Starting out and a painful decision

Starting out and a painful decision
The last week of preparation arrived and of course we didn’t have time for everything. Especially after we discovered that Alan’s rear wheel rim was seriously cracked, and the hub’s bearing was nearing it’s end. We were keen on leaving on the weekend so we quickly tried to find a solution. As we bought some spare parts at Evobike for our cycling bags, we got lucky. We can’t thank the guys enough at Evobike coming to our rescue and make a completely new, sturdy rear wheel in a day’s notice,and saving us from a potentially dangerous situation. 
After the catastrophe was avoided, we tried to finish up with shopping some minor things like rain sleeves for the shoes, sandals, and ropes for the hammock. My mom was really helpful in the last couple of days, she made some food for us and helped with cleaning, so we could focus on packing. There’s no doubt we couldn’t leave in time without her. She also promised to help selling some stuff which I couldn’t sell in time, as well as packing away my clothes for longtime storage.

As you can see on the image to the right, we are bringing quite a lot of stuff. You can check the details in the equipment page. Naturally I’m bringing more clothes than Alan, and we bring a lot of cooking stuff because you can’t live on ramen for 2 years. Still, our bikes are light, around 13 kg, and everything else we have don’t reach more than 20 kg. So when we are fully packed with food and water, we have to carry less than 30 kg each (bikes included), which is low, compared to an average tourer, and nice for climbing. 🙂

As for our travel plans, we discussed my race plans for a long time until I made the very painful but rational decision of skipping it. I will try to sell my race entry if I can, but it was not so expensive luckily. I have to realise that my ankle is not in perfect shape yet, and still hurts after running just a 10k two times a week. So doing a half Ironman in less than two months would probably lead to some injury, and I’m not willing to sacrifice the tour for a race. I can always do another one when my running is more up to pace 🙂
On the good news side, this means we can take it easy and gently train our bodies for everday cycling. Suddenly the first one and half month of our trip was not constrained by a time schedule. As we both wanted to discover Italy, we planned another one to two weeks of cycling in northern Italy around the lakes, Venice, and the Alps, before we turn around and head to Croatia. We are really looking forward to Italy, it will be beautiful in late April – early May 🙂
Finally, with some delays (it wouldn’t be us without) we rolled out on the road the first of April. My mom made a delicious carrot cake as a farewell present, from which we ate a bit too much. We said our goodbyes to my parents and a friend who showed up, and started on the adventure of our lives.