In a little over 2 months, I'll FINALLY (whoo hoo!) be on my cross-country tour. I've been riding up and hills/wannabe mountains with my bike & trailer since October trying to prepare. I've lurked on this site and I've posted. I've asked a lot of dumb questions and had some really terrific advice. And it finally dawned on me:
1. No matter how many blogs/journals/websites I read, my gear needs aren't going to be the same as someone else's. Stop obsessing!
2. If I overpack, the world won't end tomorrow. The US Postal system exists for a reason. Stop obsessing!
3. Make a packing list and test it out. If I miss something or find that I need warmer/cooler clothes, I can buy them on the way. Stop obsessing!
4. There is no one right bike for everyone. I need to go with what I want as long as I can afford it and the fit is good. Stop obsessing!
5. My trip is my trip. I have an obligation to respect anyone who rides with me, but I shouldn't change my dream just because someone else doesn't think it's "right". It's okay to be flexible, but not jello.
6. I'm never too old to learn. If someone has given me advice, there's a reason behind it, but I know that some things I'll have to experience for myself.
7. I'm going to do what I can not to smell/look homeless, but I don't care whether or not I'll be color-coordinated, wearing the latest cycling style. It's not like I'm going to be on the cover of "Biking Weekly". If others laugh at some of my more creative outfits, well...at least they smiled.
8. Stop obsessing over the details!
As you can see, I've really been overthinking this whole thing. I was so determined to get it "right" that I forgot about how much fun it is to simply ride. What brought it home for me was speaking to someone about my trip. The individual, a much more experienced rider, was making me question myself because MY tour didn't match HER needs. In talking it out with hubby, the light bulb finally was lit. I'd been so busy obsessing over small details and what others thought of them, that I'd lost sight of why I wanted to tour--to have a chance to see my country and have fun.
Whew! This is long, but now I'm curious: what was your particular "light bulb" moment and what caused it?