Wrap up and go

Today starts out as a working day, but we’ll leave towards France in the late afternoon. That makes the day a bit challenging: I’ll need to focus on work in the morning (working from home), wrap up and let it go, then focus completely on the packing. Though the work progresses pretty well, my subconscious must already be packing, because a few times during the morning I suddenly remember something we absolutely must take with us or do before we leave. One of these insights is the realization that my bike helmet strap broke on the last trip and that I have been meaning to fix that or replace the helmet entirely. A bit late for either, so I call my mom and convince her to come over with a new clasp and her new helmet. The visit is scheduled for the afternoon and now and then I think of something else she could lend me, so we text back and forth through the morning. I complete my to do list, bring my time registration up to date and log off around three, with a virtual wave goodbye to my colleagues.

Packing seems a bit more chaotic than usual, don’t know why. Perhaps the hot weather makes us a bit more tired and irritable? I make a stack of the clothes I want to take, then discard half of them, thinking I can always do a quick wash halfway. Mom arrives and takes care of the final touches: we can’t fix my helmet but I can borrow hers, she sews a button on my new shorts to secure the phone in its thigh pouch and brings today’s eureka idea: a light cloth purse, that I can fold and stow away in my bike bags and then take out in the evening or on days off. She sewed it this afternoon based on two requirements: must be very lightweight / must have a zipper. She used a leftover piece of Japanese design cotton and it looks great, thanks Mom!

We lock up the house around five thirty, load the bike bags in the trunk of the car and take off towards France. Tonight we’re sleeping at my parents-in-law, right on the French border. We spend an hour or so adjusting our bags to their e-bikes, adjusting the saddles and installing a few accessories like Velcro’ed water bottle holders and a mount for the smart phone, which we’ll use for navigation. French fries with the whole family for dinner, then as dessert our first ice cream of the holiday. After that, we feel kind of ready to get started. A long drive tomorrow: about 7 hours to Le Pouliguen, near the famous salt marshes of Guérande. It promises to be a scorching hot day, we’ll spend all of it in an airconditioned car, could be worse. Must remember to download some music for the road..

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