Saturday, May 16, 2009

Germany Bike Tour Update

Teacher Scot is about to metamorphose into Summer, Human Scot, after a last week of school that is sure to be everything from traumatic to exhilarating.

And that means we're only days away from Bike Tour 2009: Eastern Germany. Well, by "we're" I mean me.

After hours and hours and hours and hours and days and weeks of teeth-gnashed filled planning, I've just about finalized the details. Here's the packing list. Perhaps you will notice there is no bike on the list. 98% of the teeth-gnashed planning has been on whether to bring my own or pick one up in Berlin. Final decision: bring my own seat and pedals and pick one up there. While I realize this decision doesn't compare with the great, difficult choices in history (the Berlin Airlift comes to mind), I cannot possibly stress strongly enough how monumentally over-thought this has been.

And that, I've discovered, is a big part of the fun. Planning bike tours is perfect mental roughage for those who are suckers for angst-filled, existential minutiae. One wonders if perhaps the planning angst isn't the real reason for the trip, and the actual bicycling merely an anti-climatic by-product of the actual point of all this.

Or maybe I'm thinking about John Lahr's review of "Waiting for Godot" too much this morning.

Anyway, another great teeth-gnash resource is reading the many, many bike tour journals at Crazy Guy on a Bike. For point of reference I have decided my own touring will be something between dumpster-diving, camping long-beard hippie and good-writing girlfriend go from Tucson to Gainsville, Florida and plush touring guy goes down the Danube hotel to hotel. Probably much closer to plush guy than dumpster-diving couple.

Yesterday I crossed the 1,000 mile mark of 2009 bike riding. I think I'm fairly well prepared in terms of physical health, and nowhere near ready in terms of day-to-day bike riding mental preparation. But again, that ill-preparedness and transition to a bike tour mentality seems like one of the biggest allures of the whole exercise.

I'm sure at some point I will question this, however. A point along some desolate stretch of Oder-Neisse river route when I have a flat tire, it's raining and cold. And I'm on the Polish-German border and know zero Polish or German.

And the crazy thing is I'm looking forward to that cold, rainy uber-questioning point of existence. A lot.

P.S.: I'm not taking the laptop, but I've pretty much decided that Burque Babble readers need to be bored to tears by frequent bike tour updates. I shouldn't be the only one experiencing the ultimate in existential ennui/terror. Ok, maybe I should...but consider this an open invitation to be unbelievably bored from May 25th or so to June 24th or so.

P.P.S.: In order to make this tour official, I've decided to keep a journal (no, it's not another blog, it's a journal) of the trip. You can vicariously live with and/or laugh at me here.


Lucky said...

Have fun, Scot! Looking forward to being the summer, human version of myself, myself.

Anonymous said...

Good luck and godspeed. Shake off APS and enjoy.

Abuelita2 said...

Have a great time! I'm so glad you'll post on your crazyguyonabike site. I'll be a faithful reader.
And I'll spend the summer in the company of my pure wonderful grandkids! (VERY humanizing.)

Mia said...

I hope you have fun Mr. Key!
I'll see you next year....