|Lake District National Park|
When I first applied for my current job, the phrase that stood out to me most in the job description was: “Occasional travel required.” My mind looped and soared on the implications of such a statement, because I have always wanted a job that demanded I not stay in just one place. Unfortunately, it turns out my business travelling is rather less occasional than I would like, but, hey, I still get paid to go awesome places.
And in May I’ll be going several awesome places back to back, which is resulting in the potential to have quite an awesome adventure. I plan to take my bike.
|This will be my first trip to Scotland|
I generally think it’s a bad idea to mention one’s employer on one’s blog, but I may have slipped at some point or you may have guessed, so I should stress that standard policy in my office is to travel as sustainably as possible. More often than not, this translates into our getting places via trains and buses. But in working out logistics for this particular trip I’ve figured out that it will be cheaper, more efficient and thereby create a lesser carbon footprint for me to travel via motorcycle.
Sorry, I just felt obligated to point that out. Anyhoo, in May I’ll be heading to Lake District National Park and Perth, Scotland, thereafter. If you’re not too hot on British geography, the Lake District is in the northwest corner of England, and Perth is roughly 200 miles further north. Heading there and back (making a deliberate detour through Northumberland National Park) will see me tackling a hearty 1,000 miles.
For those of you playing along in the United States, that round trip from Penarth to Perth and back is roughly the same as the distance from Bloomington (Minnesota) to Bozeman. Or Nacadoches to North Charleston. It is 200 miles greater than the distance from Portland to Provo, and double the distance from San Diego to San Francisco. It is a long-ass stretch, in other words, and will require back-to-back days of riding, as well as covering one-day distances greater than I’ve ever done before.
I have for a while been working to improve my riding endurance but now I have a specific reason for doing so, as well as the challenge of planning for a big road trip. I’ve got a solid three months to plan this trip, but even with all that time I feel a little overwhelmed and don’t really know where to start. That’s where I’m hoping your advice will come into play.
I’m incredibly excited, as I’ve never really had a chance to explore either place and the conferences I’m attending will allow me to do that. In total, I’m going to be away for eight days. Though, obviously, I won’t be riding for the majority of those days. For these conferences I’m going to need business attire, clothes and gear for hiking, and casual clothes. That’s going to eat up a lot of space on my bike, so I’ve decided not to attempt camping on this particular trip.
|I probably don’t need to pack this much.|
Where I’d like your advice is on what else to bring. Rain gear, obviously. And chain lube. I suppose it might be a good idea to bring a tire pump. What else, though? What makes sense, and what should I leave at home?
Additionally, on one day I have no choice but to tackle 250 miles. So, I’m wondering how best to prepare. (Keep in mind that travel time tends to double in the UK over what it would be in the United States, because of the poor state of our roads)
So, what would you do? What would you avoid doing? I’d like to know.