At some point over the past 8 yrs, Bikepacking became an integral part of my life. A challenge, sometimes an obsession. Poring over maps, grazing the internet and blogs to find details about routes. Packing and repacking. Trying out new equipment.
Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. This year though, has been tough. I've had a lot on my plate and not much time to ride with the consistency it takes to make a long distance trip successful.
I had planned to leave this week to take a trip on the Trans North GA route. I didn't go. Timing wasn't right. And I'm a little gun shy. The last trip I took, back in the spring, I didn't have the time in the saddle and I wound up in the hurt locker. So much so, that I pretty much scared myself. It served as a wake up call, reminding me how fast things can go south, and if the training isn't there, I can't simply push through and be ok.
Add to that, the kid starting middle school. That's a pretty big transition period and I want to be here for him and support him. I remember middle school. I was in the Caribbean, on an island called Bonaire. They spoke Dutch in the classroom, Papiamentu on the play ground, and we spoke English at home. I felt alone, lost, and scared. I was able to make friends and try to blend in, but overall, the experience was pretty miserable.
I didn't tell the kid how good he has it, how much easier his transition is than mine. It doesn't matter. If he is having a hard time, I have no right to compare that to my experience.
He started school last Weds, and joined the soccer team as manager. Apparently, the state of NC does not think that 6th graders can handle sports and the transition to middle school at the same time. Another one of those outdated laws.....
Anyway, the kid is doing well, and I'm glad I'm here to help him through this part of his journey. Bikepacking can wait.
So, what now? Am I done with the sport? Am I quitting the hobby? No, not at all. I just have to wait for the right time, and make sure my family is taken care of first.
The cool thing is though, I have no regrets. The kid is important to me, and I want to be here for him. I'd die for him, no questions asked. I love bikepacking. But by investing time and energy into the kid, I help not only him, but his kids and their kids. Way more reward.
Enjoy the ride!