The mark of a good adventure is the sadness that comes with its end.
Tomorrow I make the final leg of my little bike excursion and head to Union Station to catch the train back home.
The past few days have been spent attending conference classes and my brain is craving the freedom of the road once more.
So, what exactly was this little mini adventure?
A few weeks ago, an opportunity came up for me to attend a conference in Chicago.
I immediately thought, "How awesome! A conference in Chicago, I've never been there....I wonder how many miles away that is...."
As it turns out, approximately 358 miles if you go south from my front door or 314 if you head straight across Michigan to Muskegon and nab a quick ride on the Lake Express Ferry and then head south along the coast of Lake Michigan and then you head a little inland as you cross the border to Illinois and then....well you get the picture!
What a perfect way to practice solo bike packing and to test the waters around whether this was a type of riding that I would even enjoy!
What was even better was that the conference coincided with the week of Labor Day, so it would only require one personal day to connect the holiday weekend with the conference start up.
Now for the hard part...how do you pack light when you need to bring both business professional attire and your gear?
Now, no one came up to me at the conference and outed my potential fashion impairments, but I'm sure the show ponies galloping around the convention center felt I missed the mark on fashion.
Either way, my rule for everything I packed was that it had to be able to perform at least two jobs and weight next to nothing.
In the end, I ended up packing as follows:
1 Pair of Columbia Everyday Hiking/Travel Pants (which were super comfy and somewhat business casual looking)
2 Pairs of Bike Shorts (One set worn, One packed)
2 Sports Bras (One Worn, One Packed)
2 Pairs of Socks (One Worn, One Packed)
2 Pairs of Dainties (Underpants)
1 Pair of Shoes
1 Pair of Bike Shoes
1 Bike Headlight
2 Charging Cords
2 Short Sleeved Shirts (One Worn, One Packed)
1 Long Sleeve Merino Wool Base Layer
1 Light Weight Jacket
1 Rain Jacket
1 Rain Pant
1 Cable Lock
1 Can Pepper Spray
1 Whistle for Perverts
1 Large Knife to try and not hurt myself with...I mean for safety
1 Bag of Miscellaneous Snacks and Tea
I didn't obtain an official weight of my gear as mounted to the bike, mainly because I didn't want to fixate on the poundage as the miles started adding on.
"Thirty pounds of crap....ugh...why did I ever think I would need shoes on this trip...stupid, stupid, stupid."
Instead, I was hoping that by leaving that information out I would be able to just ride like I always carry all of my worldly possessions with me.
When I get back home, I will definitely be weighting everything so that for future reference I know how much more I can handle, but for now, I would estimate it was a total of at least one hundred billion extra pounds...haha.
So now we know the game plan, the foundation of supplies and the destination. Next up will be the content of A to B to C, but first I need to catch up on some of my beauty sleep :-)!