I wandered down to Cotswold Leisure this afternoon for a general browse and to ogle at all the things I would buy if money were no object; quite frankly I could purchase everything in the store. I was particularly taken today by some waterproof covers for mobile phones and cameras – they looked brilliant – but the price wasn’t. I did buy a new Berghaus “Argentium” t-shirt with zip which is slightly too figure-hugging but I’ll stick with it and hope it hugs a little less tightly come the 18th July after six weeks on intensive pre-trip training (how many times have I said something similar to that on this site?)
In the excellent book and map section, my eyes fell upon the The Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook; Worldwide Cycle Route and Planning Guide by Stephen Lord. It has everything you want to know about embarking on a long-distance trip; what bike to buy, advice about the clothing, camping, what tent to invest in, physical preparation, and all the local information you might find useful (although not too much about the less adventurous areas of Western Europe like, err… France, Switzerland and Italy). Fantastic! So why didn’t I invest? Well, I was frightened that when I read it in detail I might find out lots of things that I shouldn’t have done and shouldn’t have bought; for the trip to Italy this summer, I might have to live with some of the mistakes that I have inevitably made in the past twelve months. I will look to purchase the book however when I get back from Italy – it is a new version that has been updated for 2010 – in preparation for future trips, one of which I thought about this afternoon but which I will keep under wraps until I finish the current little adventure.