Leaving on a jet plane

27 09 2011

Our bags are packed, we’re ready to go.

Good thing we had a couple of days to achieve that.

That Katie takes a long time to sort and pack her suitcase is a given. Usually that process involves her emptying the closet and then working backwards from there.

Meanwhile, I grab whatever I think I’ll need, stuff it in my Eddie Bauer bag and hope for the best.

But packing the Lapierre is a whole different ballgame.

That process started on Sunday, when I cleaned her of the road grime from a few last training rides. On Monday, I started breaking her down, heeding some handy tips from the guys at Jubilee Cycle.

Be sure to mark the placement of all bits that have to be moved or removed.

No sooner had I started when I encountered a hiccup; I couldn’t loosen the pedals. Uh oh, deja vu. The same thing happened the last time I packed a bike. That ended badly, with my beloved steel Cramerottie folded in half on my roof rack the day before I was to leave for France.

No way I was going to make that same mistake with the Lapierre. So I put the frame in the back seat and drove over to Jubilee to get a little help.

Back on track, the first attempt was a little sloppy.

Mining google, I gleaned some more tips, including using pipe insulation to protect the frame and other bits. Off to Home Depot, and the end result is a lot neater, and hopefully more effective then towels and old t-shirts.

Wheels in...

 

Then the frame, nicely protected with pipe insulation.

I can’t say I’m not nervous. I hope I didn’t damage or bend anything in the packing process. I’m hopefully security at the airports will be equally as attentive. And I hope I’ll be able to put the bike back together again properly. That will be job #1 when we arrive in California, to give me time to get it to a bike shop if I run into issues.

All this packing and repacking has diverted my attention for the reason, the Gran Fondo itself.

The weather forecast for Saturday is good. There will be celebrities like Patrick Dempsey, Ethan Suplee and the guy who played Zach on Saved By the Bell. Plus Levi Leipheimer and whoever else from the pro peloton may be in the area.

Let’s hope I’m up to the challenge.

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