I kiss my wife, pat the dog on the head, and tromp down the stairs to the basement. My bike shoes are there. My helmet is there. All the gloves and hats and warmers. The pump. There is no reason to go back up the stairs.
Sunglasses. Shit. Back up the stairs for my sunglasses.
Back to the basement. I check tires. I pump. I let air back out. I lift the rear of the bike and spin the crank to hear the sound. A little reedy. I lube the chain, rolling it backwards the derailleur cages, bracing my hand against the spokes. Drip. Drip. Drip. One drip per link. Clench it loosely with the rag. Roll it through again.
I lift the front end and drop it to hear that sound. Nothing loose. No unexpected rattles. I search my memory for any traces of small adjustment I promised myself I’d make before riding again. Lube the chain already. That wasn’t it. Check the bar tape. Test headset tension. Nope.
I have to pee again. Always.
Back up the stairs. By now the wife is amused. Even the dog looks askance. I have my shoes on, but they’re not strapped, not ratcheted. I’m clip-clopping. I have my helmet on. Unstrapped. Askew. Am I any closer to ready than when I kissed her on the cheek ten minutes ago?
I felt readier then.
This is how it goes though. This is me taxiing out to the runaway, going through my pre-takeoff checks, the flight attendants gesturing mutely toward the exits, checking everyone’s seatbelt. Tray tables up. Sir, you need to move your bag fully under the seat.
And then I leave, without the water bottles I filled and put next to the refrigerator.
This week’s TCIF asks, do you have a pre-ride ritual? A departure routine? Is it tight and efficient or chaotic and rambling like mine? Do you have all your stuff staged in a certain way? Or do you careen around, gathering the things you might need as you go? Are you early to the meet up? Right on time? Or late, like I often am?