Date Posted: December 31st, 1969
Authored by: Macky Franklin, Sponsored Athlete
The days leading up to our trip to Chile were full of lists: lists of to-do items ("suspend Verizon service", "build race bikes", "freeze car registration"), lists of things to pack ("tripod", "spare goggles", "shampoo and conditioner"), lists of packages we were praying would arrive before we left ("MRP guides", "TRX suspension trainer", "Seasucker bike racks"). There were some close calls, like how we had to call the owner of the local bike shop, Gearing Up, to ask them to open on a snow day so we could get our bikes built the day before we left, but eventually everything got finished. We built our bikes, packed a lot of spare parts and got to the airport just over two hours early despite the fact that we left Taos in a blizzard.
Getting ready for an international trip is stressful and more than a few times in the days leading up to our departure Syd or I would wonder out loud if it was really worth it. We'd think longingly of how easy it would be load up the van and drive south instead of packing bike bags and trying to make sure that each piece of luggage weighs less than 50lbs or how comfortable our roof-top tent is compared to sleeping on the plane.
But every time it's worth it. After we arrive and get our bikes built up and get over our jet-lag we remember how much fun it is to explore a foreign country. To hear and speak a different language, try new foods, see friends we haven't seen for years. To ride different trails on different terrain in different mountains. This trip was no different. The preparations were stressful but now that we're here, all the hard work was worth it!