Friday, 24 July 2015

We forgot to close the garage...

We're off. It's persisting with rain and the traffic bound for the South West is predictably appalling, but we made it to Gloucester services for a pitstop and Katie is now in the 'hot seat', or the queue as it is currently known. We will get there when we get there!

This is the bit of the trip where I always think of the MacCallisters on their plane to Paris. We can be sure we've forgotten something - it's just a question of what, whether our guesses are right, and how severe it is. Every trip seems to follow a similar pattern - we shall see if this one conforms!

So here we have the Family ByCycle guide to things you forgot, with apologies to Donald Rumsfeld...

1. Things you forgot you forgot (5 Points for each)

The sunglasses, camera mount or map that you find on the settee when you get home, having never noticed you'd not taken them. Otherwise known as 'inadvertent weight saving'. Don't bring them again and bank the benefit on future trips. Win.

2. Things you forgot you remembered (5 Points for each useful one, -5 points per 100g for duplicate items, or things you shouldn't have packed)

More good news. At some stage in your tour, you discover that you have something with you, that comes in handy, even though you never meant to have it with you, or thought you'd forgotten it in the first instance. Remember not to forget it next time.

On the flip side, if you grabbed something at the last minute and it turns out you have two, or didn't need it, or it's the wrong one, you've just lumbered yourself with dead weight.

3. Things you remember you forgot (see tariff)

Oh dear. Eventually, something you forgot becomes very much remembered. There are sub-categories to this one, depending on severity:

3(a). Things you forgot, that you can manage without at a push (-10 Points for each)

You may smell more, ache more, go a bit hungry, or miss out on a useful piece of technology, but your trip still happens, and you just deal with it.

3(b). Things you forgot, that you have to replace locally at a price (-10 Point per hour lost, AND -1 Point per pound wasted)

Sometimes you get lucky and it's something consumable. Sometimes it's not very expensive. More usually it's a swine to get your hands on. It will cost you time, effort, definitely be very poor value and not quite the right one when you do find one. In certain cases it will also sit accusingly in your home in future, reminding you of the whole upsetting affair by not being as good as the one you left behind and still own. I bought the most expensive 'changing bag' in the world from a camera shop in Cologne one Christmas over a decade ago, and it still rankles!

3(c). Things you forgot, that totally kibosh your trip. (-1000 Points for a total loss, -500 Points for a trip home that costs you one more more nights of your tour, and/or -10 Points per pound spent on gifts for the friends, relatives, neighbours or total strangers who dug you out, if you miraculously recover the situation)

The towing arm off the trailer (Wales, Spring 2015 - Katie and the girls rendered unable to ride for the duration of our visit). The quick release bolt for the arm on the Mountain Train (Devon, Summer 2014 - friends went to our house and posted one to the campsite).

Thanks to our friends Hilary and Graham, that's the face of a man who's just avoided a catastrophe.

And finally...

4. Things you remembered you remembered

i.e. most things from 3(b), and anything that has previously featured in 3(c) having become a source of neurosis.

I'm just patting the trailer's towing arm smugly, wondering how many points the last 24 hours' packing effort has earned us. Tomorrow we shall start to find out!

PS: The Amazon delivery arrived at about 1830 yesterday, having written the day off for any tasks needing to be done in town. I had a haircut at 0800 this morning whilst Katie fitted the bike rack and loaded the 'Daddy Bus'! It was worth it - review to follow this tour on the products concerned....

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