of packing:
While I’m still missing a few minor things (such as AAA lithium batteries, a 6mm Allen wrench, a map of Ireland…), there’s no critical gears missing preventing my departure. I even have a tool to remove the pedals this time.
The rough plan is to land in Dublin, cycle up the coast, cross to the Isle of Mann, cycle back down the coast of Great Britain, and eventually cross back to Ireland and Dublin. As plans go it’s a really simple one. I plan a leisurely pace; everything is close, so no need to cycle long distances. Ferries abound between England and Ireland, so I’m never far away from where I started.
I optimistically called my credit card companies today to notify them of my upcoming travels. Much easier this time; when cycling from Istanbul to Ireland the number of countries was larger than their computer systems could accommodate. Tomorrow I’ll identify and mark up my 8.5″ x 11″ printouts of Google Maps with sites of interest along the way. I also have a long list of things to deactivate, ranging from my phone to Netflix to a number of other Internet sites.
Given my plan’s level of detail, it won’t be a big deal if I have to make changes to my itinerary last minute. I’ve even gotten the details from the airline on how to make changes to my flight, which I can do up to two hours before my flight.
Besides, how much more can go wrong?