All Systems Go
I'm in Bangkok for a day, collecting my camping and biking gear (and travel guitar) which I had stored here, buying my new Ortlieb waterproof panniers, having my camera tuned up, and trying (unsuccessfully) to catch up on the world of e-mail and internet. I have now boarded eleven different aircraft in a month; tomorrow, I have two flights (changing planes in Qatar) to get to Kuwait. After this, with any luck, I will not take any more airplanes for the next five months or so.
I've got the bike set up in its more-or-less final configuration now: handlebars taped, computer attached, panniers adjusted. I've bought two sets of rear panniers in order to have extra storage volume, but I have to adjust them, maybe with extra straps, to prevent them from rubbing into my tires, or on the ground as I turn, since they're longer and wider than real front panniers.
I'm indulging in my least favourite aspect of a bike trip this afternoon: figuring out how to pack all the contents of my panniers, as well as the panniers themselves, into one big backpack for the plane. One of the panniers will be my carry-on luggage for the flight and will carry all the densest non-metallic bits (particularly books) since I'm grossly overweight as far as luggage goes.
Everything is good; I can't believe that I'll be in Kuwait tomorrow, on the ferry to Bushehr, Iran on Sunday and on my bicycle, pedalling towards Europe, on Monday. The open road awaits!
Peace and Tailwinds