I’m fortunate that I married someone who knows how to make coffee. John preps the coffee the night before so that when he wakes up ( without an alarm), he can get the thing brewing so it’s ready when I stir out of sleep. We both enjoy some quiet morning time while the caffeine does its job. Checking email, avoiding news, responding to questions, figuring the route, etc. are a few of the morning online tasks. We give Olivia a shake about an hour before “wheels up”. She doesn’t like it. She groans, rolls over, and goes back to sleep. We give her a few more soft jostles before the voice tone changes. We go through them all: quiet cajoling, gentle whispers, firmer pleas, stern reminders, unaccommodating commands until she finally says, “Ok. You don’t have to be so mean!” It’s the same every day.
John scurries about. He gets the bike off the rack, does maintenance and other important tasks, though sometimes it’s unclear what. Whatever it is, he needs about 1.5 hours to get ready, sometimes more. Meanwhile, Olivia snakes her way out of bed, sits down and says, “I’m hungry.” I’ve anticipated this and have several cereal, fruit, and yogurt options at the ready. This is breakfast #1 and needs to get her about 20-30 miles where she and John will eat The Main Big Breakfast which will get them the rest of the way.
It turns out there is a lot of preparation involved every morning to get ready for the day’s ride. Here are some morning remarks, questions, and asks: Have you seen my arm protectors? Mom, can you get me one chocolate and one raspberry goo? Is there any ice? What Cliff Bars do we have? Dad, you didn’t send me the ride last night and I need to download it. Is this day 30 or 31? Wait, where are we meeting you? Are there any hills today? How did it get to be so late? When is our next rest day?
Once they finally leave, about 20 minutes behind schedule, my chores begin. I wash the dishes, fill the water, put things away, dump the bilge, review my departure check list (which keeps growing), and head out. Sometimes I do laundry and run errands. If a town is about 30 miles from our starting point, the cyclists will hit a diner and eat a huge meal. Sometimes I rendezvous with them, in hopes of snagging some bacon, but it’s usually all gone. If the mileage doesn’t work out, we arrange a meeting spot and then I make the meal. Basically I do the same thing I do at home but on wheels and with less refrigerator space. I don’t mind, in fact, I like it.