I’m prepping for my cross-country tour. Two weeks to go before the kickstand goes up and I head in the direction of the setting sun. It feels like there’s a lot to get done. I’m going over maps. Shopping for gear. Checking my bike for any signs of wear that could create a problem. Then doing it all over again.

I have to get new tires mounted, and get another opinion on my front brake pads. And I’m hoping my new seat gets here in time to save some wear on my old seat.

This is fun. I like to plan. I like to look ahead and imagine what might be over the next hill.

For me, the best part of planning is the part you cannot plan. The unknown is the factor that will never be planned out of a trip. One of my favorite lines in all of Shakespeare is “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.” hamlet2

No one knows where and when the rain will come, or the sunrise will be perfect, or the road food will be amazing (I’m an optimist).


I plan so that I will be ready when those unknown things occur (I’m taking antacid).

I think the planning is about more than insurance. I think it’s self-assurance, a little built in margin or reliance on my abilities to adapt. I want to enjoy those moments as fully as I can when I meet them.

Now I wonder if I packed my rain gear …again.