Learning to plan less

The downside of not knowing where you’re going before you get there is that you don’t know what to pack.

Yesterday I rode the most wonderful mountain road Ma-2141 to a rather forgettable cove/tourist trap called Port de Sa Calobra. Once there and having parked, I decided I wouldn’t trust my belongings to the mercy of whoever might wander by the parked bikes in an area bustling with people. Since I hadn’t brought my PacSafe (a metal net for securing bags and backpacks) or even a basic cable lock, I had to carry my bag of camera gear as well as my riding gear. Normally I don’t mind leaving my helmet or gloves on the bike, but tourist crowds attract all types and even a badly raised and unsupervised child would be enough to cause plenty of damage to an expensive helmet.

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Thus I humped all my gear, much to the bemusement of mostly shorts or swimsuit-clad tourists. Fortunately there was a breeze and my mesh gear was perfectly comfortable. The place, on the other hand, didn’t feel like an environment for me. There were nearly a dozen small restaurants littered around the small cove, and from what I noticed, they were all serving the same kind of cheap-looking but not cheap (thanks to the secluded location) Mediterranean fast food staples. They had even matched prices, so it really didn’t matter where you went for your pizza or panini.

I found myself a quiet spot of shade on the water’s edge, under a restaurant’s wall. I shed my riding gear and enjoyed the sound of the waves almost masking the noise of the crowds. The only other motorcyclists in the area, a middle-aged couple from Germany, were lounging further along the same wall, enjoying a picnic. I wish I had had the foresight to pack lunch.

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It’s easy to pack everything you could conceivably need when you travel solo on a bike with big panniers and know where you’re going. When you’re riding a baby Ducati with no luggage apart from your backpack and have no idea where you’ll end up that day, things will be more adventurous. Unlearning decades of overplanning and just ‘going with it’ isn’t without the occasional hitch.

I’m not sure when I’ll get around to the lesson of trusting strangers (i.e. leaving stuff unsecured on a bike) I keep hearing I should do.

 

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