PBP 2007 Fini

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George Carlin says, "Sometimes you leave your house (a place to keep your stuff) to go on vacation. And you gotta take some of your stuff with you." A biking vacation is a great time to detach yourself from "stuff". Packing became a series of filtering actions as I pruned out the less important: first that stuff that I could not find, then that stuff I didn't really need—the final pruning leaving a few inner tubes and all medications in Byron's garage. Ravi had dropped me off at Byron's place on Wednesday morning so that Gilbert could make just one stop to pick up both of us on the way to the airport. Now, I met Byron's cats while Susan drove the pickup down from Yanceyville with two bikes plus Gilbert in the bed—organizing gear into his luggage, as the rest of the world went about their Wednesday morning-in-August routine. Ah, the first day of vacation—the escape from the normal routine, into something less, yet more, important—where we escape the "stress" of our work lives by launching into a vague yet tight plan through very foreign actions, people and places. We had air tickets into Brussels and (two weeks later) out from Paris, a notion of train routes from Brussels to De Panne and from Dunkirk to Paris and biking in between Belgium and France. Traveling without taxis or buses, using differing countries for arrival and departure meant that all of our gear for PBP and the two weeks had to fit on the bikes, and no Trico iron-horse bike crates for us.
There had been much fretting in the leading months over changes in airline policy with respect to bikes on international flights, but U.S. Air took great care of us, accepting our bikes in large cardboard boxes as checked bags with no questions asked and no additional fees. While we ate supper at Philly International they paged passengers—was that my name? Why do they need my passport again? Uh-oh, wasn't that arrest warrant rescinded? "Your passport info didn't transfer. We need to scan it again." Whew, make sure I pick up a bottle of Calvados for my lawyer.

Copyleft © 2007 Adrian Hands.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation

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