It's late Friday night, tomorrow I am riding alone some 400kms to Stillbay to join up with some friends at the Freedom Road rally. I am so looking forward to this ride, I have already loaded the big red machine with all that I will need, (hopefully) but I think that I need a permanent checklist posted on my garage wall so that I don't forget something important.
I write out a list, starting with the obvious items like; tent, groundsheet, inflatable mattress, pump and sleeping bag so that I have a place to crawl into after a day's debauchery, and obviously I set all this up immediately on arrival because there's no way it will be done later, either by me or by my friends!
Next on the list is not so important; spare clothing etc., I don't care if I stay in the same jeans and tee shirt for the whole weekend.
Toiletries are next, my toothpaste, deodorant and a towel are usually all that is needed for a fresh up in the morning because usually the showers are either inadequate or crowded so we wet our hair and brush our teeth under a nearby tap.
I always carry a toilet roll because I found out long ago that small rally ablution blocks are not always that well maintained.
Whisky flask, very important because I cannot drink beer all night.
My chair, which I wrote about some time ago, and which I haven't been able to use yet, and various clothing items for comfort depending on the weather conditions.
I think I've got it all covered.
This is the exciting part of the trip for me; the planning, loading and organising. I have my ride worked out and it's not going to be the shortest route, I am planning to avoid the N2 for as long as I can, I will ride through Montagu along the the R62, through Barrydale towards Ladismith and then cut down through Garcia's Pass into Riversdale. Then it's along the N2 for a bit, unavoidable I'm afraid.
It's after 10, I'm tired but most of the day I have been pre-viewing or imagining parts of tomorrow's ride and I am really looking forward to it, speak soon.