September 16, 2016 - Willie Weir writes his Sights and Sounds blog every other Friday.
You've spent months dreaming and planning your bike journey. You've poured over maps and shopped for gear. You've trained ... well, hopefully you have. You've found a housesitter or sublet your apartment, and now it's time to pack it all up.
There is a frantic joy/dread to those final hours before you set out on a journey. Life never seems so hectic as those last couple of days before a big bike trip. What did you forget? Is that bike box overweight? Did you return those library books? Are you bringing too much stuff?
At the airport, you watch your bags disappear and hope that it all arrives the same time you do. You arrive, sometimes in a foreign land, where you know two and a half phrases of the language. You negotiate a bus or taxi ride to a hotel and find yourself in a room with harsh fluorescent light and a squeaky ceiling fan. You're tired and wired at the same time. You put your bike together and fall asleep exhausted.
In the morning, you pay the hotel bill and figure out what to do with those cardboard boxes. You wheel your loaded bike out onto the street, hop on, and in two pedal strokes, you're free, rolling off on another adventure.
Then days, or weeks, or months, and hundreds or thousands of miles later, you pack it all up in boxes and bags again.
And it all fits ... because there is no luggage limit when it comes to memories and experiences.
Photos by Willie Weir and Kat Marriner
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday.
Willie Weir is a contributor for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can also find him at WillieWeir.com, Facebook, and Instagram.