Thursday, 17 January 2008

Preparing to ride

It's 6am, and I'm up and trying to wake up sufficiently to go to work. The sun is not up yet - I will wait a little while until it gets light out there, and then I'll go. I have a very powerful light on the bike, but I see no point in fitting it when I can just wait 15 minutes for a more powerful light to pop up over the horizon.

My clothes are on the armchair behind me. Before I rack out at night, I pull out the cycling kit that I am going to wear, along with any clothes that I need to take to work (socks and jocks mainly). That's so I am not crashing throught the wardrobe in the dark at 6am and waking J up.

I know that I am sufficiently awake when I can remember to pack all the other things that I need into my baby backpack - I have this tiny little backpack that reminds me a bit of a purse. I used to ride with a normal sized backpack, but it kept sliding around my shoulders when it was only 1/4 full. All that I need in summer is my wallet, my glasses, my phone, my bike lock, my security tag for the office and perhaps something to read at lunch. That's topped up with a pair of socks and jocks.

Aha, but something is missing. Where do my cycling photos come from?

I also stuff the camera into my back pocket, where I can get to it as I am riding.

In the past, I have left without one of these items, and have had to do a quick U turn when some blocks from home to collect the missing thing. So I am now rather particular about where all this stuff goes - it is all piled up in one spot, and it never leaves that spot (if I have any say in the matter). That way, it doesn't matter if I am all bleary eyed - I just scrape it into the backpack and go. Some items, like the bike lock, never leave the backpack when I get home (the backpack is pretty much dedicated just to cycling, so I don't have to worry about a family member using it for some other purpose, thus upsetting my delicately organised system).

Without a simple system and a bit of order, I'd be screwed.

Similarly, the helmet, gloves and shoes are outside the back door on a "shelf", just waiting for me to walk past, grab them and put them on. They go in the same spot every night, without fail. My cycling jerseys and knicks go in the same spot in the clothes drawer, so I can find them in the dark if necessary.

It's funny - reading Frank Chalk just rams home how disorganised many of his kids are. Nothing to write in, nothing to write with - but never without a mobile phone I suppose. If I was a plumber for instance, and I had an apprentice that turned up day after day without some items of kit - no safety boots one day, half his tools missing the next etc etc, I'd fire the little bugger. If you don't have what you need to do the job, you're not employable.

Speaking of which though, I started work yesterday without a pair of black socks. I had no socks at all. I had to wear my shoes over bare feet until I popped out at lunch and got a pair at Woolies. It looked downright wierd, especially as I had a few meetings with people at an area without a table, and everyone else noticed. I then had to regale them with why I had no socks.

I am not going to tell you about it - I am going to go for a ride.

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