If you are one of the bigs, you get a photographer, a gray carpeted studio, and all your stuff together and take pictures of it before embarking to a stage race. Check out the Subaru Gary Fisher team spread. When you are me, and you have one day to pack, it ends up looking like a mildly organized spread of color in your messy apartment.
Lots of Kenda tires and tubes (i have to get tubes from them just so they don't think i'm actually running their tires tubeless); a gallon of chamois butter to keep the taint fresh on day 7, that stinky camelbak bladder i need to replace, tools, enough hammer gels to get me to the aid stations, a mess of products from Dedicated Athlete, Nuun hydration, a 6 hour power for when the going gets rough, ipod for when it gets rougher, and a bottle opener in case of emergency, and the big 'ol Ergon BD1 to hold everything and give me a supportive hug when Chip gets tired of man love.
We left the house this morning at 5:30 and actually made it through security and had all the bikes inspected and loaded with plenty of time to spare for the flight. Tip of the day for traveling with bikes: if you give the skycap folks a little more than their $1.00 per bag average tip, they'll actually load up your bikes, wait in line with you, and then take your bikes to the appropriate place after they get tagged (and you get raped for $100 more duckets).
Arrive BC, wait while they stack 4 full flights onto one luggage carousel, meet the folks and get to the car. With two bike boxes, a extra set of wheels, 80 pounds of gear, plus personal affects for four people, we were limited to getting a gigantic Ford Expedition to carry us around, but everything fit well, and we enjoyed a luxurious ride to Victoria, BC via the 1:30 ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, along which we could see some snow covered peaks, along with my future home. I still haven't looked at a map, typically one of my favorite things to do when I travel to a new place. The entire ferry trip was spent circumnavigating an endless number of small islands with rocky cliffs diving to the bay waters. The floating parking lot spun around and docked at Swartz Bay, leaving us just a short drive, a stop at North Park Bike Shop to press some bearings for me, and off to the hotel.
As is typical, the room took a little augmentation to fit our style, so we through the chairs up on top of the TV and made room for Chip to build his bike. He suffered a spoke casualty en route to Vancouver, and he had to perform a little non invasive surgery, peeling back the yellow Stans rim tape (for which we had no replacement) and inserting a new nipple
Tomorrow should hold a little less travel, maybe some exploration of Old Victoria, check in on my sled, and lots of rest. Looking forward to exploring this place and drinking a few locals.